Guess what’s theme for the month? Beats me, I was originally gonna put something from Senran Kagura on, but seeing I’ve been talking a lot about sexual themes being censored, I might as well go all the way in and put last month’s music in a theme song. People who like to over-analyse everything, you’ve got two balls’ worth of ammo. Anyway, lemme get some steam out, willya? I pity the poor bastard who thinks this the standard this blog usually goes for. You have standards? So I might argue.
I’ve posted a lot about censorship in video games as of late, partially because I personally have a strong bias against any sort of censorship, but also because it ties to the whole video game culture aspect the blog is partially about. However, discussing the censorship out in the open has been somewhat a challenge, as most of censorship we see nowadays is specifically targeting sexual themes. Tumblr just announced porn would be banned on their site, but we’ll see how long that’ll hold.
Sony’s stance on the censorship they’re practicing right now is supposedly based on global standards, which is all sorts of bullshit as the savvy reader you are knows. There are no global standards they speak of. The US has the ESRB, Europe has PEGI with each nation adding their own standards and rules to the mix, Australia has their own, South Korea has its own and China’s draconian as hell when it comes to how they set standards. Furthermore, the regulations and standards Sony has been applying have been widely inconsistent, with titles like Sengoku Hime 7 being more or less completely unaltered, passing their standards. There is no one accepted global standard, and I hope there never will be. Homogenization of cultures across the world would only diminish the richness we have, and assuming one sales region, or even a nation, shares the same standards as the one next to them, is utter nonsense and insanity.
Sony knows they have a PR bomb in their hands, and the less they say or put information out is better for them. Better keep things hidden and silent, because the modern era of constant news barrages and outrages will sweep these away until the year rolls over. You’ll hear these news from time to time, but just like everything else, Sony’s censorship will be treated as a passé topic and something you just have to live with.
Atsushi Morita’s statement about balancing between freedom of expression and safety of children is absolute horse shit. If you take it by face value, it means Sony regards their consumers, especially the parents no less than idiots who can’t look after themselves or their children, allowing free consumption of all media content. If you don’t, you know it is about money and politics, just how much and in what ratio. Sure, Sony wants to be a hit in the Chinese market and that market wants pretty much everything to conform to their standards, just like the American extreme left with their utter nonsense. I hate to bring politics into this blog like this, but even my dumb ass can see that the American modern left has become more and more like what the religious right used to be. If it’s not one extreme being puritanical about content, then it’s the other. Being in the middle is almost suffering, trying to balance things.
It doesn’t help that discussing about sexual materials have become harder with time. My family wasn’t ever really open about sexual topics, but my mother’s mother was. The key moment where I realised that sex and sexuality was completely natural was during a boat trip, where I was laughing at a couple buying condoms. My grandma told me to shove it, and asked why I was laughing about something so natural and mundane thing as sex. Her reaction of me telling how shut things were at home surprised her, as she never had been close minded about human sexuality. She told me to ask questions, and she answered straight up, in a grandmotherly way. That realisation that if we lack that kind of everyday sexuality in our daily lives, we’ll begin to handle it the wrong way and grow up as skewed individuals and as a society. Otherwise you’ll get people wanting to screw animals and those who want to spread STDs to other people, outright screwed bees and flowers concepts. Sex and sexual themes in Western society almost became a thing that we didn’t have to hide from not too long ago, but now we’re pulled back and every single thing with sexuality of men or women are being called out. Follow the advice of EA when it comes to content; If you don’t like it, don’t buy it.
If Sony really wanted global standards to apply, they’d open a global shop and allow the global market to decide. That’s how you get standards, not by decided by some committee. If there is such a thing as gaming culture, people who take part in that culture belong to that loose society of people, and it’s global by all means. That global force is the only one that should allow standards to be determined as they are the only ones that are affected by them. Mostly. Am I making a stretch? As much as any of these yahoos trying to justify their own views and practices, included that one guy who wrote the Game Manifesto despite ignoring the core history of electronic games and solely concentrated on the existence of digital games.
I hope during this Christmas, as always, parents will take time to be with their kids and buy their gift on time. If you’re buying a game as a present, please make sure that your kid can handle it. I don’t want to hear the Nth time how a mom buys her son GTA or the like and then bemoans the violence in a game intended for adults.
I don’t even know what I’m going to do this month. You’re gonna get that Top 5 games of the year on the last day of the year, which will count as a review. I’m not even going to amuse myself guessing if I’ll manage to do any Muv-Luv related posts or anything like this, because holy hell I’m already missing some good night’s sleep. I hope, hope, that I won’t have to talk too much, if at all, about censorship this month, because I’d really like to return talking about design stuff.
But goddamn Sony, you fucked service design like a limped dicked asshole.
Also, remember to sharpen and oil you knives. Cooking is safer with sharp knives.