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General Category => Gaming Discussion => Topic started by: Kallisto on December 11, 2016, 09:43:39 pm

Title: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: Kallisto on December 11, 2016, 09:43:39 pm
I've recently learned that one such team called Treehouse which works for Nintendo is the real reason why games had been censored, and if so has this been true 10-20 years ago? My understanding that some localization teams go by a cult-like bias, and this is something I never knew about until today.

or

Is it a combination of things such as the ESRB/CERO? Could the gaming community try to have their voices heard if we find out who said localization teams are before they get a chance to censor a game?

Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: tc on December 11, 2016, 10:51:57 pm
I think the vocal-ness over content being changed after the fact, distracts from an overlooked side of the matter: the merits of its creation or lack of.
How much of the changed material is considered beneficial to the game in question, versus what may have been better left on the cutting board to start with? And how to improve standards of determining that to preemptively avoid unnecessary backlash without developers feeling restricted or having to waste resources on removal later?
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: Jorpho on December 11, 2016, 10:59:33 pm
Could the gaming community try to have their voices heard if we find out who said localization teams are before they get a chance to censor a game?
That sounds like a horrible, horrible thing to do.  It seems far more likely that would drive qualified, talented people from the industry than it would result in less censorship.

If censorship bothers you that much, then just take your business elsewhere.
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: Tom on December 11, 2016, 11:50:16 pm
Most localizations are being done before the games are even released in Japan these days. The scripts are much bigger than they were long ago, and require a lot more collaboration with voice actors and actresses, so it's only natural.

Nobody in the general public knows anything about who's working on them. And there's no way the general public can make a difference in any way, other than with your wallet, well after the game's been localized... But that's a bit too late, isn't it?

I suppose you could also write letters directly to the company to express your dissatisfaction at the censorship, and to suggest that they use a different group of translators. That can't hurt.
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: Spooniest on December 12, 2016, 12:55:55 am
Vote with your dollars.

But I think voting for less or more censorship is the wrong way to go about considering the matter.

Vote for what seems the best produced, smoothest playing game that has the most compelling story. Things like "how was it altered for my particular localization that I end up playing" should be secondary concerns to is this a good game or not?

Localization is something that a game publisher has control over; they are responsible for what they put out and where, and they aren't thinking "Will this be as true to the developer's vision as I can possibly make it," they are in fact thinking, "In what way can I maximize the audience of the game? How can I get the most people possible to want to play it/tell their friends to play it?"

Unfortunately, this often results in the developer making the logical argument to themselves that "The more people play it, the better, so be really really careful what you allow to be put into the localization," when in fact, I believe the proper way to go about it is this:

Find a balance point between the script being what the writer of the story intended, and maximizing the script's accessibility to a mass audience. You find that balance point, and voila, that's what you should put out.

But this industry is supremely high-pressure. It's almost like working for a banking concern; they run it that tightly, and turnover is, I would imagine, the accepted nature of the business at hand, and has been for a long time, I'll additionally wager (turnover means "Nobody stays long in this industry unless they are kind of personally obsessed with doing so; i.e. people are hired and fired quickly and a lot," just in case yer not up on my jargon).

So, the focus becomes on protecting one's phoney-baloney job, as it were.
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: Kallisto on December 13, 2016, 07:49:22 pm
Unfortunately I think this will always be the norm, and I think it is here to stay unless people change, and don't let personal bias alter the games.

I guess also because Video Games are such a easy target compared to Movies & Music, video games have become the magical portal for everyone to throw their 2 cents in, I really hate that.
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: Jorpho on December 13, 2016, 10:18:34 pm
I guess also because Video Games are such a easy target compared to Movies & Music
What, you think making movies and music that will make money these days is easy?  It's way easier to make a "controversial" game these days that some people might actually play than it is to make movies or music that will show up as a blip on anyone's radar.  Or is that what you meant?

Cracked has done so many articles about why Hollywood is doomed that it's hard to keep track of them.
http://www.cracked.com/blog/why-blockbuster-movie-bubble-will-burst-in-2018/
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: KingMike on December 13, 2016, 11:11:46 pm
I've recently learned that one such team called Treehouse which works for Nintendo is the real reason why games had been censored, and if so has this been true 10-20 years ago? My understanding that some localization teams go by a cult-like bias, and this is something I never knew about until today.
Treehouse IS Nintendo. Nintendo is honestly going to keep doing things how they feel like it. It's honestly as pointless to argue about how they localize games as it is pointless to argue about the many other ways in which Nintendo keeps acting like themselves. :P
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: Kallisto on December 14, 2016, 07:12:25 pm
No, what I meant by easy target that video game developers are easy targets by people who have a agenda that work outside such as Marketers, the ratings board, etc.
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: Jorpho on December 14, 2016, 11:10:06 pm
Yes – movies, at least, have generally become so expensive that they can't afford to position themselves as anything that looks like an "easy target" for people who have an agenda.
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: SunGodPortal on December 14, 2016, 11:56:20 pm
Yes – movies, at least, have generally become so expensive that they can't afford to position themselves as anything that looks like an "easy target" for people who have an agenda.

Ironic since they are far easier to make* these days. I know they are def saving a shit-ton of money on sets since they all take place on somebody's hard drive now.

EDIT:*They are also far easier to distribute and advertise as well. Considering crowd funding options these days I'd also say that it's easier to get funding as well.
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: Spooniest on December 15, 2016, 02:12:19 am
I feel that bringing movies/shows/etc into the picture in any game discussion is at best, mildly interesting a comparison, and at worst, distracting from the issue at hand. Movies/Shows are not games, they have no interactivity, and their history began long before that of games, whereas games are a developing medium.

It's interesting to me that the game world has sort of stagnated in development. We are in kind of weak period when it comes to new, interesting concepts for games.

In the days of the 8-bit through 32-bit systems, there were still rather significant limits on what could be done visually and memory wise.

Those days are now gone, and games have not become more innovative as a result, even though new systems can do things that would melt a SNES. Games have instead become shinier, louder, and filled with far more voice acting and storyline scenes that the player has no control over than ever before. They are less interactive, and less diverse. The money is being spent on the graphics primarily, and the other aspects of games are all treated as a tie for #2 on the list.

It isn't hard to understand why. There are only so many ways you can make a game where you have a plastic control device that the player uses their thumbs to input commands to. A MOBA is basically just Legend of Zelda with more bells and whistles, and limited to a narrow area, with a focus on player vs. player. A horror game is basically just Zelda with a focus on making the player as uncomfortable as possible.

New Genre ideas are really at a premium at this point, because most of what can be done has been done, in short.

