It turns out that the short-lived Lego Universe online space for kids failed in substantial part because of the perceived need to employ a large and expensive crew of human censors to detect and punish virtual penises constructed in that space:

In 2010, LEGO unleashed LEGO Universe, a massive, multiplayer game where builders of all ages could create whatever they wanted on their own digital plots. Well, almost anything: LEGO didn’t want any of the players to endow its online world with penises. After all, it was meant to be a kid-friendly place in which phalluses had no role—even its mini-fig citizens were dickless.

To keep the game penis-free, the company hired a sizable moderation team to scan screenshots of every structure that went up, according to a former developer for the game. Management “wanted a creative building MMO [massively multiplayer online-game] with a promise of zero penises seen,” tweeted Megan Fox, a developer who worked on the project, on Friday. “YOU could build whatever you wanted, but strangers could never see your builds until we’d had the team do a penis sweep on it.”

According to Fox, the lack of an automated ‘dong detector’ was costly for LEGO. Fox said the human moderators hired to fight the battle of the bulge were the largest expense associated with the game, which LEGO shuttered in 2012.

These people were willing to let their venture fail rather than relax their paranoia about dick-shaped buildings in their virtual space. Isn’t that amazing?