Square Enix, owner of the multiplayer online game Final Fantasy 14, has updated its rules regarding prohibited in-game behavior. Among the new guidelines there is a point that prohibits the public use of emotes or player character movements in a way that alludes to sexual behavior.
Final Fantasy 14 Online is currently one of the most popular online games in the world, with players creating their own characters and traversing the fictional world of Eorzea. While most Final Fantasy players focus on developing their characters through quests or group dungeons, there are also those who put the fate of the world aside and focus on more mundane pleasures, such as making their characters look well, decorating their own house, or… having virtual sex.
So far, it didn’t take much time in the game to come across people who specifically use Square Enix-created emoticons and character actions to stimulate sexual behavior. Such behavior was particularly common in the game’s most popular locations like the city of Limsa Lominsa.
The owners of the game have decided that they will no longer accept lewdness from their players and have decided to add a new rule banning all obscene and explicitly sexual statements, emotes, and character movements. Now, a player who is reported by an outside observer to be performing lewd acts can be punished for their behavior.
InInterestingly, however, the rules also make this statement:
“In the case of role-playing involving mildly sexual expressions (such as erotic role-playing) with a consenting group of two or more players, if it is conducted in a private area, it will not be considered a violation unless a report is made.
However, if you encourage or invite a player to participate in such role-play without being certain of their consent, there is a high possibility that you will be reported and penalized.”
This means that the company has not imposed an outright ban, but only requires that any sexual activity involving players and their characters take place in a private setting where all participants consent to such activity. Just like in real life.
The question is whether the new rule will cause players to stop imitating sexual behavior in public, or conversely, the possibility of being caught and receiving punishment will now make such behavior even more tempting.