Author: Gabriel Persechino-Forest Published: May 20th, 2018
Mass Censorship on Steam Unfolds
Not long ago game developers were prevented from distributing uncensored patches of their games on steam with Christian groups and the National Center for Sexual Exploitation taking credit. But censorship of various games on the platform dates to way earlier than that as well. Now the censorship is coming down even harder with games that are already censored and non-pornographic being forced to either censor more, or being removed from Steam altogether. What makes matters more complicated and suspicious is how visual novels and Japanese games appear to be systematically targeted while Western AAA titles containing similar or worse content remain untouched. MangaGamer commented on the situation and indicated that new authoritarian guidelines are now in effect:
Originally posted by MangaGamer:
Despite our best efforts to respect both the letter and spirit of Valve’s content guidelines as we were made to understand them, we are wholly in the dark with this latest apparent shift in policy as no clear guidelines or standards have been provided. We will seek to negotiate with Valve to keep Kindred Spirits as-is on the Steam Store to the best of our ability, but failing that we still require guidelines to modify the title and future titles to fit these new, apparently stricter standards.
The National Center on Sexual Exploitation is taking credit for Steam’s recent bout of censorship. Although anyone should be careful of such claims as all groups with vested interest in censorship like to take credit for incidents which can demonstrate their supposed effectiveness.
Right now the internet is divided as to whether the censorship is due to feminist groups or Christian ones. The truth is, it doesn’t matter. They are both after the same thing and the only reason feminists are now acting “outraged” is because they realise how bad this makes them look, especially after games they supported were caught in the crossfire. It may be the conservative Christians that got the blame for the move, but it is using the language and methods of feminists that they have been campaigning; in other words, the feminist groups created the censorship platform and the Christians take the blame, perpetuating the two party political division that keeps us at each other’s throats rather than seeing the real culprits. Both groups are after the same thing: Censorship. And Steam cannot be redeemed for their part either, for they are the ones who ultimately applied the censorship.
Just take a look at what Dawn Hawkins of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation had to say:
Originally posted by Dawn Hawkins:
Steam hosts approximately 35 million users who are children and teenagers, yet it also has hosted videogames that promote themes of sexual violence, exhibitionism, and rape, often depicting child-like characters in sexual scenes. It’s about time that the videogame community is responding to this #MeToo moment, and is distancing itself from gamified sexual violence.
The works of a Christian, conservative organisation using the language of Social Justice Warriors. And while the conservatives have been busy pushing direct censorship, the liberals have been making an almost decades-long campaign to criticise anything sexual in games to the point where short skirts, sexually enticing outfits or other, usually considered desirable and tame, sexual elements are now removed from games in the production stage. And its not just the political activists and parties either, the state is also part of the censorship push as much as it always was. Does anyone really need any more proof that they really are after the same thing?
Returning to the controversy at hand, it seems Valve have been withdrawing their initial removal threats they sent to several publishers. The reason? I would assume the massive public outrage over an issue that has been pretty bipartisan, with the exception of where the blame lies. With that said no one should celebrate just yet, they are redacting the initial notices but have pointed out that they are “reviewing” the titles in question to make sure they meet their so called guidelines. Meaning, we should keep an eye on this developing situation. Also, while existing games might be fine, there’s no guarantee future games won’t be subject to stricter censorship when being brought to Steam.
Political Correctness & Eurovision
The 63rd Annual Eurovision Song Contest winner Netta was hit with accusations of cultural appropriation of Japan’s culture. For those unaware, cultural appropriation is a Western invention to prevent individuals from appreciating foreign cultures; similar to how the British Empire would try to suppress foreign cultures but this time done with the added righteous lie of “Respecting and protecting” said culture instead. But it seems Japan, you know, the country supposedly victimized by this “appropriation”, couldn’t care less about her supposed “misuse” of their culture. Once again, Western outrage over an issue that frankly doesn’t concern them.
Source: Sora News 24
Why Japanese Games are Popular in the West
Spike Chunsoft CEO Mitsutoshi Sakurai has been noticing an increasing demand for Japanese games, noting that certain games that they weren’t expecting to be popular ended up doing very well. Why the popularity? Sakurai feels its because Japanese games are, well, Japanese. Sakurai is saying that Japanese games offer something different and unique and he further added that games that were specifically made to cater to an international audience didn’t do very well in Japan; reaffirming his belief that Japanese games should service the Japanese market first and foremost.
The truth Sakurai doesn’t speak off though is that Western AAA titles are increasingly subject to political correctness that is starting to leave a bitter taste in the mouths of many gamers whereas Japanese games are not. With both a unique and different approach to gaming and a lack of political correctness, it should come as no surprise there is an increased demand for Japanese content and perhaps no clearer indicator that censoring Japanese games in the West is a very bad idea.
The interview itself can be seen here.