Consent issues?

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Consent issues?

Post by nevernotbroken on 2012-02-12, 00:40

I posted in a different topic:

The most worrying thing I've heard about this project so far is the idea that there are disorders that you can't have consensual romance with at all. Er?? I'm... kind of curious as to what you/the devs feel those are?

Because a huge part of what I found so encouraging about KS is that people with visibly disabled bodies are constantly desexualized and people don't feel like they're capable of consenting to/having sex for some reason... push that envelope. push it as far as it will go. it is a bad envelope.

Decided to make a different topic about it because I'm not naysaying... at all. quite the opposite.

So yeah, devs?

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Re: Consent issues?

Post by Waytfm on 2012-02-12, 00:42

I gave a reply to this in the other thread. Let me know your feelings about it.
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Re: Consent issues?

Post by nevernotbroken on 2012-02-12, 00:47

About the autism person?

well, I'm also autistic and I can have emotional relationships with other people... you're talking about a personality trait and that personality trait is not wanting to have romantic relationships with other people. then I'd say... yeah, you can't have a romantic relationship with that person. tongue

But not all autistic people are like that... I'm definitely not. If I don't do romance, I do something pretty close. and I'm not convinced I don't. :3

Some do and... yeah, it would be cool to have them represented too but there's no reason there can't be an autistic character, even a non-verbal/otherwise extremely disabled autistic character.

I'm really more interested in what the devs have to say though, because I'm not really here to be The Token Autistic Person and say what autistic people can and can't be like.

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Re: Consent issues?

Post by VacuityMechanica on 2012-02-12, 00:56

nevernotbroken wrote:I'm really more interested in what the devs have to say though, because I'm not really here to be The Token Autistic Person and say what autistic people can and can't be like.
No one needs you to be. We have a team of psychologists, the so-called Medicbros, that are helping us understand the disorders we've gone with, and are making sure that nothing in their paths is, or could be considered, exploitative.
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Re: Consent issues?

Post by Hamadyne on 2012-02-12, 01:14

As someone with high-functioning autism, I find that at times, my autism can interfere with certain activities in certain ways. However, I am not one to simply give up because there's something blocking me. I'll go out of my way to make something work, even if that means waiting longer, moving someplace else, etc.

I don't let autism stop me. I find workarounds. To me, it's not, "I can't," it's, "What can I do differently?"

This certainly applies for friendships/romance, too. Yeah, there are probably people out there who wouldn't want anything to do with me. But for the ones that like me for who I am, I work with them as much as I can, having fun all the while.

For me, my autism is a quirk of mine. It can be annoying at times, but I've learned to deal with it.

Love is another obstacle I have to conquer, but I know I can do it.

Romance with autism is a certainly a doable thing.
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Re: Consent issues?

Post by nevernotbroken on 2012-02-12, 04:30

Woah, that sounds like a sweet gig. So basically, their jobs are to make sure that the portrayal of disabled people is sensitive and consensual?

Do they do that sort of thing often?

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Re: Consent issues?

Post by kosherbacon on 2012-02-12, 04:49

They also make sure disorders and treatments are portrayed as accurately as possible.
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Re: Consent issues?

Post by Astartus on 2012-02-12, 07:38

We're taking great effort to make sure that all the characters are capable of full consent and that no exploitation whatsoever will take place. I've seen this point a lot of times already, and seeing how I suffer from a number of disorders myself, I feel the notion that I shouldn't be allowed to experience love or sex kinda... offensive xD I think the main problem is still that most people equal mental disorders with mentally retarded. The thought of putting mentally retarded people in a VN is so out of it that it didn't even occur to us until people started accusing us of doing it. So, basically, people with mental disabilities are being desexualized the same way, even much more so, than the physically disabled people displayed in KS, and I sure hope we'll be able to change that perception for a bit Smile
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Re: Consent issues?

Post by imperial.standard on 2012-02-12, 10:43

To shorten the clarification;

No, it's NOT a 'tard porn. We are far better from that. Be prepared to be surprised.
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Re: Consent issues?

Post by Genero6 on 2012-02-12, 11:41

Astartus wrote:We're taking great effort to make sure that all the characters are capable of full consent and that no exploitation whatsoever will take place. I've seen this point a lot of times already, and seeing how I suffer from a number of disorders myself, I feel the notion that I shouldn't be allowed to experience love or sex kinda... offensive xD
Hear, hear!
Unfortunately, not only are people with many mental disorders capable of consenting love and/or sex (we're not necessarily picky), but that love and sex are important parts of life. It's just an important part of life that people aren't always going to be vocal about, especially when society makes them feel like love and sex are for normal people, not them. It can already be hard enough to hook up with someone, we don't need people protecting us from all the horrors of relationships. I wonder how many people out there would have a significantly better quality of life if those matters got even a little more attention.

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Re: Consent issues?

