Contrary to what some would have you believe, there seems to be a great deal of fear right now amongst Japanese developers over what they can and can’t do when it comes to the western market. With this new age of puritanism and a Jerry-Falwell-esque over-inflated sense of morality overtaking the nation – plus a generation that seems to be easily offended by two-dimensional images – the Japanese market is, as you can imagine, very concerned about negative PR and dropped review scores when their naturally vivacious and youth-celebrating games come out in America unedited.
With the recent kerfuffle involving DOAX3, the backlash from Capcom, the chest protector in Xenoblade, and even Idea Factory buckling under pressure, it’s causing many Japanese game-loving fans to worry that their hobby may be blunted to the point of irrelevancy.
To combat this, a petition has been created that seeks to allay Japanese developer’s fears and reassure them that there are more gamers who appreciate their culture than those who decry it. The petition is currently just under 5,000 signatures, and those who started it are hoping to send a message to beleaguered eastern developers who feel no one cares for their artistic vision:
- We simply ask that you stay true to the visions of your creative endeavors, and please don’t deprive us of those works on account of those who would specifically seek to drive a divide between the global game culture. Many internet communities have been having active discussions in regards to our frustration and disappointment with these ongoing events. We hope that you take the words written here into a consideration as peers, consumers of your product, and for many of us as lifelong fans.
- The Western games media has been in an uproar for the past few years over perceived objectionable content of certain video games. We, as the actual consumer base and market for these products in the West, find this unacceptable. The scaremongers in the media do not represent us nor our interests as fans and buyers of this product.
Detractors claim that this is merely “anger about boobs” and that, to quote a certain prominent twitter user, “Why can’t you just go to porn hub”. The truth is that Japanese culture is about celebrating the vivacity of youth, and that means – as we once said in an editorial – that things may get a little uncomfortable for those who are easily offended. Of course, there are also those who point out the semantic problems and say the petition confuses censorship with mild editing, but considering that all of the editing has been unnecessary changes to benign images that are no different than what the genre has played host to for the last 25 years, it gives many long time Japanese game fans a feeling that their hobby is under attack.
Whatever the case, the petition seems to be gaining traction on Twitter and it’s creating dialog about what is and isn’t censorship. Until the fad of being overly-sensitive and needlessly hyper-moral passes, this topic doesn’t seem to be going away.