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Because of innumerable region, territory or country cultural specific reasons, a video game which is considered perfectly fine in one region could be rejected somewhere else. Such issues highlight why video game adaptation - contrary to mere translation- is necessary for games.

However one seemingly simple yet relatively deep and complicated question has always bothered me: when does localization cross the line of censorship? And to what degree should this sort of censorship be tolerated?

Let's take a recent example, I'll use the newest installment in the Yakuza series. Yakuza 3 - an imported Japanese PlayStation game - was recently released in the US. A lot of gamers complained because some scenes and important elements of the games where changed when the game made it to US.

This gets me wondering: how much of the cut content was actually "inappropriate for American audiences" as in "cultural differences would prevent full understanding and therefore only serve to confuse the player and impede their progress", as opposed to "Americans are generally far more religious and uptight than Japanese people, so we can't show them this kind of nudity and/or violence"? I assume that someone purchasing the third installment in a game series would normally have a pretty good idea as to what kind of content they were getting into, especially with a series such as Yakuza, which is relatively well-known. The games even receive ratings similar to films, giving the consumer an even better idea of what the game in question contains.

Now if you look at it, most gamers actually are adult and will absolutely not care to find certain elements. In fact, their absence may come as a huge disappointment for them and alter their gaming experience. So should developers think a little more about what public they are targetting, or just assume anyone may buy the game by accident, and thus edit it?.

Video game localization is not censorship and should be adapted to players in a certain territory. Because of innumerable region, territory or country cultural specific reasons, a video game which is considered perfectly fine in one region could be rejected somewhere else. Such issues highlight why video game adaptation - contrary to mere translation- is necessary for games.

However one seemingly simple yet relatively deep and complicated question has always bothered me: when does localization cross the line of censorship? And to what degree should this sort of censorship be tolerated?

Let's take a recent example, I'll use the newest installment in the Yakuza series. Yakuza 3 - an imported Japanese PlayStation game - was recently released in the US. A lot of gamers complained because some scenes and important elements of the games where changed when the game made it to US.

This gets me wondering: how much of the cut content was actually "inappropriate for American audiences" as in "cultural differences would prevent full understanding and therefore only serve to confuse the player and impede their progress", as opposed to "Americans are generally far more religious and uptight than Japanese people, so we can't show them this kind of nudity and/or violence"? I assume that someone purchasing the third installment in a game series would normally have a pretty good idea as to what kind of content they were getting into, especially with a series such as Yakuza, which is relatively well-known. The games even receive ratings similar to films, giving the consumer an even better idea of what the game in question contains.

Now if you look at it, most gamers actually are adult and will absolutely not care to find certain elements. In fact, their absence may come as a huge disappointment for them and alter their gaming experience. So should developers think a little more about what public they are targetting, or just assume anyone may buy the game by accident, and thus edit it?.

Video game localization is not censorship and should be adapted to players in a certain territory.

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