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A decade ago, adult games that contained content of a erotic or sexual nature would have been considered fringe and non-mainstream. Lately however, adult games have made their way to the mainstream audience through the Steam Greenlight program and triple AAA titles like the Witcher, and the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077. Visual novels and puzzle games with optional adult content seems to be the norm these days, at least on Steam. Some popular titles exemplifying this include Neko-Para, Katawa-Shoujo, and HuniePop.

I only ask because a few years back a question was asked about a NSFW flash game. The question was then closed, the reasons which I do not remember clearly. I would like to know if that stance back then would still hold the same today? Where do we draw the line? Would something with borderline adult content be out of bounds? In what instance does mature content allow for questions to be asked?

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    i assume so long as the question is tastefully worded i would assume it's fine. like the difference between "how do i fuck Trish" VS "how do i unlock the romance card for Trish", and possibly no links to actual adult content (linking to the explicit media). i would assume without seeing the question you mention it might have done that or some other reason (ie. person promoting their own game as a question in an non good faith way) – Memor-X Aug 22 at 3:31
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    Possible duplicate of Are questions about adult-themed games allowed? – Jutschge Aug 22 at 6:59
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    @Jutschge I only ask this now because that question is nearly a decade old on this site. It's nice to have an updated and refreshed question especially since many policies on this site have changed since Arqade's conception – senpai Aug 22 at 9:21
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    No, Justchge is right, this is a duplicate. On Stack Exchange, old questions are expected to be kept up to date, not reasked periodically. – pppery Aug 22 at 14:07
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    @pppery I don't think necrobumping a 9 year old post will help foster any community discussion about the topic, so I disagree with your assertion. There are always exceptions to the rule, and it's not like this question was asked more than once anyhow. – senpai Aug 22 at 19:14
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I can see no reason why this stance would have changed. The answer to the original question about this policy (Are questions about adult-themed games allowed?) is based on network-wide policies that have not changed in the intervening time.

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    But what does that mean for us, Arqade? No games tagged with a "Mature content" warning on Steam? The network-wide policy is "Accounts that use Stack Exchange to post sexually explicit or pornographic material, or links to it, will be suspended", but discussing adult games is neither of those. Does The Witcher count as pornographic material? Does GTA? Where do we, specifically, draw the line? The stance may not have changed since the other question was posted, but what is the stance on games? – Wrigglenite Aug 22 at 8:36
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    Consider the SE site Interpersonal. Sex, while being an adult topic, is perfectly on-topic and follows the network-wide policy. The discussion of sex is fine because no pornographic content is posted. Now then, would the same situation not apply to Arqade? If a user has a question about an adult function of a video game, without posting images/linking video of anything sexually explicit, I'd assume the same could be said. – senpai Aug 22 at 9:25
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    @Wrigglenite I don't like the linked question nor the answer to this question, but I like the question you pose in your comment about The Witcher and GTA. I wouldn't consider The Witcher off-topic because it has sex scenes and 'adult-themed', but where is the line drawn? The link and the answer clearly point to off-topic, but it's evident that The Witcher is on-topic and allowed. Visual Novels are a great genre to point to, as there is a rising market for those games especially on Steam. – FoxMcCloud Aug 22 at 19:02
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    Note that about 4 years ago, I asked a question about questions concerning Adult themes on Meta: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/258126/…. – Nzall Aug 29 at 8:25
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I reached out to the CM team for the network policy regarding these types of questions, and this is the reply I got.

[T]he network policy is pretty much the same as the one in the old post: No direct links, no screenshots, no lewd descriptions, basically: keep it safe for work.

If a question demands pornographic or graphic description of the game, then it is a no-no, if the question can be asked in a safe for work manner, then that is fine (network policy-wise). The site is, of course, welcome to restrict that further if that's what is decided.

Given that we can restrict that further and I think Grace Note's reasoning (below) still stands, I don’t see a reason to allow adult games.

