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Kurisu-Chan

Starless : first impressions.

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Don't think I can handle this one. Saw some cgs of Starless posted on the JAST release thread, absolutely terrrifying stuff. I completely understood the need for censorship at that point (even though I'm glad they released the patch for users who like this kind of thing). Now I just need to sand that image off the back of my retinas.

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Don't think I can handle this one. Saw some cgs of Starless posted on the JAST release thread, absolutely terrrifying stuff. I completely understood the need for censorship at that point (even though I'm glad they released the patch for users who like this kind of thing). Now I just need to sand that image off the back of my retinas.

 

Why? JAST shouldn't be releasing it if they refuse to do it in full. It's like some company going to dub the Kill Bill movies, but then saying "oh no, we don't like killing or blood, so we're going to take it all out." Then you're left with nothing. You've butchered the main crux of the movies, and on top of that, you've pretty much removed all hope of a full release by someone else (as you had the license, and other people are less likely to bother after it's been done, even if done very badly etc). You can also say it's a disservice to the original work. A lot of people seem to say about translating visual novels; either translate it well, or just don't translate it at all. They say that releasing things like a machine translation, or a translation by someone who doesn't fully understand it (low Japanese skills), is worse than not translating it at all. Why does that not follow for companies who rip a whole load of scenes out?

 

Here's an idea if you don't like it: don't fucking play it. Same goes for companies who won't release the game in full: don't pick up the fucking license.

 

Now I know in this case they was an "un"official patch to restore them (by the way, were they uncensored as well, or still censored ala JP version?), but that's not always the case, and I'm not just talking about Starless here. I think it's pretty acceptable given everything, to hit the roof when companies pick up games and then go and censor them.

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Art restored by the (un)official patch did not have mosaics.  Some weird zooming issues did occur as a result of the localization process, which JAST is currently working on fixing.  It took fans comparing the Japanese and English versions side-by-side to catch the issue.

 

I completely understood the need for censorship at that point

You're implying that content should be sterilized to meet your standards / tastes.  That's a message likely to provoke outrage.  The content was censored for legal reasons.  Never forget that.

 

It's a title about degradation and sexual slavery.  It's not supposed to be pleasant.

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You say that, but where's the evidence for it? Scat is not illegal, mutilation is not illegal (when not real obviously), and on the bestiality front, is there any precedent for drawn bestiality to land anyone in court and lose, because nothing comes to mind for me?

Why yes, there is evidence that the US prosecutes such thought crimes.

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There is a difference. You can write a book and have one of your characters tortured; you won't go to jail for torture. You can have one of your characters get raped; you won't go to jail for rape. There are differences in mediums, which also exist in drawn art.

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And I'm telling you that you're wrong in this specific context.  Obscenity law applies to drawn depictions as much as it applies to fictional depictions using real actors.

 

What? There was nothing fictional about what Isaacs did. Have you not seen them? The dog wasn't fake.

 

If I'm wrong, prove it to me and I'll concede the point, otherwise if you can't, then you can't say it's illegal. You said there was a specific context, setting it apart from my examples, so then what is this specific context? Show me what happened in court for this specific context.

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They censored the borderline content and there is a patch that restores it (and he said that he is glad that there is a one for those who like that kind of things). What is the problem with you??

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What? There was nothing fictional about what Isaacs did. Have you not seen them? The dog wasn't fake.

Oops.  I was misled by the way they mixed the case with the judge's own indiscretions.

 

Nonetheless, the charges weren't bestiality (there's separate laws regulating bestiality).  The charges were obscenity.  Obscenity law does not distinguish between drawn and real acts--the key element is offensiveness.

 

If I'm wrong, prove it to me and I'll concede the point, otherwise if you can't, then you can't say it's illegal. You said there was a specific context, setting it apart from my examples, so then what is this specific context? Show me what happened in court for this specific context.

I have nothing to prove to you.  You're the silly one for accusing JAST of lying through their teeth that this is a legal issue.  Ask a lawyer specializing in obscenity law if you don't want to believe me.  Or just read my Shiny Days article (including the relevant comment).  I didn't write a companion article for Starless because the game didn't interest me sufficiently to invest the time in giving it a proper write-up, and my focus is more on anti-loli legislation for personal reasons.  I'm not getting paid enough to do your legal research for you.  You're on your own there.

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Nonetheless, the charges weren't bestiality (there's separate laws regulating bestiality).  The charges were obscenity.  Obscenity law does not distinguish between drawn and real acts--the key element is offensiveness.

 

Have you ever been to an outsider art gallery? Ah well no of course not, they're all in jail for breaking obscenity laws so there aren't any such exhibits right? I forgot. Matt Stone and Trey Parker, whatever happened to them, jail for their Mr Hanky character right?

