News: Nintendo Caught amid Treehouse Child Porn Scandal

Do NoA even vet their employees?

It is mind-boggling to see people who are open pedophilia advocates working for such a child-friendly company as Nintendo.

Nintendo’s Poison Tree

In the wake of the horrible perversion that is Fire Emblem Fates‘ American localisation, there was a bit of minor controversy this week when it was found that one of the Treehouse employees responsible for the game’s localisation, was directly paying money into the Patreon of the internet’s least convincing transvestite, Andrea Ritsu. For those who do not recall [which should be most anyone] Andrea Ritsu was the man who lied about players being able to drug and rape the character of Soleil. This lie then caused a wave of hysteria among hipster game ‘journalists’, which they used to cudgel the game and Nintendo – arguably preparing the optimal conditions for the localisation travesty which was to follow. That Nich Maragos, the employee in question, would be directly paying money to this awful person who was actively attempting to undermine his first treehouse project frankly speaks volumes about the attitude he adopted while translating the game’s dialogue. One says ‘translate’, but really Fire Emblem Fates has never been translated, unless one counts the Japanese version’s fan made English patch – which really is the way to play the game.

The Maragos affair was nothing compared to what was to follow however. Later in the week it came to light that Alison Rapp, a Treehouse employee that this blog mentioned some weeks back, was in fact a strong advocate for the decriminalisation of child pornography. Just how somebody who openly advocates for legalising child pornography could get past Nintendo’s vetting process is anyone’s guess. Hell, does Nintendo even have a vetting process? Does NoA even have any oversight over what goes on in Treehouse? Perhaps when Ken McCulloch gets out of prison he can go work for Nintendo Treehouse? Perhaps Denis Dyack can join him?

Whatever the case, the child-friendly company of Nintendo now has somebody working for them who is very happy to openly champion pedophilic causes – and this is not just a recent affectation. Alison Rapp’s interest in supporting child pornography stretches at least as far back as 2011 with her paper Speech We Hate, which can be read in full here. In it Rapp asserts that pedophilia is not a dangerous condition, while the paper attempts to make the case that the international community pressuring Japan to criminalise child pornography equates to cultural imperialism. It also attempts to argue that there is no causal relationship between the consumption of child pornography and the sexual abuse of children, despite the production of RL child pornograpy requiring victims.

To Rapp the responsibility for the children victimised during the creation of child pornography extends no further than the people who physically produce and distribute the material, and since Japan has criminalised its production then that is as far as they should be expected to go. And of course with strictly only the producers of child pornograpy being held culpable, Rapp asserts that there is absolutely no correlation between the consumption of child pornography and the sexual abuse of children, when in fact it is the sick appetites of child porn consumers which creates demand for this abuse in the first place.

Finally, Alison Rapp argues that the censorship or banning of child pornography is the same thing as criminalising thought, which she thinks is unbecoming of countries such as the US and Japan which have constitutional free speech provisions. Rapp concludes that countries are wasting their time by attempting to outlaw child pornography, and that a better way to prevent children from being sexually exploited is to improve healthcare, the education system, and other such things that liberal regressives like. She states that she supports decriminalising the consumption of child pornography, rather than the production and distribution thereof – but to support the consumption of child pornography is to support its production and distribution, and to say otherwise is a nonsense.

At this point one wishes to make one thing very clear, as there has been a tremendous amount of disinformation spread by shills, sycophants, and fanboys online ever since this scandal broke. Alison Rapp is absolutely talking about possession and consumption of child pornography as a whole – and she takes no pains at all to hide this. Many awful people have attempted to play this off as Rapp merely supporting the consumption of child pornography manga, which is demonstrably false for anyone who actually bothers to read her comprehensively shabby article. She is talking about child pornography as a whole, and in the few instances where she wishes to equivocate she specifically mentions that she is talking about 2D rather than 3D. Nice try, shills!

