Steam Orders Further Censorship of Visual Novels6 Comments on Steam Orders Further Censorship of Visual Novels

[FINAL UPDATE]
Valve has gotten back to some developers apologizing  and telling them to disregard the emails.

MangaGamer confirming as well.

[UPDATE]
While Valve has still not commented on the non-specific orders sent out to visual novel makers, a webpage has surfaced from an anti-pornography group formerly called Morality in Media calling for a mass flagging campaign (and claiming victory in a later post):

https://twitter.com/RealPeerReview/status/997561594832924673
53.0-1553.93">https://archive.fo/marR5#selection-1553.0-1553.93

The lobbying group rebranded in 2015 to appear as a vaguely feminist/pro-woman group while still pushing their core anti-porn stance.

This may have triggered an automated warning to the “offending” games and Valve may not even be aware of the situation at present. Having been done near a weekend, it’s possible the story failed to gain traction before Valve knew anything was wrong and now people are home, unlikely to comment until Monday.

It’s definitely worth seeing if Valve responds that this was the case, but for now a possible culprit seems to have surfaced. Take it with a grain of salt for now, it may be entirely unrelated.

 

Welp, I said I was back, so let’s make it official by talking about a new wave of probably injustice being perpetrated on the good perverts of the world.

Steam has recently ordered just about every single already censored eroge on the service to make further, non-specific changes to their games or face being removed from the service.

I’ll save a little time here and go ahead and point out that the proper perv’s choice for these sorts of games should be either direct purchase (from JAST or MangaGamer or Sekai) or going through Nutaku if you need a collective service (though their hands aren’t entirely clean in the censorship game themselves). And then, on with the news.

The first and most sort-of-mainstream developer to get hit was HuniePop tweeting that they’d been sent an e-mail stating their games needed to be further censored or risk being removed from the store.


My initial thought was that this might be a baseless, auto-generated thing, but the same problem has happened to others companies which I’ll make a non-complete list of:

There are a lot of questions and Valve is curiously silent on the issue at the moment. There are a few possibilities, but the time that the games have been up makes this entire thing stink somewhat to me.

First Possibility:

The censorship is light enough in the existing titles that Valve is concerned about selling the products to underagers and running afoul of the law.

I’ll consider this the most possible reason for the entire thing. It’s hard to say meaningfully without comment from Valve, but plenty of jurisdictions aren’t going to look fondly at a company selling porn games without strong age-gating, even though those are basically useless preventative measures when it comes to keeping children from looking at porn. All measures are useless, really. But hey, security theater.

Second Possibility:

Visual Novel’s had their profile raised recently, drawing attention from Valve/outside groups

This runs a close second. The success of Doki Doki Literature Club (fuck me, I wrote Panic) has brought attention to visual novels and a more widespread curiosity about the content and artform. Obviously, along with that comes eroge, and increased attention means Valve starts paying closer attention to what’s on their service (at least in this narrow case).

Having become aware that VNs exist, someone went digging through and noticed that a lot of these games have light censorship, that perhaps stepped across the line on Valve’s opaque, uncommunicative Terms of Service.

Third Possibility:

The Chinese userbase was large enough to cause issues

While western countries are pretty lax about coming after companies for selling content we’ll call questionable to people who aren’t strongly age verified, China is much more active in policing the morality of its citizens. Anything that becomes likely to impact their society (from the government’s point of view) tends to get fairly heavily restricted. See: PUBG and gaming consoles as prime examples.

If the sales of these games brought enough attention to the platform for Chinese government officials to take notice, Steam might have been hit with some stern warnings. And given how widespread the complaints are, it’s entirely possible that might be the case.

Either way, this is something that’s fairly obviously being rolled out to avoid litigation or issues from ONE side or another. Valve has a pretty strong line against taking a moral stance, and I’m willing to believe they’re largely willing to stick to that point of view. The law can force their hands however.

Either way, it just goes to show that the sexual side of things is going to be the first to get hit out against and the easiest to downplay, especially when it comes to Japanese media and Japanese-style art, something that’s still deeply misunderstood in the west.

If this were about forcing a company to tone down violence or more acceptable depictions of sex, then this conversation would be much louder and much more likely to turn against them. But since it’s us weebs and our weird pervert shit, it’ll just get forced over and forgotten.

