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October 31st, 2007, 19:25
Originally Posted by Tom Ohle View Post
Personally, I'm playing the Euro version because that was the first I could get my hands on. I'd be perfectly happy with the edited one, though, because I don't need digital breasts and pubic hair — I'm perfectly fine seeing the real thing, or if I'm really struggling with my libido, I do have this thing called the internet .
Thanks for taking your time answering my questions. I supposed the devs included nudity in the game for a reason. It didn't seem like they just wanted to have us Europeans mastrubating in front of our monitor screens, did it?

The way I see it the only honest way out of this would be to either take the risk and publish an AO product (even if it that would mean selling only on-line) or not publishing at all. Small compromises can only lead to bigger ones. But that might be just me being too moral.

From your last post it would also feel safe to assume that Atari didn't particularly try.

Anyway, again thanks for answering.

“Of all the journeys you will undertake in this life, uncovering the secrets you hide from yourself is the most dangerous voyage of all.” – Shyha Tuhlwin, Therish Philosopher
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October 31st, 2007, 20:31
I'm not an Atari fan—dating back to the ToEE and MOO3 days—but I don't think they've actually mishandled The Witcher. I think they're just attempting to distribute it with the highest sales profile they can, which will only help CDProjekt in the long run. Yes, it's a shame that our legislators in the US impose restrictions on nudity in games, but the Witcher's rating of Mature is just common sense in terms of sales.

And we have the option to purchase an uncensored copy, so I'm not complaining. I just wish press releases didn't use that aggravating buzzword approach for every single game—but that's a very old rant of mine.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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November 1st, 2007, 00:53
As I understand it is only the nipples of three creatures that have been covered? as well as the sex cards that shows full or partial? nudity that have been cut.
I think there is a thread on the rpgcodex where 1-2 of the sex cards are shown.
I'm not offended by them, but I can maybe see why some people might be offended by them.

I don't think that 17 years old gamers would be offended by them, let alone 18+ year old gamers. In the US, most retail stores won't let you buy a Mature rated game, if you're 17 years old or older. That's why I agree that it seems a bit silly for Atari (and CDP) to cut the game 'The Witcher' since the 17 year old gamers probably have seen the same amount of nudity that's in The Witcher in daytime soaps, or in movies before they turned 17.

Nevertheless, the US version is both censored and cut which may mean that CDP Project may get other games released in the US…
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November 1st, 2007, 00:59
Originally Posted by magerette View Post
Yes, it's a shame that our legislators in the US impose restrictions on nudity in games, but the Witcher's rating of Mature is just common sense in terms of sales.
I was under the impression that there is (currently) no legislature preventing stores from selling AO rated games in the USA and that the reason they don't is pretty much a PR thing (as well as a way to help prevent legislation from being put into place).
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November 1st, 2007, 01:34
Originally Posted by KazikluBey View Post
I was under the impression that there is (currently) no legislature preventing stores from selling AO rated games in the USA and that the reason they don't is pretty much a PR thing (as well as a way to help prevent legislation from being put into place).
You are correct.

Any retailer in the US can sell AO material as long as they only sell it to persons over the age of 18 and display it properly.

But,

Nobody will carry those products. Wal Mart and all the other chains have their own corporate policies against selling AOs.

In the US, big businesses and lobbying groups are insanely powerful. In contrast to countries where goverment is insanely powerful on matters of censorship, the US "self-censors."
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November 1st, 2007, 02:30
Originally Posted by Reyla View Post
In the US, big businesses and lobbying groups are insanely powerful. In contrast to countries where goverment is insanely powerful on matters of censorship, the US "self-censors."
Which makes so many of the comments here interesting … especially from those in countries who regularly ban all sorts of stuff … including the recent Manhunt 2, released in the US and few other countries.

