Taste across the Atlantic

now this is a somewhat controversial design question:

a major WIP i’m working has many intimistic angles, and the issue lies in the depiction of these intimistic angles.

As everyone known, I live on the “old” side of the Atlantic, and is known that on taste, EU/UK differs on US.

The difference is, roughly, the same between Venice/Cannes and Hollywood, that is, EU movies has no qualms in depicting nudity, intercourse, and even WC activities when US movies has so many pruderies, and this of course, reflect on the “acquired tastes” on both sides of the Atlantic.

Not to intoxicate this forum with the global debate of censorship and self-censorship in general gaming, but the real core issue is another: let’s say that there’s a PC/NPC changing clothes, of course becoming fully naked in the middle of the process. A natural thing, whose in EU arts/media is fully shown, but in the US is never shown. The work being intimistic, this type of scenery, alongside others, is part and parcel of the narration, and can’t be self-censored beyond certain limits, for the sake of the difference in tastes between the Atlantic.

Of course, one can set an “EU/US” flag, settable by the player, but I have already my hands full with the adaptive prose, driven by many flags and vars (the PC’s perception of the environment gradually changes during the story) and I prefer to avoid adding another layer of coding & writing complication.

Opinions, and more important, suggestions ?

TIA and best regards from Italy,
dott. Piergiorgio.

1 Like

I’m from the US, and every American I know thinks that American media choices are very strange. Blood, guts, war, violence are everywhere and that’s OK with everyone, but heaven forbid a child see a nipple on TV. Very odd indeed. Those Puritanical roots run deep.

I can’t speak for everyone in the US (If I could, the country would look and behave very differently), but I think it’s a shame you have to worry about this. If someone is scandalized by a character changing clothes or urinating in a game, then they can stop playing it. And if we could get enough kids interested in IF for us to worry about what we’re exposing them to, I’d be really happy.


I’m planning on adding a disclaimer at the beginning of mine, warning that the game will have content that some audiences might be opposed to, like a lot of foul language, some violent descriptions, etc.

Honestly, I don’t think you should try to cater to the average American audience. Any American that’s super neurotic about what should be censored should never be allowed to have a say on what is or isn’t okay in other peoples’ cultures, and also (honestly) does not represent most of the people who live in this country.

If it’s really necessary, just have a disclaimer for nudity at the start of the game. Beyond that, do not feel inclined to change the content of your game for some country across the water from you. I’m in that country, and I’m not changing a single thing in my game to appeal to it.

In fact, I hope you go full-steam-ahead in how you write your game. There are a lot of Americans who are specifically searching manically for things created outside of American culture to help widen their worldview, because they realized how all-consuming American media is, and how little they know about the rest of the planet.


I’m American and I don’t like visual nudity, but written is different. I don’t associate erotic writing with good feelings, so I don’t enjoy games that are trying to be sexually stimulating (and have skipped playing many games because of that).

But just writing the words “he took off his clothes and took a shower” is completely non-erotic. A lot of games do that (9:05, Anchorhead), with no one ever commenting on it.


You’re writing prose. I wouldn’t put a lot of weight on the choices made by very large entertainment companies making TV/movies with live actors.

Books with explicit sex sell in the US. Also books with non-explicit sex, intimate sex, story-driving sex, pure id gratification sex, and a bunch of other approaches. It depends way more on the genre and intended audience than on where it’s being written.

If you want to compare to games, think about visual novels, although those aren’t pure prose. Generally hand-drawn illustration, of course. The point is that the same range of approaches exists, even in “adult” visual novels. Some games are dating sims where you can decide how far you want to go; others exist to convey the hot stuff.

Put content notices up front and write what you want.


I’d agree with what others in the thread have said – just write the game the way that feels right for you – but I would flag that since this is prose and you’re controlling the player’s attention, it can feel weird to dwell on nudity if it’s just incidental to the kind of stuff you’re talking about.

Of course, for some kinds of stories, getting the details of a character’s body established can be important – for setting up something about their self-image, for example – and a sequence like this can be an opportunity to communicate that kind of stuff. But stopping in the middle of narrating a character taking their regular morning shower to sexualize their body would feel jarring to me.


Visual nudity generally has a content warning, textual nudity is less consistent (it’s less likely when it’s implied or blink-and-you’ll-miss-it).

Don’t change the game, consider changing the content warnings (depending on your approach and what exactly is happening, you may not need to change that either).


