Written and Illustrated by Koriander Bullard
Gamers in general are a whiny lot this decade.
For example, if you give them a classic Sonic The Hedgehog game, they'll complain it's not edgy enough. Make it edgy and they'll complain they want the original back. Give them the original and they'll beg you to kill off the Sonic franchise. Stop making Sonic games and they beg for a sequel.
These armchair, DeviantArt designers thrive off of complaining, and boy did developer NISA give them plenty to complain about.
So after several petitions, NISA has finally gotten the greenlight to release Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors for the PlayStation Vita this September. For those who do not know, the game centers on a male protagonist as he “redeems” criminal girls and women of their crimes through “motivation” games, in which the player is allowed to sexually touch but not actually have sex with each of the girls. You can choose whether or not to gag the girls as you tease them, and for each mini game, the girl of your choice will earn better magic attacks, higher stats and will eventually grow closer to you.
Imagine if instead of collecting and raising Pokemon, you were collecting and raising ex-convicts .
Well if the game was to be released as-is, the ESRB would have slapped it with an AO rating. An AO would be the death knell for the series in the US, as most stores refuse to sell AO rated games. So in order for NISA to be granted an M rating, some changes had to be made.
One change involves the Motivation system. In Japan, it's called the “punishment” system, and the longer you poke and tease the girls, the louder they beg you to stop. Rape, even if no actual sex is taking place, will earn the game an AO, so for the west, NISA changed the name of the action, deleted the sound files of the girls protesting, and replaced them with approving moans and heartbeat sounds, making the scenes consensual.
But aside from this and a few minor changes in dialogue, again, making these segments about consensual sex rather than rape, came the art change for the character Tsukasa.
In the Japanese port of the game, Tsukasa can be found tied up on a bed, fighting everything being done to her. Her legs and breasts are bound by a thick rope, and she fights back tears as you molest her.
In the English cut of the game, Tsukasa is no longer tied up. Her pose is a little more relaxed, she isn't crying anymore, and she allows you access to her body without complaint.
That was it. Gamers started to nerd-rage at the sight of Tsukasa's in-progress re-draw, and they immediately took to NISA's message board, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr to not only complain, but to blame feminists for the changes. It was not long before these savages started carpet-bombing female gamers with rape and death threats, blaming everybody in the world for what happened.
Taking immediate responsibility, NISA posted the following to their message board after an emergency house-cleaning of some of the comments:
“The “censoring” of this game is in no way an attempt to “pander” or “market” to certain people. It is in no way a response to any anticipatory backlash by “feminists” or “SJWs”. Understand that these edits were done to bring the game down to an M (and equivalent) from an AO, not from an M to an M (but with less sexual content) or T. We know what game we’re making, y’all. It’s from our parent company.
If this game required no edits whatsoever from the ESRB and was released with an M rating, I would love it. I would rejoice. All of the “SJWs” in the world could send me death threats over email, form a picket line outside the office, egg my house, set my car on fire, and write essays and give television interviews about how Criminal Girls 2 is the most abhorrent game ever made and no civilized person should ever play it and shame on everyone involved in its creation…and I would prefer it to having to deal with all of this “censorship” drama.
Don’t ever, ever believe that we want to censor things.”
Even more laughable is the fact that these male gamers are using this game as a poster child to show how “unfair” men are treated on a whole.
This is the state of male gamers of all ages these days, in case you haven't noticed.
Anytime I or another female talk openly about harassment we've been through, a male immediately has to throw himself a pity party.
“WHAT?? Everybody gets attacked, NOT just women. This isn't about YOU!! It's about ME!! I'M the one being discriminated against. How dare you tell me to stop posting sexist things, you're bullying me, WAAAAAAH it's not fair!!”
The male then tries to tell me (a female, by the way) the difference between a “real” feminist and a “fake” feminist. In case you're curious, a “fake” feminist accuses men of being sexist. Of course.
Funny thing is, the game isn't being that badly censored, which is why the anti-feminist pity party is unnecessary.
Have a look again at the above image. Yes, the rape imagery is gone, but take a closer look. Tsukasa is actually wearing LESS clothing than her Japanese counterpart. You're still getting overtly sexualized, nearly nude females, they're just less repulsed by your character now. And again, you are still encouraged to molest the girls, only now they are less hesitant to let you near their bodies. Isn't this more of a victory than a defeat?
Considering that Tsukasa is a fiery “bad girl” type who is strong willed, the change to make her instances consensual actually fit her character more. She's a “naughty” girl who carries a giant club around in a prison for bad women. Again, isn't making her more welcoming of the sexual play a victory?
These male gamers claim that there's no such thing as “rape culture” but their recent display in response to de-raping of the Criminal Girls 2 cast just proved them all wrong.
And hiding behind the censorship debate and attacking total strangers online who happen to be feminists, when this is actually about turning rape into consent, is just plain criminal.
Koriander Bullard is an author, cartoonist and human rights advocate. Keep up with her on Facebook!