One actually had a number of Rapp’s tweets saved for the purpose of this post, but after getting stuck into her article they hardly seemed necessary. There is no claiming that character limits are to blame for loss of nuance when dealing with a journal article, and after reading it in its dreadful entirety one can only conclude that Alison Rapp’s support for the consumption of child pornography is absolutely unequivocal – or at least that was the case back in 2011. If she feels any differently today then she has yet to indicate a change of heart. At any rate, this is the type of person that child-friendly Nintendo is happy to have acting as their public face at numerous events and trade shows. Some might suggest they clean house, though as one has previously indicated Nintendo would be better served by burning the fucking thing down. Treehouse has gone off the rails.

A Machine for Pigs will make you wish you had Amnesia!

The Chinese Room were given a fantastic opportunity and they squandered it…

The Chinese Room Spills Their Spaghetti

What do consumers owe development studios? The answer to that question is absolutely nothing at all. It is not the duty of gamers to throw their money at studios, irrespective of how hard they work on a game, if they do not first find that game to look appealing and worth the asking price. It is the task of game developers to create something that looks enjoyable, and to price it accordingly. A gamer will tend to look at the price of a game and then compare that game’s quality and content with other games of that price, and then decide whether or not the game is worth the money on that basis. And that is precisely as it should be. It is understandable that a studio would think of their game as being their baby, but consumers are pretty obviously not going to feel this way, and will walk on by if an experience does not seem worth the asking price.

Sometimes studios have a difficult time taking ‘no’ as an answer however, as just this week two independent studios made the news by complaining about gamers not wanting to purchase their games at full price. The situation occurred on the Steam forums for Brigador when a consumer voiced the opinion that the game would be so much more attractive as a $15 game as opposed to a $20 game. The game in question is an isometric mech shooter that is still in early access, meaning that it lacks the full polish and content of a finished game – and so even $15 seems over-generous. At this point Hugh Monahan, the founder of Stellar Jockeys, stepped in to complain about and guilt trip this individual for suggesting the game should be priced a little lower – going so far as to compare its price to a series of unrelated things such as a pair of Calvin Klein underwear and even a Nickelback poster. Monahan wins points for at least making the post fairly humourous, yet his attempting to shame someone for not wishing to buy an unfinished game for $20 really is a bit much. Different games are worth more or less to different people, and so Stellar Jockeys are certainly not obliged to sell their game for less than $20, as there may be many people who are perfectly willing to spend the money on an isometric mech game. That said, it is perfectly reasonable for a consumer to suggest that $20 for an unfinished game is a little on the expensive side – the studio is then free to disregard feedback as they see fit. What is not OK is for that studio to then turn around and browbeat that consumer for not wishing to purchase the game on the studio’s preferred terms.

All in all though, this one somewhat humourous forum post made by a small-time developer was not really all that offensive or noteworthy. What elevated this situation to a state of hilarity was when The Chinese Room then picked up this ball and ran with it on Twitter:

Apart from the depressing fact that this is still having to be spelled out, this is really well put.

Still find it gobsmacking the idea that media should somehow be free, or dirt cheap. If we don’t value it, it turns to shit or vanishes.

I’m pretty sure that anyone arguing for games being cheap or at least always worth less than is being asked for can’t all be volunteers…

Keep waiting until it’s on sale before you buy it and eventually no-ones gonna be making it anymore. It’s not rocket science.

You’ve got to be relatively smart to make a game. A sucker for punishment maybe, but a smart sucker

The only winners in a price race to the bottom are the big companies that can loss-lead to drive competition out of the market.

All this over someone suggesting that $5 should be bumped off of the price of an unfinished game. For Lusipurr.com readers not familiar with the illustrious career of The Chinese Room [which I hope would be all of you], the studio made their debut with the overhyped and pretentious walking simulator, Dear Esther. They next made their mark on the gaming world by ruining the Amnesia franchise by turning it into a walking simulator with A Machine for Pigs. Most recently they have developed what looks to be the most boring walking simulator ever devised with Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, which could probably be more aptly termed a walking through treacle simulator. If waiting for their non-games to go on sale before purchasing them was all it took for The Chinese Room to cease producing them, then one would heartily encourage it! In the case of Brigador one at least felt some empathy for their wrong-headed position, given that the game was self-financed and actually looked pretty interesting. Being a small indy company designing an ambitious game cannot be the easiest thing in the world – it is when one looks beyond that to the entitled moaning of The Chinese Room that the schadenfreude is truly possible to be savoured though. The Chinese Room do not make games, they only produce smug pretension along with piles and piles of graphics. Gamers are not wrong to avoid them.

