By Stuart444 1 Comments
Now I know the title may seem somewhat confusing but it was the best title I could think of. Basically this post is two fold. The first part concentrates on anime, america/Western censoring of anime and why they do it. The second part focuses on Video Games and why things are still frowned on in games.
Now I am not the best when it comes to writing up posts on issues like this so bare with me...
Ok, so lets see the difference between anime in japan and anime in the west. In particular America since they normally get anime first and if they censor it, chances are european countries like the UK will as well.
What does japan have in anime in the daytime? Blood, some nudity (depending on the type and genre of anime) and swearing. Now what does America/Western anime have when it eventually comes over here? Blood censored, nudity censored or cut out completly and swearing is usually non existent.
Why is that? Honestly I know companies seem to aim anime and market it as a childish cartoon even if it's not childish, I mean anime is certainly a cartoon FROM japan (which is what we call anime since it's animation from japan) but the companies here market it as very childish with almost every anime that comes here. I only remember a few mainstream animes that came here and were not marketed at children, one of them being Outlaw Star.
Now, here is a few things, why do they censor blood? Children (the ones they market anime at) bleed all the time, just one small cut and they are bleeding so why censor blood? Why censor nudity when chances are, the children have have seen their own bodies naked and possibily a sibiling as well. It is perfectly fair to censor/cut out nudity IF it is sexual or implying anything sexual but even if its completely innocent, they censor it (ie changing or bath scenes). Finally why do they censor swearing? Chances are most children will have heard worse by age 8 or less so why bother censoring things they hear in every day life?
One more thing on the anime subject:
Why do certain companies see fit to license an anime that takes place in japan and then set it in America? Lets take for example; Cardcaptors/Cardcaptor Sakura. The Cardcaptors dub takes place in america and quite a few people like Tomoyo who is renamed madison When Tomoyo is easy to say. They didn't rename her because the name was hard to say, they renamed it because it sounded like a japanese name while Madison sounds american. This is just one example of this setting everything in america when possible. Not all companies do it but the ones that do annoy me.
Both of these annoy me rather alot. I just see some censoring and changes they do in anime to be completely ludicrous but I guess it won't change anytime soon.
Now this is what you're probably reading for since this is a video games based site but when I thought about this, I ended up thinking of the above and decided to get that off my chest as well.
Let's look at some of the most prime example of video game backlash shall we?
Grand Theft Auto series:
This series is a prime example of why video game developers have to be careful when creating a game that may have questionable content. This game has alot of killing, blood running people over and doing criminal like stuff. Best way to explain the series because it's the way everyone else sees it without evening playing it.
Everytime GTA is brought up in the news, it usually follows or is followed by something like "Man kills after playing GTA" or "Killer played GTA before the incident" or something like that. Another example would be Manhunt/Manhunt 2 which has been blamed for someone killing before and Manhunt 2 was even banned for a while. I never even thought about playing it before the news stories about it and why is that? Because I didn't like the look of it but the news stories made me wonder "is it that bad?" and do you know what my answer was?
NO, it is NOT THAT BAD. I played it and I just thought to myself "This is weak, what is so bad about it?". Yes there is trying to kill your fellow man in a variety of brutal ways but the way it was protrayed didn't seem that bad. It seemed like something just to take your anger out on a bunch of people rather than hurt your hand punching a wall when your angry. I guess thats the best way to describe what I thought about it.
What REALLY irks me about these news stories though is that almost NONE of them mention that the children/teenager was playing a game that they were too young to play (according to the rating).
In the UK we have ratings like 3+ 7+ 12+ 16+ and 18+ depending on the rating system, One is by the BBFC and one is by PEGI (same ratings I think but different logo styles in the rating things on the boxes). Whenever I hear about some kid/teen who decides to do (insert bad thing here) and they blame it on a video game they were playing, what do I usually find? They were playing an 18 rated game and they were younger than 18 but not ONCE do they mention that the parents shouldn't have bought it, didn't do research, didn't look at age rating, etc etc etc.
Besides the rating thing, there is also the whole it's NOT the games fault. If a person plays a game and then goes and does what the person saw in the game then that person wasn't right in the head to begin with. But as far as the public seem to be concerned, it's ALWAYS the games fault.
That ended up as more of a rant than I intended it to be but the point I'm getting to is, it's because of this that video game developers have to be careful. How often do we see fully naked girls in games, in particular non niche titles? The answer is, hardly any. This seems to be because everyone associates a game that has that with tasteless sexual encounters. As if it was some porn thing. Now do I say that with or without proof? The answer is, with proof.
Does anyone remember the sex scene in mass effect? If not maybe you remember hearing about it in the news where it got branded bad/tasteless etc (I forget the exact word used) as if it was exactly what I said, some tasteless porn thing. Yes the person who said that retracted the statement when they eventually SAW what it was (meaning that she said the original comment without even watching the scene in question) but the point is, if a (mainstream) game is mentioned with sex/naked girl/etc in the same sentence, chances are, something like this would happen and it would be slated by this "mainstream" media without even looking at it, even if it is done tastefully like the scene (which wasn't even fully nude) in Mass Effect was done.
Another one I could mention would be Heavy Rain where you get to undress a female character, take her to the toilet and shower and even at one point make her and the male character in it have sex. This wasn't mentioned since it was more of a niche title than say Mass Effect but it was done tastefully I thought and I think more games should not be scared to put in stuff like this. I'm not saying they should do it for the sake of doing it but at the very least they should be open to the possibility depending on the game in question and it's storyline.
Anyway there is the end of my post along with my thoughts and insights into both issues. I hope it was at least a somewhat interesting read since I don't tend to put down stuff like this much (or at least in a public place for people to read).
If you read it all the way, then comment on what you think, I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on one or both issues as well.