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There has been quite a lot of controversy over the "petting" mini game (why isn't it called caressing?!) in Fire Emblem Fates, an aspect present in the original Japanese release that would allow you to express physical affection using the stylus with certain NPCs. Doing so would build on a romantic relationships with them, thereby increasing their affinity with you in battle, among other things. Much to the chagrin of numerous fans, the feature has been removed from western releases, deemed inappropriate for their audience. I would claim to have a hand in it, but self awareness and a lack of ego is something that at least Pie possesses, so of course we know better... Right?
I've long loathed censorship in games; ever since I was a kid and aware that companies were diluting media, it filled me with a sort of righteous indignation and utter contempt. I hated the idea that, in any aspect of life, topics were being blunted from my purview based on the idea that I couldn't handle them. Back then, I took it very personally and would vehemently want companies to include these more challenging and stimulating ideas. As I grew up and learned that companies were making the best business decisions they could based on political climates in which they operate, it only served to lead to a greater sense of overall disillusion with society. Ah...growing up is a wonderful thing!?
Something felt inherently wrong with society that it would feel the need to have complex issues like death, alternate religious views, displays of sexuality and of its preference, guns, drugs, and violence among so many other things being ruthlessly castrated from media. All of this designed to protect children from complex adult themes ironically living in, and trying to make sense of, a complex adult world. Knowing these ideas were being explored in Japanese media made me think that America was somehow regressive and oppressive in exploration of ideas that were deemed, unfairly so, unpalatable by a religious right wing that demanded conformity.
Granted, we have come a LONG way in pushing forward in this regard, but it's doesn't diminish the feeling of disappointment when we still need to deal with these issues. Conversely, where is the line then, of when adult themes becomes gratuitous to the point where it only serves to desensitize people? Where is the line between freedom of expression and acquiescing to authority? The fight goes on, as it always shall, as that is what makes the world turn~
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