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Censorship chit chat...

The EU's anti-terrorist coordinator calls for the censorship of in-game chat


Link Here30th November 2020
The EU's anti-terrorist coordinator Gilles de Kerchove, is urging the censorship of internet game chat lest it could be used to propagate extremist ideologies and even prepare attacks.

The official commented ahead of a proposed Digital Services Act that aims to address US dominance of the internet and to propose censorship measures targeting speech that the EU does not like. De Kerchove commented:

I'm not saying that all the gaming sector is a problem. There are two billion people playing online, and that's all very well ...BUT... you have extreme-right groups in Germany that have come up with games where the aim is to shoot Arabs, or (George) Soros, or Mrs Merkel for her migration policy, etc.

That can be an alternative way to spread ideology, especially of the extreme right but not only them, a way to launder money -- there are currencies created in games that can be exchanged for legal tender

He also suggested the Digital Services Act include a provision forcing providers of encrypted communication to give police and prosecutors unencrypted versions of the messages sent on their services when ordered to do so by a judge.

 

 

Random censorship...

Australia's random rating generator bans 55 games and apps in 2020


Link Here29th November 2020
Full story: Banned Games in Australia...Games and the Australian Censorship Board
In July 2015, Australia game censors began to use a random rating generator that it refers to as the International Age Rating Coalition Classification Tool.

This is a low level automated tool that makes its decisions based on a few survey questions. It produces very shoddy results that for high profile games cause press embarrassment and lead to appeals where human censors can override the automated rating with something more sensible.

However for low profile games and apps the low quality ratings are allowed to stand presumably because it costs significant money to get them rectified. The net result is that there are plenty of games and apps that end up permanently banned.

refused-classification.com reports that about 1500 titles have been banned to date of which 55 have been banned since March 2020. See the full list of banned titles from refused-classification.com

 

 

Updated: Blood and bullshit...

Ubisoft censors the Japanese game release of Assassin's Creed Valhalla


Link Here27th November 2020
Assassin's Creed Valhalla is the latest release in Ubisoft's longest-running franchise. It seems that not all versions of the game are equal to others. Japanese players say the game isn't what was promised, and further that it was censored egregiously compared to western versions of the game.

The Japanese release of Assassin's Creed Valhalla is censored in several significant ways. It removes or alters violent gameplay and animations related to severed limbs, torture involving inner organs, decapitated heads and female nudity, including nipples.

The game features a worldwide option to turn blood spurts during combat on and off. However, presumably because the game is already censored in Japan, the option then does very little.

Japanese buyers have also complained that the availability of the option implies that more violence is available than actually is, and so feel misled.

With the usual corporate bullshit, Ubisoft claimed that the removal of blood spurts was necessary for ratings purposes. But CERO, Japan's Computer Entertainment Rating Organization, said that that blood spurts comparable to previous Assassin's Creed releases in Japan were included when it did its rating.

Update: Patched

27th November 2020. See article from gamerant.com

Ubisoft is issuing a fix to Assassin's Creed Valhalla following the revelation that Japanese versions of the game had depictions of blood censored.

A Japanese Ubiblog post has now acknowledges the problematic censorship, stating that blood cannot be depicted in-game and that the development team is preparing a patch to solve the issue releasing sometime in December. Ubisoft goes on to apologize for the inconvenience to its customers.

 

 

Playing miserable games...

Sony's latest PlayStation5 will not include a web browser, notably used for porn viewing


Link Here15th November 2020
Sony is playing a miserable game and has decided not to include a web browser on its upcoming PS5 video games console.

This has sparked a debate about porn viewing on games consoles.

Pornhub supplies plenty of viewing statistics which suggest that porn viewing is very popular on gaing consoles, and in particular on Sony's PS4.

PS4 users made up 51% of all people who watch porn on machines designed for video games, with XBox users making up the next big chunk at about 35%. The remaining bit is split between PS Vita, Wii, and Nintendo 3DS.

ebaumsworld.com reports that Sony users felt robbed of their right to watch porn. And that gamers are currently debating work rounds and alternative viewing options.

 

 

The Medium...

The latest game to be banned by the Australian Censorship Board


Link Here4th November 2020
Full story: Banned Games in Australia...Games and the Australian Censorship Board
The Medium is a 2020 Poland single player psychological horror from Bloober Team

The game has been banned by the Australian Censorship Board for reasons unknown. Neither the censors nor the developers have specified any particular reasons for the ban.

The censor's database notes that the film was rated as Refused Classification (banned) in July 2020. The database also notes that the game was submitted under the automated random rating generator process known as IARC. This has a long history of ludicrous ratings that eventually get overturned by human censors.

The game's developers, Bloober Team has made a name for themselves thanks to the line of horror video game titles but it looks like The Medium will be their largest project launch to date. It is claimed that due to computing requirements, it will only run on the latest consoles, notably Xbox Series X.

It is reported that Bloober Team are making cuts to secure a presumably R18+ rating.


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