Now, finally, on to the topic at hand. If Graphics/Presentation/What Have You are the primary focus of a developer (make our games look nicer than the other guy's games, worry about other stuff once that's done), and all other aspects are treated as secondary, then localization (a chore that the developer has to do to sell games in an overseas market that mostly will not get the game's cultural aspects anyway) must be thought of quite low on the totem pole, indeed.

The way this topic is phrased, it makes it sound like Localization is the top priority that any game developer should be concerned with. Localization is an aspect of games that most casual gamers are not even aware of. It's "behind the curtain," "Under the hood," so on and so on. It is invisible to 70% of the gaming audience, because it is something that requires a detailed analysis. You would be shocked, I think, to discover that the great majority of people do not want to spend their time doing a lot of analytical thinking. They have to get back to work at a certain time very near in the future. They have to sleep, eat, pursue relationships, go to school, etc.

If you think Localization is something game developers should put first, you are displaying a lack of understanding about game design, game marketing, and the psychology behind gaming in the first place. It is not a top priority, ever, in the dev meeting room. Graphics first, everything else second, and localization when we have time to throw some billable hours at an intern.

I seriously do not think getting on a dev's case about inaccurate or culturally censored/altered localizations is going to have any effect. They are in a high-pressure, low-cost, high-volume business. They must do their jobs as assigned or face destitution, just like everyone else with the added pressure of knowing that their industry is not anywhere near as respected as the Film or Music industries are. And to be honest, as an amateur student of film making and an experienced musician, I do not ever feel one iota of respect from the general masses of society for them. Fine art maybe gets a respectful nod once in a while, but film and music and games (in that order) are all treated as disposable escapist literature by comparison.
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: SunGodPortal on December 15, 2016, 03:12:49 am
Quote
...most of what can be done has been done, in short.

That describes nearly every form of entertainment that we are familiar with. We live in a time when it is no longer important to be original and when there is more entertainment being made than there is demand for said entertainment.

I'm all for originality, but really, it's over-rated. Doing something new only matters when a medium still has plenty of uncharted territory that people are afraid to venture into. What's more important is doing something well.

If you can't find a game you like it's just because there is so much to choose from. Most people suck at everything so naturally the more entertainment being made the more mediocre entertainment there will be to wade through.
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: FAST6191 on December 15, 2016, 05:34:49 am
I feel that bringing movies/shows/etc into the picture in any game discussion is at best, mildly interesting a comparison, and at worst, distracting from the issue at hand. Movies/Shows are not games, they have no interactivity, and their history began long before that of games, whereas games are a developing medium.

It's interesting to me that the game world has sort of stagnated in development. We are in kind of weak period when it comes to new, interesting concepts for games.

In the days of the 8-bit through 32-bit systems, there were still rather significant limits on what could be done visually and memory wise.

Those days are now gone, and games have not become more innovative as a result, even though new systems can do things that would melt a SNES. Games have instead become shinier, louder, and filled with far more voice acting and storyline scenes that the player has no control over than ever before. They are less interactive, and less diverse. The money is being spent on the graphics primarily, and the other aspects of games are all treated as a tie for #2 on the list.

It isn't hard to understand why. There are only so many ways you can make a game where you have a plastic control device that the player uses their thumbs to input commands to. A MOBA is basically just Legend of Zelda with more bells and whistles, and limited to a narrow area, with a focus on player vs. player. A horror game is basically just Zelda with a focus on making the player as uncomfortable as possible.

New Genre ideas are really at a premium at this point, because most of what can be done has been done, in short.

Now, finally, on to the topic at hand. If Graphics/Presentation/What Have You are the primary focus of a developer (make our games look nicer than the other guy's games, worry about other stuff once that's done), and all other aspects are treated as secondary, then localization (a chore that the developer has to do to sell games in an overseas market that mostly will not get the game's cultural aspects anyway) must be thought of quite low on the totem pole, indeed.

The way this topic is phrased, it makes it sound like Localization is the top priority that any game developer should be concerned with. Localization is an aspect of games that most casual gamers are not even aware of. It's "behind the curtain," "Under the hood," so on and so on. It is invisible to 70% of the gaming audience, because it is something that requires a detailed analysis. You would be shocked, I think, to discover that the great majority of people do not want to spend their time doing a lot of analytical thinking. They have to get back to work at a certain time very near in the future. They have to sleep, eat, pursue relationships, go to school, etc.

If you think Localization is something game developers should put first, you are displaying a lack of understanding about game design, game marketing, and the psychology behind gaming in the first place. It is not a top priority, ever, in the dev meeting room. Graphics first, everything else second, and localization when we have time to throw some billable hours at an intern.

I seriously do not think getting on a dev's case about inaccurate or culturally censored/altered localizations is going to have any effect. They are in a high-pressure, low-cost, high-volume business. They must do their jobs as assigned or face destitution, just like everyone else with the added pressure of knowing that their industry is not anywhere near as respected as the Film or Music industries are. And to be honest, as an amateur student of film making and an experienced musician, I do not ever feel one iota of respect from the general masses of society for them. Fine art maybe gets a respectful nod once in a while, but film and music and games (in that order) are all treated as disposable escapist literature by comparison.

It has been noted that several game designers/devs are failed film directors, I wonder if that plays a part in all this. Equally computer games might be new but board games, card games, pen and paper role playing, proto role playing, war games and more has a far longer history. Computers are at once freeing and restrictive, even an old computer could probably calculate a thousand vectors in the time I takes me to do one and at the same time what chance do we have for a computer to be a good DM, which changes many things but at its heart it is an old concept. Beyond that if telling a story around a fire is not an interactive thing, or at least responding to cues from the audience, then you have surely gone wrong somewhere.

On zelda with combat refinements/more scares/tits then that is an interesting outlook. Mechanically I would have to agree, and it is not as bad as the likes of a camera type naming a "genre" as in the case of FPS, but I can't help but feel it is still somewhat limiting.

I still hold that the next big leap will come when people truly embrace game theory, the stats thing most multiplayer game devs are obsesses with is nice but it is a top down approach where a bottom up would be better.

With all this said and to get back to the topic I will echo the "does the game play well?" sentiment.
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: VicVergil on December 17, 2016, 12:41:48 am
Of course doing something about the situation is possible.

The whole Tomodachi Collection false controversy out of a rumor they removed crossdressing from the localization made it to mainstream news and as a result they didn't cut the yaoi pairings in Fire Emblem Fates like they used to in the older FE games... though as a result they started cutting other stuff because the same media outlets were picking controversies from Tumblr rumors like the one "translating" the G-rated face petting minigame with dubious phrasing made to sound as if it was sexual (there's a world of difference between "My heart is beating so fast" and "Ugh... it's throbbing... and tearing... through my flesh") and I have no doubt it directly led to the feature being cut considering it was even dubbed.