Post by MDV on 2012-02-12, 11:49

Genero6 wrote:
Astartus wrote:We're taking great effort to make sure that all the characters are capable of full consent and that no exploitation whatsoever will take place. I've seen this point a lot of times already, and seeing how I suffer from a number of disorders myself, I feel the notion that I shouldn't be allowed to experience love or sex kinda... offensive xD
Hear, hear!
Unfortunately, not only are people with many mental disorders capable of consenting love and/or sex (we're not necessarily picky), but that love and sex are important parts of life. It's just an important part of life that people aren't always going to be vocal about, especially when society makes them feel like love and sex are for normal people, not them. It can already be hard enough to hook up with someone, we don't need people protecting us from all the horrors of relationships. I wonder how many people out there would have a significantly better quality of life if those matters got even a little more attention.
I disagree. I actually thinks society emphasises love and sexuality too much. Nowadays we have 16-year old teens worrying their life is a failure and they will be hated and ridiculed by pretty much everyone for not having had any sex yet. Sexuality and lovey-dovey stuff is everywhere in the media, it's almost hypnotising. But it is to be expected, people make huge profits of condoms and all sorts of things couples buy for each other.
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Re: Consent issues?

Post by Genero6 on 2012-02-12, 12:04

MDV wrote:I disagree. I actually thinks society emphasises love and sexuality too much. Nowadays we have 16-year old teens worrying their life is a failure and they will be hated and ridiculed by pretty much everyone for not having had any sex yet. Sexuality and lovey-dovey stuff is everywhere in the media, it's almost hypnotising. But it is to be expected, people make huge profits of condoms and all sorts of things couples buy for each other.
Important parts of life eventually - sex and relationships are more than the crap you see on TV and hear in music. I agree that its presence in modern culture is too much, but those experiences should still be open to everybody in some form. The modern emphasis can work against some people as it makes a lack of sex during those years all the more obvious, they associate it with a society they don't fit in to rather than something everybody should participate in when the time is right.

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Re: Consent issues?

Post by imperial.standard on 2012-02-12, 12:06

Genero6 wrote:
Important parts of life eventually - sex and relationships are more than the crap you see on TV and hear in music. I agree that its presence in modern culture is too much, but those experiences should still be open to everybody in some form. The modern emphasis can work against some people as it makes a lack of sex during those years all the more obvious, they associate it with a society they don't fit in to rather than something everybody should participate in when the time is right.

Yet this is a different case altogether in people with mental/learning disabilities, because of the differences of the way they/we perceive them. This is what we are going to explore and present in the VN. Medicbros are onboard to fully analyze and advice the story/character/plotlines for inaccuracies.
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Re: Consent issues?

Post by Genero6 on 2012-02-12, 12:15

How different it is depends on the disability. I do have faith in you guys though, if only because if you can't be serious about the story then the project would probably fall apart before completion anyway. Can't really assume you're doing things wrong until we have more information (the devs were releasing more soon, right?) so don't take any of my points too seriously at this time.

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Re: Consent issues?

Post by Gloom on 2012-02-12, 12:50

I think that when people say they have issues with the consent in the game, they refer less to the fact that some "mentally disabled" people aren't interested in sex and more to the fact that some "mentally disabled" people may not be capable of making proper decisions/judgement in the case, so having sex with them would be akin to having sex with a young child, or someone in a coma, or, you know, just rape.

Like, with the nymphomania example from before. When you have sex with a person who is driven to constantly desire sex by what both of you know is a physical, neurological problem, can you really say that there is consent there? It's difficult, I think.
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Re: Consent issues?

Post by imperial.standard on 2012-02-12, 12:59

Which is why we explore it. Where do the disability stops and the real personality comes out? And which one is which? This is a difficult and controversial question and the one which we will challenge soon enough.
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Re: Consent issues?

Post by Gloom on 2012-02-12, 13:00

And it is a fascinating subject to explore, undoubtedly, but I do think that it is perfectly understandable if more than a few people consider this territory one to dark for them to venture into.
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Re: Consent issues?

Post by HeDanny on 2012-02-12, 15:18

I have no reservations what so ever that you guys are going to handle the sex in a proper, respectful manner. No reservations at all.

I do hope, however, that said sex is handled in a way makes it part of the actual storytelling, and not simply "this is the bit where they do it". This is just a personal gripe of mine however. I just don't like filler content that feels like its there simply because its expected. KS suffered from this. Hopefully your product will not suffer from this as well.
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Re: Consent issues?

Post by Worthington on 2012-02-13, 02:15

You know, i've just got to say. We'e not even into full production yet, so it's hard to tell what will happen; the entire VN might turn out to be utter crap (it probably won't though). We will try and make the game as tasteful as possible, but it will always be offensive, because at least 1 person will take offense to it. That's fine. That means we're doing it right. Regardless the consent issue was like, the first thing brought up.
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Re: Consent issues?

