You, too can be a Sporn star

You know the mod scene is really taking off for a particular game when it gets a nickname. In this case, though, Maxis and EA aren’t thrilled about the online moniker given to the Spore modding scene. “Sporn” may be accurate when you look at some of the explicit creations floating around the web, but it isn’t the most media-friendly name for a game aimed at all ages.

Yes, Will Wright’s fantastically addictive evolution simulation has been co-opted by creative pervs who have gotten so tired of the real porn on the internet that they’ve gone off and made their own fake stuff. Horrors! And man, evolution and sex in the same game? Jeez, nobody tell Sarah Palin or her head will explode.

EA, of course, has gone into crisis mode. Somebody at EA corporate with way too much time on his or her hands judged that all user-made content deemed to be lewd and/or lascivious would be deleted from the online Sporepedia, the official site where Spore players are encouraged to share their creations—well, their G-rated creations—with the world at large.

But is this really a big deal? Overreaction to any combination of game + naughty bits is par for the course in the post–Hot Coffee era, although going so far as to ban Spore creatures with penises is more likely to court controversy, not stifle it. There is no better way to get the mainstream media huffing and puffing over more “Won’t somebody think of the children?” nonsense. Not that the ban is working, anyhow. Spore gamers are just uploading Sporn movies to YouTube and other video-sharing sites. Sorry, EA, this genie is out of the lamp, he’s not going back in, and surprise, he’s not wearing pants!

Nor should he put any on. Gaming is never going to grow up if publishers react to every sex story by throwing their hands up in the air. All these over-the-top responses do is reinforce the notion that gaming is for kiddies and shouldn’t ever be combined with mature content. Granted, a Spore take on Goatse (no, I’m not giving you the link) isn’t exactly what I would call mature. Still, you have to take the good with the bad, and it doesn’t seem all that tough to accept that people are using an evolution sim to depict sex. The two kind of go hand in hand, don’t they?

Gaming industry bigwigs can’t go ballistic about stuff like Sporn and then get all outraged when Australia bans Fallout 3 or school boards in Canada try to get Bully pulled from the shelves. While I can understand why EA wants to keep graphic sex mods out of its Sporepedia, it should have been quieter about removing them, and somebody with the company should have taken the time to laugh the whole thing off with a “boys will be boys” comment.

An attitude that sex and gaming are verboten is becoming entrenched in the greater public mind. And that’s a very bad thing for those of us who want to see gaming get past the stigma of being for kids only and evolve into an accepted adult pastime. Taking a stand here, even a small one, would have been best for both Spore and for gaming as a whole in the long run.

Gostown Paradise
(Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas)

GTA IV may be just about to arrive on the PC, but spare a few minutes for your old pal, C.J. Roman Bellic’s predecessor is front and center in Gostown Paradise for GTA: San Andreas, a total conversion that turns Los Santos and its neighbors into a metropolis on a gorgeous tropical island. It’ll be a while before the mod is finished, although it’s worth a look now if only to cruise around and gape at the island scenery.

October 22, 2008


  • otharu - October 23, 2008 12:24 a.m.

    My first first!!!! GR rocks!!!!
  • MultiGamer - October 23, 2008 4:21 p.m.

    i agree 100%. Its stupid that parents complain all about games like GTA and its affect on children, when they were the ones who bought thier child an game rated 18. It's just pathetic.
  • smileykyley - October 23, 2008 8:11 p.m.

    "boys will be boys"... NICE. I agree though, if people dicide to do this kind of wierd-ness, let that be their bidness. Still kind of kooky though. YEAH I SAID KOOKY!
  • NelosAngelos - October 23, 2008 11:33 p.m.

    I hate people sometimes. It takes only one to really ruin it for everyone else. At first I thought it wasn't such a big deal this "sporn" crap. But most likely it will...dare I say it? "Evolve" (hahah) into something bigger. If you need me, I'll be hiding my PS3 from the FEDs before they come and take it away.
  • BigManPigMan - October 24, 2008 1 a.m.

    Wow i knew it was only a matter of time before someone took a look at spore and said "man, wouldn't it be awesome if this dude had a dick?" lol oh well. Stuff happens. I say let EA ban the X-rated stuff from the public servers but just leave the mod alone. Here is an idea! If you dont agree with it, dont get it!
  • noofer7 - October 24, 2008 2:58 p.m.

    Sucks for me. I must be the only guy at my middle school who's never played an M game. And all my friends are always talking about Halo... (sigh...)
  • I-Be-MAD - October 24, 2008 8:29 p.m.

  • rafa_slash - October 23, 2008 4:38 a.m.

    They should show more mods,
  • Gonri 13 - October 23, 2008 10:57 a.m.

    It's a PC Gamer article not Gamesradar otharu.
  • Gonri 13 - October 23, 2008 10:57 a.m.

    It's a PC Gamer article not Gamesradar otharu.
  • noofer7 - October 24, 2008 2:55 p.m.

    People act like games are just toys for little kids. If that's true, then how come most gamers are adults, and half the good games out there are rated "Mature"?!
  • jimsondanet - October 25, 2008 3:10 p.m.

    duuuuudez!!! bummer... well the good news is... is that politicians love revenue the bad news is... politicians needs voters its really teetering isnt it? personally i think its only a matter of time before game such as gta an saintsrow are just outright banned. warfare games are definetly sticking around tho(drafting aint so ahhh pc anymore now is it?)

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