The new "safe" standard for Nintendo apparently is to appease those media outlets who'd cheer if a Bayonetta 3 was censored by NoA. The horrible FExSMT Wii U translated release was heavily defended by those media outlets for this reason wanting to make this the new normal for politically-driven reasons.

But if the sales are hit, they can and will rethink this policy of theirs (and you'll probably see more Japan-only releases). After all, they fired their whole German internal translation division in 2000 over their handling of Pokemon after it bombed in sales (and the early messes with SNES JRPGs and Link's Awakening dildos garnering parent's complaints didn't help either...) and coincidentally even the Japanese Nintendo producers are starting to notice and comment on this (NoA gets an increase in budget for each "cut" or "localization adjustment" so they have a financial incentive, and the Japanese side can get annoyed at times by this) and Game Freaks even finds it pressing enough of an issue to make it a point in their S&M announcement that Treehouse ISN'T handling this title.

Namco Europe, the publisher for a third party 3DS release, Dragon Ball Fusion, said that the 4Kids-like removal of all swords in the game was a joint decision by Namco America and Nintendo of America. As there's more instances of NoA coming full circle to their 90's self, the tipping point will be inevitably reached and then whatever little is left from the American branch's poorly-used independance will be done with.

A pretty unpopular opinion, but zero-day translations are a surefire way for them to notice. The reason why the uncensoring patch for FExTMS came 4 days after the official English release is that it started as one. And FE:if's patch was heavily featured in social media to expose the official version's shortcomings (like the "..." conversation). Vote with your wallet and spread the word about how these versions are inferior and supporting the original is better.
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: KaioShin on December 17, 2016, 05:02:40 am
I believe that the console game censorship that popped here and there is pretty unimportant.

The bigger issue is Steam banning adult content, thus forcing Visual Novel localizations to release all-ages or censored versions when they'd release all available versions (more choice for the customer!) otherwise. If a dev decides to censor a game because they want to get a certain rating for more sales or because they fear some aspects of a game can get them into downright legal trouble (ecchi scenes with characters that look like 10 year olds, ie Criminal Girls) that is one thing. It's their decision.

But if the central distribution platform makes the decision for you and it's "their way or the highway", I believe that is a much bigger problem. Especially when there is no legal reason and it's just them enforcing what they believe to be moral on the rest of the world. Today it is "no sex!", in 5 years it might be "No games where the enemies are female or members of a minority" or something even more retarded. Maybe they'll still allow such games but enforce that they are hidden behind trigger warning pages killing their discoverability and reach. I know that "slippery slope" is considered a fallacy, but with the way the gaming industry has devolved in the last few years due to pressure from bored SJW journos who couldn't come up with other topics to drum up controversy about, I think it's naive NOT to fear such a development.
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: Spooniest on December 17, 2016, 05:11:37 am
I think it's worth noting, however, that the things that get cut from these games, by and large, are not central components of the storyline, I would wager most of the time.

Think about it. If something isn't moving the plot forward, and it will offend certain types of people into not buying the game and/or spreading bad word of mouth about it, then it only makes sense to remove it.

When things that are supposed to move the plot forward or characterize a character in a way that is relevant to the overall plotline are removed, then it's a problem. But I don't see that a lot; most of the things that are removed are simply replaced with something milder and easier to accept.

And that's not even beginning the discussion about what to do with a joke in these cases. Different cultures have different jokes and senses of comedic timing and phrasing. What do you do then? How can you make your intended audience laugh at what the developer intended them to laugh at, when their culture has not raised them hearing the joke 100 times a year?

Really, I have no problem with possibly offensive material being removed, as long as you aren't removing a piece of the main plot. Thematic elements are anyone's guess, but I would prefer they be left in. Jokes/Fanservice/Epithets? Change them to something the audience will accept, I'd say.

And to be honest, it's not like Devs are going out of their way to deter the fan translation community anytime soon. It's not like they're stupid. They know such endeavors are costly and generate a lot of bad word of mouth among the game buying public. Think of how much word of mouth matters these days to such an enterprise. It travels faster, farther, and more intact than ever before.
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: Jorpho on December 17, 2016, 02:19:13 pm
But if the sales are hit, they can and will rethink this policy of theirs (and you'll probably see more Japan-only releases).
Nintendo's sales, I am quite sure, are not driven by those who follow Tumblr and who post about games on message boards and who actively follow what is coming out in Japan – if they were, they probably would have been sunk many years ago, just like every armchair CEO says they would have.  Nintendo's sales are driven by the likes of little Timmy's grandmother – people who had trouble with the concept of the Wii U not being an add-on for the Wii, and who would probably have a proper freakout if they learned Nintendo was selling devil sex games or whatever.  They should be concerned about that.

It probably doesn't help that Nintendo-bashing makes for such excellent clickbait that they wouldn't have to slip up so badly for the news to spread far enough up the chain that even little Timmy's grandmother would notice.
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: SunGodPortal on December 17, 2016, 02:39:57 pm
Quote
Think about it. If something isn't moving the plot forward, and it will offend certain types of people into not buying the game and/or spreading bad word of mouth about it, then it only makes sense to remove it.

It's funny how we live in a culture of extremes. Some people are so afraid of offending people while others don't care one bit and go out of their way to offend. Why can't people just be reasonable instead? I would say that people are pussies these days, but at the same time people of the polar extreme opposite reinforce their squeamish attitudes by giving weight to their arguments. Still, it seems there are far more people in this day and age that will use any excuse to be offended. The only reason I can fathom is that they are desperate for attention.

Quote
It probably doesn't help that Nintendo-bashing makes for such excellent clickbait that they wouldn't have to slip up so badly for the news to spread far enough up the chain that even little Timmy's grandmother would notice.

We live in a world where everyone likes to whine in unison. Large entities like Nintendo are easy targets.
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: Bonesy on December 17, 2016, 08:23:53 pm
remember that time they took the boob slider out of xenoblade x and the internet raged?
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: Kallisto on December 17, 2016, 11:02:05 pm
"Ugh... it's throbbing... and tearing... through my flesh"

Wait a moment...this was in Fire emblem!?
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: KingMike on December 18, 2016, 12:52:10 am
I'm not wanting to discuss Alison Rapp herself, just how did the situation come up?
If it is what I'm thinking: extremely-whiny Fire Emblem fans finding whatever dirt they could on random NoA employees as "revenge", then they make me sick. That's basically trying to blackmail Nintendo into giving them what they want, and that's really not cool. I would argue fans that go overboard expressing their dissatisfaction can be just as bad as the "SJWs" in ruining things.
If so, that almost makes me want to learn how to hack 3DS ROMs just so I can hack the game to find ways to censor it even more just to troll them. :P
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: Spooniest on December 18, 2016, 06:46:37 am
It's funny how we live in a culture of extremes. Some people are so afraid of offending people while others don't care one bit and go out of their way to offend. Why can't people just be reasonable instead? I would say that people are pussies these days, but at the same time people of the polar extreme opposite reinforce their squeamish attitudes by giving weight to their arguments. Still, it seems there are far more people in this day and age that will use any excuse to be offended. The only reason I can fathom is that they are desperate for attention.

