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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Genitalia and Bigotry - "Drawing the Line" !


(Post by Quinzel, Producer of APB)

San Paro - a city where anarchy and iron-fisted justice clash.  Who is to say what is “right” or “wrong” in this concrete jungle?  Where does that leave you in this M-rated game?  What does “rated M for Mature” even mean in San Paro?

It would surprise me if anyone playing the game has not seen an inappropriate player-created image.  Whether it is a customized van with a “graphic” paint job or a topless toon on one of the display points in Social District – we have seen it all!  Now, what happens when players do this?  Some players get banned and some players are warned and you are left scratching your head asking, “Where do we draw the line?”

Apparently we (the production team) are all-powerful and as noted before we reserve the right to ban people for any reason what-so-ever. But as the producer of the game, I really do want to help define what we think “our community standards” are supposed to mean, even in a game intended for a 18+ audience.

One morning, I found an e-mail thread reported by our Community Team that there were some questionable nudity images in Social:

G1 Staffer 1, “We need a clean-up in aisle Colby – display points section. Is there anything we can do about this – I have the name of the players that posted this stuff. Let me know please.”
G1 Staffer 2, “I don’t see the problem. It’s just some boobs :P?”
G1 Staffer 3, “I second that  J 18+ Rated game J
G1 Staffer 4, “I actually find it kinda comforting…”
G1 Staffer 5, “Unless she has a swastika for a nipple or something I don’t think we have to remove it, 18+ game.”

We discussed this thread in one of our weekly team meetings to make sure we define our general policy and refreshed messaging to the community.  One point mentioned was that the game by design has characters that show a lot of skin.  If you go to our Character Customization Editor you can get characters down to their underwear.  Seeing as this was something we built how can we fault the community for doing the same?  

Quick answer – we can’t and we won’t. 

But what about more “disturbing” images involving nudity?  We were already taking actions towards players who created and displayed images that were “disturbing” to both us and other players.  Were nipples acceptable?  How about butt-cheeks?  

So one take away from the meeting was - genitalia is where we draw the line; we did not create that by design.  That line is the base.   Certainly, there are things that exist beyond that line which I’m sure if your imagination wonders far enough you will find.  Furthermore, our rated M for Mature is based off of content we created and have designed for the game.

Looking back at some of the legacy APB Sourcebooks, (documentation from RTW days), I found the following text in one of the design documents:

1.1.1      Adult Material

·         Adult material must be sensitively handled – we are not trying to needlessly shock or offend, but we are trying to put across a real seeming world with a definite edge.
o   No story elements should be gratuitous.
·         Hardcore brutality or cruelty, etc. must be played down.
o   However, the world must feel capable of such things (e.g. such events may be referenced in the story).
·         Explicit sex must not be depicted.

There you have it!  So here is where we can roughly define what our take on “disturbing” might mean; it says right there “Explicit sex must not be depicted.”  It also states, “we are not trying to needlessly shock or offend.”  So here is the general rule of thumb next time you ask yourself, “Can I put this image that I’ve created out on display?”

The last reply from G1 Staffer 5, (“Unless she has a swastika for a nipple…”), is a perfect segue to my next point of discussion – bigotry!

While my office is based in the U.S. my team (GamersFirst and Reloaded) are spread over different continents.  Our APB Reloaded team is an international bunch not to different from our player-base; we have an international player community spread across the world.  With that said, we all should recognize that as an international community we have a diversity of players from a wide range of cultural backgrounds.

We have zero tolerance for any disrespect of diversity. 

It’s not uncommon practice for us to ban accounts that are infringing that respect between players so think twice before you create a characters, symbols, or images in game that are racist, sexist, or discriminate against any of the Protected Classes (based off U.S. anti-discrimination laws).  We clearly DO draw the line at Bigotry, and we also reserve the right to enforce 'community standards' when it comes to sexual imagery.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, the “Protected Classes” generally include race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex and disability (and in some states sexual preference as well).

