Matt Stone: South Park The Stick of Truth censorship "not that big a deal"

But, "it does feel like a double standard, a little bit."

The censorship of the South Park video game is "not that big a deal", according to Matt Stone, one of the TV show's creators, but it's still a "double standard".

Publisher Ubisoft censored the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of the Obsidian Entertainment-developed game for release in Europe and Australia as part of a "market decision".

As revealed last month, seven scenes of about 20 seconds each were censored for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions in Europe. In their place is a screen with a background image and text written by the series' creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. In the UK the PC version is uncensored.

Scenes censored include a mini-game in which the doctor is performing an abortion on the player, a mini-game in which the player is performing an abortion on the character Randy, and anal probing scenes involving someone actively being probed.

In North America all versions of the game are uncensored. You can check out a comparison between the uncensored and censored versions in the video, below.

"I was told that Australia has different standards," Stone told The Guardian.

"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 [in the other version], 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."

South Park: The Stick of Truth's 18-rating was granted by PEGI, the pan-European game ratings organisation that covers video games released in the UK. It does not censor games, rather, it rates games based on the content submitted to it by publishers alongside an age rating the publisher expects the game to receive. PEGI does not have any say over games released in Germany, however, whose USK acts independently.

"It does feel like a double standard, a little bit," Stone continued. "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."

Stone said the interactivity of the video game makes it different from the show - and that the cut content from The Stick of Truth would have made it onto TV without question.

"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," he said.

"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."

Comments (101)

Comments for this article are now closed, but please feel free to continue chatting on the forum!