Truth, but why go in that direction? The proportion of people who are/would be/could be offended to those who aren't/wouldn't/couldn't be offended by them...my point was that the focus of the discussion at hand should be "has any localization of a game ever removed a relevant plot point in order to appeal to a larger audience?"

There is one that comes to mind.

Final Fantasy VI contains lines in the original script that explicitly stated that other people washed up ashore on the Solitary Island, but they had all already just succumbed to grief to the point where they jumped off a cliff at the north end of the island; i.e. they committed suicide. This line was very very heavily "airbrushed," I'd say, into something that sounded like taking a swim, and while a proper line reading would have made Cid's intent in saying it "perked 'em right up!" clear, Final Fantasy VI has no voice acting capabilities, and besides, I do not think it was an accident. It was most likely a very important and high-priority bit of censorship, as in, they sent a memo to Ted Woolsey and said "You have to rewrite this. It is not optional. Here is how it will read. Thank you for your hard work, Squaresoft." (Maybe just a bit less terse than I make it sound, I guess ;D)

So, even the Classic-Era games had to deal with censorship issues. What it means isn't that there was any relevant world events in play at the time, or any kind of different issues really than the one we live in now...what it means is that the Entertainment Industry moves in cycles. It's not linear in any way except that things show up and then fall out of fashion and then show up again when people are like "Hey remember that stuff? That was awesome" and such and such.

Right now it seems like game companies are back to cultivating a squeaky-clean, family-friendly image. In the late 90's, Nintendo had their rather rocking moments. Killer Instinct is not recommended for children, and while it's not grotesque or outright gory most of the time, Super Metroid was rather intense for children, I think. Though, to be honest, I do remember a few dead scientists right there at the beginning. Didn't seem like the attacker gave 'em much of a chance. :D

Anyhow, what this boils down to is that there will be rises and falls in the level of censorship that game companies feel like doing. They are keeping an eye on what's trending, staring at consumer sales reports for hours on end, et al. They are kind of slaves to their trade like anyone else, really.

As to the subject of Nintendo bowing to internet backlash, all I can say is BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA Nintendo probably hired the OP.

P.S. - But seriously, I don't understand the sexuality in Japanese games at all. I guess it's just a cultural barrier, but I just would rather keep those two aspects of my existence (games and sex) separate if I am able. I find it distracting, and it never fits in well with the plotline, to be honest. But then, I have the same attitude about these kinds of subplots and scenes in otherwise dramatic shows and movies and such. Frankly I'm not really much of a romantic.

Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: SunGodPortal on December 18, 2016, 03:51:22 pm
Final Fantasy VI contains lines in the original script that explicitly stated that other people washed up ashore on the Solitary Island, but they had all already just succumbed to grief to the point where they jumped off a cliff at the north end of the island; i.e. they committed suicide. This line was very very heavily "airbrushed," I'd say, into something that sounded like taking a swim, and while a proper line reading would have made Cid's intent in saying it "perked 'em right up!" clear, Final Fantasy VI has no voice acting capabilities, and besides, I do not think it was an accident. It was most likely a very important and high-priority bit of censorship, as in, they sent a memo to Ted Woolsey and said "You have to rewrite this. It is not optional. Here is how it will read. Thank you for your hard work, Squaresoft." (Maybe just a bit less terse than I make it sound, I guess ;D)

That's the sort of thing I hate and I think it's a slap in the face to the original developers. They spent all that time trying to weave a story that would actually have some gravity, only to have the localization team suck all the color/life out of it turning it into something patronizing rather than engaging. And why? Because Americans foolishly underestimate children and have a habit of going to great (unnecessary) lengths to shelter them from reality.
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: KaioShin on December 18, 2016, 04:53:47 pm

P.S. - But seriously, I don't understand the sexuality in Japanese games at all. I guess it's just a cultural barrier, but I just would rather keep those two aspects of my existence (games and sex) separate if I am able.

Well that's easy to do, just don't play such games! That's certainly a better approach than supporting devs censoring stuff just because it happens to align with what you prefer. The decision should be made by the consumer, not by the publisher or even worse, the distribution platform.
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: Spooniest on December 22, 2016, 04:57:02 am
That's the sort of thing I hate and I think it's a slap in the face to the original developers. They spent all that time trying to weave a story that would actually have some gravity, only to have the localization team suck all the color/life out of it turning it into something patronizing rather than engaging. And why? Because Americans foolishly underestimate children and have a habit of going to great (unnecessary) lengths to shelter them from reality.

The moment you have any advice for me for challenging a parent over their chosen method to rear their children, I would like to hear how you did that and did not get raked over the hottest coals imaginable by that parent. You think Squaresoft wanted to make art. They did not. They wanted to sell games that were reasonably arty.

"Sell games" in this case comes without the condition of whom the games were being sold to. I tend to think of Squaresoft of the early-to-mid 90's (the time when FF6 was localized for the USA by Ted Woolsey) to have been taking an "all-ages" approach.

Better than trying to hem and haw about it (once a line is in the game and read, there's not any way to remove it from the player's mind, after all), is to play it SAFE. Get the game accessible to as many people as possible. Trust that those who are perceptive enough about what's happening will understand the underlying emotional context of the scene, and give the prudish enough of a way to "explain away" the implications to a child they wish to shelter. There. Nice and safe and fairly respectful to the original vision of the game.

What would have made me feel the way you do would have been two things they could have done:

1. Remove the Solitary Island Scene altogether and simply start Celes on the shore near Albrook in the World of Ruin. This would have been unacceptable, and a paltry way to start the WoR. Undue censorship.

2. Alter the Solitary Island Scene to the point where Celes has a happy time and finds the meaning of her existence. One way to do that quickly in a visual way would have been to change the scene so that she does not jump from the cliff. Undue censorship.

I feel what they had Woolsey do (simply change the text to be more vague about suicide) was a fair compromise. I didn't quite understand what I was watching as a child, but the music (and Celes' tears as she fell) informed my perception of what was going on to where I got a little hint of what was going on. I think they did an ok job.

Now, as for you, Herr Kaio... :D

Well that's easy to do, just don't play such games! That's certainly a better approach than supporting devs censoring stuff just because it happens to align with what you prefer. The decision should be made by the consumer, not by the publisher or even worse, the distribution platform.