As an example, there were players in game who were going around wearing swastikas. The symbols were making players around them feel uncomfortable and so we asked that they please remove those symbols.  They refused so we blocked their accounts.  Soon after the banned players tried to contact us through customer support and dispute that we (GamersFirst) were the ones acting discriminatory; they claimed that they were banned for expressing their political views while other players with religious character names were allowed to run around in-game.  These players who were sporting the Nazi symbols in game were defending themselves saying that they never griefed any players in game, never used hacks or exploits, and further more felt uncomfortable seeing players in game with names that had some religious reference or players wearing religious symbols or national flags.

While I don’t want to go into a whole WWII dissertation or lesson in auspicious Asian symbols, let’s just say that in general - in today’s society - Nazi symbols are taken as symbols of hatred. Any symbols or actions that actively and deliberately are aimed to express such hatred are not tolerated. 

While one can argue that swastikas are a political symbol rather than a hate symbol, political affiliation is not a protected class.  There is a difference between a character named “STFU [FILL IN PROTECTED CLASS]” vs.  a character named “iLUVBuddha." And in plain English, if we think you are being overtly and actively offensive, we will ban you. 

Generally we DO try to give players a warning first. So, take this post (and also previous forum posts that have informed the same) as an official first warning.  We are not obligated to warn players but we’d like to think that everyone can make a mistake and try to give people a chance to correct themselves.

We hope that this post has helped clarified any mystical questions about what the boundaries are and why.  If you have to ask yourself twice better not chance it. 

GAME ON!

70 comments:

  1. Butt butt. sry had to =3

    Anyway, lines should be drawn given APB's free nature.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Plus, people should grow up a bit. x)

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    2. 1. It's a game. You're supposed to have fun.
      2. It's rated M. If you can't handle the mature content, then uninstall.
      3. Hacking is a bigger problem. GamersFirst should work on that, rather than deny the issue.

      Delete
  2. people seriously STILL trying to defend the use of the swastika in games? i know they know we ALL know why they use the swastika in game. there always the 1st to be a racist prick and a failure troll.

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    Replies
    1. Freedom of expression.

      You can't ban the use of Swastikas in public, and if you ban them in games you might as well ban everything else you disagree with. Like maybe the LGBT flag?

      Delete
    2. Its not even freedom of expression. Real racists are in the minority, its just people looking for a reaction, or doing it because they think its funny. Very rarely are such offensive symbols truly representative of a persons views, opinions etc.

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    3. Freedom of expression doesn't give you the right to attack, offend or cause any kind of harm on any other people with the same rights as you.

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    4. Ahh, yes the swastika, a very racial symbol of the Nazi symbol symbolizing hatred , yet how can we justify for being a bannable image only because it relates to Adolf Hitler and his regime. Many people sometimes forget that this is a religious symbol in many cultures (it's a simple symbol to make just a 4 right angles together) yet we ban it because people want to spread there "Trolling" or "hatred" around towards people. What if I was to say I was offended by the cross for starting the crusades, killing innocent people across the eras of time yet neglect those opinions?, or did not like to see the hammer and sickle because it is affiliated with Joseph Stalin to have known to have killed people that opposed his regime.

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    5. Over the years Christianity has been responsible for many more unjust deaths than the Nazi party ever has, I'm not necessarily saying I agree with the use of swastikas in game but I believe if they are removed then by default so should other political and religious symbols. There are MANY people who are offended by the idea of christianity.

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    6. How can you cause harm to someone? It's a video game. Anyone who takes serious offense to this stuff shouldn't be on the game in the first place.

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    7. a cross symbol is a symbol of peace, your offended for a peace symbol? its suppose to represent jesus dieing for our sins and in that being a good thing...
      i know what you mean though as some one religious getting offended at a swastika as an atheist a cross

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    8. People forget that it's actually illegal in Germany to use such symbols publically (this includes some publications/games etc); of course, I don't know the implications of whether foreign publishers can be proscuted etc, but it's quite a grey area that I imagine G1/RP don't want to get caught in.

