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.
Even though I wrote something for the Friday Night Fights multiple times the gaming sessions never happened so far. Mostly due to time zone differences. When I say I play all night I play through the german night. But most of the users here are in the US, which means are they are 7 or more hours in the past. Or was it 9? I don't even know.
So I'll try it this way. Because my schedule has to line up with somebody on here. Basically this is what people did before this fancy internet thingie: arrange a gaming session with a fixed time and date. Also a list of the games I'd be willing to play. Let's see if this can get off the ground. I'd love to actually find a group of regulars for regular gaming sessions that aren't necessarily bound to a weekend or anything.
My schedule: basically from 5pm/17:00 to 10pm/22:00 on weekdays. As for weekends... I simply have to see. If you are free on a weekend just ask.
For time references: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/ The Berlin time is my time, so you can gauge then "when" according to your schedule.
Games I want to play: I won't put them in a real specific order. Basically I'm willing to play all of these since pretty much every game gets good when you trashtalk via Skype. So I'll write them down the way they pop into my head. All games are for PC!
Left 4 Dead 2
Rock Of Ages
Typing of the Dead: Overkill
Beat Hazard (we'd have to agree upon songs here, but that should be managable)
Binary Domain coop (expect me shitfaced for this one)
Team Fortress 2
FEAR 3 coop
Kane & Lynch 2 coop (yes, I like that game!)
Payday 2 (maybe - haven't been into this one for quite some time)
Serious Sam First/Second Encounter (normal version or HD, I have both)
Torchlight II (but only if you're not one of those hardcore "rush through story, only pick up purple loot fuck you you're holding me back" players - I play dungeon crawlers in a rather casual manner)
So: if you're up for any of those games, hit me up. I'm pretty much always up for some coop gaming as it's the most enjoyable form of gaming for me, so I'll go some lengths to make it happen if need be. Just don't expect me to stay awake till midnight on weekdays or invest 60€ for a new game right away.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I love shooters. I enjoy it tremendously to pump bullets into someones face until it isn’t someone’s face anymore. And while I consider myself a person who can enjoy any kind of game if it’s well enough done and executed, I particularly enjoyed first person shooters the most for some reason. Maybe it’s because I’m german. And now along comes Titanfall.
Before I start getting to the point I want to make one thing clear: Titanfall is by no means a perfect game. Especially seeing how this was done by the guys who made Modern Warfare 1 + 2, games I solely played for the singleplayer experience, the campaign was embarrassing to say the least. And there are quite some other problems the game has. But the point I want to get it is that this game might be what we needed – a step in a new direction.
If you played any shooters in the last few years you’ll find your bearings pretty quickly. That’s because it’s controlled like those shooters and takes many of the conventions they brought and just runs with them. However it also does things slightly different and quite a lot of them. Instead of going into big battles you’re fighting 6 on 6 with AI companions running across the map. When you get into your Titan it feels like you’re playing a totally different character. And the agility you have is absolutely wonderful. You run across walls, jump on rooftops, onto an enemy Titan, shoot a whole magazine into it’s energy core to support your own guys fighting and jump off again before it explodes – all within the timeframe of 15 seconds. You really have to experience it a bit to fully understand it.
And still it does a lot of familiar things. You can, technically, play it like any other CoD game or other regular run of the mill shooter. And this is the point. It brings enough familiar stuff into play to attract those who enjoyed the big mainstream titles of the last few years and yet does enough new things to also attract those who look for something else. Titanfall doesn’t revolutionize the genre, by no means. But when was the last time a big title actually dared to mix things up? Especially when it comes to the base of things, big titles play it safe these days. Risks are taken by the indies, let those with no money put it all on black and see failure as a reason to make another game of an established series. That is the reason why I would consider Titanfall something quite important. It eases those who might not be as open minded to something new into something new - without even telling them. Sure, it’s still a pretty “normal” shooter, but hey guys: small steps, okay? And what I see here is the first step into a great direction. We can assume Titanfall will become a success and maybe, just MAYBE, other big devs will see that as a sign to change things up. New franchises, changes in gameplay, dare to be different for once – even if it’s just little things. I won’t accuse them for starting with small steps. And of course even with those small steps your execution can fail (as we have also seen with Titanfall). This game might exactly be what we needed – at least if we want to break out of the cycle of eternal repetition. Here’s hoping that other devs and publishers will actually pick this up and keep rolling with it, instead of shitting out the next samey title.
