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Monday, August 18, 2014

Transitioning Transgressive Artistry To Censorship

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Guess who we're siding with.

It is a continuing fight, between the forces of artistic expression (hell, any expression period) and the forces of bullying and political correctness. We do not choose the battlefield. We do not choose the occasion, the time, the place. But we must be there to meet the call to battle, and defend our freedoms wherever they are threatened.

Our latest fight takes place on publisher XSEED's Twitter feed. XSEED is famous on KoopaTV for... pretty much nothing, since apparently we haven't name-dropped them once in the site's history.

XSEED is a company that is basically dedicated to bringing what would otherwise be Japan-only videogames into North America. There are several reasons why these games might be stuck in Japan. No company has the resources/time for them, they are seen as unprofitable, or they're just... weird and inappropriate for mainstream American audiences. They are known for their high-quality translations and dedication to the material. For Nintendo, they brought "Project Rainfall" babies (or bastard twins, if you're comparing to Xenoblade) Pandora's Tower and The Last Story on the Wii to North America.

If you didn't get the point yet, here is XSEED according to XSEED:
"XSEED Games was formed in November 2004 by a small group of industry veterans with a common vision; to cross pollinate the avid gaming culture of Japan and North America. Delivering unique, innovative titles across multiple platforms and genres, XSEED Games is dedicated to publishing products that appeal to and enrich the North American market."
Anyway, back to fighting. One of the games XSEED is localizing is Akiba's Trip: Undead and Undressed. It's on Sony platforms only. It appears to be one of those games similar to High School DxD, which KoopaTV put pains into telling you is inappropriate for children and the workplace. It's probably no coincidence that you could read it as "Akiba Strip" in the website url. So no screenshots of the game here. It's clearly for Mature audiences only.

It doesn't matter what the game is about or that it's soft-pornography. XSEED decided to bring it to our shores, so that's the point. And it happens that, somewhere in the story, there is a dude who refers to another character as a "trap." Which caused a storm on Twitter from the usual suspects.

Basically, the bully organization GLAAD, known for attacking Nintendo (click on "the usual suspects"), has the word "trap" and many other words on a ban list. Apparently this list extends to not only people's every day conversation, but also to what you are allowed to write or perform. In other words, not only can you not say "trap" or "gay agenda" (woops, we sure screwed that one up on KoopaTV), but you also cannot have any characters in any story you write say that either. XSEED even says this:

But for a movement entirely about putting ordinary people on a path of eggshells and trying to nuance yourself into a pretzel, the intolerant GLAAD adherents sure don't seem to recognize a distinction between characters in a game and the company localizing. Remember, XSEED cares about the integrity of the work when surviving the translation process. You can bet that if they were localizing Ace Attorney, it would not take place in California but Japan like it did in... Japan. Yet the usual suspects want XSEED to censor the work. What is basically the Japanese word for "trap" was in the Japanese version.

The character in question who used the word in question is based off the typical guy from KoopaTV's friends at 4chan. In Akira's Trip, that character is "called out" for his continual usage of the term later in the game and basically humiliated, much like what people try to do to KoopaTV. The game — or at least the in-game online message board "Pitter" — is basically a satire of Japanese Internet life plus stripping people (or maybe that's already part of "Japanese Internet life"?), from what I can tell. Here's one of XSEED's people writing about it.

KoopaTV contributor "Rawkhawk" about to be "called out" on NeoGAF. It's a creepy ritual, and one reflected in Akira's Trip as well.

We cannot let humourless thugs censor art. America was founded on that principle (and a few other ones)! These are the same people that wanted to destroy the 3DS best-seller Tomodachi Life, and the same people who want to ban Trayvon Tyson's Punch-Out!!. The connection to the latter is a very sensitive issue with us, since this IS the one year anniversary of KoopaTV's Punch-Out!! Week.

MSNBC votes to censor Trayvon Tyson's Punch-Out!!
Recall how MSNBC thugs wanted it gone, as seen in the game's advertisement video.

