Independent Xbox LIVE Game Banned For "Visual Sexual Assault Reminders"

Illustration for article titled Independent Xbox LIVE Game Banned For Visual Sexual Assault Reminders

And Yet, I Love You, an indie game developed for Xbox LIVE Indie Games Marketplace, has been pulled for being "too erotic".

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The text heavy visual novel was developed by Japanese independent dev Naoki Sagawa and contains no actual sex scenes. It is not an adult game.

Sagawa was contacted by Microsoft Europe who stated that game contained three "visual reminders of sexual assault" — or basically innuendo. They are:

• One of the girl's hands is restrained. (The other is not.)
• The girl is being pushed down.
• The girl's underwear is visible.

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Illustration for article titled Independent Xbox LIVE Game Banned For Visual Sexual Assault Reminders

In order to appease Microsoft Europe, Sagawa asked that his game be limited to Japan only distribution and even altered the scene to appease Microsoft Europe. However, Microsoft threatened to delete the game and suspend Sagawa's account if distribution did not cease. And like that, the 240 Microsoft Point game was still barred from Indie Games Marketplace.

The Xbox LIVE Indie Games developers are not beholden merely to the rules of their region, but those of regions far, far away. If Microsoft Europe finds it unacceptable, then the title should be banned in Europe — not everywhere. Ah, the joys of digital distribution!

What's more, if Microsoft Europe finds content like this unacceptable, it might want to review titles like Dead or Alive in which players can punch and kick scantily clad females. Ninjas or not, is Microsoft Europe okay with beating up women?

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Illustration for article titled Independent Xbox LIVE Game Banned For Visual Sexual Assault Reminders

Picking and choosing is fun!

「それでも、私は愛している」配信停止の経緯 [Windows Live via Canned Dogs via Japanator] [GameSpot]

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DISCUSSION

While I agree that the game should only be pulled from distribution in the region it was found to be violating the TOS in, and that the TOS should probably be better laid out so that artists can determine exactly where they stand, I do not find the end of this editorial very convincing.

There is a HUGE difference between an erotic novelization game, and a fighting game. For example, in the above screen shot, Kasumi could easily get up and defend herself. Can the girl in Naoki Sagawa's game do the same?

And let's not even mention the fact that the girl in Sagawa's game looks pre-teen in age.

Having not played the game in question, and there not being a context to the dialogue that accompanies the picture, I cannot make a full judgment on it's appropriateness.

I would rather not see any game be censored, but assuming the context of the game is erotic (and it seems to be), I can understand Microsoft's position of not wanting to be associated with this kind of content.

But in the end, what seems really offensive is the attempt to draw a parallel between this kind of game, and a fighting game.