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A PvP system might work. A person could flag themselves as 'available' and then when another player types '/hugs PlayerA' then a dialog would prompt him or her with "Okay" or "No Thank You". On second thought, a system like this could easily be abused. An alternative would be a simple buddy list where one could indicate which players are allowed to initiate contact like /hug and /kiss. A little black book, if you will. Most games already have friend lists, so an extra checkbox next to the player names wouldn't be a huge addition. If people try those emotes without being marked on the list, then nothing happens.

Celia Pearce

Interesting idea, animagnum. In SL they have some checkboxes that say things like "let this person see when I'm online" and "let this person see my location" so an added box that says "let this person hug me" or "let this person kiss me" makes perfect sense. I think this is much cleaner than an ad hoc permission system, which can be confusing and also interrupts the "mood" so to speak. :) I also notice that Second Life has a "partner" setting that you can indicate on your profile, although there only seems to be one available slot. I guess they don't have any polyamorous subscribers. (Yeah! Right!)

Michael Chui

When I read this, my brain immediately remembered a blast from the past. So long ago that I didn't even realize I'd forgotten about it!

Skotos once published an article on a Proximity System ( http://www.skotos.net/articles/proximitysystem.html ). You can ignore the vast majority of the technical details and context. The key bit is under the section "Avoiding Approaches (or Not)". Of course, this is designed for a text-based system, but I can see how it might be applied to a graphical game. It's played out in a narrative style in An Evening at Chez Skoot ( http://www.skotos.net/articles/chezskoot.html ).

The main difficulty with the comparison is that, in a textual interface, all relativity is explicit: thus, the proximity system works as an extremely powerful foundation. But in a graphical game, getting close is something that's seen, but not necessarily recognized, by the system. Worse, imagine if someone set themselves to automatically back away from an interloper. If the sleaze wished, they could leverage this to herd the victim in a particular direction: that wouldn't solve any problems at all!

Perhaps, as a counter to that problem, the solution might be modified to allow for a binary state of "intimate" versus "non-intimate", where the character renderings would be distinct. (An intimate state might have the characters with arms around each others' waists.) But this adds an entire horde of problems for both the programmers and the artists!

So, ehm, in short, I guess I can kinda see why this hasn't happened yet. =)

wine bottle bags

Connecting to parter is a big factor. Loosing that aspect will almost affect everything.

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