I’ve wanted to stay away from this topic, to be honest. I’ve fought it for so long that it’s kind of become a boring topic to talk about. But this particular round has not gone away, fans are still bashing the hell out of Sony for this current round of censoring of sexual content in video games, something that is continuous, has never stopped and switches between companies on a regular basis.
There’s a lot to unpack with this topic, but let’s start with why I had to finally put my two cents in on this very topic:
Will Someone Please Think Of The Children?!
“Regarding the regulation of the depiction of content, it’s simply a matter of matching global standards.”
“As for the freedom of expression… we have to think about what might be unpleasant for children and shield them from those things while also thinking and assessing ways to find a balance [for that expression].”
Atsushi Morita – President, Sony Japan
We all know the immediate counter for this comment, a comment that is such bullshit, a pure dodge of the question, featuring an answer that anyone with an iota of a brain cell in their head could figure out was an outright lie.
Unless Japan literally has zero restrictions on who can buy games with sexual content in them, especially games that here in the West would be given an ‘M’ rating, the “we must protect the children” line is an absolutely ridiculous reason as to why Sony is suddenly making a heavy push to censor sexual content in the games released on their platform. For the umpteenth time, we have all the possible restrictions we can place on these games without outright banning the production of them. Games have warning labels on them that say the required age for the game, with descriptions of what is contained within the game. Stores are “supposed” to check the ID of customers who buy these games as well. There shouldn’t be any reason a child owns a game as explicit as say a Senran Kagura game.
Point The Finger Elsewhere
I don’t know how many times this has to be said. Apparently we’ll never stop saying it.
STOP LAYING THE BLAME SOLELY AT THE FEET OF GAMERS!!!
When it comes to both violence and sex in video games, there is a consistent push from parents, journalists, politicians, as well as the developers and publishers themselves to blame the player base for the scrutiny, the problems the industry is facing. Instead, we should put a mirror in front of all the groups I just listed, as they should be taking as much of the blame, if not more.
Parents for starters are the worst offenders. These lazy, irresponsible people are the ones who walk into a store, hear their son or daughter cry for more than half a second about something and then buy whatever it is they want to shut them up. I’ve watched countless times as parents walk into a store, ask for a copy of Grand Theft Auto, are told that this game is for 17 and up and will brush the employee off. Then they have the audacity to turn around and say their child is out of control.
You are supposed to be the one responsible for your child, not the black gaming box underneath the TV. It is your job to know exactly what you’re buying your children. If you’re buying your 10 year-old a game that is supposed to be for people about to graduate high school, use your fucking brain for a moment. And don’t give me the excuse that you didn’t know what you were buying, it’s your responsibility to do the fucking research. It takes one Google search to learn everything you need to know about a single game. And once again, if you’re too lazy to even notice the ESRB label in the corner of the box that tells you exactly what the game is for, you don’t get to complain. You failed not only as a parent, but a supposed “intelligent” lifeform.
Next are journalists. This is pretty straight-forward. The vast majority of the major outlets need to get off their anti-free speech platforms and stop complaining about every game that features a woman with any amount of skin showing. It has been because of Gamergate and the constant outrage culture behind sexually themed content in games that has put censorship on the table more often that it has been since the PS2/Xbox era.
There is nothing wrong with this sort of content. We’ve shown through so many different sets of research and testing that there is no correlation between what gamers see and engage with while playing video games, and what they do in real life. Just like how shooters aren’t making kids shoot up schools, games with blonde elves in bikinis are making men suddenly leave their house to go rape women randomly. There is no reason to believe that and research supports that. Just because you don’t like the content, doesn’t mean it doesn’t get to exist. Get a fucking grip.
Politicians. Good lord. As if it’s bad enough watching a bunch of rich, crooked assholes yelling at each other over anything and everything, these bourgeois members think it’s up to them to dictate we, the not 1% should be doing with our lives. It’s not good enough for them that they tax us to near-death, constantly pass laws that benefit anyone besides us, and engage in pissing contests with other countries around the world (I’m not speaking about anyone in particular either), they now feel they need to control the few things we have left that we enjoy.
