Virtual reality porn is already a thing, and it will likely only get bigger with time. So what’s Oculus doing about it?
Well, they’re not stopping it, if that’s what you’re worried about. Oculus wants the Rift to be open to whatever unforeseen applications people dream up, so you can put genitalia all up in people’s faces as you please. However, Oculus is launching a Steam-like storefront/social app that they hope will become VR central (it’s called Oculus Home), and that will be a no-fly zone for naughty bits.
At a recent Oculus Rift event in San Francisco, I felt compelled to ask the porn question (nobody else in the mob of reporters would do it, even though it was clearly the first thing on everybody’s mind), and here’s what Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe told me:
“Our store is not gonna have VR porn on it,” he said. “It’s gonna be a curated environment where you can go and get great games. Parents can trust that their 13 and above year-olds can go in and get games. That’s what we’re focused on.”
Which makes sense. Oculus’ message at this point seems to be games first, everything else second. But what about games that include sex? Platforms like Steam approach them with a kind of double standard. Games like The Witcher 3 can unsheathe their blades and un-bodice their breasts with reckless abandon, but smaller games more explicitly focused on romance and sex often have to release censored versions. And of course, sex doesn’t necessarily turn a game into pure porn or stop it from exploring other issues. You can say just as much with a video game about making love as you can with one about making war. Despite that, Iribe said Oculus plans to follow Steam’s lead. However, things aren’t entirely set in stone.
“We’re still figuring a lot of that out,” he noted. “But we’re gonna operate kinda similar to how Steam would operate [where games with nudity are concerned]. We’re gonna run a good, clean business.”
Fair enough. But still, as someone who was once thrust behind the glistening VR curtain, I had to know: the Oculus-specific “Touch” hand controller, did they consider porny possibilities while making it, especially in light of certain recent developments? Did they at least think, “Man, the porn world is gonna be all over this?”
Iribe laughed. “Oculus Touch is built for games.”
Top image credit: Kotaku UK.