Some fresh wind will do us good. We need fresh air to survive. And you can love it, or you can hate it, or you can be totally sick of hearing about it… but nobody can really deny that Titanfall is at least a little breeze in that regard.
I know I won't make many friends with this statement right away, but: I just loved the works of Jim Sterling. While I founds his reviews to be a bit strange sometimes (or rather: the conclusions he came to) I enjoyed his articles and especially his videoblog series, The Jimquisition, tremendously. I should maybe add that I'm a huge fan of the so called Gonzo Journalism, a style of journalism that is heavily influenced by the author's own experiences (basically it means cussing a lot about shit that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the topic at hand).
I mostly liked him for simply not giving a fuck and calling the big companies out on their shit. It is something that is done far too rarely in my opinion (and if it's done, it's far too soft). Sterling called out people on the shit they pulled and didn't even mind to get blacklisted. And while I understand this isn't a way everybody can work I still kinda feel everybody should try to work. Because they can't just go around and blacklist everybody.
Besides that, I also found his arguments to be pretty reasonable. He wasn't afraid to point out that you maybe shouldn't get all in arms over a simple joke or tell people that the "Boycott!" screaming is pretty stupid fucking bullshit most of the time. Especially when you play the product you cried "Boycott!" for afterwards. And all that while never dismissing a problem at hand, but rather looking at it with needed seriousness. He managed to put multiple points of view in one little video and present a reasonable path in the middle.
And then things changed...
I really don't know where exactly it happened, even after reading this interview here. Although I guess I first noticed it after his video about Sarkeesiangate. It's not that I had a problem with his opinion there nor the topic itself. In fact I even think that pretty much everything he said in that video was right. However there was one thing lacking here... and that was the other side of the coin. To be fair: back then there was no content to judge the work that would come out of "Tropes vs. women", but to this day he never spent one second to look at it critically, rather than using it in a defensive way even in his more recent videos. And that was just one of the things that kinda left a bad taste in my mouth. Especially since he was so eager to claim he wouldn't let things just go because they're one week old during the Aliens: Colonia Marines desaster.
Somehow the whole style changed. Instead of calling out companies or people who cry "Boycott!" and then play the game, he claimed that "There is something wrong with you" if you actually feel some kind of erotic feelings for the aesthetics of what Team Ninja produces. It can't possibly be that there is someone simply annoyed with certain topics (let's say... uhhhm... sexism, why not?) and doesn't want to hear about that one already beaten dead horse no more. No. Impossible. Clearly those people HAVE TO BE on the bad side of this whole thing, clearly they're aggressors and inhuman bastards. And it also can't be that people who do stuff like the "Sexism in Skyrim"-article he himself mentioned have somewhat flimsy arguments and get told off on that basis. No. And then there was the Phil Fish incident where he didn't even take into consideration for one fucking second that was pretty much an asshole all along. So much so that other indies dared to claim there would be no indie dev scene as it exists now, if everybody was a social cripple like Fish is. But naw, everybody else was an asshole, Fish just a poor victim.
It even went so far that I saw the need to call him out myself because he basically said that anyone who voted in a poll for a The Last Of Us cover where Ellie was edited out was a sexist.
Overall the tone changed. The atmosphere was a different one. It became oh so defensive, while still trying to call people and companies out. And you can't be defensive, so you might possibly no one offend anyone ever with anything you say, while doing so. The final straw was when he recently shot against the Early Access games on Steam. Games that are clearly marked as being incomplete. Games that when they're bought in this state, by consumers out of their free choice, are not done and buggy. Let that roll off your tongue: it's troubling that I, an adult, choose out of my own free will to support a dev by buying a game, that I know is incomplete and that I know it might take years to completion before I buy it. I saw this and all I could was shake my head. What happened? Where did the critic I once loved just go to?