I’m sorry that you miserable curmudgeons are bored of grandstanding, campaigning and fundraising, but do us all a favour and mind your own goddamn business. It’s bad enough we have to deal with you letting the FCC fuck us over, letting big pharma fuck us over, screwing over everyone via health care, taxes, hydro, rent and whatever else you’re taxing us for, we don’t need you to tell us what we should be playing too. Also, get your shit together in Chicago. What the hell is with that gaming tax I’m hearing about?!
Finally, the developers and publishers themselves. You’re not necessarily a huge part of the problem, but your endless caving to pressure from people who don’t often buy your products anyway is a sign that you don’t care about your player base, your audience. I don’t care that a bunch of moms in Australia are yelling at you about violence in Grand Theft Auto, I don’t care that Kotaku, Polygon and other major “games journalism” websites are writing a ridiculous amount of smear articles, because they think breasts and butts are offensive. Stop caving to the vocal minority, especially the ones who never planned on purchasing the games they complain about in the first place.
We all know that the people who are holding the torches and pitchforks outside your building never planned to buy Dead or Alive Xtreme 3, Senran Kagura, or any game with similar content. You caving to them does nothing to help your bottom line. You know what does help your bottom line for these games? Doubling down, supporting the people who actually put money into what you produce. You know, the sensible thing to do as a publisher.
But I’m not going to sit here and act like the conversations about this current wave of censorship from Sony has bad points and bad apples on only one side of the debate. Oh no no no, there’s plenty of stuff on my side that’s being said that I cannot stand either.
The Console Wars Doesn’t Belong Here
The most irritating thing I’ve seen during this entire wave of outrage, debates, arguments, screaming matches, and everything in between, has been this overwhelming hatred coming from people clearly anti-Playstation, or at the very least sitting on the fence, looking for the next bandwagon to jump onto.
Anyone who’s acting like this is a Sony problem is clearly looking through the biggest pair of rose-coloured glasses that has ever been produced. These same people are acting like Nintendo is the white knight of games because they’re currently not actively censoring games with sexual content. The reality is that EVERY SINGLE CONSOLE goes through a round of censoring this kind of content. Nintendo, Microsoft and Valve have their own history of censoring games featuring explicit sexual content on their platforms. Don’t act like Sony is the only one doing this, it’s just their turn.
I’m not defending what Sony’s doing right now, they are 100% in the wrong. But for anyone to defend the other consoles is insane, they have all done their fair share of censorship as well. You are more than in your right to call out Sony for their bullshit, but don’t talk to me about how great your favourite company this week is doing. This isn’t a fanbase battle, this is a gamer-wide battle that we all need to be fighting together. The console war needs to fought on a different battlefield, this ain’t the one.
This Isn’t The Hill To Die On
Lastly, this is the point that might get me in trouble the most, especially with people on my side of the debate.
Let’s get one thing straight guys. Yes, it is important that we fight back against censorship, but let’s be honest here, how many of us were going to buy these games to begin with? I will admit, when the heavy bashing of Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 was abundant, I nearly purchased a copy from Play-Asia just to spite people. But in reality, would have I ever bought any of these games? In about 90% of these cases, the answer is no. The only game released this year I would’ve bought that falls into the same jurisdiction as all these games was Punch Line. I still plan on buying it, just not at the price it’s set at currently.
But in reality, how many of us are buying these sexual visual novel sort of games? These are the bulk of games being censored and I imagine the majority of people shouting about it have not and will not purchase the games being censored. I’ve always said that you need to vote with your wallet and this works both ways. If you want something to keep being made, you have to buy it. If you want certain practices to stop, you don’t buy the thing in question. So to truly have a horse in this race, you gotta have put some money into it. It’s fine to put your two cents in, but the amount of screaming, rage and even threats I’ve seen people post, it’s pretty ridiculous considering these people likely don’t even own any of these games they’re sending death threats to Sony about. Come the fuck on.
This Is A Real Issue, But We Need To Fight Smart
The vast majority of us that are on the side of anti-censorship, we know what the outrage culture looks like on the other side of the debate. It’s full of lies, deceit, twisting of words, crying over nothing, fakeness, an inability to listen to truth and facts. We all know what the other side does. So let’s take what we’ve learned from being on the other side and apply that to how we respond.