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November 1st, 2007, 04:31
Originally Posted by KazikluBey View Post
I was under the impression that there is (currently) no legislature preventing stores from selling AO rated games in the USA and that the reason they don't is pretty much a PR thing (as well as a way to help prevent legislation from being put into place).
You're completely right and I should have known that—it's not the legislators (though many of them do take a very narrow view of adult issues in games and talk about it a lot for image reasons) it's business policy, as you say, to avoid bad press and loss of sales. In fact, several judges in various states(including mine) have recently ruled that games are covered under the freedom of speech clause in the constitution:

September 17, 2007 - A federal judge for the Western District of Oklahoma on Monday issued a permanent injunction against the state's attempt to regulate computer and video games, ruling that games are a form of creative expression entitled to protection under the First Amendment.
But creative expression or not, you're not going to sell them in any major retail venue if they're AO, as Reyla points out. So by covering a few body parts, sales for the game are vastly increased, and the game gets far more exposure( as it were) as well.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
Last edited by magerette; November 1st, 2007 at 04:39.
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November 1st, 2007, 04:51
So, magerette, would you say that in this particular case the First Amendment is only good 'in theory'? The way you are describing things it wouldn't make much of a practical difference if there was a law in place banning all AO videogames.

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November 1st, 2007, 05:38
Lethal Weapon, I'm not arguing that censorship is a good thing. I think it takes constant vigilance to thwart those who want to use the legal framework for that kind of manipulation and control, and that decisions like the one I quoted are vital to that process. But whether that decision is actually about principles, or about profit and lobbying is also a question so it may not be as pure as it sounds. And that's kind of my point—the supply and demand thing keeps its own system of controls—self-regulating, I think someone said.

So yes, I do think it would make a practical difference if you had laws specifically banning AO video games. It would be a far more restrictive climate completely for game development, sales and marketing, and games would be even more tightly "pre-censored."

As things stand now, if 90% of Wal Mart's customers came in asking for an adults only game, Wal Mart would be quite free to sell it to them. And no doubt they'd be happy to do so. But the demand for that kind of game is too low, so they can virtuously refrain from selling it. I think they do carry the GTA games regardless of rating, because they are popular and profitable. So it's the consumer that's regulating the level of content with his dollar, at least roughly. I don't shop at Wal Mart myself, but I'm sure they sell many thousands of dollars worth of games, and do so on a "need to make money" basis.

Anyway, as you know from my other posts, censorship is IMO an exercise in complete futility at best and mind control and propaganda at worst. So if people stand out for more mature content in games, buy those games and support the uncensored versions, it should in the long run make a difference to how that content is able to be marketed.

But the way things are now, I think Atari's decision to go for Mature rating was in The Witcher's best interests. Besides, some people might actually prefer that version and should have the choice to buy it. As long as no one takes my choices away, I'm okay with it.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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November 1st, 2007, 05:46
Magerette (and others ) do you believe in censorship for minors? If so, what then should be the age of majority, and why?

Are you aware that Plato believed in censorship?

Yes, I realise that this could spill over into the P&R forum!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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November 1st, 2007, 06:01
Corwin, I have fairly strong protective instincts about kids—as you know. but I believe in parents providing the guidance and exercising responsibility over what their children are exposed to. I don't think children should be randomly exposed to explicit adult content or gratuitous violence by targeted marketing or on TV. But it's the parent's role to regulate this, not the government.
As far as the age of majority, if you 're old enough to have a job, drive a car, and vote, you're probably old enough to start entering the adult world in other ways.

Sadly Plato is not to be found among my bedside reading matter, and other than having a vague memory of him formulating rules for a perfect state, I'm pretty much in ignorance, so can't debate that one, but I'm always willing to listen.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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November 1st, 2007, 06:10
Originally Posted by magerette View Post
As things stand now, if 90% of Wal Mart's customers came in asking for an adults only game, Wal Mart would be quite free to sell it to them. And no doubt they'd be happy to do so. But the demand for that kind of game is too low, so they can virtuously refrain from selling it. I think they do carry the GTA games regardless of rating, because they are popular and profitable.

