South Park: The Stick of Truth Content Cuts Are "Lame, Ridiculous and Stupid," Says Matt Stone
Written Friday, March 07, 2014 By Lee BradleyView author's profile
Matt Stone has been discussing the "censorship" of South Park: The Stick of Truth, saying that while the cut content is "not that big a deal” the reason behind it is "not cool – it’s lame, ridiculous and stupid."
Speaking to The Guardian, the South Park co-creator said, “I was told that Australia has different standards. They have their own ratings system, as does Europe. So I was told that we had to submit it for ratings and they come back and tell you this will pass, this won't.
“Ultimately, the full version of the game is in North America, so at least that version is out there, but anywhere it's censored, we just put in little black cards explaining what has happened.
“It's not that big a deal. It doesn't change things that much, but we weren't going to change the game downwards somewhere and just not tell anybody. You'll see how ridiculous that is.”
When asked how he feels about having to replace the cut content, Stone said, “It does feel like a double standard, a little bit. We weren't willing to change the content, but also it doesn't ruin the game. It's like 40 seconds' worth of the whole game. As long as we could make a joke out of the fact that they made us cut this, that was fine."
However, when discussing the replacement cards with Metro, Stone said, "We wanted people to know exactly where the line was: this is what you couldn’t see but for some reason the rest of the world could and we have no idea why. It’s not cool – it’s lame, ridiculous and stupid."
Beyond this, Stone also mused on the nature of censorship in games as compared to television. In over 16 years, notes The Guardian interviewer, only one episode of South Park has had to be cut.
“There is an interactiveness that makes it different,” said Stone. “In movies and television you can do stuff that's morally grey very easily, because you get to show consequences, you get to show reward, but in a video game there's a reason why everything is a Nazi, zombie, or alien - these are pretty clear moral choices.
“There are things that make people more uncomfortable in an interactive world, definitely. But that said, what we had in the game, we could have shown that on TV pretty easily, especially now.”
South Park: The Stick of Truth launched in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Australia with a number of scenes missing. These include a mini-game in which a doctor carries out an abortion, and five sections in which someone is "actively being probed".
Beyond that, the Austrian and German release of the game will have all swastika iconography removed, as it is unconstitutional.
Our very own Editor Dan discussed the cut content from the European version in his otherwise hugely positive review. Read the final verdict through here.