Post by nevernotbroken on 2012-02-13, 02:30

Oh, that wasn't the question -- I understand that you've been making sure that you're conscious of the consent issue. I was more concerned about--

My understanding right now is that you found certain disabilities and ruled them out based on whether there'd be a consent issue with someone with that disability? so what I wanted to know is if there were disabilities that were ruled out entirely because of that? if so which ones, and why?

If you don't want to answer that's fine, but I want to clear up any miscommunications.

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Re: Consent issues?

Post by Joel Dawson on 2012-02-13, 02:39

nevernotbroken wrote:
My understanding right now is that you found certain disabilities and ruled them out based on whether there'd be a consent issue with someone with that disability? so what I wanted to know is if there were disabilities that were ruled out entirely because of that? if so which ones, and why?

What?

In Katawa Shoujo every disability the characters had, people have in real life. So just because people have certain physical or mental disabilities, why rule them out of a game just because someone who has that same disability has an issue with it.

Like Worthington said, somebody somewhere, regardless of how well executed this game turns out, is going to not consent to this game. Just because that is the case doesn't mean it shouldn't be made or pursued. Just Saiyan. Neutral
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Re: Consent issues?

Post by imperial.standard on 2012-02-13, 02:39

The most important thing with a visual novel is that the audience are able to make a connection with the character and the target girl. This is our prime directive and which is why we select the disabilities mainly based on this criteria. The target girls were also selected after being polled from NO LESS than 27 character candidates.

Other infos will be released as we go public later.
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Re: Consent issues?

Post by nevernotbroken on 2012-02-13, 02:44

Joel Dawson wrote:In Katawa Shoujo every disability the characters had, people have in real life. So just because people have certain physical or mental disabilities, why rule them out of a game

This here is exactly what I'm getting at -- personally, I'm Borderline and I'm really really *really* hoping that someone with BPD it into the game precisely *because* people try to say that we're unlovable and we're all violent, abusive, manipulators. We're not, but the lack of borderline representation in media that portrays us fairly is extremely lacking.

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Re: Consent issues?

Post by scopedknife on 2012-02-13, 07:36

What I find somewhat ridiculous is that if issues like this were challenged in film or in a book, even if for example there was a scene of intentional non-consensual sex or rape, those media would not be berated for it. They may even be lauded for portraying something so dark, possibly twisted, and challenging to think about. If done well, a project like this can push the envelope for both the medium, and for society's views on the mentally disabled; the way I see it, that can only be a good thing.
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Re: Consent issues?

Post by Gloom on 2012-02-13, 12:45

imperial.standard wrote:The most important thing with a visual novel is that the audience are able to make a connection with the character and the target girl. This is our prime directive and which is why we select the disabilities mainly based on this criteria. The target girls were also selected after being polled from NO LESS than 27 character candidates.

Other infos will be released as we go public later.

And now I am intrigued as for all of the concepts you dumped- those are usually almost as interesting as the ones who are eventually let into the finished game. Any hints?
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Re: Consent issues?

Post by imperial.standard on 2012-02-13, 12:50

Gloom wrote:
Any hints?

Nope, just to keep you on the edge Wink
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Re: Consent issues?

Post by QbertEnhanced on 2012-02-13, 19:13

Characters with sexual content are all capable of giving consent. They're of sound enough mind to make that judgement.
This is a sensitive issue and its being handled as delicately as possible.
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Re: Consent issues?

Post by Dirk on 2012-02-13, 20:53

imperial.standard wrote:No, it's NOT a 'tard porn. We are far better from that. Be prepared to be surprised.
The last time I heard this it turned out to be code for "We aren't good at writing sex scenes."

It's kind of expected with a tasteless premise that you're going to subvert that expectation and produce something that keeps us reading, usually because the writing is good and/or the characters are interesting. To those of us familiar with KB's smut, I do expect smut.

In b4 "oh no this is where I go legit, guise."

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Re: Consent issues?

Post by QbertEnhanced on 2012-02-13, 20:55

Dirk wrote:
imperial.standard wrote:No, it's NOT a 'tard porn. We are far better from that. Be prepared to be surprised.
The last time I heard this it turned out to be code for "We aren't good at writing sex scenes."

It's kind of expected with a tasteless premise that you're going to subvert that expectation and produce something that keeps us reading, usually because the writing is good and/or the characters are interesting. To those of us familiar with KB's smut, I do expect smut.

In b4 "oh no this is where I go legit, guise."

Read up on Kosherbacon's fanwork. He seemed pretty good at writing sex scenes to me, though I'm no writer of course.
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Re: Consent issues?

Post by Mr Immortal on 2012-03-09, 17:16

From what I've read, Kosher is just as good at writing non smutty work as he is at smutty. As for the consent issue, I think I'll wait and see what the medical disorders are before I start to question anything, as I haven't had too much experience with mental disabilities in the past. Not enough to actively comment about it anyway.

I trust the writers to do the right thing in the end.

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