Tag Archives: ecchi

The Case for “Adults Only” Ratings

It was announced earlier today that the upcoming dungeon crawler Omega Labyrinth Z would be refused classification by the Video Standards Council in the UK, despite the game already having successfully attained a PEGI 18 rating.

The VSC’s comments on the matter note that the game’s “style is such that it will attract an audience below the age of 18” and that “there is a serious danger that impressionable people, i.e. children and young people viewing the game, would conclude that the sexual activity [in the game] represented normal sexual behaviour.” It concluded by noting that the game “has the potential to be significantly harmful in terms of social and moral development of younger people in particular”.

Okay. Omega Labyrinth Z is a game with a significant lewd component. And, as with many Japanese games, visual novels and anime — including those with lewd components — it is set in a school-like environment, which is where the majority of the VSC’s complaints come from. But, as ever, what essentially amounts to “ban this sick filth” represents an oversimplification of the issue.

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Altering Content and Self-Censorship Pleases No-One

Yesterday, DRM-free digital distribution platform GOG.com posted a lengthy interview with localisation producer Tom Lipschultz and team leader Ken Berry from XSEED Games, whose most recent localisation project Zwei has recently been released on GOG’s storefront.

Lipschultz in particular has been known up until the time of writing as someone who claims to hold a “zero-tolerance” policy towards content edits made during localisation of Japanese titles for Western audiences, but a number of his comments throughout the interview gave a few people pause.

And it’s worth talking about those points in detail, because some of what Lipschultz says unfortunately appears to demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of where his priorities should be as part of a successful and prolific localisation company that has brought a number of beloved franchises to the West.

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Puzzler Essentials: Hell Girls

We’re enjoying a bit of a puzzle game renaissance at the moment.

While we’re not quite at the same level as we were in the 8-, 16- and 32-bit eras, where puzzle games would happily share retail shelf space with 100+ hour RPG epics (Puyo Puyo Tetris aside), we are at least starting to see more and more puzzle games that aren’t free-to-play mobile titles primarily designed to repeatedly part you from your cash rather than providing a well-balanced, fun experience.

One interesting game that may well have passed you by owing to its low price and seemingly low production values is Hell Girls from Taiwanese circle SakuraGame. And you should most definitely give it a look!

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From the Archives: Embracing the “H”

Sex.

Yes, that was entirely a cheap trick to get your attention, but it’s also the subject of today’s column.

There are some interesting and varied thoughts about sex in games out there, but it’s a subject that still remains largely taboo for many developers, publishers and even critics. It’s also a subject in which Eastern and Western approaches and philosophies differ greatly, and it makes for some fascinating discussions.

So let’s talk about sex, specifically with regard to visual novels.

This article was originally published on Games Are Evil in 2013 as part of the site’s regular READ.ME column on visual novels. It has been edited and republished here due to Games Are Evil no longer existing in its original form.

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Let’s Talk About Dungeon Travelers 2 and “Ecchi” Content

The story so far: In the beginning, Polygon’s Phil Kollar posted an article called “Atlus can do better than this creepy, porn-lite dungeon crawler“. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.

With apologies to the late, great Douglas Adams for the bastardisation of his quotation, it’s worth exploring this subject a little further, if only to counter the extreme negativity of Kollar’s article — negativity which, frankly, appears to come from a position of ignorance as to what games such as Dungeon Travelers 2, the game under scrutiny in the article, actually involve.

You see, it’s okay to like ecchi or even hentai content. It’s also okay to not like ecchi and hentai content. Where it stops being okay is when someone who doesn’t like these things starts calling for publishers to stop catering to people who do like these things.

Why? Because if these games continue to exist, people who don’t like them have the option of not buying and supporting them with no harm done. If they don’t exist, meanwhile, the people who do like them have no option — they simply have to go without. And that doesn’t strike me as terribly fair; it would be a case of certain individuals having the power to act as the “morality police” on behalf of people who may not share their ideological viewpoint.

Is that a problem? You’re damn straight it is; let’s explore it in a little more detail.

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