Censorship is a word that seems to be getting a lot of use these days, especially in the realm of video games. It was the battle cry when Australian Target stores decided not to sell Grand Theft Auto V and now it’s the watchword for fans upset that particular costume options have been removed from the new Fatal Frame title.
In Japan, Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water gives you the ability to play the game with a scantily clad character after you’ve unlocked the appropriate costume. For the US release Nintendo, who helped to publish the game, has replaced the sexy costumes with Nintendo character themed costumes like Samus and Zelda. The cry of censorship has gone up on numerous message boards due to this removal. The problem is that self-censorship just isn’t the same thing as the insidious types of censorship.
Nintendo published the game, they can choose to include, or not include, whatever they want. Nobody forced them, or even asked them to make this change, they did it on their own. Simply because some content was created for the game does not give the players the right to it. In point of fact, they don’t have the right to it, so there’s really no argument here.
Many gamers are claiming that the content should not have been removed and that anybody who didn’t like more explicit outfits can make the choice not to buy the game. Now, that’s not an incorrect statement but the fact is the same argument is exactly equally valid the other way around. You can choose to not buy the game because of the change. The onus does not always have to be on the people who want to avoid certain content. Sometimes the people who might want more adult content will have to consider games that don’t include it.
Nintendo had the freedom to put their characters in bikinis, they were not being censored. They simply chose not to do it. That’s just business.