That's an interesting bit of info right there. So would that mean that if The Witcher were to be popular and profitable, Wal Mart would have no trouble selling the uncensored version? Also I'm not sure how such business practices would stand against a court of law. I'd say the judge you mentioned made that decision for a reason; any artist, no matter how 'small', has the right to be able to show his work to the public and the consumers have the right to be able to make a choice. At least that's the way I see it.

I will agree with you that the market for adult videogames is small to be able to cause any significant change. On the other hand, Amendments are there for a purpose; they are to serve as general guidlines for making laws. Lack of legislature for the matter at hand only sounds to me like a gap that needs to be filled.

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November 1st, 2007, 06:37
Lethal weapon wrote:
That's an interesting bit of info right there. So would that mean that if The Witcher were to be popular and profitable, Wal Mart would have no trouble selling the uncensored version?
Well if it was as profitable and popular as GTA, which is somewhat unlikely. being an rpg with that niche thing going on and all.
Also I'm not sure how such business practices would stand against a court of law.
Do you mean that the law should force Wal Mart to carry a product regardless of whether they feel they can sell it?

I'd say the judge you mentioned made that decision for a reason; any artist, no matter how 'small', has the right to be able to show his work to the public and the consumers have the right to be able to make a choice
Agreed, but you really do have that choice, Lethal Weapon. It's not like the uncensored version is unobtainable or illegal. I'm not paying significantly more for it, I'm buying it from the same US company I buy most of my games from, and those that don't want to look at nipples can go to Wal Mart.

As I said, hopefully supporting developers who have the integrity to make meaningful adult themed games by purchasing uncensored versions will make this balance shift someday. But you have to realize that places like Wal Mart are mainstream family oriented warehouse stores without any kind of specialized service—no little corner of the store where they could have an "adults only" kind of area without it being swarmed by over-excited pre-adolescents. It just wouldn't work for them. I don't know why places like EB games couldn't do this, though, except that people want the stores to keep stuff out of their kid's hands instead of doing it themselves.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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November 1st, 2007, 07:24
Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
Magerette (and others ) do you believe in censorship for minors? If so, what then should be the age of majority, and why?

Are you aware that Plato believed in censorship?

Yes, I realise that this could spill over into the P&R forum!!
Corwin, good question. Personally, I have a daughter and I don't believe in the artificial age limits created by various societies. They are too arbitrary.

I work in the entertainment industry and my daughter, even though she is still below public school age, knows that when Rambo kills someone, it is props, actors, special effects, editing and fake blood. She loves animals, birds, bugs, people and flowers because they are living things and she would never intentionally hurt any of them.

Yet, she loves to watch me utterly destroy things with my Everquest 2 Wizard.

It is what you teach children about things they see, not simply what they see that affects them.

Wow, this has nothing to do with The Witcher NA release But your question intrigued me.
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November 1st, 2007, 08:16
Originally Posted by magerette View Post
But you have to realize that places like Wal Mart are mainstream family oriented warehouse stores without any kind of specialized service—no little corner of the store where they could have an "adults only" kind of area without it being swarmed by over-excited pre-adolescents. It just wouldn't work for them.
I have to disagree . Here in Greece, Playboy magazines for example are displayed in every mainstream store (does not mean that pre-adolescents can buy them). I don't see any group of over-excited kids swarming over them. Similarly you can easily rent hard core in nearly every video club (they keep those tapes in a seperate section). Where do you buy your Playboy magazines from? Do American kids get excited that easily? Also we need to differentiate between types of adult content; The Witcher box does not feature any nudity and the game itself is far from real porn. See for example Muds post for how they differentiate between types in the UK.

Originally Posted by magerette View Post

Agreed, but you really do have that choice, Lethal Weapon. It's not like the uncensored version is unobtainable or illegal. I'm not paying significantly more for it, I'm buying it from the same US company I buy most of my games from, and those that don't want to look at nipples can go to Wal Mart.
I don't see where the real choice is here. Most casuals will not even know that they are playing a censored version. Atari itself decided to censor otherwise the rating would be a 'death kiss' to use Tom's words. If we are to believe him, this means that a whole lot of people would not have the choice of learning about and/or playing the game.

