How Watch Dogs 2's Own Nudity Got a Player Briefly Banned for Code of Conduct Violations

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Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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How Watch Dogs 2's Own Nudity Got a Player Briefly Banned for Code of Conduct Violations

No good deed goes unpunished, as a recent revelation from Sony proved. When a gamer found nudity in a copy of Watch Dogs 2, and decided to clue some other users in, Sony landed on said gamer with both feet. The gamer, who goes by the handle Goron2000, was naturally nonplussed and took to Twitter in search of support, as a report on VentureBeat's games section detailed.

Goron2000 got a screenshot of said nudity, which is female nudity and below the waist. It's actually a rather explicit shot, so those going in search of same are duly warned not to go looking for it at work or while small children are present. The game itself is rated M for Mature--it would have been easy to think such nudity might qualify it for full on AO status--so considering that, this is also a big surprise. That's not the unusual part about all this, however, as Sony brought its response to bear.

When Goron2000 took a screencap of the unexpected nude in question, and put it on Twitter, Sony responded by delivering a one-week suspension to his Sony Entertainment Network account. The explanation for this measure comes from the included statement: "Content of an adult or sexual nature is against our Code of Conduct."

So essentially, Sony banned a player from playing a game because the player shared a sexually explicit screenshot of an in-game element. Ubisoft put this element in the game; this wasn't like a mod gone awry or something similar. This was an element of the game that was literally supposed to be there, and because this player screencapped said element and transmitted said screencap, Sony applied its Code of Conduct not to the developer who put the nudity in the game, but to the player who shared it.

I honestly hope Microsoft caught wind of this by now, because this is the perfect opportunity for it to strike back after Sony's well-played Official PlayStation Used Game Instructional Video from the 2014 E3 event. This is easily one of the most ludicrous events in-game I've heard of in some time, and that was why I had to check and see if this was some kind of joke. Seeing it crop up on Polygon as well made it pretty clear this was the straightest news--VentureBeat and Polygon together is no mean feat--and it's news with rather dire implications. We all know the popularity of the Let's Play movement, and how game footage routinely shows up online. Will Let's Players now have to watch footage for objectionable content lest their videos be demonetized and their online accounts stripped from under them for a length of time? Why in the world would anyone be punished under the terms of a Code of Conduct for sharing footage of IN-GAME ELEMENTS?

It will be interesting to see if Sony walks this back any time soon, or if Goron2000 is out for the week and the rest of us are left to wonder just how much of a game we can actually show. Interestingly, a later report noted that there would be a patch to follow that would remove the relevant textures. In perhaps an even greater blow, an update from Goron2000 found on NeoGAF suggests that his ban has actually been extended a full month, due to a violation that somehow managed to occur while his account had been suspended.

A subsequent update suggested that there is currently no ban at all, and that the ban probably never should have happened in the first place. At last report, Goron2000 is currently not at all banned, going from a week to a month to not at all in the space of about 24 hours.

I can't even begin to suggest how all that happened, but this whole mess only gets more complex the farther along it goes.

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