TSM Episode 352: The Lies of the Censors

Over and over again, the struggle of freedom against tyranny is renewed in art, politics, and private life. And over and over again, those who love freedom must fight for it, if they would keep their liberties.

We have been here before.

Download: Produced 2015.11.29

When the efforts of censorious outrage-peddlers result in Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 not being shipped for sale outside of Japan, gamer favourite Play-Asia steps into the breach to ensure that Western gamers will have access to extreme Beach Volleyball.

7 comments on “TSM Episode 352: The Lies of the Censors”

  1. Real talk time: this seems like a attempt by Play Asia to capitalize on sociopolitical views of certain gamers to get them to buy a product because they’re “sticking it to the man^H^H^H^H^H SJWs.” I can’t recall seeing/hearing anything about any sort of organized campaign to do anything about Animu Titties 3: Schroedinger’s Beach Volleyball (which doesn’t mean one didn’t exist, just that I didn’t hear anything about it).

    Why isn’t this just Play Asia’s smartest marketing scheme to date?

  2. @Lane: They might be doing that, but the same charge could be levelled at the outrage-peddlers themselves, who often do not believe the things they say, but rather employ feminist terminology on the sophomorically uninformed to generate Patreonbucks. At least Play-Asia seems to actually back up their claims with action, much to the delight of gamers and the ire of the SJWs who feel offended by the disinterest of a company they do not use.

    There was certainly ire direted at the franchise, although the general explosion of hang-wringing puritanism at far, far less ‘problematic’ games than Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 probably is more the factor. SJWs don’t generally need to campaign against specific games: instead, they adopt extreme (often contradictory) positions which allow them to attack nearly any game. So, if a developer is making a game which genuinely pushes the envelope, they can bank on an explosion of outrage from the fun police.

    You might argue that there was not an organised campaign against DoAX3, but I would argue that there is precisely that: an organised campaign which seeks to stop DoAX3 and games like it from being released, or even made, in the first place. Just because they don’t use the name of the game, or do not know it, does not mean that they cannot argue against the premises upon which it is founded.

    I think it is a good marketing scheme, too–but I also think that Play-Asia’s employees (based in Hong Kong, after all (aka: I see your circumstantial ad hominem and raise you a genetic fallacy)) have a genuine contempt for the targets of their gentle poking.

  3. No ad hom intended. I really thought it was a smart scheme (if that is the case) to use people’s predilection for online outrage/counter-outrage to sell a game, especially one Western gamers probably didn’t know about unless they already are fans of the series (honestly, I was simply surprised the series had sequels).

    I also don’t know what “patreonbucks” are (nor do I care), nor am I all that interested in feminism or intersectionality outside of the academic context (because really, the blogs and twitters of undergrads or less-than-undergrads? I have neither the time nor the inclination to care what they’ve written!) so I simply do not *know* whether there has been any outrage directed at the Dead or Alive franchise. Certainly from an academic, feminist theory standpoint the series is more or less innocuous. I’m sure it does focus on breasts (BREAST PHYSICS!) in a manner that is more juvenile than anything, but the same could be said of any number of pieces of commercial art, such as beer advertisements or whatever iPhone game the blonde model schills for when I’m trying to watch football. And none of that is directly related to the sociological gender power structures in the Western world. At best you could say it is a good example of designing something for the male gaze, but even then, c’mon, it’s cartoon boobs. I’m not sure, given, for example, the policy implications regarding transgender rights and non-discrimination ordinances (being somewhat hot topics in the academic literature right now) rank within the same league of “shit that matters” are cartoon boobs.

    Personally, I tend to take a dim view of this “I’m outraged by X!” and “I’m outraged by your outrage against X!” type of culture the Internet seems to have inculcated in everyone. It’s like no one can figure out the signal-to-noise ratio anymore. We produce so much content that very little of it carries any true significance, and we mistake tweeting some hashtags or sharing a Facebook status with meaningful political engagement, because that’s easier than truly giving a damn and working to effect some sort of change. So while the Internet may have made everyone more vocal, we sure seem to say a lot less.

  4. I wouldn’t really chastise Tecmo Koei or Play-Asia to employ the Internet’s distaste for “social justice” for their own profit frankly. It’s no different from what SJW’s do to other games where there is a concentrated effort against a certain title.

