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Games are banned in two primary ways. The first is by corporate policy. When a company refuses to sell or distribute an unrated game, it is effectively censoring the game, but they can’t be entirely lampooned for attempting to maintain a positive image. Nintendo has every right to prevent “Sextrobes: Pornigins” from being released on Wii.
The second way games are banned involves direct or indirect interference from governments, and this is what makes us rage. In certain countries, state-imposed censorship is undisputedly the norm, and in others it’s bordering. We’re focusing primarily on this type of censorship, the kind that furrows our freedom-of-expression-loving eyebrows, as we embark on a delightful tour of creative oppression around the world.
Above: Carmageddon’s mess of bloody pixels was initially too much in the UK
Above: Family fun on Wii!
Likewise, many games out of Japan, especially during the NES and SNES eras, were stripped of blood and nudity to appeal to what was perceived as a more conservative American audience.
Above: “Oh god, a puddle of blood! Those sensitive pacifists in America won’t have this! What’s that? They were the ones who dropped the…? Oh, right. Look, the guys at NOA say to take it out.”
Citizens of the US do have to worry about overzealous, self-righteous “family values” groups who treat media as if it’s a disease to be cured, and seek to strip responsibility away from consumers and legislate babysitting. The Mass Effect “Sexbox scandal” is indicative of the kind of ignorant bullshit these pricks are capable of pulling – vilifying a game because it has a tasteful sex scene which would have barely pushed a film from PG-13 to R.
Above: Oh the horror! Kids who shouldn’t even be playing this game might start to think that sex between consenting adults is natural! And one of them is blue! Interracial sex even!
Above: Ah, good old Artificial Girl 2... classic
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