Jimquisition: Editing Versus Censorship. Like the video but I wonder...

Fieldy409_v1legacy

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Now I agree with everything he said, artists going back and changing their creations with editing is something they should be able to do and not censorship. Like that Batgirl picture, if the artist didnt want that to be a cover, fair enough. Jim said that the Artist stated he didnt want that cover to run. Yeah sure editing based on feedback isnt censorship.

But I have a niggling thought, Since I cant post this on YouTube because fuck Google+ Ill ask here. This might be really paranoid and stupid but can we really be sure it was done by the artist willingly?

Can we, outsiders of these companies, ever really know for sure whether the minds that created whatever content wanted to make changes or were forced to by their bosses? Motivated purely by what they feel would sell the most? It wouldnt surprise me either if artists were told to support the changes with their social media or else lose their job.

Maybe im just being paranoid.
 

Fappy

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You're being paranoid. The creative team said they didn't want the variant seemingly before anyone else did, so that's a pretty sure thing as far as I am concerned.
 

Fieldy409_v1legacy

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Fappy said:
You're being paranoid. The creative team said they didn't want the variant seemingly before anyone else did, so that's a pretty sure thing as far as I am concerned.
Im talking in general rather than about that one cover.
 

Fappy

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Fieldy409 said:
Fappy said:
You're being paranoid. The creative team said they didn't want the variant seemingly before anyone else did, so that's a pretty sure thing as far as I am concerned.
Im talking in general rather than about that one cover.
Well I am sure that sort of thing goes on from time to time (especially when large game publishers are involved), but it's probably not too common. Kind of pointless to hire creatives if executive big-wigs are just going to veto their ideas.
 

SweetShark

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I am glad they remove this specific line as well. The biggest negative the game had for me was the fact the game was trying to be "edgy" and "dark" with the wrong ways...

SO, I don't care if it was the artist or the publisher for this decisions. Sometimes is better to leave it as it is.
 

Signa

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I think it's censorship when you're changing the work because someone told you it was offensive. You might still change it on the grounds that you didn't want it to be offensive, but would you have changed anything if someone else wasn't imposing their views on your work?

The removal of the "rape" comment in DMC intrigues me. I've never played it, but I can see where a ton of people would have said that crossed the line. On the other hand, I can also see where the line just was misplaced and it changed the mood of the scene to something they weren't going for.

Any changes can change so many nuances that I'm pretty much anti-change for most media. Most recently, Majora's Mask changed the way the save system worked. You can now fully save the game at any time without restarting the 3-day cycle. I think that changes a lot of the feel of the game, so I wish they didn't do that, even if it made it more convenient. On the other hand, I'm not going to go into a rage fit about it, because it's no longer a console game. The original save system wasn't very handheld friendly, and leaving it in the way it was probably would have hurt the new release.

Now, moving the bank was just stupid. Leave it in the market district!
 

happyninja42

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Fieldy409 said:
This might be really paranoid and stupid but can we really be sure it was done by the artist willingly?

Can we, outsiders of these companies, ever really know for sure whether the minds that created whatever content wanted to make changes or were forced to by their bosses? Motivated purely by what they feel would sell the most? It wouldnt surprise me either if artists were told to support the changes with their social media or else lose their job.

Maybe im just being paranoid.
Well, unless they have the creative staff locked in cells and forbid them any outside communication with humanity on pain of death or torture, yeah I think we can probably take them at their word. I mean if you are just the kind of person who never believes anything anyone says, and always assumes there is some ulterior motive...well...then nothing anyone says will convince you otherwise. But I mean, if the people who made it come out and say why they did it, we really have no reason to assume it was some "edict from on high".

Signa said:
I think it's censorship when you're changing the work because someone told you it was offensive.
No, censorship is when you are ordered to do so by government regulation to change it/remove it/block it, under penalty of criminal action. Changing something because someone says "it's offensive" is just the creator deciding to not offend someone. Now understand, when I said that, I'm meaning that they changed simply because someone said it offended them, nothing else. If the person then says why this is offensive, and explains it logically and clearly, and the creator then changes it, I don't think it's just caving in. It's taking criticism and deciding you agree. And there is nothing wrong with that. I've experienced this kind of stuff with friends of mine, who will make random comments, and one of us will explain how the other side might view that statement, and why they might not like it. And sometimes they'll shrug, nod their head and go "Yeah, ok I could see how that might piss somebody off" Hell I've done this myself, and have had friends point out how what I said might be unfair to some group somewhere or whatever. This is normal human interaction. We have our biases, and our lens by which we view the world. It doesn't mean that we intend to hurt or offend others, we're just doing something that reflects us in some way, like making a Batgirl bit of artwork. I doubt the creators intended to have it "depower her and make her a victim", but were more likely just trying to show a really creepy, scary depiction of the Joker, to convey the drama of the comic. And if that was the goal, I think they succeeded. It's a creepy as fuck picture, mission accomplished! But, it's also valid to say that it's something that others might see as falling back on old stereotypes of male/female relations in modern entertainment. And that's fine too, and it's perfectly fine for the creators to say "yeah, you're right, that's not really what we wanted to convey with this, let's change it/remove it"

