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NWC: What the Censorship of Xenoblade Chronicles X Gets Right and What it Gets Wrong

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Nintendo has been censoring certain pieces of content for the Western release of Xenoblade Chronicles X, and the community has had varied opinions on whether these moves are for the better or for the worse. Recently it came to light that they even removed the slider for changing the size of women’s breasts in the game’s character creation tool, and the community was mixed.

This was one of our talking points on
this week’s episode of Nintendo Week, our Nintendo-themed podcast here at Gamnesia. Check out the discussion video above for our full thoughts on what’s right and what’s wrong with Xenoblade‘s Western censorship, or keep reading for a brief, brief summary.

This decision to remove the bust slider is a bad decision in two ways, but the common argument fans have proposed in favor of it is that such tools are inherently “pervy” or otherwise distasteful—which would be true if they applied to all the game’s characters, but they don’t. Where the censorship, and this argument supporting it, goes wrong in this case is that this slider is applied only to the character’s in-game avatar, and thus is clearly offered as a method of more customizable representation. After all, though it may be shocking to hear, not all breasts look the same. And what few people
would exploit the feature doesn’t come close to counterbalancing that.

Beyond removing a customization option for avatars,
Xenoblade is meant as Nintendo’s answer to large-scale open-world RPGs, and character customization in these games has come complete with a similar slider since the genre’s very inception. It’s more than standard practice by this point, and these other RPGs haven’t destroyed the world’s morals yet—so is it really so hard to believe people appreciate the feature for reasons that don’t involve their hormones?

Removing the option to dress a thirteen-year-old girl in nipple-right battle armor, though? That was a good call.

If you like this video, you can
subscribe to Nintendo Week on iTunes, where we release new episodes every Wednesday, or you could check out the full episode embedded below. If you don’t like long-form podcasts, you can subscribe to us on YouTube, where our discussion segments are uploaded on Thursdays, and these select snippets from the rest of the podcast—which we call NWC—are uploaded throughout the week. If you like what you hear, we’d love it if you leave us a review on iTunes, or send us your feedback! We’d love to know what you think of the show, and how you think we can improve it.

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