Def Jam: Rapstar censorship is some dumb___ ____ing ____
Neutered by its age rating, devoid of all its profanity, dropping rhymes is no longer the shiznit…
Is anyone else out there getting ever so slightly upset of videogame publishers’ desire to deny gamers their right to swear words? Though modern rhythm action titles might have to shoot for the broadest possible audience, surely some sort of benchmark has been reached when a rap title is due for release bearing a minimum entry of twelve and above?
Well, one in which not only Will Smith features, anyway. All this manages to achieve is the complete dissatisfaction of an adult rap-loving audience – the vast majority of those who may splash the cash – and a pandering to those who shouldn’t be anywhere near such a release in the first instance.
According to Konami’s title, the first line of Snoop Dogg’s Gin And Juice now reads “I’m serious/one of y’all/got this/up.” Whatever’s next? “Rollin down the street/sippin’ on/juice?” “It’s getting hot in herre/so turn the central heating up?”
It’s not that we’re particularly in favour of profanity and, let’s face it, much of Rapstar’s tracklist features swearing for the sake of it rather than emphasis – more that it’s simply not delivering what the audience wants. You can buy an album with a mere parental guidance stick on it, after all – why not a videogame? It’s absurd.
That’s before you consider the fact that the concept of censorship recognises only individual words and not meaning. To take Gin And Juice as an example again, if you’re having numerous women back to your apartment and have ‘a pocket full of rubbers’, you could hardly describe the implication of this as subtle.
Let’s face it – you and your lady friends aren’t going to be doing an evening’s algebra, ready to erase any mistakes. Let’s face it – there are plenty of themes knocking around each track that we’d want our 12-year-old to know about less than many cuss words.
Of course, the issue stretches further than just one title – near every rhythm action title X360 has ever laid its hands on features censorship of one form or another. Seeing as companies are more than happy to use instant connectivity to sell gamers additional add-ons, why isn’t it possible to, say, introduce censorship when the lead profile (credit card holding) isn’t logged in to Xbox Live? Or, indeed, remove offensive content and reinstate it according to what parental settings are set up on a console itself? Now that would be customer service.
It’s not as if the consistency of censorship across all musical genres can be admired. What of the Blink-182 song in which a person cannot get drunk with their best friends?
What of the something and rye that is drunk within American Pie? What of the denial of an ability to mention killing the unborn during Two Minutes To Midnight, regardless of the fact that thousands of frags per second take place online between kids barely older…
Sure, this all may be due to more or less stringent censorship policies on either side of the pond, but surely gamers of all nationalities should be free to experience music as they wish, at this point? Take rhythm action out of its infancy!