I kind of feel bad for Phil Spencer at how shitty his exclusives are.

Xbone got no game!

Xbone Cannot Hold on to Its Exclusives: NIS Edition

Zombi U may have raised eyebrows, but there has never been a console exclusive more truly baffling than Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness on the Xbone. The game is based on a very popular anime comprised of two series, a manga, and a 2015 feature length movie, but the Xbone only ever stood to sell a handful of units in Japan. How was Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness ever going to sell? Even if it sold two copies for every one Xbone sold in Japan, that is still only like eight copies of the game… Did 5pb and Microsoft think there was a particularly big audience for sci-fi visual novels among US servicemen stationed in Okinawa? Whatever the case one has the sneaking suspicion that the title bombed pretty hard upon release in May of 2015.

Needless to say it was not long before the existence of PS4 and Vita versions were announced in December of 2015, for a Spring 2016 release. Now just this week NISA has announced that they will be localising Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness for Western release in the Fall. There even seems to be a Steam PC version in the offing, though it is unknown whether this version will be released along-side the Playstation versions of the game. The one version of the game which remains conspicuously absent however, is the Xbone version – which will not be getting a Western release. The Xbone cannot hold on to its exclusives. The Xbone got no game! This is perhaps something to remember in light of the forthcoming Xbone exclusive, Raiden V. One intends to hold out for the PS4 version!

... Which is pretty much the synopsis for the first episode of Psycho-Pass.

It is loli Inspector’s duty to get in the way of the Enforcers doing their jobs…

Belated Anime Spotlight: Psycho Pass

Given the forthcoming release of Psycho Pass: Mandatory Happiness, one figured that there was no time like the present to look in on the 2012 series which spawned it to see what all the fuss is about. The initial three episodes are certainly enough to pique one’s interest, though their strength is definitely in establishing an interesting premise and entertaining with some slickly produced animation – as the series is not as immediately engaging as something like Dimension W, which tries a bit harder to have fun. That said, the intriguing premise does make up for this somewhat, as the cracks in Psycho-Pass‘ distopian utopia of a setting are immediately evident from the first episode onward.

It is the year 2113 and almost all crime has been eliminated thanks to the Sibyl System, which is able to scan people’s brains in order to detect any latent criminal urges – these brain scans are referred to as a person’s ‘psycho-pass’. If a person’s psycho-pass reaches a certain threshold they will be incarcerated until such a time as they can lower it with therapy [which is not possible in all cases]. If a person’s psycho-pass becomes too high however, then Sibyl will simply instruct Investigators and their Enforcers to execute them – which tends to result in a satisfyingly bloody display. Enforcers are individuals who Sibyl has deemed to be latent criminals due to their high psycho-pass, yet they have managed to retain a degree of freedom on account of their usefulness in tracking down and apprehending other latent criminals – meanwhile it is the task of Investigators to assume control over the Enforcers. Many of the Enforcers happen to be former Investigators who ended up being classified as latent criminals because of stress and trauma associated with their jobs.

On top of all this there is the pervading suggestion that the Sibyl System is not as immune to external manipulation as things may initially appear. There is certainly plenty of latitude for the world that is being established to implode at a moment’s notice, which is pretty much what one would expect given the premise. As to whether the show is worth a recommendation, that will really depend on whether the intricacy of the initial premise is able to pay off further down the line, as the characters alone are not sufficient to sell it. That said, the chances of a payoff are good, given the success of the series in Japan. Both seasons of Psycho-Pass are available for streaming at Funimation, and it does have a reasonably solid dub available.

