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This week in the naughty Net

The old adage is that "sex sells," but some on the Internet and gaming world are finding it a tough sell.

The old adage is that "sex sells," but some on the Internet and gaming world are finding it a tough sell.

The creation of a .xxx domain was put on hold after the Bush administration said it has concerns about a virtual red-light district reserved exclusively for Internet pornography. The Commerce Department asked for a hold to be placed on the contract to run the new top-level domain until the .xxx suffix can receive further scrutiny. The domain was scheduled to receive final approval Tuesday.

Other governments also have been applying pressure to ICANN in a last-minute bid to head off .xxx. A letter from ICANN's government advisory group sent Friday asks for a halt to "allow time for additional governmental and public policy concerns to be expressed before reaching a final decision."

A final decision on the fate of the .xxx domain now will not happen until September. The board of directors of the nonprofit group that oversees domain names said that it would delay a vote until its next meeting, on Sept. 15.

The move by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) was expected after ICM Registry, the Florida company that plans to operate .xxx, agreed to a month's delay.

Some News.com readers expressed shock that the domain's approval was put on hold. "It should be *mandatory* for porn sites to be in .xxx and not .com or others," wrote reader Joe Klein in News.com's TalkBack Forum. "It would make it so much easier to block these sites and much less likely to just stumble onto these sites like many people do."

Game developers are pretty sensitive to the subject of sex these days. The International Game Developers Association has formed a special interest group to look at issues related to sexually oriented video games.

Dubbed Sex SIG, the group has been in the works since last March. But with the recent Hot Coffee scandal regarding sexual content in "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas," the Sex SIG announcement comes at a time when the industry is facing a great deal of scrutiny.

In addition to trying to ensure that there are no further Hot Coffee-esque scandals, SIG will focus on trying to provide developers with resources about adult-oriented games, including lists of all games that incorporate such content as well as categorizations of games to indicate the extremity of the content.