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

Steven Bogos

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Jan 17, 2013
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The Stick of Truth's Censorship Disabled by PC Mod - Update


A user-made mod for the game allows players in affected territories to experience the full, uncensored South Park: The Stick of Truth experience.

Update 2: The mod's creator has gotten in contact with us, and assures us that there is absolutely no way for Ubisoft or Valve to punish players for using the mod. "The binary for the exe isn't touched," he said. "It was lazy approach on their side to have the censor and uncensored version of the game be activated by a config flag. There is no current way that ubisoft can activate a vac ban, because of their side, nothing is changed, the exe is running as it should with no alterations."

Update: An Ubisoft representative has responded to our email, stating that a team is "looking into" the matter, and offered a very vague "With regards to any penalty for players that are doing this, we do not have any information about what may happen to those players." We're still waiting on a response from Valve about VAC bans.

Original Story: South Park fans living in Australia, Europe, Africa and The Middle East were somewhat dismayed to learn that their version of South Park: The Stick of Truth. would be upload the scenes [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/132498-South-Park-The-Stick-of-Truth-Will-Be-Censored-In-UK-Europe-Update] so affected users could see what they were missing out on, but now, those clever PC modders have done one better, creating a patch for the Steam version of the game that allows everyone to enjoy it fully uncensored. Hooray for anal probes!

You can find the patch on the Steam community forums this file [http://steamcommunity.com/app/213670/discussions/0/558749824588892365/] and extract it into the game's directory. Fans are reporting that the patch works perfectly, allowing them to see the removed anal probe and abortion scenes, as well as the Nazi zombies for those users in Germany.

Ordinarily, modding a PC game is a perfectly accepted practice, and something that is often encouraged by the developers, but since this mod bypasses censorship, it is a bit of a gray area. We have reached out to Valve to ask whether players would be punished for using this patch, so until we get a response, please note that you apply this patch at your own risk.

Earlier, South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker lamented that video games face a double standard [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/132779-South-Park-Creator-Says-Video-Games-Face-Double-Standard] when it comes to censorship, as the interactive nature of video games still makes some "uncomfortable."

Source: Games.on.net [http://steamcommunity.com/app/213670/discussions/0/558749824588892365/]

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STENDEC1

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Jul 20, 2012
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Good on them. This is just another one of the many reasons why censorship of adult content is bollocks. If people are determined enough, they'll bypass the censorship one way or another.
 

dyre

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Mar 30, 2011
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I imagine the censors were deliberately made to be easily bypassed; it was probably just a matter of exchanging texture files or something that simple.

As for why anyone would want to uncensor a South Park game...well, I hope it's a freedom of expression thing and not, you know, a fetish >_>
 

Scorpid

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And the censorship ban worked for all of half a week! HURRAY THE SYSTEM...works?
 

IceForce

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With the existence of the internet and other forms of globalization, does country-specific or region-specific censoring even work anymore?

I guess this mod proves that it doesn't.
 

MeChaNiZ3D

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Who'd have thought.

I am decidely a console gamer and this is one of the main reasons I'm thinking of getting a PC over a PS4. In many cases, the community of a game will straight up fix the game for other players. It's amazing.
 

NuclearKangaroo

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haha god bless modders, making games better since the begining of PC gaming


also i doubt people will get punished by this, australians and germans have been patching blood into L4D2 for ages and valve has done nothing about it

those ridiculous censorship laws cant affect user made content, id be ridiculous
 

Skeleon

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Nov 2, 2007
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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.
That said, that was the old way. More recently, our rating agencies more and more just hand out 18 ratings without putting games on the index, so it shouldn't even matter. From what I know, though, a bunch of developers and publishers are basically self-censoring in advance now, even if their game has a good chance of not ending up on the index anyway.
I know that's how it goes with a lot of the more violent games, but I dunno about issues related to Nazi symbols or whatever; that might be different still.
 

Creator002

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I installed this the other day and it was great. There was an update for South Park earlier, so I'll have to see if it still works.[footnote]It does.[/footnote]
Interesting note, the German from Hitler's speeches are cut from the Australian version as well. The patch naturally edits them back in.
 

Tanis

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Aug 30, 2010
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I remember this happening to "Giants: Citizen Kabuto".

By deleting like one or two files, you'd get the red blood (instead of green) and the topless Delphi (instead of her covered with a bra/bikini).

Any PC developer/publisher that think their game is 'safe' from modders, is nuts.
 

Therumancer

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Nov 28, 2007
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Well, the key to anything like this is always enforcement. The big question is of course whether or not the authorities in any of these countries now want to pursue this as a crime, either arresting people for using the patch, or more likely going after those that created and/or distributed it. When it comes to STEAM and whether it's going to do anything about this, the big question is going to be whether or not any of these governments threaten them with legal action if they do not take it down, or start moving to take action against STEAM straight out for hosting it.

Potentially this could get awkward if it was ever pushed. If parts of Europe or Australia demanded the extradition of Gabe Newell, it could turn into the next "Kim Dotcom", and would invite certain comparisons to that case. After all it could be argued that as the head of Valve/Steam, he's responsible for what he knows is on his site, and depending on the prosecution and the exact laws they could go after him as a pornographer. To put it into perspective, we do have a scene of a 9 year old getting anally raped by a sex machine, which could be considered child porn (above and beyond it just being you know... adult material/porn), especially in countries that do not make a distinction between an actual child and the image of a child.

