NBA 2K14 players are learning that Kinects and PlayStation Cameras will happily penalize your cuss-filled potty mouth. (WARNING: Video contains naughty language).
Quick show of hands: Who here is at their most profane when playing videogames? I'm not just talking about the insults and slurs hurled about in online games either. Even offline games, played in living rooms with no judgmental ears, will prompt profane outbursts if Batman is swarmed by armored goons for the hundredth goddamn time. But so what? It's not hurting anybody, and who's going to punish you for swearing in the comfort of your home? Actually, the developers of NBA 2K14 will, at least if a Kinect or PlayStation Camera is attached while you're playing.
YouTube user randomfrankp discovered this minor detail while playing an Xbox One, which you'll note, uses the Kinect as a mandatory peripheral. After throwing some choice words at NBA 2K14, the in-game referee promptly called a technical foul, awarding the opposing team a free throw. As you might imagine, randomfrankp was noticeably unimpressed with the punitive measures against his choice of language.
According to 2K Sports, this feature is meant to encourage more courteous manners between players taking part in online games. "This was a feature we incorporated [in] NBA 2K13 that we felt brought both realism to the game, and a more civilized online environment for our players," a representative said. "The result was so positive we have continued it in NBA 2K14." When asked which words will trigger fouls, the rep answered "the obvious ones are there", presumably while blushing.
If you're concerned about this intrusion from the 2K manners police, all you need to do is disable voice controls in NBA 2K14's options menu. Personally though, I find myself rather liking the idea, especially since it applies perfectly to a professional basketball environment.
Who knows, maybe voice controls can be used to curb harassment in other games. If the Kinect is going to be mandatory, let's have it call up a drone strike every time Call of Duty hears racial and sexist slurs.