Your counter-argument is strong and fairly well thought-out, but it has presumed much of what I was arguing that was not in fact included in my argument. You are implying that I was making a statement about where the responsibility for determining the proper content for a localization should lie; I was not. I feel it does, by default, lie with the company that must pay for any litigation that results from the consumption of the product. That is what the law states, and fair or unfair, that seems to be the best way to go about it.

My statement was, in fact "The publisher has the right to determine the localization's content," not "The publisher ought to have the right to determine the localization's content," key words being "ought to." Now, Kaio, you ought not to put words like that into my mouth ;D Out of courtesy and respect for you, I checked back over the points I made. It does not look like I said they "ought to" or "ought not to" have the right to censor their games, anywhere in my discourse in the thread. If I'm wrong, I'll gladly accept that, but I checked what I wrote, and it doesn't look to me like I said that anywhere? The fact that I do believe it does not mean I said it before you made your counter-argument; however, I will, out of courtesy, acknowledge that you "guessed right;" I do believe it ought to lie with the publisher, yes. They're the ones who can get sued by overzealous Christian nutjobs who don't like overt sexuality in their kid's entertainment, they get to decide how to legally cover their butt.

So, on to your next point.

Not playing the games that offend me because of their overt sexuality is exactly what I do, and I wasn't implying that others ought to do any different. You are "preaching to the choir," as it were. I said in a previous post, my first long one on the subject, in fact, that people ought to vote with their dollars. First thing I said, I think. But you have also, in the same breath, posited that my viewpoint (or someone else's you think I've aligned with?) was that I support devs censoring stuff, because it happens to align with what I prefer. It sounds like you've done what's called "making a Straw Man." You're making my viewpoint out to be a "Scarecrow" that it was not intended as, which you are then cutting down easily, as any Scarecrow can be.

My viewpoint is that localization censorship isn't a high enough priority for devs for any complaint about it to be heard; they simply don't get the time it would take during development to worry as hard about it as their most devoted fans would like them to. They don't get authority during development to worry as hard about it as their most devoted fans would like them to. And their most devoted fans are a small percentage of the game buying public. The math is against them.

Calling a dev out on censorship is unwarranted; they have many other things their bosses are yelling at them about and their bosses refuse to negotiate with them about the censorship. Company policy in a publicly traded company is decided by Stockholder Committee vote; those people tell the CEO that they've voted to adopt a policy, the CEO executes the policy and sees to it the employees are trained to follow it. The employees follow the policy they are trained to follow, and instruct their subordinates to do the same.

On to your final point, Kaio, that the decision about what content is appropriate to consume should lie with the consumer, not the publisher or distributor, is not a bad idea on paper, but try executing it in a mass market free enterprise global economy, why don't you?

You would have to basically show all your cards to the consumer up front before they have made their purchase. Say what's in the game, and how appropriate it is to the consumer's needs. You would need some kind of system to quickly, conveniently, and easily tell a potential consumer what material in the game they might find objectionable, and let them decide whether the purchase is appropriate for them or not.

This is called a "ratings system," and there is one, and it's used, and I have worked at electronics retailers recently. They do train their employees about it. However the policy is executed after the training has taken place, the training is not equivocal about the existence or necessity of the ratings system, at least.

Not a perfect system by any measure, but better than just censoring the shite out of everything by default, or just putting out whatever you want and not telling anyone what's gonna happen as a result.

Compromise is the cornerstone of any kind of social issue. Black and white, simple answers do not function for complicated questions, and intercultural exchange is always complicated. :D

This is the Spooniest Bard, signing off. Have a very Spoony Christmas, all! ;D
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: Bonesy on December 22, 2016, 04:58:29 am
video games are serious business
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: FAST6191 on December 22, 2016, 08:03:56 am
The moment you have any advice for me for challenging a parent over their chosen method to rear their children, I would like to hear how you did that and did not get raked over the hottest coals imaginable by that parent.
Got to love the cop out answers
"You don't have kids, you would understand if you had children"

and of course the best one that comes from having children for too long, and possibly precipitated by saying variations on the theme of "why?" a lot.
"it just is"

But more seriously I always argue for the abstract and science. Enrages some people no end but that is just funny. "What would happen if kids did see a tit?"

All that said I never really tried that stateside where approaches seem to be slightly different (at least going by some of the stuff anti vaccination types were spouting), childhood seems to be almost fetishised rather than considered something that happens and ultimately will be overcome, and the puritanical bent (though somewhat paradoxical at times) runs deep.
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: Kallisto on December 22, 2016, 11:01:21 am
.
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: Bonesy on December 22, 2016, 11:43:41 am
you're being paranoid and dumb about this dawg
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: Spinner 8 on December 22, 2016, 11:57:14 am
Came across something disturbing...this might be income-driven censorship, the whole SJW & censorship thing was just a way for them to maximize their paycheck, this is just rumors, and no hard fact evidence yet -

First let us take a step back into the past to get some perspective -

https://blogjob.com/oneangrygamer/2016/02/fire-emblem-fates-censored-content-through-localization-has-gamers-fighting-back/

Other information -

Yes, Nich Maragos, was a Patreon of Andrea Ritsu, some really toxic SJW on Tumblr which started the bullshit allegation that one of Soleil A rank conversation was "Gay conversion" (it isn't). Both him and Rich Amtower, which I believe is a head of localization, both publicly on their twitter, claim support for Zoe Quinn and Feminism

Also, while I'm there, another unrelated "classic" -


https://i.imgur.com/xyoYD8f.png

youtuber -

it's been revealed that some team members of Treehouse are patreon supporters of the fairly SJW bloggers who initially attacked the game for waifu sexism and whatnot. Treehouse's credential basically didn't exist before this, and now they're digging themselves into a hole through very questionable changes.

Commentator from Forbes -

Surprisingly it has more to do with money than expected for a lot of these minor and nonsensical changes. A friend who used to work in the industry says that they were paid for every change, so there was an incentive to change anything they could get away with.

Additionally the Soleil changes go a litter further than just that one support conversation. All her S-Rank conversations to become romantically involved with male characters were changed to friendship. So the localization changes a bisexual woman into a lesbian woman.

I don’t mind jokes being localized or anything like that, but don’t go changing the story just cause you can get a quick buck for it!


User from another site told me this -

This reminds me of the rumor that NoA purposely undershipped NES minis because the personnel in charge of selling the product got bonuses if they sold out their shipments, not maximizing sales.

None of this makes sense. And I can't stand how there's no accountability.



Now what to make of all this? This sounds like a income scheme going on in NoA, and they don't care how they do it. Now if all this is true then there definitely needs to be accountability because they're going against the consumer for their own personal gain, the whole SJW thing & censorship are simply tools for them to get what they want.