26 comments on “News: Nintendo Caught amid Treehouse Child Porn Scandal”

  1. Nintendo of America and particularly their little Treehouse are beyond contempt. As I’ve said before, I no longer do business with this company. And unless they make some serious changes in the way they do business, I don’t see that changing. I’ve nothing but contempt for this company at present.

  2. Had I known that all those years being a little kid playing Nintendo that I was their /type/ then I might have been more excited.

    Joking aside I honestly just… I don’t…. what? Like as contemptible as Alison Rapp is (I read her twitter- I KNOW how bad she is.) I didn’t expect this to be a thing. If any more scandalous links appear to the Treehouse I honestly agree with this idea: Chop the Treehouse down burn it and piss on the ashes.

    I am even going to give FE Fates the benefit of the doubt and look at the game for myself to see JUST how bad it is. To see just how much I miss or want those features and conversations. To hear the voice acting and decide if it’s as stunted as believed and after that I will not be buying anymore localizations under Treehouse’s guiding hand.

    I bet they are the same people responsible for Linkle aren’t they? We had ZELDA you morons. We didn’t NEED a female Link. You morons.

  3. Wolfe said it best: Treehouse is beyond contempt; and this derives precisely from and in mutual relation to their contempt for gamers.

  4. Rwwwwr.. Rwwwwwar.. Raaaaaawwwwr!

    ^ That’s dragon for “I’m a massive faggot who came here to shill Nintendo“.

  5. “Stealth” Quote:
    Oh wow, all these gamer gate pieces of trash in one place.

    “Stealth” you win the internet. Tell him what he’s won bob. What’s that? Nothing? He doesn’t understand what criticism is? He is a loser at life? If you want to troll Gamer Gate go to twitter where ideas go to die.

    Seriously though, you are the kind of person that most reasonable people should ignore, ridicule, and laugh at. The reasons being are that you think that just by writing an entire group off as a group you don’t like without any evidence at all this means you are absolved of responsibility of investigating. It’s easier for you to just ignore anything anyone says by saying “Lol Gamergate”. I don’t take part in the Hashtag movement and I can’t speak for the author of this article but I don’t really think it matters. Did you even READ the PDF that was linked that shows word for word evidence of what he said about this group? No? Because you are too hardheaded to investigate and change your mind about things? Good- we can ignore you now.

    TL;DR: Carry on everyone the troll has been vanquished.

  6. Some weak shit you got there, Stealth. C’mon fucker. You can do better.

  7. Laughing out loud! Mr Stealth brought some weak-ass shill game! ^_^

  8. Oh god, that dude follows patricia hernandez, stephen totilo and jason schreirer. That can only mean one thing, HE VISITS KOTAKU . That’s just dumb

  9. Who starts a conversation by calling everyone “trash”? I have enough of a problem with rampant, ego-centric, irrational negativity outside in the city; please don’t start it here.

    See, they just ruined what could have been a perfectly reasonable conversation about how a person who is involved professionally with games we may care about is supportive of something we could all be agreeing in perfect harmony is grossly reprehensible. Or even the other news. Instead, a troll did their duty for the team and tried to derail. Not that it made a whit of difference.

    You know that feeling when you’re driving perfectly fine and someone next to you flicks you off for no reason? And then you have to spend time trying to figure out why, when really they just want to spread negativity, trying to make themselves feel up by putting you down. Waste of time, nincom-fuckin-poop.

  10. Good. It’s well-written, sticks to the facts and demonstrates precisely why there’s so much outrage.

  11. Two things: there is no need to argue for the “legalization” of fictional child erotic material, at least in the United States, as the Ashcroft case has already decided it is constitutionally protected, if extremely cringey (NB: this obviously also includes novels like Nabokov’s “Lolita,” in which case, if someone identifies with Humbert and finds him sympathetic, that person is a monster).

    Second, there is no evidence consumption of child porn has any effect on rates of child molestation, any more than consumption of adult porn decreases or increases a person’s sex drive.

    And a third thing, as someone who has both prosecuted and defended individuals charged with possession of such material, to have seen it and argue for it’s normalization deserves scorn and perhaps a visit from friendly Mr. DHS.

