The War on Gaming

This is something that I have wanted to write about for a long time now. I’ve wanted to write this since before I started visiting Playeressence and before this site was even created. This is something that I know that I know I’m going to get shit on for endlessly, so if you disagree with me, then that’s fine. I won’t think any less of you considering the two subjects I’m going to talk about doesn’t really sit all that well with a lot of people. And if you don’t want to read because this article makes you feel uncomfortable, that’s okay. But if you decide to read this anyway, remember before you read this article that I am not taking any sides, and that you ACTUALLY READ every single sentence before you comment. This article is strictly documentation and RESEARCH, for the most part, anyway. I’m mostly talking from a researcher’s point of view, though I will throw in my takes on it. AND KEEP IN MIND THAT IF YOU TRY TO FLOOD THE COMMENT SECTION WITH POLITICAL COMMENTS PROMOTING ONE SIDE OVER ANOTHER I AM LOCKING COMMENTS. Unless it involves gaming, don’t throw that shit around. We don’t need that. There are other pages for that.

Well, let’s begin.

This article is a response to the article on Pietriots called Stuck in the Middle, where fellow Pietriots contributor, Deguello, documented the attacks from gamers on both the left and right on Nintendo of America’s western localizations of Nintendo’s own games that took place during the Wii U era:

These gamers were so angered with Nintendo’s localization changes to games like Fire Emblem Fates, Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, Fatal Frame 5, and Xenoblade Chronicles X that they accused Nintendo of being too SJW or Puritan, and actually managed to get ex-Nintendo Treehouse member Allison Rapp fired from her job for being a said SJW (even though there is evidence that shows Rapp actually NOT being in favor of the Treehouse censorship). But when you look at all these games, these are all of Nintendo’s OWN games. NONE of them are 3rd party titles. And regarding Bayonetta 2, Nintendo actually partnered with Playboy to promote it’s western release. So, if Nintendo is somehow against erotic content in games…why did they go ahead and do that?

But since the Switch has been selling well, the spotlight has been put back on Sony, and last year they amplified their localization policies of old censoring overly erotic content, and have been openly censoring 3rd party games on the PS4 that contain sexual content.

Yeah, yeah, you can bitch at me all you want about how this doesn’t “excuse” Nintendo, but Nintendo only censors their OWN games, and the stuff they did to FE Fates, TMS #FE and Fatal Frame 5 was mostly to get specific ESRB ratings. #FE and Xenoblade X almost got M ratings but Nintendo wanted a T rating for those games. Nintendo’s all about targeting certain demographics.

So why aren’t any of you screaming at the ESRB for any of this?

Funny how all these people are only now attacking Sony for censoring 3rd party games, yet also attacked Nintendo for doing something 1/19,000,000,000th as bad, and all those hypocritical cunts wanted to burn their effing headquarters to the ground. And keep in mind that Sony has censored 3rd party games since they entered the industry. They censored the PS2 version of BMX XXX, they had a strict no nudity policy for PS1 games in Japan, they censored the PS1 version of Policenauts, I could go on. Hell, Sony themselves have confirmed that they have censored 3rd party games in the past as well!

Nintendo and NoA, with few exceptions, such as 3rd party titles published by Nintendo themselves, have not censored 3rd party games since the creation of the ESRB in 1994.

But there’s one thing that the Pietriots article mentions about Nintendo’s localization policies. It is NOT to please certain political parties or groups. Nintendo isn’t just afraid of pissing off people on the Left, they’re afraid of angering figures on the Right, as well as overprotective parents that always lose their shit whenever they see a hint of questionable sexual content in games.

Which brings me to the main subject of what I’m going to discuss. This article is also a response to two YouTube videos. Specifically, The Act Man’s video called The War on Video Games,

And a video from Razorfist called Of School Shootings and Faberge Eggs.

Both The Act Man’s and Razorfist’s videos share one thing in common: politicians and parents on both the Left and Right like blaming popular things in culture for school shootings and what have you, such as video games. And that’s despite there being evidence showing that there is no correlation showing video games having any effect on said school shootings. Crime as a whole has actually decreased over the past 25 years as gaming and anime started gaining popularity, and the countries that do produce some of the most violent games out there have little to no violent crime at all (Japan, Poland, Czech Republic). Nobody wants to take responsibility for their own actions and want a scapegoat. But keep in mind that these figures don’t want just a scapegoat. They want this stuff banned.

