The Stick of Truth's Censorship Disabled by PC Mod - Update

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Skeleon:
It is pretty bizarre. Take the Nazi symbols, for instance: Movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark feature them and nobody cares because it's a movie, it's considered art. But a video game like Wolfenstein 3D gets put on the index in Germany and the game Raiders of the Lost Ark had all its swastikas replaced by black circles.

The swastika part is actually based on regulations that are already (or still, depending how you look at it) in place - it's not the like the Bundestag have a look at every game that's about to come out once a week and decide what is to be banned and what isn't. In very simple terms: Stuff that has a swastika on it is illegal to import, distribute or hold for distribution. Excluded from this is if the medium in question serves educational, artistic or scientific purposes, so movies are alright, which is why we can watch Raiders of the Lost Ark uncensored over here. Video games on the other hand still aren't considered art; that part isn't in the law, but no court has yet ruled differently. In minor cases - like keeping a copy of an uncensored game at home - you will usually not get charged with anything, but the distributors will land themselves in legal hot water if the import and distribute uncensored games.

The reason why the courts have difficulty ruling any any way is that a) it'll open a whole other can of worms (if games are being considered art in this context, they'll have to be treated the same way in any other context as well, and b) in Germany, nobody wants to be the guy to be lenient toward Nazi stuff. Still a touchy subject here.

The matter of 'indexing' and confiscated stuff is a different matter. Games that make it to the index can't be openly advertised and easily sold, which is bad for making money from them, so you either censor your game or you accept significant financial losses...

TheCaptain:

Skeleon:
It is pretty bizarre. Take the Nazi symbols, for instance: Movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark feature them and nobody cares because it's a movie, it's considered art. But a video game like Wolfenstein 3D gets put on the index in Germany and the game Raiders of the Lost Ark had all its swastikas replaced by black circles.

The swastika part is actually based on regulations that are already (or still, depending how you look at it) in place - it's not the like the Bundestag have a look at every game that's about to come out once a week and decide what is to be banned and what isn't. In very simple terms: Stuff that has a swastika on it is illegal to import, distribute or hold for distribution. Excluded from this is if the medium in question serves educational, artistic or scientific purposes, so movies are alright, which is why we can watch Raiders of the Lost Ark uncensored over here. Video games on the other hand still aren't considered art; that part isn't in the law, but no court has yet ruled differently. In minor cases - like keeping a copy of an uncensored game at home - you will usually not get charged with anything, but the distributors will land themselves in legal hot water if the import and distribute uncensored games.

The reason why the courts have difficulty ruling any any way is that a) it'll open a whole other can of worms (if games are being considered art in this context, they'll have to be treated the same way in any other context as well, and b) in Germany, nobody wants to be the guy to be lenient toward Nazi stuff. Still a touchy subject here.

The matter of 'indexing' and confiscated stuff is a different matter. Games that make it to the index can't be openly advertised and easily sold, which is bad for making money from them, so you either censor your game or you accept significant financial losses...

very good summary of the situation, little addition/correction:

a person can import the uncut original versions LEGALLY, even when they are indexed or beschlagnahmt. ownership is not prohibited and you can't be charged with anything. you would be well within your rights to buy an indexed or confiscated game from amazon.uk for example.

How is it censorship if a company "tones down" a game to get a lower rating? It's not like there are government agencies consisting of a crack team of hackers and programmers who will alter games to fit their morals or whatever.

I'll never get why people blame the rating agencies and not the greedy, spineless publishers who are afraid of 18+ ratings because they might hurt sales. Nobody's stopping them from releasing 2 versions either, if they want teenager's money so badly. The shear amount of garbage they release here in Germany is mind-boggling. There's "toning down" and then there's "Let's replace everything with robots no matter how little sense it makes". Thank god for importing.

It seems to me that it was deliberately made as easy as possible to uncensor. I'd like to think that this is the developers giving the censors a nice big metaphorical middle finger.

Techno Squidgy:
It seems to me that it was deliberately made as easy as possible to uncensor. I'd like to think that this is the developers giving the censors a nice big metaphorical middle finger.

Yes, but it's also opening the door for the companies to be sued since the content was still in the game even if it was locked out. Things like the old "Hot Coffee" controversy revolved around this particular point, the content in the game was not intended to be accessed, but it was still there, and thus the company was responsible for it being present and not having been considered in the ratings process and so on.

This was something I mentioned before, it remains to be seen if things will progress from here, a lot of it depends on how much of a crap the governments actually give about the censorship or if they were themselves going through the motions politically. I myself was wondering if it was the pirates adding back in deleted bits, or if the censored scenes were in the game and just needed to be "unlocked" with some code modification.

Time will tell if this is going to go much further.

Steve the Pocket:

Weaver:
Looking into VAC bans? Are you fucking shitting me, Ubisoft?

Read back to me the part where they said they were doing that, because I must have missed it. The writer of the article is just trying to stir up the hive, as usual, because it means more hits and more people having to click past ads disguised as captchas to post.

Valve has never issued VAC bans for single-player mods before, and frankly I don't think it's even possible. Even playing a multiplayer game with known "hax" on it won't register if you never log into a VAC-secured multiplayer server.

Exactly this. I've been on the Steam forums and it's really unbelievable how many misconceptions people have about how VAC works. I've had people warn me I would be banned for modding single-player titles, and I've even seen one particular moron say he hoped another user would be VAC banned for using a Game Genie on his NES (to which he responded "yes, I'm sure me having 50 lives instead of 5 in Super Mario Bros ten years ago completely ruined your entire Team Fortress 2 experience"). I bullshit you not.