  12. Evidence and logic doesn’t play very well with the SJW wheelhouse though. You can’t explain to somebody that completely fictional concepts, events, characters, and stories should be protected to somebody that thinks that everything you consume changes you and your views. They think that you have to point out racism, sexism, etc wherever it’s found and stop it even when it’s fiction.

    You might even think it’s a contradiction to support legalizing Child Porn but maybe as an SJW it’s fine to help out and support child pornography because of the poor marginalized pederasts have been oppressed by the Patriarchy.

    Anything can make sense when you think of things in terms of SJW thoughts. It doesn’t matter if something contradicts your values as long as the person doing it can be considered somehow oppressed or that they happen to have more melanin in their skin.

    Personally I think as long as it stays fiction I don’t mind. Thus why I find it funny that Fire Emblem was censored and when one of the people in charge of that censorship is in favor of real life harm to kids for the poor oppressed pederast.

    Side note: I am a gay man that enjoys furry art but more than that I like my fiction the way the creators intended it. I want the ‘gay conversion’ scenes and my ‘tickle me comrade’ mini games back goddammit. It’s OK to include content that some viewers might find offensive- let them be offended. Offense isn’t given it’s taken. Like thieves these perpetually offended take offense at anything and everything without so much as a look into the context.

    Anyway sorry for the long replies I just enjoy sharing my thoughts in long form.

  13. As probably the leftmost person here (and therefore the closest to the dreaded “SJW,” if such a creature exists outside of parody/self-parody), pedophiles and child molesters aren’t “oppressed” or “marginalized.” That would imply their practice of their behavior isn’t inherently bad, which it is. Comparisons of pedophiles to gender and sexual minorities (which are made, believe me) are especially spurious because the very act of of pedophilic or hebephilic attraction implies non-consent, i.e., rape.

    I don’t know what this kerfuffle about the new Fire Emblem game is about (as I think the series went majorly off the rails a few releases back and is now a dating sim/bad anime with occasional tactical battles), but cringe-worthy Japanese minigames are not the equivalent to child porn (whether virtual or real).

    I’m telling you, the genuine article in this case is disturbing in so many ways, that anyone thinking to defend it or those who consume it as some part of a misguided attempt to stick up for the downtrodden have clearly backed the wrong horse (and I say this as an attorney who has represented people facing these charges; there’s a difference between presenting a legal defense and arguing that they did nothing wrong).

    There are plenty of actual marginalized groups if you feel you must fight for a cause; pedophiles and child molestors are the *oppressors* in this situation, and children are their victims (and I include here non-offending pedophiles because, while a very few have managed to go their entire lives without offending, that number is dramatically small, with most engaging in some degree of predatory behaviors, e.g., grooming or illicit contact with minors online).

  14. I consider myself Liberal. I am very left leaning but that’s the problem. The left needs to clean house. You would be surprised how often there are people that claim to speak for the oppressed only to walk the authoritarian Marxist road including Alison Rapp. Read her twitter for long enough and you’ll retch at her holier than thou attitude.

  15. I absolutely will not read anyone’s Twitter.

    Look, the Internet has brought us many wonderful things, but it’s also acted as a megaphone for idiots, who congregate with other like-minded idiots, and create a soup of idiots. And these idiots (many times) come from people who have, for better or worse, been subject to ridicule and marginalization for their views (e.g., nerds and geeks). There’s an almost instinctive intent to “circle the wagons” whenever an outsider critiques a member of the “in-group.”

    The “left” (not being a monolithic entity) no more needs to clean house than the “right” (which nominally includes fascists, etc.) needs to clean house. Holding leftists responsible for Stalinists is as silly as holding right-wingers responsible for Hitler and neonazis. The less-extreme middles bear no responsibility to silence the more extreme ends. If this Rapp person is as big a numpty as you say, then boo to her, I say. I ain’t sticking my neck out for her, even if she and I are both Marxists (which I am). You know who else was a Marxist? Lenin. Also Mao. But my Marxist theory isn’t Leninism or Maoism. Marxism, like any political idea, is a big tent, and no one is at the gates enforcing ideological adherence, so any lunatic who wants to be a Marxist gets to join up and start saying ignorant shit all over Twitspaces or Faceybooks or whatever young millenial bucks are shitting up my bandwidth with today.

