eamiddleon
 member, 4 posts
Tue 7 May 2019
at 23:34
“Adult” games access as age proxy?
I was wondering if DMs label their content as Adult to ensure that player applicants are at least 18, and not to host adult content per se. Do DMs filter their applicant pool this way?
NowhereMan
 member, 313 posts
Tue 7 May 2019
at 23:42
“Adult” games access as age proxy?
Some do. It's been a point of contention in the past as to whether or not it's "okay" to, but in the end, the reasons a GM sets a game as Adult are up to them and them alone.

I've done it, sort of. I've had games that might not have content that specifically requires the Adult label, but involves themes that require a certain amount of life experience to really handle well. The pitfall is that not every 25-year-old is going to be more "mature" than a particular 17-year-old, but you're playing the averages.
gladiusdei
 member, 785 posts
Tue 7 May 2019
at 23:43
“Adult” games access as age proxy?
what he said.

I've run a few games in the past I labelled adult not technically because it was guaranteed to have adult content as the site defines it, but because it was about subject matter I thought best handled by adult players.
donsr
 member, 1585 posts
Tue 7 May 2019
at 23:50
“Adult” games access as age proxy?
I use  adult to  filter out  little kids.. there is  blood gore  ect ect so  I just  like to have  players  who want to play the game and character  Build while that stuff  goes on..even to that extent. you'll get some folks who don't 'quite fit"
PCO.Spvnky
 member, 399 posts
Tue 7 May 2019
at 23:53
“Adult” games access as age proxy?
I use adult on my games because O do not want to have to police every post my players make for "inappropriate" content, if it is adult it will be readily apparent what should and should not be in a post.
Starchaser
 member, 623 posts
 GMT+0
 http://bit.ly/2NvdzWG
Wed 8 May 2019
at 08:45
“Adult” games access as age proxy?
As a runner of Adult games I should point out that you still need to police your games for inappropriate content. There are things in the Adult policy that are definite no-nos. You are responsible for ensuring that your players don't cross the line.
bigbadron
 moderator, 15723 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Wed 8 May 2019
at 09:30
“Adult” games access as age proxy?
Yep, need to clarify this point - the GM of ANY game is always responsible for policing EVERY post in that game to ensure that it complies with site rules.  And while it might be "readily apparent" what content is permitted at any level (General, Mature, or Adult), there are a number of people who will still try to bend the limits.

Just because the GM makes the game Adult, it does not suddenly mean that they are suddenly not responsible for enforcing site rules as they apply to that game.
praguepride
 member, 1386 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Wed 8 May 2019
at 15:25
“Adult” games access as age proxy?
I used to always mark my games as "Mature" as a way to do that however from what I can tell I have never successfully identified a "child" vs. an "adult" based on their writing.

I just heavily vet during the RTJ process as it's usually pretty apparent the kind of writing level and maturity they have from there.

Let me offer the counterpoint: Some players play heavily from either shared devices or work devices and might (wisely) shy away from Adult labeled content to avoid HR incidents.

I think that marking a game as Adult only when there isn't mature content isn't a great decision as again you will limit your prospective pool due to age restrictions while at the same time the age verification is not perfect as the giant list of "minors sneaking into adult games" list shows.
eamiddleon
 member, 5 posts
Wed 8 May 2019
at 15:38
Re: “Adult” games access as age proxy?
praguepride:
Let me offer the counterpoint: Some players play heavily from either shared devices or work devices and might (wisely) shy away from Adult labeled content to avoid HR incidents.


This is precisely why I haven’t pursued Adult access.

I wasn’t asking about the wisdom of it, just wondering about whether the strategy were employed. But as a solution for the HR issue, that might be resolved by removing the Adult tag after RTJs are all in, wouldn’t it?
SunRuanEr
 member, 79 posts
Wed 8 May 2019
at 15:55
Re: “Adult” games access as age proxy?
quote:
I think that marking a game as Adult only when there isn't mature content isn't a great decision as again you will limit your prospective pool due to age restrictions.

I think the counter question to that is 'What do you do when the story takes a turn towards more Adult-rated content (which can easily happen), and you wind up with players who might not qualify for an Adult game if the rating has to be shifted down the road?'

I've seen several games wind up needing to turn Adult, either because of what the characters did with the story itself, or (in one case) because of what a few of the characters were doing with each other, and in those cases it was easier to turn the game Adult and let it continue than to have to try to throttle back things and potentially disappoint players from going down a chosen route. I have no idea what any of those games would have done if they couldn't have gone Adult because one of the important characters was played by someone who couldn't... /shrug

My standard game group tends to go Adult right from the start just to prevent that from ever potentially being an issue later, now, after having been through those experiences.

quote:
But as a solution for the HR issue, that might be resolved by removing the Adult tag after RTJs are all in, wouldn’t it?