I think a major problem is that allowing Adult games but not allowing any content that links or describes their material would be awkward to the people who ask those questions. I don't know these games, or whether anyone who plays them would actually ask questions about in-game activity, but I think that saying "We allow only a small subset of questions, primarily installation, for adult games" is a lot more difficult to accept than "I'm sorry but we do not cover adult games". In order to get any support besides what we "might allow", they would need to visit another place anyway. – Grace Note♦︎ Jul 23 '10 at 10:36

Also, I’d rather have people see that we don’t support adult themed games, than see the tag and ask a question that violates site/network policy and have it be nuked with red flags.

I don't, however, have a problem allowing games that have NSFW elements in them, such as Witcher, etc, provided the questions/answers don't have those elements in them.

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    This answer seems contradictory. If it's possible to ask and answer questions in a safe for work manner, why should adult games be banned entirely? – Wrigglenite Nov 25 at 8:20
  • @Wrigglenite , not sure what’s contradictory about the answer. I’m saying the network policy is x, but we are allowed to be more restrictive if we want to. Given that we can be more restrictive, and I feel GraceNote’s comment is still applicable, I feel we should be. Then as a caveat, I am saying that just because we don’t support adult themed games, doesn’t mean we have to wholesale ban all games with NSFW elements. – Dragonrage Nov 25 at 8:47
  • Also, I’d much rather have these types of games banned because I’d rather have people come and see we don’t support those games, than come and see the tag exists and ask an NSFW question that violates site/network rules and gets nuked with red flags. – Dragonrage Nov 25 at 8:49
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    The contradiction to me is that according to network policy, those games would be perfectly acceptable, but this answer frames it in a way that makes it seem like banning those games is a natural consequence of the network policy. "I don't see a reason to allow adult themed games" - I don't see a reason not to allow them. – Wrigglenite Nov 25 at 8:52
  • @Wrigglenite still don’t see what you are talking about, but I edited it anyhow to try and make it clearer. – Dragonrage Nov 25 at 9:17
  • I agree with Wrigglenite. I don't see any real reason not to allow them. Even Grace's quote seems to be a bad dichotomy. I don't think anyone is suggesting the policy is "We allow only a small subset of questions, primarily installation, for adult games" but instead, it would be the network policy "No direct links, no screenshots, no lewd descriptions, basically: keep it safe for work." I don't really see evidence that allowing adult games would actually lead to people posting more NSFW content. It seems to be mostly fear based, but to me it doesn't seem like a real major concern. – JMac Nov 26 at 19:55
  • @JMac, AFAIK, most of adult themed games revolves around doing NSFW stuff. Im unsure how you would ask how to do so the NSFW stuff in a SFW manner. And even if you could, their is no guarantee the answer could be written in a SFW manner due to the nature of the games. – Dragonrage Nov 26 at 20:01
  • @Dragonrage Just because it may be difficult to ask about adult themed games without making them NSFW (or even impossible for some games), that in no way should drive the policy that all adult games are NSFW. We already have a policy that doesn't allow NSFW content. I don't see how it's beneficial to put another more restrictive policy on top, just to prevent the same NSFW content that the rules already account for. – JMac Nov 26 at 20:09
  • @JMac, why spend the effort dealing with them, when we can only help in very limited scenarios? there are other better places to go ask about NSFW games – Dragonrage Nov 26 at 20:16
  • @Dragonrage I just don’t see the point in restricting it if the only reason is “it has the potential to violate a rule that is already in place”. You place additional restrictions, and it’s not clear how there’s any benefit. You could argue it creates more work for users moderating the site, because it just adds another rule to look out for; but that rule is only in place so a different rule doesn’t get broken. It’s redundant with the NSFW policy, and restrictive for no good reason besides “it might violate a different policy”. That makes no sense to me. – JMac Nov 26 at 20:28
  • @JMac i dont see the point of allowing them, if most of the game would violate network policy – Dragonrage Nov 26 at 20:29
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    @Dragonrage That seems like it’s implementing policy in reverse. We would want to restrict things when they cause issues, not only allow things that we expect won’t cause issues. If the only issues that these games are causing is already addressed by other rules, it seems like restriction for restrictions sake. – JMac Nov 26 at 20:53
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Lately however, adult games have made their way to the mainstream audience through the Steam Greenlight program and triple AAA titles like the Witcher, and the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077

Yes, there are planty of games in Steam tagged with nudity and sexual content.