Don't get me wrong here: it's normal to change certain views over time (and I wouldn't want to go into the whole personal accusations part, where assholes claimed "Oh, I bet if Jim doesn't join the Feminazis he will sleep on the couch - hohoho") through your own experiences, but turning into something you would have't rightfully ripped to shreds two years prior seems a bit... odd? I mean, the interview I linked above was based on an article where Jim was torn a new asshole just for making some jokes on the side - because somebody took them totally serious, while every thinking human being could see that it was joke and just that. And then, some time later, Jim basically buckles down to that person, remorseful, like a dog with the tail between his legs. What? The? Fuck? It was actually kinda scary for me to read this. It felt like a Stockholm Syndrome in progress right before my eyes. The same Jim Sterling who basically said we shouldn't blow little things out of proportion, especially when there is a real and bigger problem at hand, now basically excused himself for the fact that someone took a jokingly statement of him 100% serious and accused him, back then, of sexism because of that (and I guess what irks me the most is the "It's not up to me to call someone else an extremist, neither is it up to me to say I'm nost [insert thing here]"... because say whatever you want about Sterling, he NEVER tried to curry favor with anyone like this before).
I could have written so much more at this point, but I'm just done. I guess I'm just sad, disappointed and maybe even a bit bitter. Jim Sterling was a harsh voice of truth for me. He wasn't always right in my opinion, but he offered multiple points of views, he offered a path in the middle and he basically risked parts of his job to shit on a company if it deserved to be shat on. Heck, I still believe that he was the one who brought me here in the first place. I can't even really put my finger on what exactly changed here so much - but then again, it won't matter, will it? Sterling is more successful than ever and the dude has right now over 50k followers on Twitter and the new demographic he tries to cater to so hard is apparently happy with him (although I have to admit - I would love to show Sterling to a certain group of tumblr users who would just hate him to shreds for being white and/or male, just to see his reaction to that). One view/follower more or less isn't worth a single shit. But maybe there is still a little glimmer of hope inside me that he will somehow see this, read it, consider it and maybe, just maybe make a few steps back into his old ways. I guess that's the reason why I worded this whole thing here in a civil way instead of falling into the blog persona style myself.
But between topics that are pulled in by the hair, accusations that have no ground and the few entries in his blogs these days where he gets it at least mostly right... I feel like sitting in front of a corpse. It's like the king was murdered by a far less competent twin who isn't evil or anything, just not nearly as good. But as I said: what does it matter? I'm pretty certain this article won't even reach Jim and even if it would, why would he care? After all I'm just a dirty little sexist with an empty monday evening now.
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.com and recycle that stuff for your enjoyment.
This episode is about a simple question: what kind of system would you prefer (and why)?
Do you think it's okay to censor videogames? Would you prefer the laws to simply forbid censoring videogames? And think about the consequences for a second. Yes, this is something different than I do usually, but why not include my readers actively for once?
As for me, it's simple. First off, speaking as a german, I would remove the option of indexing or confiscating items (not only games) in general. I actually consider games a form of art and I wouldn't want the ability to practically ban art to exist. As for the ratings system I would simply adapt the PEGI system. Not only because it doesn't decline ratings (even the hardest shit would get through there with an 18+ stamp - there is no known case of the PEGI declining a rating so far) but because the symbols show the reasons for the rating and thus give a general idea what to expect in the game. It's far better than just saying "This game is rated 18+!".
Also I am absolutely for the option to be able to release anything. Many people that are pro censorship cry about how then the racists and rape simulators and stuff like that would get flushed into stores. The thing is: it would not. Americans might know the dreadful videogames the KKK and alike produce. Stuff like "Ethnic cleansing" and products like this are infamous. Of course games like this also exist in Germany too. The "KZ Manager" is one of the most infamous games around here, even though it was made in the 80s or something like that. Others like the "Nigger Test" or "Turkey Test" are in the mix too, you get the idea. But as I explained already in my entry about the Nazis: banning this stuff doesn't protect anybody for two reasons.
