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Unacceptably insensitive content in video games

Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 8:00 am
by tepples
I ask this toward setting the rules for entries to compos and inclusion of games on community multicarts, among other purposes.

It has come to my attention that some things are unacceptably insensitive to put in a video game:
  • Don't make puns or other jokes about Holodomor, Holocaust, other genocides, 6/4 riots, 9/11 attacks, dead babies/abortion, pedophilia, sexual assault, or stereotypes of marginalized groups (based on ethnicity, religious affiliation, gender, or disability).
  • Don't use symbols strongly associated with hate groups (notable organizations specializing in bigotry against such marginalized groups).
  • Don't include a real-world hate group or a thinly veiled analogue to a real-world hate group as one of the factions in your game, except in the most serious of historical contexts.
What other content in a video game is likewise unacceptably insensitive? Are there things that, say, Bionic Commando got away with that a modern-day game cannot? Or is it "If you have a disability such that you need to ask, you shouldn't even be part of this community"?

Re: Unacceptably insensitive content in video games

Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 9:32 am
by gauauu
tepples wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 8:00 am
Or is it "If you have a disability such that you need to ask, you shouldn't even be part of this community"?
No, definitely not that. Mistakes are forgivable. The important part is being willing to apologize and take feedback if you get it wrong. If anyone gives you crap over something after you retract mistakes and sincerely apologize*, they can stick it in the dirt.

* That said, it needs to be a real, non-weasel apology. Own the mistake, sincerely apologize, and make changes.


As an example, Weird Al accidentally used an offensive slur in a song. People called him out for it. He admitted ignorance and apologized. He wasn't "cancelled" over it, and people moved on: https://nationalpost.com/entertainment/ ... mes-parody
tepples wrote:What other content in a video game is likewise unacceptably insensitive?
That's a pretty good list to start with. It seems like fighting against Nazis has often been considered fair game, but if you're concerned about inadvertently crossing a line, it's probably easiest to not go there at all.

Re: Unacceptably insensitive content in video games

Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 9:55 am
by NewRisingSun
Enforcing such requirements consists of an insensitivity in and of itself, as doing so imposes the highly idiosyncratic moral tastes of progressive Anglo-Saxons on the rest of the world.

Re: Unacceptably insensitive content in video games

Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:29 am
by Bregalad
NewRisingSun wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 9:55 am
Enforcing such requirements consists of an insensitivity in and of itself, as doing so imposes the highly idiosyncratic moral tastes of progressive Anglo-Saxons on the rest of the world.
That.

Although the harm has already been largely done, here in continental Europe due to massive american influence what consists of acceptable humor has drastically diminushed to the point that nothing coming from published satiric media is fun anymore.

Re: Unacceptably insensitive content in video games

Posted: Fri Oct 02, 2020 8:07 pm
by Marscaleb
gauauu wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 9:32 am
No, definitely not that. Mistakes are forgivable. The important part is being willing to apologize and take feedback if you get it wrong. If anyone gives you crap over something after you retract mistakes and sincerely apologize*, they can stick it in the dirt.

* That said, it needs to be a real, non-weasel apology. Own the mistake, sincerely apologize, and make changes.
Oh man, that just reminded me of some times when I made some horrible apologies.

There was a forum for a webcomic I read, and - let's see what was it - I think people were posting demotivational posters, and I tried to make some. One was some pun based off of some rock song, I honestly don't recall what. And the other included a jab toward homosexuality. Honestly, I was trying to poke at the popular opinion toward homosexuality, but well, let's just say I didn't think it through. It didn't carry any of the tone I had originally thought it had.
Honestly the reaction I got right away was polite, but also informed me that I done effed up. And if I had just apologized and removed my post, maybe that could have been the end of it. But oh no, I was NOT done being an idiot that day.
What I did was I deleted the entry I had made on the site where the image was generated/hosted. I expected that this would delete the image and my post would merely show a broken link. It didn't, and instead of then editing my post to just remove the image outright, I decided "eh it probably will just take an hour for it to get removed form the system, so that's good enough."
And then I decided to try to do some damage control. My plan was to try to shift focus away from the offending image to the other one I had made. (After all, the offending content would soon be disappeared from the internet forever, I'm sure, so let's talk about my other contribution instead!) I don't recall exactly what I said, but let's just say that it was about as well-thought-out as the original demotivational poster I made. I believe I made a simple quick apology, and then tried to talk about the one with the musical reference. And looking back later, I realized that effectively what I said made it sound like I thought people were offended by some 80's metal reference, and not the jab at homosexuality. Like I made a post, and saw people acting in a fuss, and then acted like it was so much not-a-big-deal that I thought people were offended by the music reference.
From time to time I think about how I must have looked to those people.