Sounds a little bait-and-switchy, to me, and probably not a super route to take as a GM.
eamiddleon
 member, 6 posts
Wed 8 May 2019
at 16:09
Re: “Adult” games access as age proxy?
SunRuanEr:
quote:
But as a solution for the HR issue, that might be resolved by removing the Adult tag after RTJs are all in, wouldn’t it?

Sounds a little bait-and-switchy, to me, and probably not a super route to take as a GM.

Easily solved: “This game is marked Adult, but will change to Mature immediately.”
donsr
 member, 1586 posts
Wed 8 May 2019
at 16:11
Re: “Adult” games access as age proxy?
all GMs  have thier own style and ways to 'handle' things...

 in the  8 + years  I ran games.. I only kicked one dork out  form being a massive  scumbag... others  a simple  warning is   good enough.

 since my worlds  are  'darker'. that sorta sifts  some of the problems  and olny being 'semi-freeform takes  care of  a lot of the rest.

As I said, by having 'adult' it saves me  from  kids    who sign up for a lark..get players invested in  having them in their  Group, unit  ect and have the flit away to another  new  game.

the best thing that happens  is the people who stay ( for me at least) help create and  grow our   community  inside the game...and   contribute to the growth  of the game.

 all GMs  have thier   vision..long term.... quest  by quest until they grow bored.. ect.
icosahedron152
 member, 953 posts
Fri 10 May 2019
at 03:48
Re: “Adult” games access as age proxy?
Yes, it’s done. I don’t think it’s a good idea, because age is no guarantee of maturity. Adults are just as likely to mess you about, and may be equally (or more) naïve than teenagers on any topic you choose. But some GMs think it’s an effective strategy to save themselves some work/conflict.

Personally, I just enter into a conversation at RTJ. That gives me a lot more information about the person than their DOB can ever provide. Fortunately, I run genres that rarely inundate me with RTJs, so I can usually afford to chat with potential players.

Changing the rating of a game after (or during) start-up is probably not a good idea. It suggests to potential players that the GM has no clear idea of the type of game they want to run, and smacks of poor management. What other goalposts are they going to move as the whim strikes them? And I would never advocate setting up an Adult game ‘in case my players make me include adult material later.’ What message does that send about your ability to control a game?

When players know what rating the game is from the outset, they have a responsibility to tailor their predilections to the game’s rating. Doing otherwise is a sign of immaturity on the part of the players, and allowing them to do so is poor management on the part of the GM.

Banning teenagers from your games doesn’t make the GM’s job any easier. People don’t flip a switch in their head and suddenly become wise and responsible citizens on their eighteenth birthday, and post-18s with ‘Real-Life Commitments’ can be just as flighty as any teenager.

If you want to post Adult material, rate your game Adult and have fun, but don’t try to hide behind the Adult label in the hope of getting a better class of player – you’re just deluding yourself, excluding potential players, and opening yourself to “I’m allowed to post porn, cos it’s an adult game” types of childishness.
gladiusdei
 member, 790 posts
Fri 10 May 2019
at 03:54
Re: “Adult” games access as age proxy?
think you're just going to have to accept that people will use it as a way to try to help keep the content mature.  Even if it blocks some players that may be mature enough for the game, it is one of the few tools GMs have, so they use it.
facemaker329
 member, 7089 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Fri 10 May 2019
at 07:05
Re: “Adult” games access as age proxy?
Retroactively making the game 'adult' is a laborious process.  Adult games still require the RTJ thread for each player to include the player's own declaration that they are of age and legally valid to access adult material, if I recall correctly...and it needs to be the first (or right near the top of the thread) post in their RTJ thread.

Which means, in practical terms, you have to delete your players from the game and make them RTJ all over again.  It's not impossible, it's been done before and will almost certainly be done again...but it's not just as simple as changing a setting on a drop-down list, so anyone considering that route should really make sure they're ready for the time and trouble involved.

And personal preferences aren't going to change anyone's practices.  Some people do use the Adult flag as a kind of preliminary screening process...I've never been in one of those games, but I've read enough posts from people who've done it to know it happens.  And, yes, they know that not every adult is automatically somehow mature and level-headed...and they don't add every applicant to the game simply because they're adults, either.  It's just one of several screening criteria they use.  Yes, they also understand that not all minors are automatically immature and childish...but enough of them are to make betting in favor of the odds a worthwhile practice.