    But I give it the same amount of credence I give UFO websites, the TimeCube guy, people who think anime or Harry Potter or the Matrix are real, or the rants of white supremacist bloggers who are scared black dudes are going to fuck their nonexistent girlfriends. They’re all *loons*, and the second we start making reasonable people have to apologize for every loon out there that might superficially agree with us, we’ll all be stuck apologizing until the comet Gochihr strikes the earth and ends our pathetic existence in seas of boiling metal.

  16. Did any of that have a point other than to label yourself a Marxist?

    Throwing your hands in the air and just pretending that there isn’t an issue doesn’t make the issue go away. That “Megaphone” is being held by more and more people. It’s not a few loud voices anymore. How do you think these people get to be so huge, do you really think that there are THAT many trolls?

    Also can we stay on topic here?

    Alison Rapp is a terrible person. I have seen it myself that’s my opinion can’t take it away. This was just an added case of C4 that blew my mind and made me double take because I couldn’t believe it until I saw the document myself.

    Alison Rapp is an SJW and a member of Treehouse a group of Nintendo Employees that were recently responsible for Fire Emblem Fates Localization. This resulted in much of the game being cut for no other reason than the staff didn’t like it never mind what the development team wanted included.

    Did I make any mistakes SiliconNooB?

  17. I bet it is for cowardly people hiding behind a computer screen, tis the only way you can take charge of anything right?

    These people have the self-awareness of gnats. Is there anything more dazzlingly stupid than for one anonymous person on the internet to accuse another anonymous person on the internet of hiding behind a computer? All the lazy clod would have to do is Google the text in my screen capture in order for him to gain access to a photo of me and my D.O.B., and getting my name from there probably wouldn’t be much more difficult. Doubt he has the mental bandwidth to think of that by himself though.

  18. Alison Rapp is an SJW and a member of Treehouse a group of Nintendo Employees that were recently responsible for Fire Emblem Fates Localization. This resulted in much of the game being cut for no other reason than the staff didn’t like it never mind what the development team wanted included.

    Did I make any mistakes SiliconNooB?

    Everything you say is 100% factually correct, though there is a little extra that can be added. This is the fourth game on the trot that NoA [Treehouse] have butchered. They butchered Fatal Frame V and Xenoblade Chronicles X by removing content. They butchered the most recent handheld Zelda by filling it with internet memes. And now they have butchered Fire Emblem Fates by both cutting content AND filling it with internet memes. The result is basically what you’d get if Working Designs weren’t funny or good at writing dialogue – that is to say a translation which isn’t at all faithful to the original work, while at the same time emitting a pungent air of self-satisfaction at how clever it is [when actually it is neither funny nor clever].

    The case of Zelda is particularly funny, as NoE obviously felt that the NoA translation was so cringe that they opted to completely retranslate the English dialogue to have it read normally.

  19. Ah, sort-of related, sort-of besides the point, I have been playing Fire Emblem Fates and, especially compared to Awakening, it is really obvious that Treehouse’s idea of localization goes far beyond translation and up its own arsehole. That is to say, they made the translation for themselves more than for fans of Japanese RPGs. SN’s last comment on NoE vs. NoA’s Zelda translation really hits the mark.

  20. @Lane: “I absolutely will not read anyone’s Twitter.”

    I laughed uproariously at this for a good long while. It made my morning.

    Also,

    They’re all *loons*, and the second we start making reasonable people have to apologize for every loon out there that might superficially agree with us, we’ll all be stuck apologizing until the comet Gochihr strikes the earth and ends our pathetic existence in seas of boiling metal.

    This. Forever.

  21. Lane making a really great point, there is no need to give idiots (or loons, use your favorite word) too much attention as there is no need to take them serious as they were reasonable people.

    Also, I agree with Lusi.

    Great article :D

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