 

You're right that "obscenity" cases are dealt with on a case by case basis (which I think you were trying to get at by "context?"), but I think you're misunderstanding what they actually are. The cases are just tried by a jury, to find if they're obscene or not; there's no actual law for it from the outset. Get 12 different people on a different day and you can win. There is no legal or illegal for obscenity cases, that's the whole point, to find out, if in the general public's view, if it is obscene or not. Someone could take MangaGamer or JAST or any 18+ VN publisher to court for obscenity, and if they get the wrong jury, they lose. Ripping out the arbitrarily-chosen scat, bestiality and mutilation doesn't change anything regarding that, except if they think it'll lower their chances of getting taken to court.

 

Drawn representations of underage characters involved in sex IS one we have precedent for: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Handley- yet still, looking at some of JAST's western releases since that case was decided (2009): School Days, Demonbane. I don't know about others, but I'm sure there's more. But really we don't need to look further than School Days. They are CLEAR violation of the obscenity law there. So we can clearly see they don't give a shit about US obscenity laws really, as they've directly violated it multiple times. Their censorship decisions are clearly not based on the law given that, and guess what? Not taken to court, not arrested, not in jail. And that's a specifically defined precedent outcome.

 

I never said they were lying, they may just be entirely misguided in what they think they need to censor. And my view at the top of the this conversation was that I don't think they should pick up games just to butcher them, go translate and release something else instead. They did not need to censor the game here, and even if that need was there, then they should pick something else.

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You're right that "obscenity" cases are dealt with on a case by case basis (which I think you were trying to get at by "context?"), but I think you're misunderstanding what they actually are. The cases are just tried by a jury, to find if they're obscene or not; there's no actual law for it from the outset. Get 12 different people on a different day and you can win. There is no legal or illegal for obscenity cases, that's the whole point, to find out, if in the general public's view, if it is obscene or not. Someone could take MangaGamer or JAST or any 18+ VN publisher to court for obscenity, and if they get the wrong jury, they lose. Ripping out the arbitrarily-chosen scat, bestiality and mutilation doesn't change anything regarding that, except if they think it'll lower their chances of getting taken to court.

That's more important than you seem to think.  Imagine if your neck was on the line?  Wouldn't you care about minimizing risks?

 

They are CLEAR violation of the obscenity law there. So we can clearly see they don't give a shit about US obscenity laws really, as they've directly violated it multiple times. Their censorship decisions are clearly not based on the law given that, and guess what? Not taken to court, not arrested, not in jail. And that's a specifically defined precedent outcome.

I'm sort of puzzled that you acknowledge how fuzzy obscenity law is, then immediately follow that up with a definite, unqualified statement.  Take a look at the Miller Test.  There are no definites, especially when artistic and literary value are part of the definition.  In fact, JAST specifically explained that they believe Littlewitch Romanesque was ok uncensored because they could demonstrate artistic or literary value.  Starless... maybe not.  And I guess they thought the same about Shiny Days, for whatever reason.

 

And my view at the top of the this conversation was that I don't think they should pick up games just to butcher them, go translate and release something else instead. They did not need to censor the game here, and even if that need was there, then they should pick something else.

 

That's an argument I specifically address in my Shiny Days article.  I consider that an alarming viewpoint that tends to restrict freedom of expression rather than promote it.  If you forbid compromise and workarounds, then you're essentially magnifying the chilling effect of the law.  That's NOT the line to toe if you want to see more extreme content down the line.

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No, this whole time I've been asking you for precedent. I'm saying it's fuzzy with the other ones because they have not gone to court, and thus have not been ruled obscene or not. Child pornography HAS gone to court, and HAS been ruled obscene, so we can look to it (as a judge would) and decide based on it.

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I think you're misunderstanding how court precedent works.  Juries don't analyze a case history and painstakingly compare images to decide if the new images are more or less offensive than images from previous cases.  They're simply going to judge based on gut instinct, based on personal values.  Where court precedent DOES apply is when the judge sees charges based on laws that have been generally debunked on legal grounds in past cases.  In the pre-trial hearing he'll throw out such charges, as happened in Christopher Handley's case.  I assume the judge also has to power to look at the images and say "there's no way any reasonable person would consider these obscene; this doesn't deserve to go to trial."

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I think people are misunderstanding me at this point. I was'nt meaning to say I agreed with censorship, I was just saying there is no way I could "personally" ever play the game without censorship as it's a bit extreme for me thats all. Was'nt trying to start a firefight, also for the people swearing at me come on calm down. I think it's great that Jast is able to supply titles to suit everbodies tastes.

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hmm i understand what you want to tell us, but so you know the story stays completely the same, censored or not. just because you dont SEE some dick getting chopped off, or my little farm in action with them girls, doesnt mean its not explained in the plot itself. the "censored" scenes are also not that many & compared to some other ones way less "disturbing".
so you might want to skip the game entirely, if such an experience doesnt suit your personality

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