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Subject: a plea for not censoring this game: an open letter to Ystari. rss

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Jason Farris
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Hi there,

I am an American and it is sad that I have to ask for something not to be censored in my country. Theoretically citizens of the U.S. believe, with certain very rare exceptions, that nothing be censored as that is part of living in a free country where everyone can make their own choices.

Ystari made the decision to change the art on a card depicting a female slave in Sylla for the American market. A naked butt was clothed, although scantily. This decision was reputedly made to make the game more marketable in the U.S. Considering this history, I wanted to make my thoughts known before this game is released.

I can only imagine what will happen with the artwork in Olympos that includes 1/2 naked females and a fully naked male (although a strategically lightning bolted male).

I ask that Ystari consider not only the vocal minority of people who want the game censored or they won't buy it. But also those people like me who want the game as intended. I think the art should be as intended and not changed for fear of some type of backlash or lost sales. The best censors get others to censor for them.

Hopefully, I will be able to buy the U.S. version of this game with the art intact. I support everyone having the choice of whether to buy the game and making the decision of whether it is appropriate for their family. I do not support a company making the choice for me and my family.

Thank you,

Jason Farris

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Here, here. I want to buy the game in the US with the art intact.
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I'd prefer it uncensored as well, Jason, but put yourself in the publisher's shoes for a minute. They can alter the art and maybe piss off a few gamers who won't buy. Or, they can release it as shown and have the very real chance of enraging a small, but very vocal portion of the American populace. Not to mention some of the folks on the Geek who routinely avoid games with any kind of sexual content, no matter how mild.

I'm assuming that when a company like Ystari produces a game like this, they create two copies of the art: one for the adults in Europe and one for us Yanks. It's a sad fact of life, but that's the way things are right now and I don't expect it to change anytime soon.
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To the extent that a game is art (and I think that can be a rather large extent in some cases), please do not censor it. Can you imagine a touring David who is clothed in a barrel because of "sensitive" American audiences? Ridiculous! (Of course, I can imagine this - because I live in a nation where a very vocal minority of 17th century Puritans resides.)

Also, to the publisher, a little excitement or even protest will help your sales. So, really, both market forces AND artistic integrity point to NOT censoring this game.
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Unfortunately, the easily offended have louder voices.
While this is usually a minority squealing, sadly it gets listened to and all too often interpreted as the majority opinion.

Business folks know that the unoffended will still buy, so they cater to the offended who will not unless they get what want.

When the less easily offended gather together to fight the tyranny of the minority, then maybe we'll get products intended for adults versus kindergartners.
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I disagree with several of the liberal assumptions made in this letter, but overall support your desire to want the game without censorship, even though I, personally, would prefer the artwork be censored for a US release. However the company decides to release it here in the States is up to them, and I will play it either way.

I believe the final line of this letter is off the mark. If Ystari does decide to censor the US release it has nothing to do with your family or making decisions for you. It has to do with what Ystari believes is the best for their company. Don't try and take that personally. They'll do what's best for them and I don't believe anyone can blame them for it.

I wish Ystari the best with the release of this great looking game...however they decide to do it.
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Speaking for myself... I have a limited budget, and I have to choose which games I buy pretty carefully.

I am far less likely to buy a game where the artwork has been censored or sanitized, just on principle. Such editorial decisions are a very good reason for me NOT to buy a game.

In other words, I'm part of a small but vocal minority, too.
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I add my voice too. I would like to get the game with art intact.
Please Ystari.
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Rokkr wrote:
Unfortunately, the easily offended have louder voices.
Too true. That is the way it works here in America, the minority dictates how the majority should think.
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***Comment removed as we are currently having a very friendly conversation about this thru geekmail***
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I, too, want uncensored artwork.

I wonder if Rio Grande makes these types of decisions, rather than the European publishers.
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If the game is as good as it looks, I'll buy it regardless. Don't really care either way.
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+1 to uncensored artwork.
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kevster wrote:
I disagree with several of the liberal assumptions made in this letter, but overall support your desire to want the game without censorship, even though I, personally, would prefer the artwork be censored for a US release. However the company decides to release it here in the States is up to them, and I will play it either way.

I believe the final line of this letter is off the mark. If Ystari does decide to censor the US release it has nothing to do with your family or making decisions for you. It has to do with what Ystari believes is the best for their company. Don't try and take that personally. They'll do what's best for them and I don't believe anyone can blame them for it.

I wish Ystari the best with the release of this great looking game...however they decide to do it.

while I agree with your comment about Ystari doing what is best for their business, how do they know what is best for thier business in this instance? Is there a lot of data on European games selling poorly if they have some nude or semi-nude artwork? If so, fine. If not, try it out and see what happens. It's the only way to be sure (or is that just nuking the entire site from orbit?).