If you check Witcher 3 store page you will not see such tags, only in full tag page:

It's because Witcher 3 is not about sex, but about: open world, rpg, story rich, atmospheric, fantasy, adventure, singleplayer, choices matter, story piece and only then it's nudity. I skipped "mature", because this tag is weird (it seems none of games have if first, it's always accompany other mature tags, e.g. nudity).

This is ok to talk about Witcher: open world exploring, combat system, spells, story, quests, etc. But as soon as you start posting screenshots of cutscenes and asking stupid questions (because you can ask only stupid question about those) - you are stepping the line.

Most of games tagged with nudity as first tag are really only about that.. they have no value, they are really not worth any discussions, they are made for very limited audience, which I don't really want to ever see at Arquade. There are other places, dedicated adult forums, just go there.

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    I don't think we should categorize and allow/ban games based on which tag is first on Steam. I also don't like the idea of picking certain parts of a game that are off limits. I think every game should either be okay or banned. – FoxMcCloud Aug 28 at 18:36
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    Yeah, I also don't think steam tags would be a good method for determining what counts as "adult" and what doesn't. "But as soon as you start posting screenshots of cutscenes and asking stupid questions (because you can ask only stupid question about those) - you are stepping the line." I definitely disagree with that quote. I don't see why a screenshot of a cutscene would inherently make a question "stupid". There are plenty of things in cutscenes which could make up part of a legitimate question here. – JMac Aug 28 at 19:02
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    Your final paragraph also seems to be an assumption based off steam tags, which isn't a good metric. I disagree with the entire premise of it. Even if there game were primarily about nudity, it doesn't inherently make any information about the game not valuable. Just because you personally don't want to discuss them or see anything about them, doesn't mean it shouldn't be allowed on the site. Not to say it should be allowed; just that those aren't good reasons. I don't like minecraft questions, and I really don't want to see them here; but policy shouldn't reflect my personal feelings. – JMac Aug 28 at 19:07
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    Steam tags are a terrible metric because they are user defined, not publisher defined. In fact, the Witcher 3 store page description still contains the following description: "The developers describe the content like this: This Game may contain content not appropriate for all ages, or may not be appropriate for viewing at work: Nudity or Sexual Content, General Mature Content" – senpai Aug 28 at 19:31
  • @FoxMcCloud, you are wrong. It would be unfair to ban whole Witcher for nude cutscenes (I only mean nude cutscenes, thought that was obvious from question topic, seems not to @JMac). The game is a whole lot more than just that. However, exactly those topics should be banned, no one should be allowed to post uncensored screenshot from cutscene and ask question "why her boobs are so small" (I mean such question, also based on topic). Many big games have such piquant parts, e.g. Mass Effect. I was only against those. – Sinatr Aug 29 at 7:17
  • @senpai, you are wrong. The community (exactly like here in Arqade) judging is way more fair, because developer only care about regulations (ratings, etc.) You will see a huge difference between two games tagged with [nudity] depending on its position. Steam was just an example, if you know another way to determine how adult is a game marked as adult, feel free to share. I thought I am on a right track, but with those comments I feel pervert now. – Sinatr Aug 29 at 7:24
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    @Sinatr I think there may be a communication issue here. For example, you said Fox is "wrong"; but everything that he said was a personal opinion, and could only be wrong if he was lying about his opinion (which you have no way to tell). Another example, if you only meant nude cutscenes, add that to your answer so that it's clear, because it currently does not say that. – JMac Aug 29 at 12:23
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    @Sinatr The steam community tags are frequently used as a form of joking around. You will often find tags like "psychological horror" on joke games, because it's a meme. The "nudity" tag would be subject to that as well. I don't see why we would use the tags instead of judging it based on the actual game content and what the question is specifically asking about. – JMac Aug 29 at 12:25

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