imageSoredemo, Watashi wa Aishiteiru (Even So, I Love You) is an indie visual novel that was released on Xbox Live as part of the community games initiative a few weeks ago. It is no longer being distributed as a result of content deemed inappropriate by Microsoft Europe, Canned Dogs reports.

 

According to a blog post by the game’s author, the following visual cues were the cause of the problem:

 

1. A girl’s hand being restrained
2. The girl being pushed down at the same time
3. Her underwear were being exposed

 

Apparently, these visual cues were deemed inappropriate because they would “remind players of sexual violence.” Keep in mind that no actual act of sexual harassment was committed.

 

What’s odd, though, is that it was Microsoft Europe that got in touch with the developer in order to address the issue, which would imply that Microsoft were concerned about the game’s perception in Western territories. Understandably, the developer asked if it would be OK for distribution of the game to continue in Japan while he adjusted the content for other territories, but was threatened with account suspension.

 

What is concerning about this is that it seems like cultural differences are no longer going to be taken into account while dealing with censorship. Having to comply with the content regulations of every region in the same game build is absurd. It’s also hypocrisy. You don’t see the U.S. version of Gears of War being toned down in violence just because someone in Germany deems it inappropriate.

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and a contributing writer at GamesIndustry.biz. He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.

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