I do say that buying of their product is a personal choice. I am just asking them to give me that choice. Ystari will do what they think is best, I will wait and see what that is.
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Numskull wrote:
I, too, want uncensored artwork.

I wonder if Rio Grande makes these types of decisions, rather than the European publishers.
I think in the past it was RGG's decision. It will depend if they are distributing this one as well I think.
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A slightly different take for me...

Me likes games with naked ladies!

Of course, this may be why the more conservative folks find nudity repugnant. I just don't have any puritanical DNA left in these old bones. Why can't we get past the nudity thing? I sometimes think prudishness is more immature than my garishness... or not.

Keep the art... throw the extra cloth over the eyes of your children.
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Making the game appealing to the broadest possible audience is not "censorship". Some people like one thing, some people like another thing, you always have to make marketing decisions about what will sell the best.
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DaviddesJ wrote:
Making the game appealing to the broadest possible audience is not "censorship". Some people like one thing, some people like another thing, you always have to make marketing decisions about what will sell the best.
Amen.

Hell yeah!

QFT.

edited for broadest appeal.
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DaviddesJ wrote:
Making the game appealing to the broadest possible audience is not "censorship". Some people like one thing, some people like another thing, you always have to make marketing decisions about what will sell the best.
If that is an accurate statement, then why have any nudity at all. Surely, there are some Europeans that would not buy it because of nudity. Not many maybe but some. I think the goal is to sell your print runs, otherwise we wouldn't have these niche markets at all. Hasbro would be the supplier of all games.

How is it not censorship? Painting bikinis or thongs are no different than black bars, just more colorful. The pictures are works of art. Modifying Art that might offend someone, is censoring it. The motive may be money but it is still censoring. The MPAA does it with the NC-17 rating. Take out these, x number of scenes, and we'll give you an R rating so you can make more money. I stand by my assertion that the best censors get you to do it yourself.
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It hasn't been censored though. That implies customs agents armed with black pens striking out anything deemed obscene by the State in a bid to protect it's poor citizenry.

They just decided to change it because America is a more conservative country than almost all of Europe, and they don't like no boobies or bottoms as one look and they'll faint clear away.

And that could see beverages spilled.

No-one likes a spilled beverage.

It's not the publishers fault.
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HarlemMimeSchool wrote:
They just decided to change it because America is a more conservative country than almost all of Europe, and they don't like no boobies or bottoms as one look and they'll faint clear away.
Maybe in aggregate you're correct. It doesn't automatically mean that potential buyers of Olympos are made up of the same demographic. While it's a reasonable assumption for the publisher to make, it's also reasonable to challenge that assumption, which I think is the point of this thread.
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HarlemMimeSchool wrote:
It hasn't been censored though. That implies customs agents armed with black pens striking out anything deemed obscene by the State in a bid to protect it's poor citizenry.

They just decided to change it because America is a more conservative country than almost all of Europe, and they don't like no boobies or bottoms as one look and they'll faint clear away.

And that could see beverages spilled.

No-one likes a spilled beverage.

It's not the publishers fault.
Self-censorship is censorship. A decision is being made based on fear of what the market will accept. This has always been the cowards way to deal with small mindedness. I don't think that needs to be explained. I'll see if I can't get a European version... pay extra dinero for my booty.

blush
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jasonwocky wrote:
HarlemMimeSchool wrote:
They just decided to change it because America is a more conservative country than almost all of Europe, and they don't like no boobies or bottoms as one look and they'll faint clear away.
Maybe in aggregate you're correct. It doesn't automatically mean that potential buyers of Olympos are made up of the same demographic. While it's a reasonable assumption for the publisher to make, it's also reasonable to challenge that assumption, which I think is the point of this thread.
Yes.
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ericbjohnson wrote:

Self-censorship is censorship. A decision is being made based on fear of what the market will accept. This has always been the cowards way to deal with small mindedness.
If we were talking about an objective truth such as.. a reporter discovering that Sarah Palin was actually selling drugs to schoolkids but electing to look the other way because they worked for FOX NEWS and they would bury it anyway and probably fire them, then yes that is self-censorship.

However it is not even close to the same thing as an art decision over a product in the marketplace. Would you accuse a company that rejected a new design for a swaistika-covered toaster of self-censorship? Would you similarly accuse them of being cowards who are cowing to small-mindedness?

No you wouldn't.

In the case of Olympos the 'small-mindedness' is merely a point of view you don't share.

EDIT: Clarity.
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Smilinbrax wrote:
If that is an accurate statement, then why have any nudity at all.
Obviously, because some people liked it. If some people like the art, that's a reason to put it in. And if other people don't like it, that's a reason to take it out. Again, any publisher has to decide what has the most appeal to their particular market. That's not "censorship".

Suppose the original images didn't have nudity, and a new publisher decided to add some attractive nudes that they thought would increase the appeal of the game. Would you complain that that publisher is "censoring" the clothed form?
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