Now again if this is true, there needs to be some real hard evidence to start calling out NoA-Treehouse, and other localization teams for various companies if this what they have been doing this whole time. They're insulting real localizations & also Fan-Translations that work real hard to make a product as much presentable as possible, I think we can all agree we have enough problems with the ratings board, but also having to deal with this?

Disgusting

I don't know if you all caught on to this change, but changing Trunk's sword into a twig recently for Fusions is a big red sign that maybe there might be something to this.

Also to add another thing that the whole Income-driven censorship apparently was made aware as some rumor on /v/ few months ago on 4chan, I just happen to dig a little further on this subject, and was made aware of this from another user.

(http://i.imgur.com/N1lx7db.png)
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: Bonesy on December 22, 2016, 12:12:20 pm
if he's charlie can i be frank
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: Kallisto on December 22, 2016, 10:26:05 pm
I'm not being paranoid, I don't believe it is out of the realm of possibility they want to play with the system to get more money, and even if it means hurting the source material.
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: Spooniest on December 27, 2016, 05:06:49 am
I'm not being paranoid, I don't believe it is out of the realm of possibility they want to play with the system to get more money, and even if it means hurting the source material.

Kallisto, you aren't wrong. They are jobbing the system, and my answer is: who wouldn't?

This is a difficult difficult business. You do not sell video games if you expect it to be a relaxing, fulfilling job, and that's the end of it. Any other industry would be less stressful. Video gamers are the most difficult market to sell to, because they know cheating when they see it. ;D

That said; they job the system only enough to the point where they won't piss off too many of their fans. Perhaps the intelligent ones will be angry. That is far from the majority.

If they just censored absolutely anything they could to the point where it made the story 100% acceptable to the target market to minimize the rating as much as possible, then yeah, that would be jobbing the system too hard. But they don't do that. They only job the system as much as will keep the greatest number of fans happy and buying their games in the future. They care about brand loyalty, but you are basically implying that you want to demand that brand loyalty be their number one concern until kingdom come. It isn't going to happen.

Sales numbers will always be top priority. The other concerns aren't irrelevant for that reason; they simply aren't the first thing that is considered. It would take too long and be too difficult and require FAR TOO MUCH PLAYTESTING (that costs money!) to job the system as hard as you are saying you feel they are doing.

Their approach is balanced and profitable, and not too disrespectful of the original author's ideas. They know that a fair segment of the buying public (getting bigger every day) cares about such things. They are willing to cater to that segment to a point. But they cannot make it their number one priority, that would be an unbalanced approach, and not profitable.

I'm not trying to call you out on the carpet or belittle your point of view, but these are what I find to be the most likely facts.
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: Recca on December 27, 2016, 05:32:56 am
Don't get me started on this... I absolutely can't stand stupid censoring. I'm pretty sure that American companies only do this kind of crap to try and make Japanese things look bad. So many games and animes have had terrible English dubs, which is why I vastly prefer watching the original Japanese versions with English subtitles which are usually made by fans. Just look at how awful Dragon Ball Z and One Piece were dubbed by those 4Kids morons which ruined many series. Sure, a small questionable scene must be cut out, but it's okay for children to watch degenerate garbage such as Family Guy which is the most disgusting crap I've ever seen.

Even many games have terrible edits/changes for no good reason at all. For example, in The Twisted Tales of Spike McFang (SNES), the shop keeper Dowson was changed from a pretty blonde girl to some kind of ugly mummified creature. Sometimes, it's even quiet ironic when they make things much worse. Magical Hat for the Sega Genesis, was changed to the damned awful and highly disturbing Decap Attack. Something innocent was changed to something down right evil. And what's the point in changing pointless things like a character's name? I honestly get the feeling that they're just trying to look busy doing pointless things just to get paid...

In any case, I don't want this to end up as one of those topics that never ends and eventually becomes a flame war that gets the thread locked, so I'll stop here. Except for a few cases, censorship is just plain stupid. No matter where something was made, I believe that people should have the chance to experience said game/movie/anime/etc. in the original form.

Edit: Or another funny example I just remembered. Changing the rice balls in Pokémon to sandwiches. Seriously, what's up with that? Are rice balls somehow offensive to U.S viewers...?
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: Kallisto on December 27, 2016, 08:07:26 am
^ I got into a big one-sided debate on two forums about that, and unfortunately most people don't care about the changes as long it still conveys the original message (which I disagree because I do believe people should learn about other cultures with a few exceptions like generic honorifics that mean the same thing that are not needed unless you're hardcore). Also now there is rather strange graphical changes like the whole controversy of Trunks wielding a Twig instead of his sword...and that is when I have to say that the Endless "I'm Offended" thing has gotten out of control...I mean seriously Trunk's Sword removed? I don't know what to say about that nonsense, I hope this didn't set a precedent..but then again they censored a lot of original scenes from DBZ recently in video games, I guess it has to do with FUJI airing it now on a certain time or it had to do with that crime that happened a decade ago, and now they all gotten paranoid. I can't believe it took one crime in Japan for all of them to freak out, and change the rules on Anime/Games/etc.

Also there is the recent issue of fanservice, and honestly I can't blame them for this, I think lately it has gotten tasteless, and the companies involved really put themselves into a hole because of that, but that is a whole separate issue that can fill a topic, and I'll leave it at that.

Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: KingMike on December 27, 2016, 11:53:05 am
but it's okay for children to watch degenerate garbage such as Family Guy which is the most disgusting crap I've ever seen.
But Family Guy wasn't made for children (though I'm sure they've seen it anyways, you're comparing to a show INTENDED for all-ages). Though I stopped watching FG after like 2008 or so when they stopped being funny if politically insensitive, to just seeing how much shit they could get away with. (pretty much Brian trying to have sex with Lois was about the start. Though I think it was an episode about Quagmire's family and having a lot of screaming and stuff where I said "yep, this stopped being a comedy.")

Quote
Sometimes, it's even quiet ironic when they make things much worse. Magical Hat for the Sega Genesis, was changed to the damned awful and highly disturbing Decap Attack. Something innocent was changed to something down right evil. And what's the point in changing pointless things like a character's name? I honestly get the feeling that they're just trying to look busy doing pointless things just to get paid...
Was Magical Hat a licensed property?
I didn't play it all the way through, but Decap Attack seemed pretty mild, despite the name.
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: Chronosplit on December 27, 2016, 12:06:24 pm
Treehouse which works for Nintendo is the real reason why games had been censored
The practice with Pokemon at least predates Treehouse.  See: D/P/Pt and Pokemon marriage.

I think what's largely responsible was the thought back then that everything should be heavily censored due to soccer moms and news pundits people who say Minecraft is satanic.  This carried on in some form and probably will never die.