So yeah, be sincere with your apologies. Actually try to correct your mistakes; don't just try to cover them up.

Re: Unacceptably insensitive content in video games

Posted: Sun Oct 04, 2020 9:25 pm
by aa-dav
I don't even imagine 8-bit game with all these "hate groups" or "pedophilia puns".
Projecting into future: shouldn't we suppose games to win contests must have more than 30% black pixels in every frame?

Re: Unacceptably insensitive content in video games

Posted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 5:12 pm
by B00daW
Penises.

There has been a trend within present demoscene to include homosexual overtones and gratuitous penises.

No penises. Thank you.

Re: Unacceptably insensitive content in video games

Posted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 5:26 pm
by tepples
It's more than just the "present demoscene". This behavior goes all the way back to Mega Crap (sophomoric Mega Man V mod) and Mega Fag (likewise for VI). (Links are to reviews by Feral Mew. CW: comic nudity and mild descriptions of sexual assault.)

Re: Unacceptably insensitive content in video games

Posted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:09 pm
by tokumaru
People were drawing penises everywhere way before video games existed.

Re: Unacceptably insensitive content in video games

Posted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:01 am
by Dwedit
tepples wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 8:00 am
  • Don't make puns or other jokes about....dead babies
Only Edmund McMillen could get away with that. He was doing it for 10 years ("Dead Baby Dressup" on Newgrounds) before Binding of Isaac released.

Re: Unacceptably insensitive content in video games

Posted: Wed Nov 18, 2020 6:52 pm
by Nikku4211
Yeah, this isn't 4chan, don't do those edgy jokes here.

Oh, and also, don't put NSFW shit in your game, not even as a joke. Nobody, and I mean nobody, thinks pixels are sexy. No one is going to be titillated by poorly drawn penises, hastily drawn vaginas, or any of your disgusting fetishes. And no, your 'joke' excuse isn't going to fool anyone.

Re: Unacceptably insensitive content in video games

Posted: Wed Dec 02, 2020 11:48 am
by tepples
When I realize with someone's help that something I had previously posted is insensitive, is there a good way to right the wrong without appearing to dishonestly cover it up?

Re: Unacceptably insensitive content in video games

Posted: Wed Dec 02, 2020 2:08 pm
by Nikku4211
tepples wrote:
Wed Dec 02, 2020 11:48 am
When I realize with someone's help that something I had previously posted is insensitive, is there a good way to right the wrong without appearing to dishonestly cover it up?
An apology would let them know that you legitimately believe what you did was wrong.

I know some people definitely won't take apologies, but if not, that's on them for not understanding or caring that you are actually ashamed of what you did back then.

Re: Unacceptably insensitive content in video games

Posted: Fri Dec 04, 2020 12:45 am
by aa-dav
The pain behind "insensitive contet" is real.
But I don't know if it real in video games like in "famicom/nes".
It's absurd to put such content in these small videogames.
I never saw enything like that.

Re: Unacceptably insensitive content in video games

Posted: Fri Dec 04, 2020 1:10 am
by Nikku4211
aa-dav wrote:
Fri Dec 04, 2020 12:45 am
The pain behind "insensitive contet" is real.
But I don't know if it real in video games like in "famicom/nes".
It's absurd to put such content in these small videogames.
I never saw enything like that.
I can see why you'd think it's hard to make things detailed enough to be gross or creepy on NES.

Trying playing Sweet Home on NES and tell me how it makes you feel.