Right now, the current punching bag for this is Fire Emblem Fates, all three versions of the game (that part is something I want to save for if I review it or not), specifically, how parts of games are being changed in localization for a western audience. I will say that Fates isn't the only game I'm using for this example, I have a few more, but for now, let's start with the recent one, the petting mini game. Now I don't mind a petting mini game in games, I've played one in Nintendogs, in Pokemon Generation 6, and it's something common in anything that has some form of pet, so I don't see a problem in those examples. Petting an anime girl? That's creepy, and many in the west see it as disgusting and objectifying. Me? A cheep stunt as I hadn't herd of it before, and from what I've sen, it does absolutely nothing. I should say, all I've been able to find is articles saying "Why it should be removed" or "Why it should stay", which is why my knowledge of it is limited. I'm not here to come on a side, what I will say though is "If it has no purpose, why is it there in the first place?". Now as for the point I'm going to make, the reason why it's being removed is, in simplest terms, gender roles between the two demographics. The views of gender differ between Japan and the western world, in japan, something like that is seen as appropriate, normal (to an extent). In the west however, views on gender are very different, and are changing every day, even to the point where many can't agree on gender portrayal, most of it thanks to the portrayal of the genders over history. In a perfect world, this wouldn't be a factor, however we don't live in a perfect world, we live in a scrap world, where objectification of women in anyway is going to have negative repercussions. Now again, to state my personal view on the matter, if you can provide an in story valid explanation for a character looking the way they are, then I don't have an issue with it, as it is there to serve the story. This from what I've seen, is not serving the story, its a way of cashing in on the Japan Pop Idol culture, something that isn't a thing in the western world. So why would they keep it if
- There's no reason cuturally to keep it in thanks to a lack of Pop idol culture.
- There's no reason in terms of sales to keep it in because the moment obnoxiously loud people find out about it, your PR manager is going to be in tears because of all the abuse it would have gotten.
NONE OF THOSE ARE CENSORSHIP!!! And trust me, I can say that with a level of certainty as I live in a country THAT DOES CENSOR GAMES, its why I've been limiting my examples to games. Up until January 2013, three years ago, Australia didn't have an R18+ rating for games. For comparison, that means we didn't have an M or AO rating in comparison to the ESRB and a PEGI 18 for European readers. The most we had was MA15+, which as a base comparison would be about PEGI 12, maybe PEGI 16, and T by the ESRB. Anything higher was either censored, or not released here at all. Even games released after January 2013 were censored like Saint's Row 4 (which I think might be looking too deep but it was a simple change, changing drugs to caffeine) and South Park the Stick of Truth, yes there really are crying koala's. For more, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_banned_video_games_in_Australia and this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship_in_Australia yes I use Wikipedia, but I cross reference. Censorship is a government body saying "Either change this, or you cannot sell it here, at all"
- IT IS NOT a company changing aspects to help the product do better in other countries, which happens both ways, the only reason you don't hear it as much going from a western to eastern release is because the US can't stand not being the center of attention (that was a joke).
- IT IS NOT a company not selling a product in a country by their choice.
- IT IS NOT a store refusing to carry a specific product because some people signed a petition.
If you're going to call foul on censorship, MAKE SURE IT'S ACTUAL CENSORSHIP!!! Localization and censoring one's self is NOT CENSORSHIP. See you all on Wednesday, as I need to calm down after this.
Post release edit: the feature from Fire Emblem fates was not limited to female characters. I was unaware of this at the time of release as I have not been paying attention to spoilers, and the only information I could get was focused more on the objectifying women side of it. I am aware of this now.
Also, I am aware of times when localization and censorship are intertwined, and I should have brought that up. The reason I didn't was because I didn't have any solid examples that blured the two, instead of just either one or the other.