There have been many attempts on the Left and Right to try and ban video games. You’ve got figures on both sides like Jack Thompson, Chris Christie, Anita Sarkeesian, Zoe Quinn, Glenn Beck (ugh…), the NRA, the Clintons, Sam Brownback, basically every news media conglomerate, you name it. If you were to ask me what side of the political spectrum I lean on, my sympathies usually tend to be with the Right. But that’s just because of the Reagan Conservative household I was raised in, as both my parents supported Ronald Reagan for president back in the 80s. But I am aware that there are hypocrites on both sides and when it comes to issues like this, this is no exception.

Gamers, I hate to break it to you, but this is not a Left vs. Right issue. Your conservative butt-buddies aren’t allies with you when it comes to defending video games and anime either. Hell, go ask non-gamer conservatives if they agree with you when it comes to defending sexual content/fanservice and violence in gaming/media. The results WILL surprise you. Whether you want to admit it or now, a lot of hardcore conservatives are actually allies with feminists like Sarkeesian and Quinn when it comes to the issue of depicting sexual themes and violence in gaming and entertainment. Even Jack Thompson shares the same views as Sarkeesian and Quinn on this issue.

If that wasn’t the case, then every Conservative, Republican and other right-wingers out there would support depictions of sex/violence instead of sharing the same views as Sarkeesian and crazed Christian “religious leaders” and idiotic lobbyists like Morality in Media/NCOSE.

And they’ve been at this for even longer than the left – since the 1980s:

They tried to get Mortal Kombat banned:

A Republican politician in Pennsylvania is trying to put a tax on M rated video games:

Click to access pennsylvania-hb2705-memo-opposition.pdf

Congresswoman Diane Black (R-TN) blamed video games, violent movies and porn for a recent school shooting:

The right boycotted Studio Ghibli films like Kiki’s Delivery Service for “witchcraft” and tried to have it banned in the U.S, they protested Midway from receiving grants to stay in Chicago because of Mortal Kombat, and there’s a new group on the Religious Right that has declared war on gaming and anime thanks to a newly revitalized Conservative movement in America that emerged as a result of Trump’s victory in the 2016 elections.

They’re called the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, aka NCOSE, formerly known as Morality in Media, and are based in Washington, D.C. The leader of NCOSE, Patrick Trueman, is a Republican who has campaigned against violence and sexual content in media as far back as the 1970s.

Granted, pretty much everything that NCOSE targets is media aimed at mature audiences, particularly the 17 and up age groups. They’ve managed to get some anime visual novel games banned from Steam. And back in 2012, when NCOSE was known as Morality in Media, they endorsed Mitt Romney for President in hopes that he would update obscenity laws to get every type of sexual content banned in the US. And that would have affected a TON of other media, not just porn. It would have had a disastrous effect on the entertainment industry had that passed, and lots of shows, books, movies, anime, you name it would have been banned. Because they can stretch the definition of “Obscenity” to fit whatever these groups don’t like.

The other two top figures at NCOSE right next to Trueman are Dawn Hawkins and Haley Halverson, who are Republicans as well. And these two have shown that they, Trueman, and Jack Thompson are really no different than figures like Anita Sarkeesian when it comes to banning games.

What a pathetic ad hominem attack.

I may not be the biggest fan of adult/hentai VN games but I in no way support them getting banned. And don’t think they’ll stop with that. They’ll go after M rated games as well, and don’t be surprised if they go after even T rated games. You give groups like NCOSE an inch, and they’ll take a mile or two.

A lot of righties will try to paint NCOSE as left-wing because of their founding under the Johnson administration in the 1960s, but you won’t find any evidence that supports that. Just research the positions of Patrick Trueman. It’s clear as day where he stands. Trueman is a registered Republican, and all of his viewpoints align with that of Conservatives and the Republican Party. They receive funding from both the Republican Party and Christian church groups. It’s linked all throughout their website.

The point I’m trying to get across here is this: Just because one side is trying to censor games doesn’t mean that the other isn’t interested in the same end goal. I am not defending one side against the other. I am calling out both sides because they want to ban the things we like. I know this because I have been around these people for my entire gaming life.

Thankfully, gaming is now such a large medium and now has a large enough consumer base that has been able to resist the endless protests on both the left and right to a degree. But on the downside, the World Health Organization declared gaming addiction to be a mental illness, and soon the left and right will have an excuse to persuade governments in certain US states to clamp down on gamers. There are millions of us out there, and if the majority of us decide to not pay attention to these attempts to ban gaming and anime in it’s entirety, it could be all over.

Well, that’s the end of that for me. Of course, most of you will think that I am overexaggerating this, but I just felt like pointing out an issue, and pointing out the elephant in the room isn’t always a bad thing to do. You may think I’m crazy, or insane, or that I’m just wasting your time, but you can go ahead and say so in the comments below.

That was a long one. I’m sleepy…

Published by alex9234

A skeptical game writer who doesn't believe the gaming press.

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