Image credit: naehlzz (opens in new tab)
UPDATE: well, turns out there is going to be a Minecraft-style Lego game, it's called Lego Worlds (opens in new tab) and has been announced barely hours after all the following stuff in this story was tweeted out, making me thing someone knew this was coming.
ORIGINAL STORY: The idea of a Minecraft style Lego MMO often gets thrown around as an easy money spinner. Obviously, we have Lego Dimensions (opens in new tab) to scratch that creative gaming itch now, but the former's combination of limitless creative potential and kid-friendly reputation seems like a cash bomb waiting to go off. Now, from a coder on the canned Lego Universe, we know why it's never, ever going to happen: wangs.
Case in point, I didn't even have to make that picture, someone else already had. There were several, in fact.
Anyway, as it turns out, one of the biggest costs of Lego's last online creative game, Universe, was moderation to remove all the dicks. There was an attempt to create "dong detection software" initially, explains (opens in new tab) former senior graphics coder on the MMO, Megan Fox. That was a no go because people get really creative when it comes to dick-craft. "Players would hide the dongs where the filtering couldn't see, or make them only visible from one angle / make multi-part penis sculptures", say Megan. As a result moderation was "the single biggest cost center for LEGO Universe's operational costs. Or close to".
You're probably thinking, 'why is that such a big deal?' As Megan points out: "LEGO's brand is utterly trusted by parents. We had to uphold that trust. Which meant zero tolerance". Minecraft and other building MMOs could really let the wind rustle through fields of digital cock because, "they didn't have to worry about little kids seeing dongs". If, however, you're an official Lego game, explains Megan, "We REALLY did".
It'll be interesting to see how Lego Worlds deals with the issue.
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