      Some background reading: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strafgesetzbuch_section_86a

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  3. Why do people think they are so intellectual? How is religion and politics (Nazi party and I'm assuming Christianity in this case) anyway related? Right off the bat that tells me these kids are trying to be smart, when clearly they aren't. I hope their accounts are still banned.

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    Replies
    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_Christianity

      Delete
  4. Are white people in the "Protected Class" or does GamersFirst only protect blacks, mexicans, and jewish people? To me, it sounds like white people are being discriminated against. Why are we not protected by G1's rules? To me, it sounds like GamersFirst is guilty of bigotry too.

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    Replies
    1. You can't be serious.
      If anything your logic further proves that whites are superior and others need protection from being discriminated against.

      Delete
    2. I guess not...

      White people tend to be a majority of USA's population (if not in numbers definetly in economic power and internet access), that fact alone is why they are not "protected classes".

      Negros, mexicans (I hope you're not refering to all latin countries) and jews (there's a loooong dicussion over this last one) tehd to be minorities and suffer a lot with discrimination in USA.

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    3. Did you just refer to Latinos as Mexicans? -_-; You are aware there are more countries than just Mexico, be like if I call a white person a Swiss or something.

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    4. The fact is, these clowns can't be fucking serious with this "Protected Classes" bullshit. People shouldn't be playing the game if they take offense to it.

      Rather than talk about people showing a little nip or dropping the n-bomb every once and a while, these guys should be working on an anticheat. The hacking is what drives a majority of their players away. I mean shit, I bet hacks are a better investment that premium! It would probably get you further in the game, and I am sure it costs the same or less. The logic behind GamersFirst and their actions is a fucking joke.

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  5. Did you know that the swastika has an old story prior to the nazis? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swastika) What if some musslins considers that the cross is a reminder of the massacres on the Crusades versus their people? Or black people with other simbols? Context my dear people is the best way to resolve this problem or you can make a very big problem.

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    Replies
    1. 1) Quoting Wikipedia.
      2) Who cares if its not the same association. There is a bad offensive reputation to it, end of story.

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  6. Umm...you guys do know the movie called iron sky, it was partly shot in Germany where swastikas are illegal in public. The world premiere was also in Berlin and the movie had a lot of swastikas in it. In my opinion we have lived long enough to see some old markings that were in a country flag last time 77 years ago... what we should be worried about is all this hatred against our common history.

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  7. after reading all this, i must say you are wrong Quinzel. first off, welcome to the internet 2012.

    a large portion of APB:R players are probably vivid 4chan posters. putting such a game online, giving ppl tools to create content and than banning ppl for disturbing content they made, as you see fit, is just censorship. plane and simple. i dont see any reason at all, to ban user-made content in APB:R. it just hurts the game.

    all your arguments are based on moral (US-) grounds, and are therefore void. if i open up a deviant-art account, drawing pictures of dicks, cunts and nazis, no one should have the right to put them offline because it insults people.

    APB:R is a interactive game, many ppl come together. but that its not like we'r on a boat were no one can leave and some bad person harassed another. some get offended and now comes the G1-judge to execute its great vengeance upon them?

    well, thats no way to go bro. swastikas? are you kidding? no one here, in the game, and at G1 has any personal connection to WW2 (beside their grandpa's). you don't get emotionally disturbed by the symbol. how "we" see the symbols of WW2 today is just a cartoon picture shaped be the 20th century media.
    "PLEASE don't show me this evil swastika, i can't handel it!" on the other hand, its not that bad to cut you down with my car or shoot your brains out with this digital gun (that resemble some weapon used in today conflicts all over the world).

    nudity? are you kidding? please say you are kidding. if i see something pornographic content ingame (and to be disturbing it must be some well done digital art) i just congratulate the person who made it. if you are 18+ and can't handel the pornographic content of APB:R, you should not be allowed to surf the internet AND be deported to china.

    oh and i'am very disturbed by the black letter fonts, pls take them out of the game!
    another question: can i say "nigger" ingame? and if no, can i say "nigger" if i am an african american? and if no, can i say it just to a friend? its like a joke between us, no harm done...

    seriously :\

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    Replies
    1. All I can say is awesome post. I totally agree.