Don’t fight with fake outrage. Don’t fight with death threats. Don’t fight with deplatforming. Don’t fight with lies, deceit, twisting of words and all that bullshit. If you truly want to fight this issue, do it the right way. Say your piece without bias. This isn’t a console war, this isn’t a culture war, this is just a phase. Like Valve, Nintendo and Microsoft, Sony will eventually concede and be a little more lax on the censorship front. It will go away eventually. But it will last longer if we turn it into a war, an unnecessary battle.
We’re better than that.
I’ve been on Twitter for years now, getting very close to hitting 10,000 tweets, all that jazz. It’s felt like a home for me for quite some time, a place where I could vent, share stories, post anime bullshit. Y’know, the important things.
But here I am with Twitter becoming a place full of politically correct drivel, censorship up the ass, not to mention a looming “Twitter Purge” apparently been imminent. That aside, it’s become a place this year where I’ve made zero ground, my follower count has stayed between 100-110 essentially all year, I rarely get any responses from anyone, whether following me or not, the social media site altogether is becoming more of a place where I’m just talking to a brick wall.
In comes Gab, a similar website that’s making ground, taking folks who are sick of Twitter. They’re currently sitting above 200,000+ users and will certainly be growing if the Twitter purge is actually a thing. The site’s still a little rough around the edges, but given me current disdain for Twitter, what’s happening for me on Gab is really opening my eyes a bit.
First, I’m already a third the way from equally the same number of followers on Gab as I have on Twitter. In a week. A week. Yes, I imagine this is due to there not being as much traffic on Gab, so it’s easier not to get lost in the shuffle, but come on, how should I not be happy and excited when I’m making progress that I can visually see with my own damn eyes?!
Second, people actually fucking speak to you! In the last month on Twitter, two unique users have replied to anything I’ve posted, not likes or retweets, actual responses. On Gab in this first week, it’s a lot more than fucking two! I’m actually having conversations with people, making new friends and not listening to people defending the most ludicrous statements like why all white people just need to die, because y’know that’s not racist or anything.
And third, I feel free. I feel like I can talk about anything and not get potentially banned because I said I don’t think we need blatant LGBT representation in works of media. I feel like I can be myself and while I still do that on Twitter, I don’t feel like being myself is a bad thing in the eyes of Gab, while on Twitter, I think that based on my thoughts and ideas, Twitter looks at me like I’m literally Hitler.
So if you’re sick of Twitter as well, or maybe you’re just looking for a different touch of scenery, I implore you to check out Gab.
And naturally, follow me as well! – https://gab.ai/CSRadical
Yakuza 0 has come out and unlike pretty much 99.9% of all Japanese games when released in the West, it hasn’t actually been censored. At all. Like nothing has been taken away. Not the phone sex minigame, not the catfight minigame, none of it. It’s all still there in its glory. Hell I got the “Business Edition” of the game which came with a fancy business card case and it had a card with five sexy hostesses on it. That’s some fun shit!
What this game has done is remind me of the ridiculousness when it comes to censorship here in the West, it continues to mystify me how the most offensive thing right now is Donald Trump and then the second most offensive thing is someone who isn’t attracted to a transsexual AND THEN the third most offensive thing is probably a piece of fictional media with a woman looking sexy in it. Once again, it’s a case where I have to point out how absolutely immature and overly fragile society is right now that a girl in a swimsuit fighting a girl in a nurse outfit (ALL WHO ARE NOT REAL PEOPLE!!!) is extremely offensive and shouldn’t exist here. It’s okay to have games where thousands of people are killed by the character we play as, but a single pair of titties is just too much!
Fire Emblem: Awakening had to alter a picture of Tharja in the Summer of Bonds DLC where she was trying on a swimsuit so it would be “acceptable” in the West. A girl in a swimsuit needed to be censored. A single fictional girl in a bikini was too much for a Western video game release, but murder after murder after murder, that’s okay. Same goes for Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, they had swimsuit costumes for the characters and those were censored here as well. Why is death okay, but a girl in a bikini not okay?
