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Default Dragon Commander - Self Censorship

February 28th, 2013, 15:40
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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February 28th, 2013, 15:40
Amen. To many studios cave because the media and various blogs love to get page hits. Were all sexist don't you know. You bigots.

I can't wait for this to be a negative when it brings the game more publicity. In the immortal words from the movie scrooge " You can't buy publicity like this".

This game is a must buy for me now. The political decisions are just more icing on the cake. Can't wait to play it.

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Last edited by Couchpotato; February 28th, 2013 at 15:57.
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February 28th, 2013, 16:39
I thought it sounded more like a desperate ploy: "Hey, we don't think enough males are interested in our game. Let's show some tits! That'll get their attention!" Thing is, it'll probably work. Dragon Commander isn't for me though, so I'll just grab the screenshot
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Wink I'm actually a fan of Dwarven Boobies, butÖ

February 28th, 2013, 18:48
This seems like a lot of stirring the pot because Vincke's afraid no one is watching.

The envelope on hyper-sexualization of video game characters has transgressively been pushed further and further along for years, so whether or not censorship (real or imagined, and more likely the latter in Vincke's case, especially as a European developers) is an issue isn't relevant: that ship has already sailed, long, long ago.

Your standard busty game babe is yawn-worthy, as vanilla as exploding red barrels, what's unusual are characters like April Ryan or Zoe Castillo, and oh wait, that ground was broken years ago.

That said, unless they do a really good job, I thought the female Dwarves from the first Dragon Age were damned attractive, so that'll be the bar I'll compare them too, ridiculous cleavage shots or no.

"it’s probably inevitable that flak is going to head our way…[and later] Anyway, flak heading this way, I’m sure,"

This reminds me of the guys who dig bunkers in the middle of nowhere and swear up and down THE END IS COMING and everyone's going to come gunning for them. Maybe he should put a pot over his head and start preparing for the inevitable oppression of his freedom of expression

oh, and disappointed by the lack of actual Dwarven Boobies visuals, here are some lovely examples, enjoy :

Example A | Example B | Example C
Last edited by Dhraiden; February 28th, 2013 at 19:08.
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February 28th, 2013, 22:06
I'm the last person to defend poltical correctness but it's a bit convenient for marketing purposes to 'fight the good fight' in the name of using sex to sell.

I was hoping this would be kid-friendly for my 10 year old but if it's going to be gnomes with big boobs or anime with a 1" waist and DD boobs then I'll have to pass.

I like Larian but I could have gone without this bit of news.

If I'm right but there is no wife around to acknowledge it, am I still right?
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February 28th, 2013, 22:36
I wouldn't think this is a game to play with a ten year old, and dwarven boobs would be the least of my worries. But I'm a leftie Euro accoring to dte, so we may have different priorities.

Driftmoon seems to be very kid friendly from what I hear - I'll check out myself whether I could play that with my girls.
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February 28th, 2013, 22:49
You are getting this wrong. Yes the princesses might be a bit too sexy but it is a minor point. The potential problems he is seeing are in the realism of the responses of the in-game characters. Envision the positions, discussions and name calling in our politics and religion forum translated to a game.

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February 28th, 2013, 23:04
Analogously, you have every right to go around insulting other people and calling them fat and ugly and stupid. To prevent you from doing so would absolutely be censorship.

But you're still a dick.
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February 28th, 2013, 23:59
No its not analogous . The difference is that these are in-game characters saying stuff you might not agree with to other in-game characters.

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March 1st, 2013, 01:08
Dwarven cleavage? So what? Can you even see it around her beard?

Hitting political sore spots is OK with me *IF* I think you're doing it to try and make a point. If you do it just to try and get people riled up, then I'm not going to be a happy gamer. If he's setting up these different political views according to the background and perspective of the NPCs then I'm going to be quite happy.
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March 1st, 2013, 04:23
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
I wouldn't think this is a game to play with a ten year old, and dwarven boobs would be the least of my worries.
It's the good old, 'every water droplet in the raging waters proclaims the flood is not their fault' deal.

My kids are still pretty innocent but my ten year old is noticing that girls are different and asks me why the man at the restaurant has an earring through his nose and why the woman walking on the sidewalk has tattoos on one entire half side of her body and is currently mad at me because I won't let him freely browse youtube since every other video the person uses profanity pretty much with every single word spoken.

With all the things I can't control that he sees I've got my hands full. So with the things I can control, I do. Pretty soon he will be old enough to start learning how to swallow the filth of the world like we all have to. Until then, I just want him to be a kid and enjoy it.

I did buy Driftmoon for myself and that games is very kid friendly and he is interested in playing it - that game is great game for him and you have to think too which is a plus.

If I'm right but there is no wife around to acknowledge it, am I still right?
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March 1st, 2013, 05:08
That's how you know youre a true RPG geek.

Everyone loves Elven tits and ass. But Dwarves. That's when you know that youre hardcore
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March 1st, 2013, 15:01
A new Nipplegate ?
I bet that in the U.S. this … Dwarven Princess would get censored.
And then, Germans would shake their heads over that censorship.

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Default They've got more padding where it counts.

March 1st, 2013, 19:57
Originally Posted by xSamhainx View Post
That's how you know youre a true RPG geek.

Everyone loves Elven tits and ass. But Dwarves. That's when you know that youre hardcore
Ya damn right, heheheh! Dwarves are where it's at — although hold the beards on mine, please. I'm not a Tolkien-bible thumper who insists every iteration and version of female Dwarfs must look like his bearded ones; maybe that's just what gave him his jollies, I'm happy at most with sideburns!
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