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    2. I think you don't understand Quinzel's point.

      Let me be more clear; WE decide what you are allowed to do in OUR game. And while we are very open-minded (boobs = ok), you are playing this game on OUR terms (terms that you agree to). If you take any action WE think harms other players or hurts the community in general, then WE will remove you from the game.

      You are more than free to make racist symbols in "Paint" and open your own website, and post those symbols on your own site all you want. Nothing in our game stops you from doing that.

      However, whatever message you broadcast in our game, WILL be monitored and when we catch it, we will remove the message, or you or both.

      Quinzel is just trying to help by providing some clear guidelines.

      If you don't like those - too bad.

      Delete
    3. "Continues denying hacking"? I think you are on crack. Though I think the proper word is simply 'cheating'. Hacking is too good a word to describe it.

      A huge amount of our money, effort and work goes toward making it increasingly harder and unsatisfying to try to cheat in the game. This leads to insane amount of people complain they get banned, claim they never cheated - and then fess up after a long time that they in fact DID cheat (or try one).

      With 1.7.0 we have yet new ways of curtailing cheats. And if you have any clue as to the amount of people caught, you'd know that we have been quite successful shutting most cheat attempts down. Of course, it's an ever increasing arms-race, and we DON'T dispute that there IS in fact people who succeed in cheating some of the time. When those cheats get more popular - that's when they get shut down.

      It's a little like Anti-Virus. Takes a while to track down all the baddies.

      Wait for the 1.7.0 post to see more progress on this.

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    4. When you asked people what levels of nudity bothered them, were any of them women?

      Seeing breasts doesn't bother me; I have some.

      Watching the APB community constantly masturbate and fantasize about them? That bothers me.

      Delete
    5. When you were asking people what levels of nudity in-game bothered them, were any of the people you asked women?

      Seeing breasts doesn't bother me; I have two.

      Watching your community fly into masturbatory fantasies over them? That bothers me.

      Breasts may not be genitals, but men and boys still go looking for pictures of them to masturbate over. I get very uncomfortable trying to play a game in someone else's porn.

      Delete
  8. One time I witnessed players in district chat saying that "transgendered people should kill themselves". Aka a blatant display of severe hate speech towards the transgendered community. I think it was even directed AT A PLAYER who had been talking on mic (something trans people often avoid in video games for this very reason). I wish I reported it in hindsight, but I honestly didn't know if G1 cared about it. So I hope this blog entry is saying "yes, they do"?

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  9. So, for future reference, do you mind telling me which of these symbols is OK, and which are not?







    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And personally, I think either they are ALL ok, or NONE are ok.

      Delete
  10. And guys, I didn't take this post as G1 having some vendetta against the occasional cartoon dick or "n-bomb". There is serious hate speech that goes on in this game. I love how the privileged white boys react when their well, privileges get taken away. Ohhh waaahh we can't threaten to rape female players, lynch black players and fag drag gay players anymore! Waaahhh! Don't you know who I aaammm! Millions of dead jews wasn't THAT big of a deal guuyysss! Now what is a big deal, is that my stupid bitch mom hasn't done my laundry yet today!

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    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    2. Well, you've done a great job confirming that the players of APB do need to have lots and lots of rules. Congratulations. Please prompt them to create a mandatory, Korean MMO style word filter as well. Actually, I'm beginning to think you don't even play the game and are just commenting on this blog for strange, unknowable reasons.

      Delete
  11. Blog admin deletes posts but doesn't post themselves. Talk about being one with the community.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not true. We are happy to reply to thoughtful posts all day. But when someone just to test the limits creates a post with every derogatory term they can think of - again - it's our blog - so we will delete them.

      Delete
  12. So if a Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism player uses their religious symbol, a swastika, Not the Nazi Swastika that is twisted and bent, but a correct religious shaped swastika, will they get in trouble, or will they be banned?