What it comes down to is, as always, GM preference.  Having an age limit for your applicants is just as valid as requiring them to be able to spell properly, use good grammar, be fluent in the language in which the game will be written (because not all of us are English-speakers), be familiar with the rules-system of the game, or any one of a few dozen other arbitrary criteria that GMs use to screen players.  None of them are 100% accurate and reliable...but they're what the GM is satisfied with.
bigbadron
 moderator, 15724 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Fri 10 May 2019
at 07:24
Re: “Adult” games access as age proxy?
facemaker329:
Adult games still require the RTJ thread for each player to include the player's own declaration that they are of age and legally valid to access adult material,

Nope, they don't.  Not since RPoL introduced the automated age checks, about five years ago.  Basically, a player can not post in an Adult game, at all, unless they have been through the automated check, so the GM knows that anybody who sends him an RtJ has been age checked by RPoL.

If an existing game switches to Adult, then all players will need to confirm their age to the system before they can post again.

quote:
but it's not just as simple as changing a setting on a drop-down list

Actually, that's exactly how simple it is.  Change the setting, and any existing players will have to go through an automated age check the next time they want to post or open a closed Group thread.

This message was last edited by the user at 07:42, Fri 10 May.

facemaker329
 member, 7090 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Fri 10 May 2019
at 08:11
Re: “Adult” games access as age proxy?
I stand corrected.  Thank you for the clarification.  (Tells you something about how long it's been since I've worried about joining a new game...)
donsr
 member, 1590 posts
Fri 10 May 2019
at 12:01
Re: “Adult” games access as age proxy?
I remember a  very slow game I am in, the GM sent  us  a note that we had to  verify  ourselves again. Only had  to do it once though.

 As for the chance  of  'missing out' on a  younger , but good  player... I'll  risk that. I have only had to  cut  2  players  once they entered the game.. I HAve   refused  folks  when  we  did the  'interview ' after the  RTJ. So, for my games  at least, the process works.
SunRuanEr
 member, 80 posts
Fri 10 May 2019
at 12:38
Re: “Adult” games access as age proxy?
icosahedron152:
And I would never advocate setting up an Adult game ‘in case my players make me include adult material later.’ What message does that send about your ability to control a game?

I think I was unclear when referencing my own experiences with that - in none of the cases I experienced was it a case of the players deciding among themselves that they were going to 'force' the GM to allow them to post adult material (which, really, doesn't just mean the porn that seems to be the first thing that comes to mind when one hears that phrase).

Sometimes games play for long times - years, decades even - and the game that started out isn't the same game after a few evolutions. Players change and/or get better and more descriptive with their writing (combat scenes, here, are a big reason for getting an adult rating), or the characters make decisions that take them down a darker path than what the GM originally expected when they set up the game, or the game story itself evolves to be more mature in theme, and yes, sometimes even in games that are clearly not set up to be "romances", you find players that want to individually explore that route. Could a GM crack down and say 'NOPE - NONE OF THAT!' and then lose players that they have genuinely grown fond of, or characters that are important to the story? Sure they could.

Or, if the entire group is of a consensus (and every time I've seen it done, there was OOC discussion and a vote of sorts taken), they can just change the rating of the game. It's less about "not being able to control a game" and more about "working with your players like a group so that everyone is having fun." In my experience, that means leaving everything on the menu just in case someone (which could as easily be the GM as a player) wants to order it later.
praguepride
 member, 1388 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Fri 10 May 2019
at 19:07
Re: “Adult” games access as age proxy?
I just set clear expectations ahead of time. You can handle adult themes without being graphic about them. You can have non-adult games deal with things like drugs, sex and violence but you just leave the details up to the player's imagination instead of going into overly graphic descriptions.

Most rated-R movies would just qualify as "mature" on here. It's not until you get into pornographic or snuff film territory that I think an Adults-only tag is required.
gladiusdei
 member, 793 posts
Fri 10 May 2019
at 19:17
Re: “Adult” games access as age proxy?
That's true. And honestly why I won't likely be running many adult games in the future.

But I have run games like Mage that the entire focus of the game was exploring the psyches of the criminally insane.  That may not directly describe graphic violence or sexual content, but the content would be something I'd likely label adult anyway.
icosahedron152
 member, 954 posts
Sat 11 May 2019
at 03:55
Re: “Adult” games access as age proxy?
I’m not under any illusion that my suggestions will change the mind of someone who is already entrenched in a particular way of doing things (no more than they will change mine), but my take on these matters may provide food for thought for the OP and others who are investigating the relative merits of different approaches to the grading of their games.

Clearly, if you intend, or suspect, that your game will contain graphic Adult material (of whatever type) at some point in its life, then you should label it as Adult from the outset, or at the very least make it clear that the game may upgrade (or should that be downgrade?) its label to Adult at a later date. That way, everyone going into the game knows what they’re signing up for.

Of course you don’t want to lose players who want change to Adult status, but neither do you want to lose players who don’t want to change. Unless your group is unanimous in wanting to change the game’s grade, changing is generally a bad idea. And if they are unanimous in wanting to play Adult, why didn’t they play Adult from the start?