It’s a sad day as well, the Visual Novel was rising in the wake of Doki Doki Literature Club and that will still be a good thing for the genre in the longer term in the west. That said, if Valve should be going after anything, it should be quality control. Their platform is dying because sixty to eighty new games are released every day and 98+% of them are meme games that took a week to make or low effort first projects or direct re-releases of Asset store purchases with no changes whatsoever.

Still, if Valve wants to give people a good reason to look into other services, they are welcome to. It’s a weird brand strategy, but maybe it’ll work out for them.

Getting Familiar: Pornography and the Common Man5 Comments on Getting Familiar: Pornography and the Common Man

Since AnimeVice lost my favorite person, I’m reposting this here. You guys will probably enjoy it more anyway. Kids these days.

Why are people after my precious forms of Japanese pornography? Why do they so desperately want to do away with the things that I love?

Well, there’s a number of reasons and I’m going to lay a number of them out for you now. Unless you stopped reading after I brought up my penis. But really, the porn brought up my penis. Awww yeah. Ok, that’s enough of that shit.

Familiarity
While lots of women, and a few insanely religious men, are opposed to regular old double-penetration and barely-legal teen gangbangs, a damn sight more people are quick to judge anything that wanders into the two-dimensional realm.

Now, we’re talking about Japanese 2D porn here. People think Kim Possible porn is weird because the show is for kids so people apply an amount of innocence to the characters that they didn’t necessarily ask for. As for Japanese ero art, the problem is one of familiarity.

By and large, the Western world is fairly insular and, by nature of the Judaic religions, also carries a great deal of shame and denial as relates to sexual gratification. That is to say, women put their fingers inside their vaginas, but talking about it is taboo because there’s a lot of shame attached (among other things, I’m working against the clock here).

Anyway, that combination of insularity and the inability to openly enjoy things that are sexually gratifying makes for a fairly potent reaction to something that is both borne of a foreign culture and sexually gratifying.

That might require a bit of explanation: I know there are some Europeans reading this and thinking “Hey! I’m pretty worldly,” but the fact of the matter is that you likely know less about Japanese culture than you know about ancient Greece or Egypt. That’s a pretty bold statement, I know. But it’s backed up on a daily basis when well-known bloggers who shall remain nameless make blatantly incorrect statements about a country in which they live.

It’s human nature, though. We strive for familiarity because it’s the only way we can feel comfortable. People stay in rut jobs and shitty relationships because they’re familiar. So take the fire of a completely foreign culture (no Judaic dogma, chopsticks, etc.) and throw fuel on it in the form of boobies, it sends simple minded people into a spiral of discomfort so twisting they can only start screaming for the government to make it all better for them. It’s a sad case.

Subcultures
While the overarching theme here is that the Judaic (we’re talking all spin offs here, not just Judaism) mindset has led to a lot of sexual shame, it doesn’t so much describe societal reactions to 2D porn so much as it explains the underlying reason people act the way they do.

The other elephant in the room is mainstream society. While pornography in and of itself is fairly mainstream, 2D porn is seen as something for nerds, weirdos, rapists, and pedophiles. Why is that?

Well, in a way it ties back to the first point about familiarity. Subcultures are, by their very nature, unfamiliar territory for the mass populace. This is one place that those of us who love the stuff which makes us all juicy aren’t doing ourselves any favors.

Yes, I am talking to you, socially inept, fat, odorous weirdo. Stop standing in the corner and breathing heavily. Will it change the stigma behind admitting that you look at 2D porn? No, not really. But it will go a long way towards making your local reactions a lot more favorable.

But that’s not the whole thing. Subcultures always have the stereotypes that go along with them. If you’re in a frat, people think you probably say bro a lot and think the shocker is the greatest sexual maneuver yet invented. If you’re black, people think you steal things. If you’re an anime nerd, you are obviously socially inept, fat, and probably scratch yourself more often than you should.

That’s sort of the problem. When you tie that anime nerd stereotype together with the pornography aspect, the person you’ve just mentioned 2D pronography to will immediately picture you as a greasy fat guy pulling one off over weird porn of girls with pink hair and a school uniform.

Too many people present an image that lends itself to that. Or they’re quick to get defensive when people think they’re fucked up for what they choose to rosin up their bow with. This is the WRONG way to go about things, kids. Believe me.