    If a player can use Crosses, Stars of David, and Crescent Moon and Star symbols as religious symbols, than Indian religions should be able to use theirs as well.

    So how would the staff approach this?

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  13. "G1 Staffer 5, “Unless she has a swastika for a nipple or something I don’t think we have to remove it, 18+ game.”"

    You're kidding right...? A swastika is just a swastika, it doesn't mean jack unless stylized. Swastika nipples are just swastika nipples... anyone being offended by that is just sad tbh. I can understand people being offended by the Nazi symbol but a normal swastika?

    If you guys don't like the Nazi symbol, you should have said: “Unless she has a 'Nazi symbol' for a nipple or something I don’t think we have to remove it, 18+ game.”

    Swastika's are just swastika's, Germany doesn't even ban the use of normal swastika's unless they are stylized like the Nazi symbol.

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    Replies
    1. This Exactly.

      There is a difference between the Nazi Party Swastika and a normal religious swastika.
      People don't realize that and need to know there is a difference.

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    2. ^^^YES Lets Leave it at this last post^^^

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    3. except no, the meaning of the swastika has been permanently tainted and you can't just start throwing it around with the excuse of "but it doesnt REALLY mean anything bad!!!"

      you know all of the connotations surrounding the swastika. to act like banning it is being "omg oversensitive!!" is purposely ignoring history and placing your own juvenile need to look ~edgy and politically incorrect~ above the real effects of oppression and genocide.

      Delete
  14. Why not just respect that‘s the rules? If not, dont play the game.

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  15. Ban people with the cross from christianity, I get offended by it. Hell, why not ban everybody with some sort of flag or symbol...

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  16. guess g1 own staff dont even know why swastikas are banned in apb... its cause they illegal in germany :P (at least stick to the same official answer)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. actually swastikas are illegal only irl not in art like games and movies.

      Delete
  17. I think we should keep religion out of this game.
    Same applies with religious symbols.

    @Bjorn/Techmech,
    What about erotic role playing over district chat, is it acceptable for players to go on all out written BDSM sessions in the social district?

    What is the official word on that?

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  18. Dont know did I understand well and will I get respond for this question but anyway... I was aware of ppl getting bans like "U made mistake, u're banned" - Without warning. It just looks like that. After reading that post it seems I was wrong but still Im not sure about that. My question is - if someone make a mistake because of not knowing all rules... for example started playing APB, got to clan, joined group and is waiting for them to finish mission. Guy is bored so went to his mates spot and running around, trying to help them without being in mission - its called gosting if Im not wrong. Other team reports this guy - will he get banned for that or will be worned first time and at second time of ghosting (if he do it again) banned?

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  19. this is all wrong.

    yes G1 owns this game, and only they can deside the rules, and take actions how they see fit. i personaly don't want to defend any troll that harasses other people.

    BUT: a multiplayer game (just as any internet-based medium) gives you the ability to express yourself to others. now because you own the medium, you put some rules in place how you see fit froum YOUR moral point of view (or the moral views of a country, whatever).
    only because you can do that, dont makes it legit for everyone. its only legit in your book, forcing YOUR moral-believes on some people that you see as black-sheep.

    why not putting some mechanics in place, so offendet players can switch-off content done by other players, like a ignorelist for textures. waving the rule-book around, trying to educate some idiots makes you a hypocrite.

    anyway that is just my opinion, i dont play the game so i can draw cunts on cars or make "nigger-hating" bodypaintings...

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  20. OMG some of you lot really are thick.

    Access to this game is a *PRIVILEGE, NOT A RIGHT*!

    If you don't like the house rules, you know where the bloody door is.

    Where I live, there are night clubs that won't let you in if you're wearing trainers or a baseball cap, because they want classier clients than that. Do people complain about "freedom of expression"? No, of course not. You either accept their house rules, or you don't go there, its as simple as that. So long as those rules aren't unreasonable or offensive in themselves (IE it would be a problem if they didn't let black people in) then you have no right to complain.