VAC punishes people for cheating on VAC protected servers. Nothing more, nothing less. While it's not unheard of for cheats to be detected when joining a server even though they're supposedly off or even uninstalled (some cheats are written that badly apparently), the fact is noone gives a shit if you're facerolling bots with your aimbot hack. You can't even be punished for hacking on a non-protected server for crying out loud.

A quick search shows me what I already assumed: this game is 100% single player. VAC doesn't even protect every multiplayer server, let alone every multiplayer game, so why the fuck was it brought up in the first place? And even if you WERE somehow VAC banned on the Stick of Truth, what would that mean? Oh boo hoo, you don't get to play on the non-existent servers for the non-existent multiplayer.

/rant, I know you more or less agreed with me StP...

Yet again why I don't like Ubisoft, they treat their game sales like you buy the honor of permission to play their games.
VAC ban? For what? A single player game? That's useless, you can still play your game, it'd just be limited to cheater servers- which this game doesn't have since it's single player.

The hell are they on about?

Therumancer:

Techno Squidgy:
It seems to me that it was deliberately made as easy as possible to uncensor. I'd like to think that this is the developers giving the censors a nice big metaphorical middle finger.

Yes, but it's also opening the door for the companies to be sued since the content was still in the game even if it was locked out. Things like the old "Hot Coffee" controversy revolved around this particular point, the content in the game was not intended to be accessed, but it was still there, and thus the company was responsible for it being present and not having been considered in the ratings process and so on.

This was something I mentioned before, it remains to be seen if things will progress from here, a lot of it depends on how much of a crap the governments actually give about the censorship or if they were themselves going through the motions politically. I myself was wondering if it was the pirates adding back in deleted bits, or if the censored scenes were in the game and just needed to be "unlocked" with some code modification.

Time will tell if this is going to go much further.

To be honest, I think the whole Hot Coffee situation was complete nonsense, it was rated 18 or Mature anyway, so why was it such a big deal that it contained a sex mini-game where the characters were fully clothed anyway? You can murder the entire population of a state, BUT OH MY GOD NO WE CAN'T SHOW PEOPLE FUCKING, THINK OF THE CHILDREN, THE CHILDREN THAT SHOULDN'T BE PLAYING THIS GAME ANYWAY.

Techno Squidgy:

Therumancer:

Techno Squidgy:
It seems to me that it was deliberately made as easy as possible to uncensor. I'd like to think that this is the developers giving the censors a nice big metaphorical middle finger.

Yes, but it's also opening the door for the companies to be sued since the content was still in the game even if it was locked out. Things like the old "Hot Coffee" controversy revolved around this particular point, the content in the game was not intended to be accessed, but it was still there, and thus the company was responsible for it being present and not having been considered in the ratings process and so on.

This was something I mentioned before, it remains to be seen if things will progress from here, a lot of it depends on how much of a crap the governments actually give about the censorship or if they were themselves going through the motions politically. I myself was wondering if it was the pirates adding back in deleted bits, or if the censored scenes were in the game and just needed to be "unlocked" with some code modification.

Time will tell if this is going to go much further.

To be honest, I think the whole Hot Coffee situation was complete nonsense, it was rated 18 or Mature anyway, so why was it such a big deal that it contained a sex mini-game where the characters were fully clothed anyway? You can murder the entire population of a state, BUT OH MY GOD NO WE CAN'T SHOW PEOPLE FUCKING, THINK OF THE CHILDREN, THE CHILDREN THAT SHOULDN'T BE PLAYING THIS GAME ANYWAY.

This whole debate confuses me for a couple of reasons: 1 It's South Park. What the Hell was anybody expecting? It isn't even very offensive material, by South Park standards.

And 2 Why is there not More Criticism of UBISOFT trying to lower the rating of the Game by Censoring it in the First place? To me THAT is an underhanded attempt to get definitively adult content sold to Minors. For Shame Ubisoft. But NOT for shame Matt and Tray, or South Park Studios. The Game should be prefaced by the Disclaimer the show has, and then the enire world can STFU because you were told going in to South Park that "Due to the shows nature and content, it should not really be watched by anybody."

For fuck sakes Ubisoft, you can cut out or blank over the insertion scenes in a Porno, but you will still know Via context that a Pee Pee went in a Hu-ha. (or a Poo-poo) Have the Balls to Make an adult title and ONLY TRY to SELL IT TO ADULTS you TWATS!......I guess they were at the GDC panel about safely monetizing teen and avoiding backlash

I wonder if this was laziness, or a deliberate design choice.

"Okay guys, we are going to need to censor the anal probe. We must do every possible extent to make sure the game isn't as easily modifiable as possible to remove the cenosrship, or make sure Valve nor Ubisoft can possibly punish players anyone who plays a modified version. Because doing that would be wrong."

loa:
I don't see why valve would punish their customers for what is essentially modding a singleplayer game.

Which is why Valve wont be doing anything about it. VAC only covers multiplayer games. They couldn't give any less of a shit whether or not you mod your single player games. Hell, they pretty much support it. (Steam Workshop)

As for patching the game to not allow this, I really don't think there is much Ubisoft can do that would be effective in the long term other than directly altering the .exe file for the game to remove those specific segments, which I doubt they would do since it would only provide for a longer delay before the content is modded in again. I don't really think it's worth even trying.

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