I suspect that you have correctly guessed what WIP I’m talking, the “isekai” one, whose PC is an elfin female, married to the two unique NPC, one demonic-looking and the other angel-looking. Things whose obviously require a rather detailed “setting up their self image”, aside that the major objective of this work is the “knowledge and lore as treasure-hunt” concept I’m exploring and mapping.

As depiction, aside the intimistic details, perhaps will not be much far from “Kleo Kraft”'s Diabolical, and indeed I can “borrow” his simple content notice/warning, of course with due credit in the ABOUT

Thanks to everyone, and as token of gratidutide, a little more anticipation (albeit I’m still against vaporware (the concept, NOT rpt NOT our fellow IF author…)), from my notes file:

for Azuj is natural having Etuye's company in "answering 
the (belated) call of nature" led to another.. singular scene, one golden 
banana of discord grade. The confusion is compounded by Azuj initiating "girl 
toilet talk"...
(put sly reference tho' this prize and/or the debate on 
toilet-related troll entries in the IFComp, aside the obvious punch on St. 
Thomas and Scholastic debating ?)

The next scene is more normal, at start, cooking and eating together, 
followed with the discovery of the permanent lactation in the "natural" (for 
the Isekai world..) way, (breastfeed a grownup daemon then being breastfeed 
by said daemon.. BTW, one breast each is kept "full" for Miyai.. surely 
another banana-grade scene..)

The permanent lactation thing has a story in itself: musing in more philosophical than historic “what if” I pondered about if women has permanent lactation instead of having lactation only after giving birth. The core conclusion is that the female role will be not only one of “life-giver” but also “life-sustainer”, and I guess that one should stop here, because the debate will invariably give inspiration for my punching on Scholastic debate :wink:

Best regards from Italy,
dott. Piergiorgio.

EDIT: A huge OOPS : I have mistaken the autorship of Diabolical… my deep apologies ! :flushed:

1 Like

I don’t know the degree to which this is pertinent to the discussion, but I think I really prefer if the system (the theme, plot etc) dictates how nudity is handled.

Emily Short did it brilliantly in Metamorphoses. If you disrobed and examined yourself, it simply said “You are unclad.” It’s a simple, unadorned statement, and it emphasised this impression of the player as almost an extension of their own function.


I’m not sure if these “acquired tastes” really apply to IF, at least not on a cultural level. Americans being more comfortable with gore than nudity is mostly a convention of visual media, not of text; I’ve certainly seen more lavishly-described sex in books than lavishly-described gore.

Text also makes it significantly easier to include something without focusing specifically on it. How bodice-ripper-y you want your prose to be is up to you.


While I agree with the others that objecting to any and all nudity feels very puritanical and should, in a perfect world, be considered too far out on the fringe to merit consideration in authoring, the reality is sadly that I’ve had several reviews complaining - on grounds of morality - about the fact that in one of my games you had to undress to go swimming.


Draconis, indeed there’s a bodice, but to be unlaced, not ripped. But the PC, at least initially, has reservations of mere technical nature:

Albeit you surely have an approximate idea about how to untie the 
bodice you now wear, you are unsure about your capacity of tying 
back the laces of the bodice, so you wisely decide against a more 
direct visual examination.

(whose is the second half of the first response to X BOSOM…)

Note that I have written “first”: there’s a constant evolution of the PC’s perception of self and the world around, driven by the gradual discovery and understanding that strange new world (knowledge and lore as treasures, remember ?) whose led me to an interesting idea, thanks to the constructive criticism gained here: there’s already on the drafting table an “audacity” var, whose measure the PC’s willingness toward gaining knowledge of her body, driven in part by events/scenes and in part by player’s actions/choices… a careful mixing of these parts can give player a certain degree of control on what he read… at the price of losing “treasures” if said player is too puritanical, of course ]:>
(the story is merciful, related to the “outer” plot (helping the PC) but the “inner plot” (the “treasure hunt” of knowledge & lore) don’t require 100% completion…)

AvB: don’t worry on me… I’m Italian, and the first rule for a foreigner in Italy is: “Never, ever argue with an Italian, esp. on politics, association football (called “soccer” on the “new” side of the Atlantic for some strange reason…) and female aesthetics: you WILL always lose the debate”. And there’s three gorgeous females, and morality and censorship ARE political matters… two out of three, go figure what will happen (if I complete and release this WIP, of course…) if someone dare to complain on puritanical more basis with me…
(I think is already happened here: remember the “communism and soap-making” argument excised from the debate on a past IFComp ?)

Best regards from Italy,
dott. Piergiorgio.

1 Like