    Similarly, if G1 were saying "we're going to ban all russian players because they are all hackers" then that would be a huge problem because that's discriminatory. Instead, they are banning a symbol that is universally accepted as a symbol of discrimination, racism, hatred and general evil.

    And ffs stop thinking you're so clever by saying "oh, but did you know it's an ancient symbol used by other people before the Nazis?" Yes, I bloody did know. Doesn't change the fact that two World Wars took that symbol and corrupted its original meaning. Doesn't matter what it *USED* to be, it matters what it means *NOW*. And what it means *NOW* is hatred, discrimination, racism and is representative of the worst genocide in living memory.

    If you dont like it, you know where the door is. Your choice.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I've seen hundreds of depictions of swastikas in APB so far, but have yet to see a SINGLE ONE that was onbviously intended as the religious symbol.

    To make it worse, MOST were obviously intended as nazi swastikas, either by their design, their placement, or the context used (together with other white power symbols, aryan gang signs, etc).

    I've only seen two that could have been interpreted as religious - one copied from a manga where the rest of he character made it hard to tell if he had understood the original context (or thought it was nazi/wwii), and the other was just weird and may have been unrelated to either religion or politics.

    Frankly, if you want to use the symbol in a religious context you need to make that pretty damn clear and then argue your case well against G1 - anything else is doing your religion a great disservice.

    If you don't agree with G1's policy, I suggest you either stop playing their games, or do something constructive and serious to try and change their minds - like getting people to sign a thought-out petition, sue G1 for violating your rights (good luck on that one...), or something equally mature.

    The people who whine about religious symbols, making claims of being offended by this or that, or claim that their in-game swastiskas are religious and pure and misunderstood are in my experience either immature, trolling, neo-nazis, or pseudo-intellectual attention-seekers wasting everyone's time...

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  22. I find it fascinating that the focus of the conversation around a post titled "genitalia and bigotry" has focused squarely on the freedom of expression aspect of symbols (which by the way - freedom of expression does NOT apply - since the game is not a public space, and we decide unilaterally what we do or do not permit, though cleaning up the 'white-power' and all the '88' symbols in the game is also very tricky - and NO it's clear very few of the Swastikas we have seen are there to invoke the Hindu expression of 'shakti' and are instead of course related to people trying to express white supremacist leanings - which IS a bannable offense).

    But - at least I am somewhat encouraged by the focus on freedom of expression (and the debate around this), as opposed to people focusing on where to put genitalia in the game (so maybe we are seeing a majority of 18+ participants here after all :) ).

    The next big post by Quinzel is going back to Part II of 1.7.0 release - so we'll be taking a break from controversial topics, and return to our 'regularly scheduled programming' very soon :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Bombs are too offensive! Next mission is doing the garden for an old lady! Cleaning up leafs. Then we have to paint the outside of a house or clean an office.
    But be carefull enforcers are around!
    "APB: Friendship is magic!"
    They might find out you dont pay taxes over ur income! When you are opposed, you have to have a discussion with the enforcers and each reason will give you one point, in 3 minutes the one with most points wins! But you will autolose for offensive language!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 0/10
      Why do you even bother posting a response like that?

      Delete
    2. To voice my opinion on the direction i'd like to see in apb: voilent, raw and uncensored. How come you feel i shouldn't express my opinion?

      Delete
  24. Anybody who defends the use of the swastika in this thread should also be banned.

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    Replies
    1. In that case, anyone against the use of a swastika should be banned too.

      Delete
  25. This is very professional, I wish more companies would be as open to community like You are.

    Mr Quinzel, Mr Bjorn, could You internally discuss some of the topics suggested in the comments and then blog about it? There are things (other than Nazi nipples) that generally make game experience less enjoyable, f.e. teamkillers, bugs, cheaters etc. You are working to solve those issues, so You should also take credit for it by blogging about it, like You did with cheaters issue recently. You express G1 opinion very well and We love reading Your posts, so make more!
    As for the teamkillers, on many BF3 servers You can write !punish or !forgive after You have been killed to make griefer's life less enjoyable (in BF3 by killing him without substracting a ticket).

