Censorships in gaming vary in Asia due to the diversity in politics, culture, and levels of profanity.
At the end Fallout 3, players could set off a nuclear bomb, destroying a whole city, which I am sure would destroy a whole lot more. This may sound like nothing to many people, but it is something to the people of Japan who suffered two atomic bombings during WWII. That part in the game was unquestionably removed in Japan. While a scene in Fallout 3 was taken out, a Japanese developed game was altered. The characters in Bravely Default, released on the Nintendo 3DS, were apparently dressed too provocatively for their age. As a result, when the game was released in North America, the main characters’ ages were no longer to be underage, and two other characters’ wardrobes were modified to be less revealing.
China has probably the strictest regulations when it comes to censorship in Asia. To add to their long list of violations of the law, one of the laws prohibits “content that other laws and regulations have already prohibited.” What is ironic is that in certain video games revealing women in bikinis are prohibited in China, claiming that the games were revealing sensitive parts of the body. In addition to this comment, China argued how most games do not take place in the winter, when people can dress more appropriately and presentable.
In April of this year, China lifted a 14 year- old ban on gaming consoles. However, with the list of law regulations, China will probably be missing out on a lot of the gaming blockbusters.
Grand Theft Auto is a franchise that holds more controversies than a gorilla can with bananas. The game is more than a triple threat, violating almost all of China’s laws, including obscenity, gambling, violence, and drug use. Popular games may not hold up the same standard in China as they do in the West. Back in 2013, when Battlefield 4 first launched, China instantly decided not to bring the game into their market. China banned the game due to reasons of it threatening the country’s national security. Though I do have to say, I was surprised at how the people in the game spoke very fluent Mandarin.
Particular features in games may seem as common in the West like smart phones do today. However, there are different levels of sensitivity when it comes to gaming in Asia. There are adjustments in characters’ costumes and video games being banned because of the culture that surrounds Asia. Japan is the biggest influence in gaming in Asia. For example, Pokemon – the cartoon and manga was so popular all around the world that video games based on them were created. The creatures in Pokemon were considered cute and very likeable. Soon, many games developed in Asia began following the path of Japanese art and included kawaii, or “cute,” critters in them.
There was a mobile game that was highly commercialized in an exhibit in Taiwan. The gameplay resembled Tower of Saviors, but the characters were all changed to be considered “cute” and inviting to young children. One game portrays the events in history of an emperor taking over kingdoms, while another has players being in control of a character who has to fight off dragons. A lot of mobile games that are being advertised all over Asia seem to adopt and expand on Japanese art but revolve around the same gameplay.
Asia is a continent that is much like North America. Both have very diverse cultures, but the former is rarely recognized as having variety. Different censorships are given to games in Asia due to each country’s individuality and reboots of seemingly similar games are a result of cultural locality.