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Censorship EU Games Entertainment

South Park Game Censored On Consoles Outside North America 221

Posted by timothy
from the some-people-just-hate-speech dept.
RogueyWon writes "South Park has long been vocal in its opposition to media censorship from any source, launching scathing attacks on everything from 'think of the children' moral crusades to the censorship of religious imagery. In a curious twist, therefore, Ubisoft, the publisher of the upcoming video game South Park: The Stick of Truth, has decided to censor certain scenes from the game's Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 versions from release in Europe, Australia, the Middle East and Africa. American versions, as well as the European PC release, so far appear to have escaped the censor's pen."
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South Park Game Censored On Consoles Outside North America

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  • I disagree (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25, 2014 @12:45PM (#46335323)

    Anything to incite civil unrest against a group of people(no, the government doesn't count) and lies to discredit people.

    That pretty much means NO criticisms against religion - especially Islam.

    The things that are done in this World in the name of [insert religion - including Buddhists ] is appalling. The religious fundamentalists, unwilling and unable to adjust to the modern World, are bullying everyone else with violence, lobbying and other political maneuvering and outright lies - like Creation Museums.

    There's a point when you just have to stand up to the bully. Those people need to be told - shouted down - that they are backwards, full of shit, and if they are going to live among us, they need to STFU.

    Or compromise like the Amish do in the US. I highly respect those folks. They stick to their values, they don't try to force them on others, and they found a way to live peacefully and well with the modern World.

  • Re:Are you sure? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25, 2014 @12:59PM (#46335535)

    No, what we learn from this is that you are an idiot. Modifiying your own work to meet your business goals (get the rating you want) is not censorship, no matter how you try to spin it. Having to modify a work because some of the content is illegal is censorship.

    I have no idea if they modified the other version because of laws (censorship) or because of business reasons (not censorship), but your 'lesson' is beyond idiotic.

  • by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Tuesday February 25, 2014 @01:11PM (#46335705)

    Inciting a riot, ill give you that one.

    Wouldn't it be better to make rioting illegal, rather than speaking?

  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Tuesday February 25, 2014 @01:22PM (#46335857)

    Anything to incite civil unrest against a group of people(no, the government doesn't count) and lies to discredit people.

    Those should be disallowed.

    Anything else should be free game.

    The problem with that standard is that it gives anyone who chooses to act "incited" the power to censor anyone else.

  • Re:what the *beep* (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RogueyWon (735973) on Tuesday February 25, 2014 @01:25PM (#46335899) Journal

    Actually, we're generally much more prone to censorship here in Europe. Many of the countries in the EU have hang-ups on particular issues for historical reasons (eg. Germany on Nazi imagery and violence, France on the use of other languages). Many countries are also developing exciting new hang-ups and things they can censor, driven mainly by the three prongs of the Islamic far-right (pushing hard for new blasphemy laws), the authoritarian left (in thrall to both multiculturalism and radical feminism, both of which depend upon censorship) and an overbearing security culture (well... see pretty much 50% of slashdot's front page stories). And the general approach taken by the EU is to adopt the most draconian elements of each member nation's policies. If we get through the next German presidency of the EU without its ridiculous censorship standards being forced on the whole of Europe, we shall be extremely lucky.

    Individuals and corporates in the US certainly practice self-censorship. But you are much more likely to encounter state-censorship in Europe - and it's getting more likely all the time.

    But we're generally ok with swearing. So it's all absolutely fine.

  • Re:Are you sure? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Guppy06 (410832) on Tuesday February 25, 2014 @02:15PM (#46336631)

    /sigh

    Here's how it works: US companies

    Like Ubisoft?

    submit their games to US ratings boards

    The ESRB is a private industry group, and participation is entirely voluntary.

    then they remove shit the US censors don't like

    The ESRB doesn't care one way or the other. The "American" publishers tend to seek to avoid an AO ("Adults Only") rating, for marketing reasons, and will try to bring things down to an M ("Mature") rating so that certain big-name retailers will consent to carry the game. But games that get an AO rating are certainly free to keep that rating and have been published in the past, and publishers are free to skip the rating process entirely (e.g. I've seen more than a few localized Japanese H-games that don't bother formalizing the AO rating they'd obviously get).

    However, we, the consumers, never see the ORIGINAL version before the US censors make their cuts, because the game companies don't bother trying to put those things in non-US versions.

    Publishers don't sell an "unrated" version of a particular game in North America (ESRB includes Canada) because they know that not enough customers will go out of their way to find retail channels that will carry AO/unrated games to make the the prospect financially viable. Conversely, publishers don't sell an "unrated" version of a particular game in Germany or Australia because it would be illegal.

  • Re:what the *beep* (Score:2, Insightful)

    by angel'o'sphere (80593) on Tuesday February 25, 2014 @02:21PM (#46336723) Homepage Journal

    We have no censorship laws in Europe ... you are mixing something up :D

    Yes, I know what you mean, and that is not censor ship.

    Read this field letter a soldier might write home to his wive:

    Dear Anabella,
    I'm xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx and so far all is fine. The food xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. But it is all good. My friend Sebastian xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    and his platoon in xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.
    Love you and will be home soon,
    Angel

    The above, that is censorship.

    Or trying to publish a book in Soviet Russia or the eastern german republic, which you only could by giving it to a "Censor" who adviced you which parts to change or remove ... until your work is no longer recognizeable: that is censorship.

    If we get through the next German presidency of the EU without its ridiculous censorship standards being forced on the whole of Europe, we shall be extremely lucky.
    That is complete nonsense. No one is working on "new laws" and especially not on EU wide laws. Considering that most EU countries have much stricter laws regarding libel and difamation anyway your idea is just ridiculous.

  • by Baloroth (2370816) on Tuesday February 25, 2014 @02:38PM (#46336967)

    Inciting a riot, ill give you that one.

    Wouldn't it be better to make rioting illegal, rather than speaking?

    Encouraging people to commit a crime is also, generally, a crime. Speaking with the intent to cause a riot? Criminal. Speech that happens incidentally to cause a riot? Not criminal.

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!

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