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Default Dragon Commander - Self Censorship

February 28th, 2013, 14:40
In his blog Swen Vincke talks about self censorship in Dragon Commander.
I've played a bit of the game last week in their studios and was given some examples and didn't think the statements in the game were actually something to worry about. I think it is great what they are trying to do. Swen also refers to the Dwarven princess in his blog and to make you draw a picture of her in your mind. Think about a not so slender girl, who is short and shows a lot of cleavage, which is made possible because she really has a lot to show.
One thing that worries me a bit in particular is the discussion Iíve had with several journalists about the the political and satirical topics in the game. They were all pretty interested in that part of the game and since they are journalists after all, I can see how thatís going to be something weíll have to deal with.
Admittedly, some of the topics are a bit controversial, even if we did base them on real-life issues that dominate political agendas around the world. But the wording used by our writer is pretty much in synch with Larianís culture i.e. itís very satiricial, and since the internet is the internet and some of the satire will be lost in translation, itís probably inevitable that flak is going to head our way.
It also doesnít help that our lead animator decided that on this particular game he was going to show the world what he thinks of censorship. He made the most obvious sexist camera shot ever for the introduction of the dwarven princess to the dragon knight, and then queried me whether I thought it was over the top, and whether or not such an expression of artistic freedom belonged in a game. As I was debating the issue openly I somehow managed to get half Larian around me, who vigorously let me know that censorship is a thing of the devil and what they thought about their right to aim a camera at a dwarven princessí breasts.
I let them cook a bit by playing the devilís advocate, but let it in because a) Iím no big fan of censorship, b) Iím no fan of enforced politically correctness because it gives media too much power to shape opinion and c) I thought there was something symbolical about this particular shot being such a discussion generator just because it was visual. I think there is much more controversial stuff than this in the way the councillors formulate their opnions , but apparently the fact that thatís just words doesnít provoke the same emotions.
Some of the guys who saw our presentations got it though and understood that there was gameplay value in putting in things a large majority wouldnít agree with (at least, I hope), but which a player would still contemplate because it might let him reach his goals, pretty much the same thing a politician has to do all the time.
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