German Blogger, writing the series "The worst thing about censorship is ███████ " (go check it out!) since I like to write about that topic and am invested in it a whole lot. Also writes some other stuff sometimes. Likes to listen to very strange bands and has the ultimate goal in life to taste every soft drink there is at least once.
Pure Gonzo - and while I thank god for Jim Sterling sometimes, I thank god for Hunter S. Thompson every day.
I'm a bastard. Don't trust me. Always keep asking, don let yourself get fed bullshit - not even by me.
I like good games. Yes, that's quite general, but I don't really like confining myself to certain genres. I like interesting approaches, invention and creativity. But I can enjoy a straight-up shooter as much as a "Bastion". It just has to be done well and appeal to me on some level.
Want to know anything else? Just leave a comment under a blog or write a message. Same goes for corrections (please), as English isn't my native language and thus isn't nearly perfect.
Salida dear readers,
my name is Jim aka "OpiumHerz" and as some of you may already guess by that nickname: I am german. With the blog series "The worst thing about censorship is ███████ " I want to simply give you a little insight in videogame censorship, which is still pretty much alive and kicking here in Germany (but I won't restrict myself to Germany exclusively). I started this blog in 2013 and consider this series to be now in Season 2. Fuck yeah! After getting frontpage-famous I'll continue to take stuff from my colleagues at Schnittberichte and recycle that stuff for your enjoyment.
This episode is about: South Park - The Stick Of Truth
okay. We all knew SPTOT wouldn't make it uncensored to these shores. It made the news with infamous anal probe and abortion sequences. But before we get to the juicy details, let's get to the foreplay. Early the screens for the censored EU and australian versions made their rounds in the internet. Even Destructoid posted them. For those who haven't seen them yet, here is the EU screen:
And the Australia one:
So far it's not really clear how and where which versions were censored, so I'll focus on the PC version here. So far IT SEEMS that only the US version is uncensored and every other version is somehow censored. Before we get to the actual censorship, let's talk however about the anal probe and abortion scene. Because the thing is... they're not that much of a big deal. Really, you see far worse and more offensive things throughout the game and in other things. The anal probe is a little mini game where Randy gets probed. And really, this is as graphic as it gets:
The probe then goes in and works around in him, but you see it all from this perspective. The fact that your own character, a child, gets a probe up his ass should be considered far more offensive. But then again: that scene might be censored as well. We don't know yet.
The abortion scene is also pretty tame, all things considered. You perform it to convince FBI agents that you're not Zombies, so Randy dresses up as a woman and you are dressed up as a doctor. To prove you're a real doctor you perform an abortion. And again, it's pretty tame:
You have to give Randy a shot, then use a little metal spreader and then what is practically a vacuum cleaner on him. And really, the controls in this scene were far worse than the scene itself. The worst thing that can happen is that you rip off Randy testicle by accident. Blood splatters, you see it pulled through vacuum, game over, try again. But since he is a man there is of course no little fetus to abort. Just look those scene up on YouTube, they're really not all that wild and that those two scene of all things in the game are considered oh so offensive is kinda funny. Especially when you consider that this is the game where a child climbs up someone's asshole and you smash little Nazi fetuses.
As a last note: Matt Stone himself adressed the censorship, saying that they aren't that wild. To be fair, he says he wanted to be open with it instead of not telling anyone and fool people into buying a censored version. This attitude is good. The "it's not that wild" attitude is something however he can shove up his ass. Because, you see, it's REALLY easy to talk about how that is not so wild, when you never get the short end of the stick. Matt Stone can eat a bowl of hot, fresh dicks for this. Lest we forget that this is a game for adults and it STILL gets censored. Not only that, but reports popped up that you couldn't use an uncensored version in Germany.
- some reports said there is no way you could even active the US version.
- some people said you could active the US version using a VPN/proxy, but couldn't play it afterwards.
- some people stated you were able to active the US version and play it as long as you have your VPN activated.
Long story short: too many unknowns here and as long as that goes, I won't spend a single penny on this. Funfact: the german, censored version was even pushed back for WEEKS because they, accidently, delivered an uncensored version and noticed this days before the release. So, of course, they called all the shipped versions back.
Sooo, on to the german PC version now. That one is rated 18+. First things first: the anal probe and abortion scene are in this. Every censorship in this version was related to Nazi stuff. We remember: Nazis are bad, mkay?
So first they removed the speech samples from the Nazi zombies. Every nazi-zombified enemy in the game is using samples of Hitler speeches. Most of them aren't even that bad and against all expectation I never came across a "Wollt ihr den totalen Krieg?" sample. But instead of just removing the "Sieg Heil!" sample, they exchanged them all. If this would haven been necessary is very debateable.
Besides that they removed all the Nazi symbols. That means the Swastikas are gone and even the outstretched arms are gone. And they went all out with this. I would have never thought to see those classical black bars again. But oh boy... they are back.
This is back to the beginning of the 90s. This is Indiana Jones & The Fate Of Atlantis level of censoring. And while it's great that they didn't censor anything beyond that we shouldn't forget that the Nazi zombies make up almost all of the enemies. They even put black bars over a cow's outstretched leg! So for most of the game we get to see black bars on the screen.
Now I'm really curious for the console version. That one got rated 16+ in Germany, so it's pretty sure to say that it's censored in aspects of violence. How far those censorships will go? Only time will tell.