1. no normal store has this shit. Literally. Do you think Walmart or any other chain would put this stuff into their shelves if it were to be officially rated? No, they would not. Of course they would not. Nobody would buy it and it would ruin their reputation in an instant. So even if those games were to be legally released anywhere, you wouldn't find stuff like that in any normal store.
2. the stores that do sell this stuff don't care about the laws anyway. They are underground stores for their specific clientele and they exist everywhere. So the banning doesn't make sense in the first place, because those dealers don't care for laws in the first place.
So that's basically how I would like to have: ratings by the PEGI. No indexing. No confiscating. Everything can get through official ratings with a maximum rating of 18+ in an uncensored state.
so we have this thread in the forums that started a few months back with the whole "DToid sucks now, I'm taking my ball and leave"-wave. It got a bit stale back then, so I took the liberty of collecting the things that were asked for and concentrate them in one posting. I would like to carry this stuff over here too since there is a pretty divide between forum members and members that are active here, but it's something that concerns everybody who loves DToid.
So, to the concentrated list first:
[i]01. more interactivity with the staff. It would be great if staff members could show their presence around more often. On DToid itself, not Twitter or some other external site (DToid is your community, talk to your community via the means of your community). No, we don't expect you to dwell around the forums 24/7. We don't expect you to comment on every blog. But what is expected is to show the commuity, especially the regulars, that you care. A little reply here and there and not favoring Twitter all the time would go a long way here.
02. more original content on the front page like Hansen's "Ghosts" article. Also those should be a bit more regular, not like "one every month if we find the time" (everybody does reviews, everybody does news, this is the stuff that seperates you from the grey mass). Even if it's just a stupid top ten list.
03. many people apparently feel like the articles are lacking the charme/humor/bite of yore (I can't say too much about it, although I read some old stuff and do indeed feel you've gotten a bit "softer" overall, but maybe that just comes with the age).
04. more regular C-Blog promotions (it seems like that is already happening? Although I would propose something like a set two-week rhythm, so that each article gets the same time in the limelight)
05. more regular "XXX wanted". See 04 for this.
06. put a shining red blinking GIF picture right on top that links to the forums. Seriously though, many people apparently not know that those forums exist. Making it a bit clearer, the same for the C-Blogs, might flush in more active users that then generate more content and... you see where this is going. Yes, the forum and community are linked in the top bar - but they're buried between everything else. It's drowned out very easily.
07. the "state of the union"-ish blogs from official staff like Hamza are appreciated. More would be appreciated too. That said, be open with us. Don't make lip services, but rather tell us if something's not gonna work out or is about to go to shit. We're adults, we are not Tom Cruise and thus can take the truth. And maybe even find a solution, if we know what's the problem. Many hands make work easy sometimes.
08. apparently the streams aren't really gold. I can't say too much about that, as I never see them (timezones, bitches!). Didn't want to not mention that though.[/i]
Now one thing there is missing. YOU.
Thing is, this has to be a community effort too. So be a community. Write some blogs. Write comments. Take part in discussions. Post in the forums. Host FNF games. Do SOMETHING for fuck's sake. A good community is half administration, half user base. If one of the two things isn't active enough it starts to crumble. And really, we're all here because we love games, right? We like to read about, like the play them, like to talk about them. So do that.
You know guys, I said it before, but I like it here. I would like to see the site blossom and grow, because there are some pretty cool dudes around here. You won't get along with everybody, but if you just step out of your laziness-comfort-zone for one fucking minute and start something, or chime in if you see somebody trying something, shit will get done with easy and quick. But this is a requirement you, as the community, have to fulfill. Get off of your asses and actually DO something. Don't just talk about, but do it (god be my witness, I'll futily try to get people for a regular game-and-shittalk-via-skype session together till I drop dead).
Maybe "old DToid" might never come back, that doesn't mean "new DToid" has to suck.