Translation hacking is not safe from this either, funnily enough.  Examples being the FFIV j2e translation (on accident).  Localization teams aren't responsible for those.
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: KingMike on December 27, 2016, 09:12:30 pm
I don't think j2e is an "accident".
Probably the editors on that were still in their teens (or at least, not quite "mature" to keep the story as-is) and thought adding jokes and unnecessary foul language (among other things) would make the game "better".

(not that stuff like the Something Awful shout-out didn't get in to the official localizations :P )
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: Chronosplit on December 27, 2016, 10:52:12 pm
(not that stuff like the Something Awful shout-out didn't get in to the official localizations :P )
True.  At least with V it was somewhat better done.  The only one I caught was on Gilgamesh.
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: Spooniest on December 28, 2016, 01:27:07 am
True.  At least with V it was somewhat better done.  The only one I caught was on Gilgamesh.

ON the subject of Final Fantasy V's translation, I wonder if the reason it was not originally released was that SE did not at the time want to open the can of worms that including a cross-dressing character would have opened. There doesn't seem to have been a practical, compromising position to find on such a question, and so the game simply went unlocalized until after FF7 made the series "edgy."

I am going to dream of Final Fantasy IV now. :D Night night
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: SunGodPortal on December 28, 2016, 02:22:58 am
ON the subject of Final Fantasy V's translation, I wonder if the reason it was not originally released was that SE did not at the time want to open the can of worms that including a cross-dressing character would have opened. There doesn't seem to have been a practical, compromising position to find on such a question, and so the game simply went unlocalized until after FF7 made the series "edgy."

I am going to dream of Final Fantasy IV now. :D Night night

If I remember correctly, I remember reading something to the effect that maybe they were holding off on translating V but they waited so long that by the time they were ready to start work on it VI was almost ready for release so they went ahead and translated it instead since they believed it to be a better game anyway.
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: shadowmanwkp on December 28, 2016, 02:36:20 am
If I remember correctly, I remember reading something to the effect that maybe they were holding off on translating V but they waited so long that by the time they were ready to start work on it VI was almost ready for release so they went ahead and translated it instead since they believed it to be a better game anyway.

Woolsey actually cited a different reason, it was too complex:

Quote
I think one of my favorite games was Final Fantasy V, which I had almost all translated, but which they opted not to ship because they didn't feel the US market was ready for a second flagship RPG. They'd shipped FFII and they felt in Tokyo that they needed something else to get people trained up on that style of gaming, and that became a game called Mystic Quest.

Source: http://www.playeronepodcast.com/forum/index.php?/topic/145-transcript-of-ted-woolsey-interview/
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: SunGodPortal on December 28, 2016, 02:53:45 am
Woolsey actually cited a different reason, it was too complex:

Source: http://www.playeronepodcast.com/forum/index.php?/topic/145-transcript-of-ted-woolsey-interview/

Makes sense I guess. And now that I think about it, I was thinking of FFIII. They didn't bring it over because IV was almost ready and the SNES was bigger and better.

Kinda silly about the "too complex" thing. Sometimes people overthink things and make really stupid decisions. FFV couldn't have done any worse than FFMQ.
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: Reiska on December 28, 2016, 11:43:20 pm
That's the sort of thing I hate and I think it's a slap in the face to the original developers. They spent all that time trying to weave a story that would actually have some gravity, only to have the localization team suck all the color/life out of it turning it into something patronizing rather than engaging. And why? Because Americans foolishly underestimate children and have a habit of going to great (unnecessary) lengths to shelter them from reality.

To be fair, most of the time these days the original writers/developers are explicitly signing off on any changes made in localization.

I personally don't see localization edits as a bad thing most of the time; cultures are simply different the world over.  Some things that are acceptable in Japan aren't acceptable here, and so they get changed.  Some things that are acceptable here aren't acceptable in Japan, and so they get changed too.  As just one example, in most cases when a Western cartoon series is dubbed into Japanese, if the characters were drawn with four fingers, the art is altered for the Japanese dub to give them five fingers, because while in the US a four-fingered hand means nothing other than the animators choosing to be abstract in the character design to divorce the show from 'reality' or possibly even just being done because it's easier to draw, in Japan a four fingered hand carries significant connotations of association with the yakuza.  (Disney works are one of the few exceptions, because Disney has specifically disallowed this kind of editing.)

Cultural standards also change over time, and sometimes can be reactionary to current events, when remakes come around (example: the South Figaro scene in FF6 Advance being edited, and the various edits to the 3DS port of DQ8).  *Those* kind of edits are what, IMO, should actually appropriately be called censorship (for all that it's self-censorship): removing something that was in a previous release in the same region because it's now become culturally uncomfortable.  (Fundamentally, there isn't much difference between this and the people who, for example, argue that the N-word should be censored out of various classic literature in which it appears.)  I specify "same region" because, as alluded to above, I don't consider localization edits to fall into this group.

So that brings me back to Fire Emblem, and I'd certainly say that Fates' localization was on the heavier end of the scale.  But that comes back to what the actual point of localization (that is, as opposed to straight translation) is: a quality localization, in theory, should give the reader the impression that it was originally written in the target language to begin with, while maintaining the overall spirit of the original work.  Whether the latter was achieved or not is a debate I'm not willing or able to get into - I don't speak Japanese myself, and I haven't played through all of Fates either.  Treehouse definitely appears to follow this logic in their work, though, sometimes extending to redefining some characters' personalities to use tropes more familiar to Western audiences instead of those more familiar to Eastern audiences, because they feel the former will resonate better with the mass-market audience they're seeking.  (And let's be clear: it is a mass-market audience they're seeking, they really don't care about the small American otaku minority.) 

In the end, localizers (and designers, even) always must make a judgment call as to what American audiences will respond positively (and negatively) to.  Sometimes, they do well - Final Fantasy XIV is a strong example of a game that has an outstandingly good localization for the most part - from what I've heard, the game's Japanese text is actually quite bland compared to the style the localization employs.  Conversely, look at Final Fantasy XII for a mistake on the design side: the story was clearly originally conceived and written with Basch as the protagonist, only for Vaan to be forced in by the Japanese marketing division because they feared a character like Basch would not appeal to Japanese audiences as a protagonist.  I've seen people theorize this probably hurt FFXII's western sales to some degree, and it certainly at least shows up in people's reaction to characters; Vaan remains a popular character in Japan, whereas in the West he's one of the least popular characters in the franchise, as most of the Western audience liked Balthier and Basch more. 

