iksanabot wrote:So, the question is: is it worth it? What is to be gained by making your characters specifically underage, in balance with what really could be lost? Write me something as insightful and inspiring as Lolita and I will say it was worth the risk that some psycho who would not have gone over the edge otherwise, goes over the edge. But don't write it in complete ignorance, refusing to admit to yourself that there can be terrible consequences. Don't be willingly ignorant. Don't stick your head in the sand.
That's pretty much my opinion.
When you, an artist, decide to explore the moral boundaries of a society, it doesn't matter if you're a painter, a writer, a film director, a game creator or a comediant: you must be aware that any exploration has its risks (remember that Magalhaes didn't return home ). In this case, you can offend a lot of people. There are professionals of provocation, of course: their aim is actually to annoy or infuriate people just for the fun of it. But sometimes you only want to make people think about their own beliefs using art. Which type of provoker are you?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, they say. Well, it's the same for sins and moral offenses. So every artist must know at least 2 things before creating his/her art: what do you want to express, and what feelings and emotions your work may inspire in the audience -and that includes bad reactions, misunderstandings, moral issues and so on. And this is something you need to answer by yourself. You're the creator, you have all the control over your work until the very moment you release it: after that moment, you're completely exposed to the beholder's reaction. Are you ready to receive that bad feedback (maybe including legal actions)?
So, returning to the point. Do you feel comfortable telling a story with minors involved? Does age play such an important role in your artwork? Will you be moral and legally able to assume the consequences of it (even those awful actions from maniacs 'encouraged' by your work)? Every player has the option of closing the game if it contains something he/she doesn't like. But every player has also the right to feel disturbed by certain content, and to express his/her disagreement with it, so you must be ready to cope with that. If you are, go on. If you're not, try to create another game.