    On another note, I watched a recording of the 1993-1994 Senate Hearings on Violence in Video Games recently within the last week (perhaps what could be called the first step in censoring games in the West through the innocuous cover of ‘ratings’), and was saddened by the fact that we continue to face the same issues today, in fact at a larger scale. Back then, the main force behind this move was the government, whereas nowadays, our general public races to embrace censorship in an effort to not be challenged in their ideas, beliefs, or practices which is simply ridiculous.

    All in all, this subject is much bigger than Play-Asia, Dead or Alive, or really even Video Games for that matter. It is a byproduct of the rampant narcissism that pervades our modern society, in which ideas, projects, beliefs, etc. are not evaluated on their value or character, but on their possibility to hurt someone’s feelings. Whether we like it or not, we are generally made better as human beings when our convictions are challenged and we take the time to evaluate said convictions correctly.

    Thank you all for another excellent podcast, looking forward to the next episode.

  5. @Lane:
    nor am I all that interested in feminism or intersectionality outside of the academic context (because really, the blogs and twitters of undergrads or less-than-undergrads? I have neither the time nor the inclination to care what they’ve written!)
    This is absolutely correct conduct, of course. However, the problem is that people who have the power to shape the decisions of the industry do make the mistake of listening to these mendacious buggers. Whereupon we must step in and remind them, perhaps constantly, that the ravings of a bunch of idiots on the internet, even vociferously, even simultaneously, does not necessarily represent the attitudes or beliefs of the culture from which they speak. The sound and fury they generate is a tale told by an idiot, signifying nothing–but it is very loud, and some people mistake loudness for broad consensus, especially when it goes unchallenged in a visible way.

    we mistake tweeting some hashtags or sharing a Facebook status with meaningful political engagement, because that’s easier than truly giving a damn and working to effect some sort of change
    This is a point that I hammer home in my classes, and one of the reasons that I am glad to be a university professor: I can actually effect a real change and, more to the point, can teach my students to tell the difference between real change and feel-good twaddle in the guise of action (i.e. SLOTH).

    So while the Internet may have made everyone more vocal, we sure seem to say a lot less.
    A gentle correction: the internet has given many people the ability to publish widely their uninformed and unthought ramblings where before these things were more difficult. But we (taken here to mean people like us) still say just as much. It is not so much saying less, as the ratio between useful and useless (or meaningful and meaningless) discourse being entirely skewed in favour of piffle over pith. In fact, I expect there is more thoughtful stuff being written than ever before, but it is being absolutely drowned in verbilge.

    * * *

    @ST: It is a byproduct of the rampant narcissism that pervades our modern society, in which ideas, projects, beliefs, etc. are not evaluated on their value or character, but on their possibility to hurt someone’s feelings.
    Certes, ’tis so. Western culture, having decided that reaching objective reality is impossible, has somehow made the illogical leap to the belief that we should not bother trying so to do. Consequently, another non-sequitur is offered: that there is no objective reality, or Truth, for that matter. And that, consequently, everyone’s beliefs, however absurd or in clear defiance of reality they be, are nevertheless equally valuable.

    Until someone disagrees with one, at which point the speaker of this CRASS disagreement, who has been so thoroughly vile as to offer up some alternative viewpoint, must be silenced, censored, and destroyed.

    Whether we like it or not, we are generally made better as human beings when our convictions are challenged and we take the time to evaluate said convictions correctly.
    Socrates said that the unquestioned life is not worth living. He was exactly right. Think about that!

  6. Real talk time: this seems like a attempt by Play Asia to capitalize on sociopolitical views of certain gamers to get them to buy a product because they’re “sticking it to the man

    LOL – of course that’s what they’re doing! Play-Asia is a business, not a pro-gamer advocacy group, so of course they’re leveraging gamer sentiments to gild their bottom-line – but that’s kind of the point. If you pander to SJWs and victim-narratives you might hit it big on Patreon, but these people don’t buy games for shit.

    After Play-Asia did their thing Rice Digital tried their hand at pandering to anti-gamers on Twitter and got like ten extra followers. It’s not really a vital market.

    Companies exploiting the values of gamers is a good thing if it means gamers getting more of what they value.

    Personally, I tend to take a dim view of…

    One might almost say you’re OUTRAGED! ^_^

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