The longer I’ve been writing post on this page, the longer I’ve taken issue with the censorship of sexual content in various forms of media, the bashing of anime and video games for engaging in such content, the endless barrage of articles, tweets, comments and whatever else from people who are so unbelievably easily offended that it really makes me wonder if they’re actually offended or if this is the battle they just decided to pick and are just fighting blindly to whatever they see. I don’t understand why this sort of content gets such a nasty response from so many people when there are so many more important things out there to be fighting. I don’t pretend there isn’t a problem with sexual content, as I’ve said before, I firmly believe that games and anime especially could really do everyone a huge favour and stop devoting the extreme majority of sexual content in their media solely to women. There’s nothing wrong with a guy also wearing something a little skimpier than a normal person would wear, there’s nothing wrong with a guy being seeing in the shower. I don’t care about anyone who is homophobic or whatever the fuck else, it’s a fictional guy, you’re not going to turn gay because it’s there.
Instead of censoring everything, why are feminists also pushing for men to be put in more roles that women traditionally are in. Why is there never a conversation about men being sexualized along with women, why aren’t men held captive more often, things like that? Why are the only conversations we hear from feminists (who have some level of prominence and reach) about how games and anime have too many sexy girls in them?
Maybe for once we ought to think about including rather than excluding. Not a bad idea, eh?
*sigh* Really, Blizzard?
With Overwatch now officially released and the general public being exposed to the beta in early May, it’s no surprise that a lot of people who enjoy drawing and creating pornographic material, especially the ones who use Source Filmmaker for these sorts of things, have been going crazy with producing tons and tons of Overwatch-related pornography and just releasing it onto the Internet for free. It’s been so crazy that Pornhub discovered that since the open beta went live on May 5th, searches on their site for Overwatch-related porn went up a massive (pun intended) 817%! That is an incredible amount to increase by in such a short period of time! However, Blizzard Activision doesn’t seem to enjoy this particular increase in attention.
It has been reported on several different sites now about people getting DMCA claims and copyright infringement claims for any content that has Overwatch characters doing well…things that you wouldn’t see in a video game, at least with its current ESRB rating. It’s also been reported that they’ve likely outsourced a digital content security company in Irdeto USA to seek out such content and get it removed.
So how do I feel on this issue? About as you’d expect, I think Blizzard’s being extremely ridiculous with something that takes place with every single game released, every single anime, TV show, movie, comic, anything entertainment related, they’re pornographic art of it. Remember Rule 34, “If it exists, there is porn of it – no exceptions.” and that has been proven time and time again by even the most weird and abnormal things being drawn in a pornographic nature. There’s really nothing a company can do to stop it, no matter how hard they try, people will continue to produce it if they A, want to and B, feel there’s an audience for it, the first being the more important one. Regardless of censorship, people will always draw, animate, or dare I say…fantasize and even roleplay it with their significant other?
And really, it’s Blizzard’s own damn fault for this. Y’know why? Because they created an art style and set of characters that are perfect for this kind of pornographic content, in particular the 3D Source Filmmaker animators who create a ton of wonderfully beautiful and sexy content of various games in particular. There’s no way you can look at Overwatch and deny just how beautiful the art style is, it may just be the best art direction in any game this year. And when you couple that together with all the girls in particular, there’s literally nothing keeping any of these animators from creating content, it’s too perfect for them to pass up. And yes, by all the girls, I’m even including Zarya, who generally the majority of stuff she’s in has either had some surgery done or was packing a little something somethin’ the entire time for all the other lovely girls.
In my opinion however. the biggest factor for why so much pornographic material has been made of Overwatch is likely due to the many people who are apparently “sexist and misogynistic” for enjoying beautiful fictional women still being a little pissed off that Tracer’s “butt pose” was removed and replaced with one that honestly didn’t change the fact Tracer has a fantastic ass. I believe people would’ve created a ton of this content regardless, but I truly do feel that the “censorship” from earlier in the game’s initial beta has caused a lot of people to focus their attention purely on Overwatch and creating pornographic content in spite of Blizzard and the feminists/SJWs that raised a pointless uproar on a reality in life. What’s that reality, you ask? Simple. Women generally speaking have more developed and noticeable butts than men. And when a character wearing a very tight pair of pants, it’s going to be even further defined. Fact.