And as Jim pointed out in that video, by your definition, Bioware changing the ending to ME 3 because players were offended at the shittiness of the original ending would be censorship, but people seem to be proud of the fact that they pressured Bioware into changing their original bit of work through negative criticism. It's a tricky bit of hypocrisy, it's censorship when it's blocking something you don't find offensive/annoying/bad, but it's "a triumph for gamers" when it's against something you don't like personally.

I don't personally have a problem with artists changing their art for whatever reason. It's their work, they can change it if they wish. They can simply say "I think it sucks, and I don't want it to represent my body of work" and tear it down. Whatever the reason, it's their right as the creator to change it if they wish, for whatever reason they wish.
 

Entitled

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Fieldy409 said:
Can we, outsiders of these companies, ever really know for sure whether the minds that created whatever content wanted to make changes or were forced to by their bosses? Motivated purely by what they feel would sell the most? It wouldnt surprise me either if artists were told to support the changes with their social media or else lose their job.
Legally speaking, the "bosses" are part of the entity that is "the creator", as much as the writer, the painter, the letterer, and any member of the staff. Them having an internal debate, is not censorship any more than a movie's director modifying the work of it's screenwriter, or an actor ad-libbing the lines of the director, is censoring.

When you are a lone, independent artist, you make your own narrative themes, you set your own target audience, just as you add the minor details and put the monotonous effort into crafting the content.

It's an inevitable nature of large scale projects produced by a staff, that this work is divided. Different people oversee narrative consistency, design characters, write lines, and set target audience appropriate tones. And it is in pop culture's capitalistic nature, that the last one is the one who provides the money and the equipment thus holds the strongest veto power.

Yes, the desire to make more money has absolutely influenced the way our art is made, but if every single work would be done by a single person, it still would have influenced their decisions, only instead of one guy vetoing another's work, it would be one part of his brain vetoing other parts' ideas.
 

Signa

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Happyninja42 said:
Signa said:
I think it's censorship when you're changing the work because someone told you it was offensive.
No, censorship is when you are ordered to do so by government regulation to change it/remove it/block it, under penalty of criminal action.
Fully disagree here. The government doesn't have a monopoly on the definition of censoring something.

Changing something because someone says "it's offensive" is just the creator deciding to not offend someone. Now understand, when I said that, I'm meaning that they changed simply because someone said it offended them, nothing else. If the person then says why this is offensive, and explains it logically and clearly, and the creator then changes it, I don't think it's just caving in. It's taking criticism and deciding you agree. And there is nothing wrong with that. I've experienced this kind of stuff with friends of mine, who will make random comments, and one of us will explain how the other side might view that statement, and why they might not like it. And sometimes they'll shrug, nod their head and go "Yeah, ok I could see how that might piss somebody off" Hell I've done this myself, and have had friends point out how what I said might be unfair to some group somewhere or whatever. This is normal human interaction. We have our biases, and our lens by which we view the world. It doesn't mean that we intend to hurt or offend others, we're just doing something that reflects us in some way, like making a Batgirl bit of artwork. I doubt the creators intended to have it "depower her and make her a victim", but were more likely just trying to show a really creepy, scary depiction of the Joker, to convey the drama of the comic. And if that was the goal, I think they succeeded. It's a creepy as fuck picture, mission accomplished! But, it's also valid to say that it's something that others might see as falling back on old stereotypes of male/female relations in modern entertainment. And that's fine too, and it's perfectly fine for the creators to say "yeah, you're right, that's not really what we wanted to convey with this, let's change it/remove it"
That's fine. I see it both ways with the Batgirl thing, and I'd rather see the character upheld as the person they were created to be than to cry "censorship" because they realized it was inconsistent.

And as Jim pointed out in that video, by your definition, Bioware changing the ending to ME 3 because players were offended at the shittiness of the original ending would be censorship, but people seem to be proud of the fact that they pressured Bioware into changing their original bit of work through negative criticism. It's a tricky bit of hypocrisy, it's censorship when it's blocking something you don't find offensive/annoying/bad, but it's "a triumph for gamers" when it's against something you don't like personally.
My definition doesn't apply here, because it's a completely different circumstance. I didn't play ME, but what I understand the problem to be was that people were sold a defective product. They might has well have ended the game with a youtube poop video for all the difference it would have made in the quality of the product. People weren't upset with ME3 because it was offensive, they hated it because it was a lazy "fuck you, we have your money" ending to the story. There was no artistic vision to the ending, they just ended it because they wanted (or needed, knowing EA) to be done. They didn't want content removed, or even altered, they wanted a complete finish. They wanted more added. That's not censorship at all!