Square-Enix clearly learned something from this, as evidenced by the fact that they made two completely different versions of the game Nier, with the same story but with a completely different protagonist.  The Xbox 360 in Japan got "Nier Gestalt", where the protagonist is an older man (not unlike Basch) and the illl girl is his daughter; the PlayStation 3 in Japan got "Nier Replicant", where the protagonist is a younger androgynous man (not unlike Vaan), and the ill girl is his sister.  And then, when they localized it, rather than keep this dual-game approach in the US, they instead ported "Gestalt" to the PS3 as well, so both consoles in the US got "Nier Gestalt" with the father-daughter pair, because they likely recognized from the FFXII reactions that the US mass market would prefer this style of protagonist.
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: Kallisto on December 30, 2016, 10:18:11 am
I think I can accept some things on a cultural level like how they did each town's accent in Dragon Quest, but when we have games set on Earth, and they use say..like some kind of drink in Japan that is well known, but not to Americans so they have to change it..then I feel like it is a wasted opportunity to introduce something (Well not like you can do that now due to today's copyright, and everyone wants that piece of the pie mentality that kind of killed off that creative side..thus why parodies of something exist to replace it, the drink example probably was not a good example to use to clarify on where I stand on these issues).

I think it is kind of obscene to treat foreigners like that for any country because it takes away to learn something you may never had known about if the curiosity is there, heck I'm just kind of surprised we get Persona/Shin Megami because that is straight up a lot of Japanese references, but I guess they thought "well maybe they're not too ignorant to figure it out what is what". Maybe that is the core issue I have with Localization, I think purposely making people ignorant of things is generally wrong for a mass audience, and honestly I'm starting to find the whole Mass Audience thing overrated since that is what ruined some Movies & Music lately, but I'm being a bit cynical I admit. Now when it comes to okay/Not okay scenarios, well I realize that is just how people are from country to country, I can learn to accept that too.

Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: Spooniest on December 30, 2016, 10:34:58 am
I think it is kind of obscene to treat foreigners like that for any country because it takes away to learn something you may never had known about if the curiosity is there, heck I'm just kind of surprised we get Persona/Shin Megami because that is straight up a lot of Japanese references, but I guess they thought "well maybe they're not too ignorant to figure it out what is what". Maybe that is the core issue I have with Localization, I think purposely making people ignorant of things is generally wrong for a mass audience.

This is possibly the most interesting point I've ever heard on the subject, Kal. I feel the same way. I wish they would leave in and/or take some measure to explain the cultural references, rather than try to change them to something recognizable. The problem often in the past was not that they were unwilling to.

It was that they were unable to. You see, every letter you are seeing on this very post takes up precisely one measure of memory, however great or small. The spaces and punctuation marks also take up a measure of memory, whatever size it is (KB, MB, GB, etc).

They did not have room in the program's text bank to express an explanation of the cultural aspects in the old days. For this reason, the convention of localization became to simplify as much as possible the space required to convey the general ideas of the story.

That habit has continued even as memory storage capacity has ceased to become a problem, because it is what gamers are used to.
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: Kallisto on December 30, 2016, 10:40:08 am
The last few times I've brought this point up that it rubbed a few people the wrong way, I just assume they must have been in some business related-field or just simply support the practice. I was a bit hesitant to get to some idea what people thought of my views on here because I got tired of being belittled when I'm not doing that to anyone, and well I'm glad it didn't go that route.
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: FAST6191 on December 30, 2016, 12:29:56 pm
Though I certainly play games, read books, watch films... to maybe learn something about a culture I can see the merit in changing fruit squash to cola/soda/pop for US audiences if you are not trying to convey a sense of otherness.

Also it is probably not copyright as much as trademarks that prevents a character from relaxing with a refreshing drink of Jolt Cola. If it is not a parody or a comparison for the sake of sales... it could in turn be viewed as an endorsement by the company or them not caring and that could lead to trouble. As cover your arse is not the worst way to set about life it gets done. On the other hand being rather brand focused may itself be a cultural thing.
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: Reiska on December 31, 2016, 01:31:10 am
I think I can accept some things on a cultural level like how they did each town's accent in Dragon Quest, but when we have games set on Earth, and they use say..like some kind of drink in Japan that is well known, but not to Americans so they have to change it..then I feel like it is a wasted opportunity to introduce something (Well not like you can do that now due to today's copyright, and everyone wants that piece of the pie mentality that kind of killed off that creative side..thus why parodies of something exist to replace it, the drink example probably was not a good example to use to clarify on where I stand on these issues).

I think it is kind of obscene to treat foreigners like that for any country because it takes away to learn something you may never had known about if the curiosity is there, heck I'm just kind of surprised we get Persona/Shin Megami because that is straight up a lot of Japanese references, but I guess they thought "well maybe they're not too ignorant to figure it out what is what". Maybe that is the core issue I have with Localization, I think purposely making people ignorant of things is generally wrong for a mass audience, and honestly I'm starting to find the whole Mass Audience thing overrated since that is what ruined some Movies & Music lately, but I'm being a bit cynical I admit. Now when it comes to okay/Not okay scenarios, well I realize that is just how people are from country to country, I can learn to accept that too.

I absolutely agree that if a work takes place in a real-world location, cultural references unique to that region should be left alone even if they may not make sense to the viewer, and used as an opportunity to educate the viewer about an unfamiliar culture.  Like, I don't care if Pokemon replaces rice balls with hamburgers or whatever because Pokemon doesn't take place in real world areas; sure, Pokemon regions are each inspired by a real location, but they're all fictional places and ultimately it probably isn't too important to the story what Ash's eating, what's important is that he's engaged in the act of eating.  Whereas in something like Persona, it takes place in Japan explicitly, and so those sorts of references should be left alone.  (Atlus is generally good at this.)

Persona 3/4 localizations, of course, got a fair amount of their own flak for leaving many honorifics in the English script, even though they sound incredibly stilted and unnatural in English.  I don't mind that they were left, though, since while they *do* sound stilted and unnatural, they're trying to convey foreign cultural aspects about interpersonal relationships in the school setting that are markedly different from our school culture and that just cannot directly translate. 
Title: Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
Post by: Spooniest on December 31, 2016, 09:19:13 am
I think the reason it's so hard to have a website like the one we're on now, that focuses not only on modification of gameplay/story aspects, but also on translations, is that this art (translation) is largely a matter of opinion, and the first (modification) is 100% opinion.

We are dealing with a massive and powerful set of opinions on this site about these things. It of course has gotten heated. Heat is not bad, but it must be kept at a certain level or things get too hot...I mean, it ain't John Hume's Inquiry Into Human Understanding; we deal with two things that are either mostly or totally opinion based, and so we all have to learn how to express an opinion properly. There is little about this hobby that is constant.

Video games are ridiculous and wildly inventive. They really are a medium unto themselves, there's honestly no reasoning behind comparing them with other mediums beyond marketing campaigns.

But since they're so completely open and for a long time in the industry it was basically "What've you got? Good we'll go with it!", it is a widely varied playing field when it comes to stories, gameplay elements, and art styles.

It is what we call a "deep subject" at this point. :D Video games, that is.