This Inappropriate Twitch Show Could Mean Bad News For PlayStation 4

Twitch Couple's Strip Show Could Mean Bad News for PlayStation 4

File this one under "Why we can't have nice things." A week after the console's launch, some PlayStation 4 users appear to be using Playroom, an alternate-reality game taking place in one's living room, to broadcast ridiculous live "shows" involving nudity, firearms, and God knows what else.

This is accomplished through the live-streaming of games through Twitch.tv (UStream also is supported) to other PlayStation 4 users through the Live From PlayStation feature. Generally, the streaming option (through the Share button on a PlayStation 4 controller) governs capture of gameplay, with headset audio if that feature has been enabled. As Playroom's gameplay screen is one's living room, it can become a kind of burlesque show if the performers lack inhibitions.

In one of the more benign abuses of Playroom, a couple from Washington state broadcast something called "The Spartan Show", which became a call-in talk show that attracted the attention of Shuhei Yoshida — the president of studios for Sony Computer Entertainment — and Adam Boyes, the chief of publisher relations. You've probably seen Yoshida and Boyes on stage at PlayStation's many keynote events over the past years.

NeoGAF users noticed this trend yesterday — one chiming in early to say "soon someone will do something absolutely horrible on cam", — and being proven right not soon after. In an episode reported by GameRevolution and discussed in other forums, a couple sat on their overstuffed couch, allegedly drinking to unconsciousness. One lifted up his unconscious partner's shirt, exposing her breast for about 15 minutes. After a brief blackout, the broadcast returned, with the woman completely naked, presumably stripped by her companion.

The Twitch account associated with this broadcast was almost instantly banned. This is hardly a new problem; Twitch has been around for years and despite its terms of use and its warnings, people break the rules all the time and get punished accordingly.

The difference here is 1) the content is being served on an app maintained by Sony itself, not a Twitch website. 2) It's on a console, and the content is apparently immune to parental controls. While searching for livestream casts is limited to a keyword (a game title, or something else) "Playroom" could easily become a shorthand for anything-goes videos starring the performers themselves.

Twitch Couple's Strip Show Could Mean Bad News for PlayStation 4

"I just saw a guy with a horse head motorboat a lady, next gen indeed," wrote this GAFfer. "Same people now have a shotgun out," replied this member.

It's only a matter of time before some troll does something even more sexually bizarre (or violent) and a 12-year-old sees it on his family's PlayStation 4 and all hell breaks loose in the mainstream, especially if that happens in the U.K. and The Daily Mail gets wind of it. Despite the usefulness, entertainment and convenience of sharing to Twitch with the push of a button on the Dualshock 4, I suppose it was inevitable that miscreants would do something to diminish the experience or place it under some kind of heavy control.

We reached out to a Twitch.tv spokesman today to mention these incidents and inquire whether the service was ready to moderate the thousands more user feeds coming with the Live From Playstation integration on PS4. Here was the reply:

Twitch has a very strict terms of service policy which is outlined here. We are very vigilant about removing content that breaks the TOS guidelines and depending on the severity of the violation we will either ban or suspend accounts. In addition to our own efforts, the Twitch community is unique in that it likes to flag content they suspect or know is a breach of our TOS. Like any social network from YouTube to Facebook, there will always be a very small minority of users who attempt to circumvent the rules. As such, our advice is to report it right away and our staff will be quick to act on it if they haven't already. In terms of privacy settings, those are up are to the respective devices.

That's well and good, and probably the best Twitch itself can do at the moment, but it's still a special threat by virtue of being on a console. Child predators, for example, use PCs to groom and lure victims all the time. Sadly, it's kind of accepted in an open platform environment. But when they use the social networking features of a game console — a device associated with kids in the mainstream — it becomes much more pernicious and frightening, and is a grade-A six-o'clock news story.

Neither Sony nor Twitch have done anything wrong, nor anything negligent, but I wonder if either know what they've signed up for here, particularly with regards to Playroom. It's possible that, again, the experience of those who do use a console service as intended will be altered or harmed because someone used it to a perverse extreme. Because it can broadcast users, it wouldn't surprise me to see Playroom removed from the list of games that can share video, to Twitch or anywhere else.


Comments

    Did they not see this coming?
    Does/will the xbone end up running into the same problem?

      The Xbox One already allows sharing of gameplay videos with footage recorded by the Kinect, and while I haven't seen it misused, I'd say it won't be too long before it is.

    What did they think would happen?
    What did they think would happen?

      Clearly they had too much faith in humanity. it's pretty bad that those people even brought out a shotgun...won't be long till PS4 has the dubious honour of the first console made snuff film.

        I don't get what is so bad about a shotgun. Plenty of people in Australia have guns too (there are more in circulation now than before the buy back).

        Now if they were waving it about like idiots, sure, but I can't see that anywhere.

