With the†recent removal of the 'offensive images' from The Stanley Parable now is a more important time than ever talk about censorship and it's relation to what can be colloquially called the 'artists vision'.
When an artist makes anything you can be assured that a monumental amount of time and effort went into the process. While, we may often just see the finished product, we don't see the days, months and sometimes years that are poured into the mould of the finished product that we all enjoy. As gamers we may argue over many things but, I think that we can all agree that when artists get to work, they know the best ways to communicate their vision.
Unfortunately, some other elements in society do not agree with this philosophy of leaving the artists alone. These other people seem to think that they can criticise, slander and intimidate the developers into censoring themselves. Using surreptitious methods they form campaigns to bully others into conforming to their own agenda and by shouting loud this vocal minority believe that changing the artists vision will make the game better. They honestly believe that censoring artists, by forcing them to change their creative works, it will improve the art. Honestly, I have no words to describe the foolishness of those that believe self-censorship could ever make a game better.
It's often a thing here at Destructoid to criticise decisions that artists make. To say how things should have been done differently and what didn't live up to their expectations. But, do we really have any right to do this?
Even when a game developer makes a decision that we don't like we should still respect their right to make that decision. After all, they are the artists, they make the game and the game is the art. So, was it really right for all those people to question how Bioware ended Mass Effect 3? No, it clearly wasn't right. When you go to a forum and start shouting about how an ending was rubbish, how the ending should be different and then forming a campaign to bully a developer into changing their works, are you not just intimidating them to change their vision. Sadly, Bioware caved to this pressure and remade the ending to appease the angry mob but other developers have stood strong to keep their vision pure.
What's obvious is that we have no right to say how things should be different. An artists vision is sacred and those who form boycotts, harass developers and use other methods to manipulate a developer are our enemy. The purity of the artistic vision should remain sacrosanct. To say otherwise is censorship.