League of Legends

League of Legends players claim UK's anti-porn filter may prevent patching

Phil Savage at

League of Legends players are claiming that the UK's anti-porn filter agreement - imposed by the country's four main ISPs - may be preventing people from patching the game. While I personally find the game's female representation somewhat juvenile, it's in no way pornographic, so what exactly are the collected auto-guardians of morality taking such umbrage with? File names, it would seem, and the fact that two of the downloaded files contain the word 'sex' in their title. At least, they do if you are a robot that can't tell how words work.

The claims were made to the League of Legends subreddit, by a user involved with a voluntary group called the "Wrenchmen" who help with technical issues on the official LoL forum. According to the user - known as LoLBoompje - the issue has been reported "a few times already". It's worth pointing out Riot's statement to Eurogamer, in which they say that there were no reported incidents of the filter causing problems for their users. Despite this, a spokesperson for Riot has said that they're monitoring the situation. "Our feedback to players is to double check with internet service providers and if anyone experiences a problem, get in touch and we will be able to help."

Reportedly, then, ISPs are blocking the update files "VarusExpirationTimer.luaobj" and "XerathMageChainsExtended.luaobj". I've highlighted the offending word - which is "sex" - in case you naturally read them as they were originally intended. Basically, god help you if you live in Essex.

While not tied to any law, the porn-filter was agreed upon by the country's four main ISPs as part of a government plan to please think of the children. New subscribers are automatically subscribed to the filter, and must opt out to bypass it, presumably by phoning up the ISP in question and explaining to them that you're a goddamn adult. As a result, such issues won't affect the majority of already connected internet users in the country.

If the idea that a porn filter could restrict gaming content seems weird to you, then you clearly aren't aware of the ramshackle organisational nightmare that is British politics. This is by no means the system's first reported false-positive. And, naturally, the one thing it seem to be spectacularly bad at blocking is actual pornography.