So what do you do? Act insanely casual about it. The problem here is that YOU need to be comfortable with it to act casual about it. This requires introspection. You need to know better than any person why you like the things you do. You need to understand your own sexuality. They will likely want to know because, well, who wouldn’t be curious about a guy who is so comfortable with something so insanely foreign to them? Maybe it’s not as weird as it sounds, they’ll think.

Getting Comfortable
I’d briefly considered making this about the perfect setup for masturbating, but I have to leave you guys wanting, so instead I’ll give some suggestions of things you can consider, regardless of which side of the 2D porn divide you’re on.

We’ll start with the pro-hentai kids. As I said above, you need to know why you like the things you do. This sort of introspection can be applied to anything and it’s really a generally good way to grow as a person. People might be bothered that I say that in relation to porn, but they’re just shortsighted prudes anyway.

So how does one go about realizing what they like? Well, it’ll sound a bit odd and complicated, but no one picks up a guitar and knows all the chords, so shut up. You have to learn to think objectively about yourself, pretty much. Again, I know it sounds odd, but it’s helpful stuff. When you’re watching your favorite porn, you’ll notice the things that cause your brain to feel just a little bit warmer or more aroused or more relaxed or satisfied. This will likely be different things in different people, but you have to learn to recognize it for what it is if you ever hope to put words to the feelings you get from watching your eroanime. Was it the expression on the face of a girl? The detail put into the backs of a characters knees? The slight squeak that guy let out as the other guy ran up inside his choco-tube? Realize those things and remember them.

A lot of you might jump to the conclusion that this is apt to make you enjoy the porn less, but I’ve found the reaction to be somewhat the opposite. When you see those things you love, you feel closer to the eroticism. More satisfied and comfortable. It’s good times.

Now, for you haters out there. Well, maybe not haters. But skeptics. I’ll point you back to the beginning of the post. Familiarity. How familiar are you with the subject matter? How many eroanime have you watched? How many eromanga have you read? It’s something of a theme on my own site, but I’ll say it here, the more you look at something erotic, the more apt your mind is to pick up on the erotic nature. It’ll do it whether you want it to your not.

And that’s my second point. A lot of the repulsion regarding pornography stems from a lack of willingness to fully allow oneself to take part in the experience. You might consider going in with an open mind, actively looking for things you might like rather than shutting your mind off and assuming you will hate everything you see. Be honest with yourself. And remember, just because the porn you’re looking at doesn’t have anything that turns you on, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Eroanime and eromanga span all genres and fetishes. If there’s something you think you’d like to see, it’s out there, I can promise you that.

Now, boys and girls, go put something in yourself. It’ll make you feel better.

Loli Illegal in the UK17 Comments on Loli Illegal in the UK

Welp, today the “Cartoons Have Feelings Too” law went into effect in the UK.

Yep. Loli is officially illegal in the UK. Will anyone in the UK actually stand up and do anything to try to fix it? Nope. But then it yet remains unclear how the law will be enforced, so it’s possible that much like the US law, it just sits around waiting for people to have child porn… so we’ll see.

The normal set of links incoming. Support these folks.

CBLDF
ACLU
And I guess Liberty in the UK.
If you only care about anime sort of stuff check out Yes to Freedom. Don’t know how much they actually get done though. Haha.

I’ll have a new Onii-chan Theatre later this week. Been busy with stuff.

Handley Gets Six Months In Prison For This6 Comments on Handley Gets Six Months In Prison For This

Welp, that’s the length and breadth of it. Christopher Handley has been sentenced to six months in prison, following by three years supervised release, and five years probation. A major failing of the American justice system, but this is what happens when you let local lawyers take care of your case instead of hiring experts like the ACLU and the CBLDF, both of whom I would ask you to support, especially after the outcome of this case.

But that’s just not good enough for me. Free speech is god in my mind, so let’s go ahead and post the same pictures that got Handley sent up. How about it? Yeah, come and get me, government. Let’s do this thing.

Update: Also go read Simon’s post.

MangaGamers Will Not Censor Soul Link1 Comment on MangaGamers Will Not Censor Soul Link

Good news for the world of officially translated eroge. MangaGamers has decided not to remove CGs from Soul Link. That’s right kids. Finally a company willing to stand up to the man. Haha. Or something like that.