I don't personally have a problem with artists changing their art for whatever reason. It's their work, they can change it if they wish. They can simply say "I think it sucks, and I don't want it to represent my body of work" and tear it down. Whatever the reason, it's their right as the creator to change it if they wish, for whatever reason they wish.
I think that's only true to a point. Once a product enters public consciousness, revisions become dangerous because of nuance. George Lucas adding a scream for Luke falling down the Cloud City pit was something he just did with his work, and it made it shitty. He even realized it was shitty later, and removed it. It may be his right to change it, but it's unfair to the rest of us that enjoyed the product as it was originally created. His work became our experience, and trying to change that experience retroactively is a bad thing.
 

happyninja42

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Signa said:
Happyninja42 said:
Signa said:
I think it's censorship when you're changing the work because someone told you it was offensive.
No, censorship is when you are ordered to do so by government regulation to change it/remove it/block it, under penalty of criminal action.
Fully disagree here. The government doesn't have a monopoly on the definition of censoring something.
Well that's fine, but the definition would disagree with your personal definition of censorship.
Signa said:
snip
My definition doesn't apply here, because it's a completely different circumstance. I didn't play ME, but what I understand the problem to be was that people were sold a defective product.
No they weren't. The product was perfectly functional. They just didn't like the ending.

Signa said:
They might has well have ended the game with a youtube poop video for all the difference it would have made in the quality of the product.
I dunno. I've seen poop videos, even seen someone poop IRL, and I gotta tell you, the original ending cutscenes were still waaaaay better.


Signa said:
People weren't upset with ME3 because it was offensive,
Ooooh yes they were offended. Holy fuckballs were they offended by that ending. There are pages and pages and pages of shit online where people rant about the "betrayal" they suffered at the hands of Bioware, because they didn't get the ending they wanted/thought they deserved. Offense is a very broad term, it doesn't just mean "you've offended me based on sex/orientation/skin".

Signa said:
they hated it because it was a lazy "fuck you, we have your money" ending to the story. There was no artistic vision to the ending, they just ended it because they wanted (or needed, knowing EA) to be done. They didn't want content removed, or even altered, they wanted a complete finish. They wanted more added. That's not censorship at all!
Well I agree it's not censorship at all, because I don't agree with your definition of it. But by your definition, yes, what was done to Bioware would be censorship. You say you didn't play the game, well I did, and I've seen the original endings compared to the improved ones. And I gotta tell you, they're not that different. The core aspects of the endings are pretty much the same. They added a few more lines of dialogue to make a few things less ambiguous, and a few more still shots elaborating what happened to some of the other groups. That's it. It's not the difference between a complete ending, and and incomplete ending. Both were complete, just one was in a way that the fanbase lost their shit and bitched until they changed it, and the other was what they got for their bitching. And by your definition of censorship being something anyone can do, if they just say "I find this offensive" then yes, it was censorship.
And that's my point. It wasn't. It was the customer base complaining about a product, and demanding a change made or they wouldn't support the company anymore. And the company agreeing to the demands of their consumer base. That's something that happens in every aspect of the free market. That's the "your shit sucks, so I'm not giving you my money anymore" way of capitalism. It's not censorship.


Signa said:
I think that's only true to a point. Once a product enters public consciousness, revisions become dangerous because of nuance. George Lucas adding a scream for Luke falling down the Cloud City pit was something he just did with his work, and it made it shitty. He even realized it was shitty later, and removed it. It may be his right to change it, but it's unfair to the rest of us that enjoyed the product as it was originally created. His work became our experience, and trying to change that experience retroactively is a bad thing.
I think you and I are just going to have to disagree on some fundamentals here. Because I don't feel it's unfair for Lucas to change Star Wars. It's his creation, he can add flying space monkies that fart rainbows if he wants to. I have no right to demand that he change it back because "you changed it, now it sucks". I have no owning stock in Lucasfilms, I didn't help produce it, I simply watch it. And if he changes it and I don't like it, sure I can ***** about it, but he doesn't have to listen to a damn thing I say. And that's fine, I can just stop watching his stuff if I'm that upset about it. Him changing Star Wars doesn't change our love of it. There are still the unedited versions out there, I own them myself. If I want to, I can easily watch the original versions, no matter how many times Lucas changes them. He can't take that away from me. It doesn't retroactively taint the story, it's just a new thing that is different, and that I happen to not like. Now, to your point about the Luke scream, and him taking it out. This is a great example, would you say, that the people who bitched at him about that scream, censored him? No. Why not? Because I don't see any difference in "change it because it offends me politically!" and "change it because it offends me asthetically!" They are both essentially. "What you made pisses me off, and I want you to change it." The why of it is irrelevent. So if one is censorship, then they both are. And if one isn't censorship, then neither of them are.
 