    ReplyDelete
  26. People need to grow the fuck up. You're playing a game about killing cops and dishing out vigilante justice all while destroying a perfectly good city. It's always baffled when games like BF3 or SA-MP servers block curse words in the chat. There are spoken curse words in the game itself. While I realize APB doesn't block curse words, it's still the same general idea. Banning freedom of expression because it might "offend someone". I can understand banning the swastika on euro servers since G1 can get in legal trouble with it, but when it comes down to the wire if you get offended by a swastika on someones car or a big FUCK NIGGERS on some dudes shirt, then you shouldn't be playing this game. You are only letting the trolls win and you're squashing everyone elses fun while you're at it. If you are genuinely offended by anything of that nature GTFO, nobody likes you.

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  27. So an Asatruar (or Hindu, for that matter) who wants to put a sunwheel (often identical to the swastika) on his car can go fuck himself? Good to know.

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  28. After reading this entire blog post/ comments, I have decided to shed some light. (I'm on my phone, bear with my grammatical errors)

    You guys need to see BOTH sides.
    What the devs are trying to say is that, cool, boobs are great, but seriously, don't go calling people "the n-word". You HAVE to DEAL WITH IT. Wanna know why? Because APB is like their house. I don't know about you, but when ever I go over to somebody's house I don't go around calling people niggers and wearing a swastica. Partially because that isn't okay in any situation, and those are the unspoken house rules.

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  29. LOL @ all these people defending swastikas. Guarantee you 99% of the people running around using them are dressed in black with the swastikas on their red and white armband but ohhhh its a religious symbol. Yeah that's how them Buddhists dress! Get real. Have yet to see the symbol used in its religious context. Stop trolling.

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  30. I think it is G1's argumentation that totally fails.
    I am now going to address the individual points and conclusions which are either very stupidly chosen or plain invalid.
    First off you yourself wonder who was to say what's right or wrong, then use the word 'inappropriate', that is not a contrast, it is a contradiction.
    The next unlucky formulation, as quoted from the design documents "explicit sex must not be depicted"; vague as it can get. What do you mean by sex? sexual organs, sexual intercourse? and what does depict mean? that the game shall not provide as a platform to create the fore-mentioned or, since you included it in YOUR design notes that you should not make it part of the game by its nature? As you said you would allow nothing that goes beyond the base you created there arises the next question; you gave players a designer to design stuff, the next step is imagination no?!
    I assume with a great chance of hitting the nail head on that the main audience in complaint about sexual content was christian and/or american, just food for thought - maybe culturally dependent moral argumentation contradicts with the argument of internationality of the community?
    Another idea: how egocentric does a person have to be, to be offended by a person's clothes or car design driving by meters away? Yes, the world was not created for you alone, if you do not like sth, that does not offend you, you FEEL offended because you fail to ignore it and this is an enormous difference.
    Consider the subjectivity in perception a transition to the next point I want to address: Just because many people relate a thing to sth, does not mean that relation is socially constructed and can be taken for granted. Even if there had been many unspeakably bad crimes committed against humanity by people whose main symbol was a stylized swastika, that does not make that same stylized swastika a symbol for those crimes, nor does it make it a symbol for people who committed those crimes. That is only association, that is why the common formulation in official statements is "X is (allegedly) associated with Y". (end of part 1)

