I walked into a local comic book store the other week to find a toy had been censored. The toy was the General Lee from Dukes of Hazard, and the censor was a piece of paper taped across the top of the car. What it was blocking was the Confederate flag, a portion of the car that made it iconic wasn’t allowed to be seen for some odd reason. A toy….This wasn’t the worse thing either. I know censors often ruin everything on basic cable, but they are now moving to video games and saying we are not allowed to play them anymore?
I read the reports before hand about Doom BFG Edition seeing censors with the Wolfenstein levels, but I had to see it for myself to believe it. After all the original Wolfenstein game was released already, pretty much untouched, and Doom wasn’t edited when released on 360 originally. So there I go playing through Doom 2 and decide to go find the secret level. Finding the level to begin with takes some effort, and there is no purpose to it beyond Doom fans being fans. No trophy for getting to it, no incomplete, nothing bad happens if you don’t go out of your way to find it. In-fact you won’t even know its there unless you go out of the way to find it. I go, work my way there, playing on a hard difficulty as well, and finally make it.
The level was supposed to be a Wolfenstein level, nodding at ID’s history and honoring it in Doom. Yet I go through the portal and start looking around and all I can think is “what is this crap?!” The walls completely blank, the enemies all replaced with dummy Doom zombies, the music changed, all of it tarnished and completely pointless. The name of the level wasn’t even allowed to reference Wolfenstein at all! Why?!
I’m surprised the walls were even allowed to be blue! Take it from me, don’t even bother finding the secret levels, they are pointless. Not only that, they feel someone broken as well. A lot of secret walls and entrances were hidden behind specific objects originally and they were all removed. You are literally traveling through big giant empty rooms with absolutely no purpose behind them at all. Part of the blame could be laziness on Bethseda/ID for no replacing things with…. well anything, but almost all of the blame goes to the whiny brats that cry and get offended by anything and everything. IT’S A GAME! I yell at you guys….
My main question is why is it okay to have a game about shooting things, frightening things, killing people, and super violent circumstances, but the very second a representation of a evil Hitler appears it becomes offensive? He was the enemy, not your friend, so what is the issue? Walking around Swatzika’s was scary, it signaled you were in the enemy base, it didn’t signal anything positive….And yet how many movies have had the same symbols in their movies and got away with it just fine? A lot of those movies were terrible too….Why is it a videogame can’t be respected, especially when the targeted game is becoming a historic title in the industry? The odd thing about all of this is that at the end of the second level (Spoiler) you still kill the mascot of ID’s past game, which by the way is a little kid….
I guess a part of this story is about video games gaining respect and being allowed to portray things as art, stories, or emotional ties. Of course the option should be there to “filter” things too. If you get offended easily, turn the offensive things off. Call of Duty has done this well with their previous releases. Don’t want to walk through an uncomfortable level? Fine, decline to do so. Willing to respect the game and not cry about said level? Accept it.
The other part to this story is the simple fact I’m sick and tired of everyone being offended by everything. At the end of the day, no I don’t want kids to get their hands on something offensive. Yet that’s what the ESRB symbol on the back is for, and people ignore it. Then the parents complaining will gladly let their kids shoot people in Call of Duty or rob someone in Grand Theft Auto, then get offended by something stupid like a Swatzika in Doom….It’s a game, you don’t like the image, something they portrayed, or want to throw a fit about a story? Then don’t buy the game, why do you need to ruin titles for everyone else? Wolfenstein is one of the very first games I ever got a chance to play, and I loved it. I was super excited to go relive some memories in the secret levels, sadly it was ruined.
The world is a violent place to begin with, all kinds of stories and things to see. We don’t get offended by some of the most offensive stuff, but video games are not allowed to go there? I recently got the Looney Tunes collection on Blu-Ray, and it’s sad that they have to have several long messages at the beginning saying “sorry that we are offensive, but oh well!” No it isn’t written exactly like that, but it did have a good point. Censoring something that did happen would be like saying it never happened, and that would be wrong.