Signa

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Happyninja42 said:
Signa said:
Happyninja42 said:
Signa said:
I think it's censorship when you're changing the work because someone told you it was offensive.
No, censorship is when you are ordered to do so by government regulation to change it/remove it/block it, under penalty of criminal action.
Fully disagree here. The government doesn't have a monopoly on the definition of censoring something.
Well that's fine, but the definition would disagree with your personal definition of censorship.
From Merriam Webster:
censorship
noun cen·sor·ship \ˈsen(t)-sər-ˌship\

: the system or practice of censoring books, movies, letters, etc.

1
a : the institution, system, or practice of censoring
b : the actions or practices of censors; especially : censorial control exercised repressively
2
: the office, power, or term of a Roman censor
3
: exclusion from consciousness by the psychic censor
Doesn't say it has to include a government or controlling body to be considered censorship. Hell, even if it did, then we need a new word to describe these hot-topic issues like Target's GTA decision and similar moral outrages.

I can't comment on the rest of your post because I didn't experience it for myself. I just know what other people said and how they felt about it. I'll leave you with your opinion.
 

ZiggyE

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Self-censorship is still censorship, especially when it is compelled by an outside force.

Penny Arcade [http://www.penny-arcade.com/news/post/2013/04/24/character-selection] did a good article about this kind of thing when Dragon's Crown came out.
 

RedDeadFred

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I don't see how anyone could consider the removal of the DMC line censorship. If it wasn't a creative decision and they really had been pressured into its removal, they would have removed a lot of other stuff too. That line wasn't even close to some of the other stuff in the game as far as being potentially offensive goes.
 

CaitSeith

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That's more of a case by case scenario. Such paranoia will probably take the enjoyment out of reading comics more effectively than actually hearing an artist openly announce they are censoring their work. In the later you get angry to an honest artist; but in the former you distrust every artist.
 

Erttheking

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inu-kun said:
I don't really understand it, if I understood correctly the whole media blow out came after the picture was revealed, meaning it got through several layers of people only for it to cause shock and suddently the artist and team didn't want it, so why did they draw it and publish it in the first place?
I think they got a different artist to do the alternate title. That's the thing with corporations, despite consumers liking to think that all the creative choices are made by developers, executives can make whatever demands they want and don't need the developer's permission.
 

Phasmal

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inu-kun said:
I don't really understand it, if I understood correctly the whole media blow out came after the picture was revealed, meaning it got through several layers of people only for it to cause shock and suddently the artist and team didn't want it, so why did they draw it and publish it in the first place?
Several layers of people, maybe, but not the team working on the comic- according to the writer.
https://twitter.com/cameronMstewart/status/577639735788711936

Honestly, the whole Batgirl thing was funny in a depressing way. So many people going `GOD DAMN SJWS WITH THEIR CENSORSHIP` and ignoring what the creators were saying about it.

The idea of `self-censorship` is a bit dumb.
MarsAtlas said:
ZiggyE said:
Self-censorship is still censorship, especially when it is compelled by an outside force.
Really? I thought it was called "exercising free will in a mindful manner".

As for being compelled by an outside force, you're always being compelled by an outside force when you do something in public. Always.
You mean walking around being an asshole isn't some sacred right? Say it aint so!
Those poor censored assholes.
 

StreamerDarkly

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Sterling chose his side of this debate a few months ago, so the weasel-worded justifications found in this video come as no surprise.

The problem with his reasoning is twofold:

(1) He views editing before and after the fact as equivalent. They aren't. One only of these can be, and often is, predicated on the reaction of the audience and the consequences thereof. The distinction is akin to a guilty parting showing remorse before or after getting caught. With high probability, remorse shown in the latter situation isn't genuine.

(2) He deliberately obfuscates the reasons for after-the-fact editing by suggesting it's all the same as long as the author's will is done. I actually agree with him that the DMC dialogue might have been modified for artistic considerations. It simply isn't a very good line. But do you know what wasn't artistically poor? The Batgirl cover.

To take an extreme case, consider the Charlie Hebdo massacres. If given a replay and supplied with the knowledge that they would be murdered for their efforts, it would be a reasonable course of action for the authors to decide not to publish their inflammatory cartoons. Not for artistic reasons, mind you, as they clearly believed them to be of good quality and in the spirit of their publication, but only because the external reactions of deranged lunatics produced very negative consequences. This is anything but the natural artistic process at work.

In short, you're full of it Jimmy. And you know it.
 

theNater

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Signa said:
I didn't play ME, but what I understand the problem to be was that people were sold a defective product.
Personally, I would call causing offense to the audience a defect in a product(unless the product was deliberately attempting to cause offense, of course).