Regardless of the reasons why, I don’t understand Blizzard’s need to attempt to censor all of this content, in fact they’re actually doing themselves a major disservice by doing so, in my opinion. Look at the amount of attention all this brings, we are a very superficial society, would it not make sense to allow all this content to be developed so more people find it and go “Wow, whatever game this is from, it’s fucking gorgeous!” and possibly look into the game itself. That’s more potential buys, Blizzard, don’t you like money?! And most importantly, content like this as much as some people are probably disgusted at the thought of men and women (you ignorant morons!) masturbating to these characters, it may actually increase the game’s lifespan or at the very least keep it at the forefront when it comes to games being talked about.
I understand Blizzard, I really do. You and your team went out and created a beautiful game that also plays extremely well and people are really enjoying it thus far. And yes, I understand that after all this hard work, it probably really disgusts, depresses and angers you that people have immediately taken the hard work you’ve done, taken the character models and posed them in various states of undress while participating in vaginal or anal sex, blowjobs, DPs, gangbangs and anything else you can think of (though I don’t recall seeing anyone playing with tentacles just yet, I’m sure someone’s already done it though) that is anything but what you intended them to be used for. But this is a reality of our current technological generation, people do this for every single piece of content that comes out, you can’t expect them, nor force them to not do it, they will no matter how many times you try and stop it.
And lastly, it comes off very childish when you’re trying to censor pornographic content, when it does nothing to negatively impact your game. I challenge you to tell me otherwise. The only people that would get offended by this content would not go and search for this kind of content. If you ignore it, no one has to know it exists except under the Rule 34 idea that we have to assume it exists, we just don’t go looking for it. This is a non-issue, how many other games have had this kind of story come out under the same circumstances? As far as I’ve heard of, zero! You know why? Cause they understand it’s something that can’t be stopped, nor is it something that should be on their radar to begin with.
So Blizzard, take a chill pill, relax, it’s just boobs, butts and dicks. You don’t have to look at it, no one’s sitting you down in a chair, strapping you to it and forcing your eyelids open to make you watch it like it’s some horror film kind of situation going on.
And seriously, what’d you expect to happen when you created such a beautiful game with girls like Tracer, Widowmaker, Mercy, Symmetra, D’va, Pharah, Mei and yes, even Zarya? Did you really think the Internet would ignore that? They can’t ignore furries!
I haven’t played a second of Overwatch yet, I just want to make this clear. I’m going based on what I’ve read about her and the entire situation. Hence why this’ll be a quick one.
Basically what I understand is that Tracer is a young, spunky girl who wears tight pants. People initially were hesitant with the choice of outfit for her and then when the pose pictured above starting floating around, a user on the game’s forums made a post about their displeasure with the pose while actually giving some fair points about her character and other female characters being more sexual than Tracer was. I get it, you don’t like the fact that this character is posed a bit sexually because you view the character as one who isn’t meant to be that sexually designed.
Here’s where I have a problem with that: Who are you to decide that? That’s up to people who designed this fictional character. Now the developers have also come out and said they had a second pose as a backup as they weren’t big fans of the “butt pose” themselves, which honestly I call bullshit on that. If you had a backup pose because you weren’t too thrilled about the first one, why didn’t you start with the backup pose? I think someone above them caved in and told them to make the switch and lie about the second pose, honestly. That’s my opinion, I’m probably wrong, but that’s my current feelings on this.
And to sound like a broken record, the character isn’t real, why is this that big a deal? And once again, I’m sorry to spoil this for all you SJWs and feminists out there, but…girls have butts. That pose Tracer is in is a very basic badass pose, but because she’s wearing tighter pants (which I’d like to think she chooses to wear because it gives her freedom of mobility) and again because girls have much more defined butts than men, it’s a bit more exposed and defined in such a pose. This isn’t an uncommon pose, you’re just getting all triggered because a girl’s buttcrack is showing. Grow the fuck up.
I’d like to think this is a nothing story, but for me it’s another case where I think people are trying to shove their own views and opinions on others. I don’t know how many times I have to say this, but if you truly want this kind of content to stop, don’t partake in it. Don’t buy or play these games. If the sales reflect that sexual content doesn’t sell as much anymore, companies will tone it down. Games like DOA Xtreme 3 exist because there is a market for it. I’m sorry but if you want your pro-feminist games to be major releases, you have to buy them and developers have to make them less boring and shit. That’s how real change is going to happen, not some jackoff bitching on a forum page.
And seriously, Blizzard: Grow a fucking pair, will ya?