I don’t really see this concept of ‘grade creep’. I suspect it may be largely an apocryphal rationale created by GMs who want to exclude youngsters from their games with an excuse of ‘we might want to include Adult material later’. Surely the GM and the players all know what sort of game they want to play, and that’s what they sign up for. Why would anyone (much less everyone) want to change their concept of the game? It’s like starting out with a sci-fi game and then changing it to fantasy halfway through…

Nothing in a Mature game prevents the exploration of romance or combat, the only difference is in the amount of graphic description that goes into it. People can have sex, do drugs, and kill one another in Mature games, they simply don’t describe the precise, graphic, methodology of so doing. (and IMO, why would they want to? But that’s just me. YMMV.)

And I still maintain that, in general, teenagers are no more of a problem for GMs than post-18s. I’m not talking about young, Disney kids here, but teenagers who want to explore Mature themes and issues, and are excluded from doing so by GMs who rate their games Adult through a perception of ‘irresponsible teenagers’. If you get a player of any age who acts irresponsibly, kick ‘em out. But I don’t think you’ll find substantially more such players in the 15-18 age group than the 18-25 group – or the 35-40 age group for that matter!

If you want to play Adult, rate your game Adult. If you want responsible players, talk to them.
horus
 member, 727 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Sat 11 May 2019
at 04:43
Re: “Adult” games access as age proxy?
In reply to icosahedron152 (msg # 22):

Your approach to the matter seems singularly reasonable to me.

I'm still relatively new as a GM here (only two actual games, both rated as Adult, and probably for the wrong reasons in one case).

Let me throw out some hypotheticals:

Starship Troopers:  this could be ran as Mature or "Rated-G" if one was willing to tone down the inherent violence of the milieu.  (Still, I can see where some close-order policing might be needed to "keep it clean".)

M. A. R. Barker's Tekumel:  any game set here, to capture the true flavor of the original, would need to be Adult (gratuitous nudity, sex, and violence, drug use, gory ritual sacrifices, etc.).  That said, with only slight alterations, a game could be set in this milieu with the understanding that there are non-adults in the house, and slips into Mature and Adult content would be carefully controlled.

Traveller:  Shattered Imperium  Depending on the amount of gritty feel a Referee might desire, this milieu could easily support any content rating.  Again, it seems a matter of setting expectations at the outset and sticking with them.

Firefly/Serenity:  This didn't have any more violence than most TV of the common era, but some scenes (those in Adalai Niska's Chamber of Torture, notably) and the notion of Registered Companions would tend to lend themselves to a Mature rating, at least.  Still, depending on how the GM handled it, this could easily be set in a more "G-rated" game.

A lot of it comes down to capturing a particular game feel, flavor, or ethos.  Am I too far off the mark here?
evileeyore
 member, 184 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
Sat 11 May 2019
at 11:32
Re: “Adult” games access as age proxy?
icosahedron152:
It’s like starting out with a sci-fi game and then changing it to fantasy halfway through…

I've done that.  I've also gone the other way, fantasy to sci-fi.
tibiotarsus
 member, 40 posts
 Hopepunk with a shovel
Sun 12 May 2019
at 08:53
Re: “Adult” games access as age proxy?
Coming from the other side/following on from the above: my games have usually been Mature with strict Content Guidelines specifically to avoid locking mature and sensible seventeen-year-olds out. Young people often have great ideas and strong engagement.

There's also certain non-Adult content that teenagers would benefit from as a learning experience that tends to be put summarily off-limits to them due to that "what if" attitude and, occasionally, social bias (apologies for vagueness, but forum rules). I find CGs a very useful tool for navigating content that could become Adult if not watched: everything upfront at the RTJ stage and a "please refer to [guideline]" should one need to step in and edit something takes the confrontation and potential for grey areas out.

So...while I do think there is some content beside the obvious that needs a perspective where ten years isn't over half a lifetime, that's rare enough in this medium that I'd rather support a teenager through the unlikely scenario of, say, playing a grandma, than using the Adult tag just for that. Tagging a game Adult will also largely filter out people like me who don't generally want detailed/focused-on sex/gore content, so be aware your tagging system will get you a different set of adults in an Adult vs Mature game regardless.
evileeyore
 member, 185 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
Sun 12 May 2019
at 14:34
Re: “Adult” games access as age proxy?
I tag Adult because I'm lazy and don't want to have to be too strict with my Firm Hand Of Moderation.  If I were running Mature and someone crossed a line and I didn't notice...  so yeah, not dealing with it.


I mean I run afoul of the Wanted - Players rules all the bloody time because I keep forgetting them (or just don't consider a question to be crossing the line), so no, I'm not dealing with it in a game I run.

This message was last edited by the user at 14:35, Sun 12 May.