Originally Posted by magerette View Post
Do you mean that the law should force Wal Mart to carry a product regardless of whether they feel they can sell it.
Pretty much. If Wal Mart want to sell games with adult content like GTA, then Atari/CDP should have the right to buy shelf space. I'm no lawyer but this sounds like a decent legal argument to me. If they were made the right offer they should not be able to refuse. All in the interest of the customer being able to have a choice. The situation would not be worth talking about but when those practices become the norm it creates a problem and something needs to be changed.

“Of all the journeys you will undertake in this life, uncovering the secrets you hide from yourself is the most dangerous voyage of all.” – Shyha Tuhlwin, Therish Philosopher
Last edited by Lethal Weapon; November 1st, 2007 at 08:25.
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November 1st, 2007, 09:29
Let me get this straight. You propose to ensure the freedom of game players seeing some tits by forcing a business to buy a specific product?

I honestly don't it.

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November 1st, 2007, 10:12
Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
Magerette (and others ) do you believe in censorship for minors? If so, what then should be the age of majority, and why?
By their parents, most certainly. By society in general, certainly not. Nor do I believe that you can pick some age at random and say "beyond this point, anything goes." Parents are in the best position to know how mature their kids are and what they're ready to handle; therefore, they're the ones who should make the decisions.

However, I have no problems with agreed-upon rules that help parents enforce their decisions — ratings, for example. I do have a problem if the ratings spill over into (a) making the parents' decision for them, or (b) restricting adults' access to things they should be able to access. In other words, by all means make a law that forbids sales of "adults only" rated materials to minors — but if that means that you can only sell "adults only" rated stuff in sex shops, something has gone badly wrong. And I'm *vehemently* opposed to any law that would stop parents from letting their kids access "adults only" materials should they choose to do so.

Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
Are you aware that Plato believed in censorship?
Plato was also a highly ambitious politician. Politically, he was highly authoritarian; in modern terms, "fascist" would describe him rather well — of course, taking into consideration the completely different social/economic environment in which he lived. Hegel and Marx are his children too — both propounding totalitarian political policies as the final and absolute truth that admits of no opposition or disagreement.

A highly disagreeable character in political terms, that is, however you may feel about his philosophical insights.
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November 1st, 2007, 11:11
Now that's an interesting discussion over here… Anyone actually has started playing the game and could reveal his/her first impressions?
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November 1st, 2007, 14:02
If we are to believe him, this means that a whole lot of people would not have the choice of learning about and/or playing the game.
Um, what? You're trying to sya that consumers who fail to inform themselves of freely and easily available product information are being deprived a choice? Maybe Atari could have released two versions of The Witcher in the USA. You might as well argue that the choices that are hard to find in MotB are not real choices.

As to the idea that Wal Mart and the like should be forced to sell products of any kind - that's just utterly ridiculous. Why not just forcibly nationialise them while we're at to make sure that they do things the 'right' way?
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November 1st, 2007, 14:22
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
Plato was also a highly ambitious politician. Politically, he was highly authoritarian; in modern terms, "fascist" would describe him rather well — of course, taking into consideration the completely different social/economic environment in which he lived.
To call Plato a fascist would be a bit of a stretch. Roughly his position on the matter is that what we would call fascism can work with an enlightened leader (a philosopher king, as he put it) and is neccessary in those cases that the majority of people are uneducated. According to Plato, aristocracy and tyrrany are the two ends of the political spectrum, aristocracy meaning 'rule of those who are the best' and tyrrany 'rule of one'. His concept of the 'ideal state' was never widely accepted not even in ancient times. Plato also speaks in a highly metaphorical manner and often it is advisable not to take his words literally. Indeed, many of his ideas are authoritarian in nature but many other aren't. If we have to use a word to describe him, taking into account all his works, that word would be "idealist", not "fascist".

@Dhruin and others

My example might have been a bit silly, but as I said I'm no lawyer. My main position is what PM said, I feel that the freedom of consumers to access certain kind of products is restricted and something should be done, but then again I don't live in the States so if that's fine by you then it's fine by me too.

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