I of course don't think it's likely to go there of course, but really I imagine whether STEAM officially supports the use of this patch or not, depends on how serious these countries are about making sure their censorship policies are followed, what requests they make, and perhaps if push comes to shove how far they are willing to take it.

On some levels I'd like to see Gabe throw down with some of the more backward countries out there and win over something like this, but I doubt that will happen, at the end of the day he's a businessman and will likely do whatever is going to benefit his business the most, which would mean selling out free speech for the sake of cooperation from international markets. Sad... but well... I doubt this will end well.

One also has to wonder if Ubisoft could be in trouble here also, I'm not sure on how this patch works. Are the scenes still in the game and just locked out, or does this patch include all of the missing content and puts them into the game? If it's a situation where all of this stuff was there and just waiting for a quick code re-route, this might go into some of the territory we've seen with games like "San Andreas" (ie Hot Coffee) and "Manhunt" since they didn't actually remove the content and left it in the game knowing it could be accessed. If someone puts it all in from another copy that's one thing, but if the content was always there... well, that could get touchy if an issue was made of it.

Either way I doubt much will come of it, all the potential to see this get exciting aside, this doesn't seem to be the game the battle lines will finally be drawn over.
 

the_retro_gamer

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If something is screwed up about a game... you can always count on a modder to fix the problem(well most of the time). God bless PC gaming.
 

Dalisclock

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The first thing that came to mind when reading this was "HAHA! Suck it, Censors".
 

Abomination

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I wonder if this is going to blow up like that Hot Coffee thing did for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas?

I mean, the content is still in the game, technically... and if you have to hack it to bring it out it's still the game company's fault for saying their game was censored when it really wasn't. Or something.

Either way, yay for modders!
 

NuclearKangaroo

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Therumancer said:
Well, the key to anything like this is always enforcement. The big question is of course whether or not the authorities in any of these countries now want to pursue this as a crime, either arresting people for using the patch, or more likely going after those that created and/or distributed it. When it comes to STEAM and whether it's going to do anything about this, the big question is going to be whether or not any of these governments threaten them with legal action if they do not take it down, or start moving to take action against STEAM straight out for hosting it.

Potentially this could get awkward if it was ever pushed. If parts of Europe or Australia demanded the extradition of Gabe Newell, it could turn into the next "Kim Dotcom", and would invite certain comparisons to that case. After all it could be argued that as the head of Valve/Steam, he's responsible for what he knows is on his site, and depending on the prosecution and the exact laws they could go after him as a pornographer. To put it into perspective, we do have a scene of a 9 year old getting anally raped by a sex machine, which could be considered child porn (above and beyond it just being you know... adult material/porn), especially in countries that do not make a distinction between an actual child and the image of a child.

I of course don't think it's likely to go there of course, but really I imagine whether STEAM officially supports the use of this patch or not, depends on how serious these countries are about making sure their censorship policies are followed, what requests they make, and perhaps if push comes to shove how far they are willing to take it.

On some levels I'd like to see Gabe throw down with some of the more backward countries out there and win over something like this, but I doubt that will happen, at the end of the day he's a businessman and will likely do whatever is going to benefit his business the most, which would mean selling out free speech for the sake of cooperation from international markets. Sad... but well... I doubt this will end well.

One also has to wonder if Ubisoft could be in trouble here also, I'm not sure on how this patch works. Are the scenes still in the game and just locked out, or does this patch include all of the missing content and puts them into the game? If it's a situation where all of this stuff was there and just waiting for a quick code re-route, this might go into some of the territory we've seen with games like "San Andreas" (ie Hot Coffee) and "Manhunt" since they didn't actually remove the content and left it in the game knowing it could be accessed. If someone puts it all in from another copy that's one thing, but if the content was always there... well, that could get touchy if an issue was made of it.

Either way I doubt much will come of it, all the potential to see this get exciting aside, this doesn't seem to be the game the battle lines will finally be drawn over.
dont be ridiculous

what kidn of backwards ass country would censor user made content? (except maybe mine all things considered)

is it really that different from playing some free flash game with nazis in it?
 

MazokuRanma

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IceForce said:
With the existence of the internet and other forms of globalization, does country-specific or region-specific censoring even work anymore?

I guess this mod proves that it doesn't.
It largely depends on how the game was released. Sure, this worked on a PC game. But what if the game were console exclusive and region locked? Bypassing it would not be nearly so simple.
 

Kilo24

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NuclearKangaroo said:
dont be ridiculous

what kidn of backwards ass country would censor user made content? (except maybe mine all things considered)

is it really that different from playing some free flash game with nazis in it?
The issue was (as it was with Hot Coffee and Oblivion getting rerated M) was that the content was still on the game disc. Apparently, the fact that user-made content was required to unlock it was irrelevant.
 

MazokuRanma

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Abomination said:
I wonder if this is going to blow up like that Hot Coffee thing did for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas?

I mean, the content is still in the game, technically... and if you have to hack it to bring it out it's still the game company's fault for saying their game was censored when it really wasn't. Or something.

Either way, yay for modders!
The Hot Coffee mod blew up because it was argued that it could no longer meet the M rating and required an AO one instead. In the case of South Park, even censoring the content did not prevent an AO equivalent rating in Europe (I'm not certain regarding Australia), which means that putting it back in couldn't actually result in an increased rating, seeing as how it's already at the maximum level.