Whatever. I’m happy about it, I’ve got to say. However, I feel like it’s something that will slip under the radar of the sort of people to look to make a legal case out of this sort of thing. Sadly, there wasn’t anything except a wuthering faggot around when Kodomo no Jikan was set for US release… but that’s in the past and I’m trying to look past it. On a semi-related note, I recently picked up Seishun Binta, one of Watashiya Kaworu’s earlier works. Great book. Hilarious, lots of sexy stuff. Good times.

Also, sorry for the delay in podcasts and the like. Due to some fairly major HDD failures I don’t have access to the shit I need to put them together and won’t until after Christmas. Still! In the interests of making up for that, I plan to do something a little special when I get all that shit back. So look forward to it.

Alaskan Politicians Threatening Loli6 Comments on Alaskan Politicians Threatening Loli

I don’t have anything prepped for this week, so I’m just going to let it slide past and put together another Onii-chan Theatre for next week. Hope you don’t mind. Been a drought of stuff to review and the willpower to get it done. But that’s fine, I’ll get back around to it soon enough.

However, in the mean time, if you’re from Alaska, or just a concerned lover of free speech, please be sure to educate yourselves about the proposed anti-loli state-level law put forward by some douchebag up there.

I’ve sent an e-mail to the ACLU of Alaska and hopefully they’ll get on this thing sooner rather than later, but that remains to be seen. Still, if you want to help out, especially if you’re an ACLU member in Alaska, please shoot them an e-mail and let them know about what’s happening and that you’d like to see them get on this as quickly as possible. The PROTECT Act is a bad enough slap in the face of civil liberties without things starting to get this way on the state level. Especially when there is legal precedence on our side put forth by a state level judge as it is.

Thanks in advance for helping out and look forward to the next Onii-chan Theatre. And remember, just because you don’t like lolis, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t help protect the rights of people who do.

Nitro+ Games Coming to America6 Comments on Nitro+ Games Coming to America

All of you eroge fans out there… you should know just how awesome this is just be reading the title. The news might be a bit delayed because I was busy… you know… researching… stuff… like BlazBlue. But still, JAST announced in Friday at their panel that they’d be releasing AT LEAST three Nitro+ games. The first one being Demonbane to be followed shortly by Jingai Makyou. They said they’d both be out within 12 months… and… man that’s a tall order to fill.

I’ll talk more about it in the AX podcast that’ll be going up later tonight. Might slip to tomorrow if I need to do more… research. digiwombat on PSN if anyone wants to get shitstomped… I mean… I bought a lot of good porn. WE’LL TALK ABOUT ALL THAT LATER! Now I must do some things.

A Statement of Fact10 Comments on A Statement of Fact

In light of the recent closing of erogereview.com I felt there was something of a need for this post. I know that instances such as that make people wonder about the future and about where the sites they enjoy will go. Now, I know my user numbers are far lower than they once were, but I still need to put this on the record.

I will never bow my head to tyranny or injustice of any kind. As an American, I was instilled from a young age with the idea that, above all else, freedom was something that could be counted on. That so long as you didn’t infringe upon the rights of others, you were free to pursue happiness, whatever its shape may be. I believe in those freedoms to my very core and I will fight to secure them, no matter who the enemy.

Onii-chan no Ecchi will never change so long as I have a say. That goes for my hostees as well. They have every right to post the things that they love so long as they’re not infringing upon the rights of others.

At some point, my country seems to have lost sight of that fact by wrapping itself in the idea that it’s protecting an intangible victim from a nonexistent crime. But I won’t follow them down the road of propaganda and fear, no matter how many compatriots fall from my side along the way. Words, ideas, and art should always be free, no matter the content. And, no matter how reasonable the offended party may be, it’s never reasonable to tell a man he can’t think or say or draw or write whatever it might be that comes to his mind.

Handley Pleads Guilty2 Comments on Handley Pleads Guilty

Well, we’d known for a while he was likely to do it. Drives me insane to think that now someone else has to suffer his misfortune just for us to get a chance to right something that’s so clearly wrong.

IA man pleads guilty to having obscene drawings

Fuck sake, this country is on the wrong track. A sad loli will be the header image for it is a sad day for her.

Oh and since you’re here. Please help support the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. They need it now more than ever.

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