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  31. part 2:
    I bet you realize that if you insist on your argument that makes the christian cross a symbol for slaughter during the crusades and the american flag a symbol for terrible war crimes, do you want that?
    Maybe a few words about the flag and APB; why does it have to be waving in the districts? where are the european flags? I know, if every little piece of crap country who didn't drop their oil into foreign sands demanded their flag to be shown that would be a big chaos.
    So the conclusion should be no nationalism/patriotism at all, no politics at all, no religion at all or everything goes.
    I don't try to defend the use of swastikas, it is alright with me if they are banned for most people only like to provoke with them and they do not qualify for artificial use just because they have been created in a designer. Your reasoning behind the whole thing however is laughable. A good explanation would be that they are forbidden in germany and out of regard and respect for the german situation of law, also in consideration of keeping yourself out of potential trouble, you will not support depiction of swastikas. That would have been professional.
    The funniest thing though, is your conclusion. Whereas the title lets the reader expect that this post was about how a line was drawn you quickly push your balls (our game our rules) back into your prenatal position by referring to subjectivity again. O U C H.
    Quote: "We hope that this post has helped clarified any mystical questions about what the boundaries are and why. If you have to ask yourself twice better not chance it."
    No, it has not; simply because being vague and weak on the argument side does not clarify sh*t.
    Next time don't try to act democratic and conciliatory, if you cannot explain yourself properly because you have not bothered to take a few hours for the basal philosophy behind your ideas do not even attempt to explain yourself. Remember, you are the house boss, you don't have to explain yourself.
    It would fill me with joy if you considered my post as a useful reflexion of your announcement and if you could learn sth from it, sadly in this case you were guilty of bigotry and a lot of people pointed that out. They could of course be idiots, just like me...

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  32. Some players tend too... act stupid to make laughs although yes it is fairly "funny" others like me think its is very offensive.

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  33. Wow, the responses to this do nothing but validate my view that APB has the absolute worst community of any online game.

    Also, "While one can argue that swastikas are a political symbol rather than a hate symbol, political affiliation is not a protected class. There is a difference between a character named “STFU [FILL IN PROTECTED CLASS]” vs. a character named “iLUVBuddha.""

    If this is the case.... why have I seen multiple men running around on female characters with names like "StupidBitch" and "SluttyWhore"? I guess these rules don't apply if the group being derided is women. Shit like this is exactly why I stopped playing this game.

    @Everyone pulling the "freedom of speech!" card:
    The first amendment protects you from the US government. That's it. G1 and Reloaded are not the US government. They have absolutely no obligation to allow you to keep doing anything that they don't want you to do in their game.

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  34. What about people hating on russians? Plenty of people hate on russians all the time.

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  35. The problem with any measure of sexual content in a game isn't the content itself, but the way people react to it.

    The game might be 18+ but you hear an awful lot of male voices over district VOIP that haven't even finished breaking yet, and being over 18 has never been a guarantee that *anyone* will *act* like an adult.

    That's why I had a problem with toplessness in the game, when people were pushing for it. Breasts might not be genitals but they're still something a lot of men seek out pictures to whack off over. And once sex starts coming up in a discussion, the woman-hate is never far behind. I saw it just this morning - "Stop talking now. We all know where this discussion is going and in a couple of minutes, you're going to start being a real dick. Just shut up."

    Sure, it's all jokes - none of the people saying it really advocate rape, or beating prostitutes to death, or see women solely as sex or baby machines, or at least they don't think they do. Women just shouldn't let it bother them, they should toughen up, etc etc...

    But when you've never been on the receiving end of bigotry - not day in, day out, everywhere you go, in everything you try to do, you're what they call "privileged." It means you have no idea what being on the receiving end is actually like, so you don't get to decide what is or isn't offensive. You have the choice of either accepting that what you're doing is actually doing harm (and the harm is a lot more than a few words - those words create a culture and that culture propagates behaviour. Misogyny leapt off the internet and into southern state politics, and that's just one example) and just *not doing it* or you can keep it up, but "it's just a joke, get a sense of humour" isn't a defence: saying exactly what a woman-hater, or a racist, or a homophobe, or just a general douchebag would say, isn't a joke. It's just being a woman-hater, or a racist, or a homophobe or just a general douchebag.

    G1's message above would be a lot clearer if they actually DID act on those words though. People like "IKillN******" and "KuKluxKlan" were running around MONTHS after they were reported.

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  36. Guys I don't see why your even debating this, when you create an account for any service you agree to their TOS (Terms of service for the people who skip them)
    Not if the creators of that service decide they want to remove something then guess what they can, stop moaning about it and move on!
    Its just a game after all ^_^

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  37. so many naked people in a (West Colbay) social dist.. is this banning able? lol that's a new to me..

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