          Apparently it was the same group who were drinking until they passed out and then stripped the woman when she was unconscious. I'm thinking gun safety wasn't high on the agenda

    It's the same argument used for pulling Snapchat from the iOS/Android app stores. I've always thought it was a weak excuse since just about everything has a potential for nudity. You can also watch outright porn via the console browser if you so wanted.

      Yeah, but that's not people making their own through Sony's program.

        i dont get the big deal, we've been able to do all this since they invented webcams on PC...so whats the problem

    I think the live shows are a good thing (as long as it relates to gaming). Spartanm being the one I watched two nights ago. The couple gave away a ps3 ,talked about games and even had Adam Boyes on the phone.

    As long as it's gaming related I don't see a problem. And people stick to Twicth's TOS.

    Oh hey it's Omegle (or whatever), stickam and YouTube. All of which are used for this purpose daily.

    Just ban the console from using twitch if they break the rules.

    How is this any different to kids having access to a PC/Iphone/Ipod.

    I was playing a game of UNO back in my 360 days, I had just bought a camera and wanted to try out this new fangled video feature. Within 1/2 an hour some random dude was showing me his cock.

    It's a brave new world and unfortunately there's no way to really stop kids from being subjected to this sort of thing. I think it's probably one of the most challenging times to be a parent, due to kids having unfettered access to porn/gore/etc.

    Internet + Webcam = Nudity

    If I was a parent, I'd simply disconect the internet from my console and have the kids play offline only.

    Problem solved - didn't have to ban anything did I??????

    I think I may of actually seen some of one of those streams - though thank **** I didn't watch any further... I was wondering who would broadcast such a boring thing as sitting on a couch and drinking...

    There was some awesome Xbox One Killer Instinct battles going on and I think idiots like these are just a lame diversion from all the game stuff who I'm sure will get bored when they realise no one cares ;)

    Last edited 24/11/13 7:11 pm

    Well to be honest, this kind of thing was bound to start bleeding over to consoles eventually. They can try to restrict things, wag their fingers, and ban people all they want, but if the internet has taught us anything, it's that given access to a global audience, people will just do weird s***. There's no easy way around it.

    Good luck to anyone trying to raise a kid in this day and age without them seeing some form of nudity at some point. It's just no longer realistic. The best you can really do at this point is to just monitor your children's internet usage and ensure that the young ones are getting adequate supervision.

    After all, who didn't stumble across some full frontal nudity in a foreign film on SBS while they were channel surfing as kids. We just went =O and stared for a few seconds, and before we could even ask questions our parents snatched away the remote and put on something more appropriate.

    I can't understand why anyone would want to use this feature in the first place. Who gives a shit what strangers are doing in front of their PS4's?

      I second this, but I suspect it's the same reason why people watch reality TV... again... Why the hell do people watch that shit -_-

    The last time I checked out Twitch it was just wall to wall League of Legends videos - kudos for someone at least doing something interesting with it even if it objectionable!

    You'd think they'd learn their user made content lesson after all the dick themed levels for little big planet.

    One lifted up his unconscious partner’s shirt, exposing her breast for about 15 minutes. After a brief blackout, the broadcast returned, with the woman completely naked, presumably stripped by her companion.

    The Twitch account associated with this broadcast was almost instantly banned.

    Doesn't sound very instant.

    Ah southpark.

    [Cartman]
    New friends are easier today then ever before, we just set ourselves up on web cam and the computer will randomly put us with one of the 50,000 people also doing Chat Roulette.

    [Kyle]
    Hey, that’s – that’s kind of cool.

    [Cartman]
    Huh, lets see who our first chat partner is. Connect.

    *Click*

    [Kyle]
    Oh that’s some dude jackin-off.

    [Cartman]
    Oh ya, you get those sometimes. Lets click to the next person. There we go: “Hello!”

    *Click*

    [Kyle]
    That’s just some guys pen!s too!

    [Cartman]
    Oh, ok, lets just try this one.

    *Click*

    [Kyle]
    Dude, I don’t wanna see a bunch of guys pen!ses.

    [Cartman]
    Hold on Kyle this is seriously amazing gathering place where people from all over the world can share their thoughts and ideas.

    *Click*

    [Cartman]
    Ok that’s a dude – jackin-off. *Click* But – *Click* dude jackin-off. Pen!s *Click* *Click* Pen!s *Click* *Click* Pen!s Pen!s AH HERE! Here’s a guy! Hey dude, how’s it going?

    [ChatRoulette Dude]
    Hey.

    [Cartman]
    This is my friend Kyle, he’s looking for some new friends.

    [Dude]
    Oh ya.

    [Cartman]
    Oh he’s taking out his pen!s. Ok. Next guy. *Click*

    [Kyle]
    SCREW THIS! I DON’T WANNA SEE ANYMORE!

    [Cartman]
    Kyle this is the way the world works. If you wanna find some quality friends you gotta way through all the d!cks first. *Click*

    Last edited 25/11/13 3:45 pm

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