Quite frankly, I don't care about your personal experiences being bullied for whatever. And I really don't care (in the "It will affect my decisions" sense. Obviously I've cared enough to editorialize on it over and over) what the fascists over at GLAAD have to say. Most common-sense people who don't adhere to the GLAAD ideology of making a battle every time there is a "microaggression" really don't care or go out of their way to get mad at things.

The justification among the social justice crowd is the theory of a media influence feedback loop, which I have constructed a diagram of below:

Why social justice warriors butt into everything society culture feedback influence loop
They can't just attack society, they have to transform the culture too.

The governing philosophy is that if XSEED or anyone else makes a game, that game will influence people to behave or think a certain way. Those people who think that way will then make their own games and embed those attitudes in them. If everyone has those attitudes, then people will be oppressed. Or something.

This is, of course, complete nonsense. This is "intellectual" elitists trying to police your mind and your derivations under the idea that people uncontrollably absorb everything through osmosis. It's left-wing social engineering at its worst. You see, these social justice progressives only tolerate their own opinions. Everyone else's must be eradicated. This is why you cannot say that the progressives are for civil rights. They deny the fundamental rights that humans have.

As for the feedback loop itself, it's very much incomplete. Culture also influences other culture, and society influences society. People can reject a work's message, for instance. People who already feel that way have their biases confirmed, not created. And indifferent people are likely to stay indifferent. It's not like this would be the first time a player will have read the word "trap" or else they won't even know what it means. The in-game dialogue is a satire, after all.

The idea that just because something "hurts" you it should be eradicated from every source is awful. Its adherents have never heard the nursery rhyme, "Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me." Your preference to close your ears and whine does not trump my right to freedom of (artistic) expression! But I guess I don't have to worry about looking for fights and being offended about my existence every corner I look. That's my "white privilege", huh? I don't have to go kill myself over non-important text in a videogame!
These fascists are extremely dangerous. If they win, the free civilization we've worked hard for and had our forefathers die for will come to an end. We must fight them at every turn.

KoopaTV is proud to be on the front lines!

For more information on KoopaTV's values, see the "About KoopaTV" tab at the top of the website.

Transsexuals return as targets for a terrible videogame. KoopaTV defends that game's right to exist.
Bruce Jenner is a transsexual... but is he really that brave?
MSNBC's thugs DID get the game taken down, unfortunately.
Three years later, Ludwig writes a GLAAD-compliant article on a transgender individual and her song.


  1. "It's probably no coincidence that you could read it as "Akiba Strip" in the website url."
    Have you taken a look at the cover art? There's no WAY it's a coincidence.

    Okay, let me make sure I've got this right. There's a character who says something insulting to another character and then is called out for it, but people are mad that the insult's there in the first place? I don't get it.
    You know what this reminds me of? When people were making a stink about how GLaDOS makes fun of Chell for being overweight and adopted. Because apparently it's offensive and potentially damaging to children if a MURDEROUS VILLAIN says something mean.

    At least I understand people being offended if a character says something insulting and the game seems to accept or promote that character's view (not that the game should be attacked for doing that; there are games I'll never, ever play, but I'm not going to go tell the creators they aren't allowed to make such-and-such)...... but I just don't understand how people can justify being upset over a game where a villain insults the hero, or where the character who insults someone is called out for it.

    1. Supposedly many of the angry people didn't know the character gets called out for it: They just saw one screenshot (without context) and got pissed off and waged war on XSEED.

      This is the same game where you strip people for a combat system, so I guess it's really selective outrage.

      But not only were they mad, but apparently they were trying to take their lives hostage by threatening self-harm to XSEED's localization team unless they changed (censored) the content.

    2. ...
      I'm sure glad I don't take anything in a game that seriously...

    3. Yeah, I don't want to say we're the lucky ones.

      They're just... the unlucky ones. Or unfortunate.

      Unlucky people wouldn't do that.

    4. Looks like GLAAD only wants special treatment with their banned words list. I wonder if other folks who claim to be insult have their own banned list.

    5. They probably want one!

      They're just not as well-organized as GLAAD.


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