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Thread: RPGCast - Episode 183: "Shiva's Identity Crisis"

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    Man vs. Slime, the fourth type of conflict Administrator sabin1001's Avatar
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    RPGCast - Episode 183: "Shiva's Identity Crisis"

    RPGCast - Episode 183: "Shiva's Identity Crisis"

    The Supreme Court has made its ruling and we've got one heck of a wrap up of the decision. Also this week marks the return of news in our post-E3 world. Finally, we have no less than two contests for you to sign up for!

    You can find the links to all our stories on delicious: http://delicious.com/rpgamer/183

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    Member Just Doug's Avatar
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    Wow I wish I'd been in the chatroom for this, lots of stuff I would have commented on. Like how it's starting to feel like all the Japanese games I get interested in now are games that are getting more and more tenuous chances at seeing stateside release. Some of them it's because of the differences between the PSP markets across the oceans, but even so, my preferred style of games is getting to be (even more) niche... I already have to go to websites for half my games (would never see copies on store shelves), and that's not necessarily a bad thing in itself, but now there are increasing numbers of games that aren't going to see ANY kind of release here and I'm starting to worry. Anyway...

    I once worked at a convenience store, so I know all about age-restricted products--during that time one of my co-workers failed a sting (and I have plenty of thoughts on those, but that's not the matter at hand). The day-to-day workings of the store weren't really affected, but pressure from higher ups to be more careful was way up and I'm sure authorities make sure to keep stores with recent violations under more scrutiny. I wasn't personally affected, except that the 100% carding policy we were told to adopt pissed off a lot of people who were very obviously of age to purchase tobacco or beer or lottery tickets. I had to grow a pretty thick skin.

    People can get very offended when they get carded, even when they're young enough that it's a valid concern. I've never fully understood the notion and I've been understanding of being carded myself, especially after spending time on the other side of the counter, but thankfully there are only a handul of products sold that require government identification to purchase (in the USA), and most of them have a solid reason for being regulated by law in such a manner.

    (I built myself a soapbox here and got on it and realized this really isn't the time and place so I took it back down...)

    I'm not a big fan of slapping government regulation on everything under the sun--Already we have the ESRB (a self-regulatory organization), which exists to assist buyers such as parents. I can't say I know where they get their funding but I would think that people who don't buy videogames don't have to pay for it, that costs lie strictly on the shoulders of the videogame industry and thus in turn the customers of the videogame industry, not all taxpayers as it would under federal oversight. Anyway, what this boils down to is that I'm with Manny... I think the ESRB is all we need here in the USA.
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    RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff GaijinMonogatari's Avatar
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    People can get very offended when they get carded, even when they're young enough that it's a valid concern. I've never fully understood the notion and I've been understanding of being carded myself, especially after spending time on the other side of the counter
    I always follow my dad's example here. When carded once (at the age of forty-something) as a joke by a teenage cashier, his response was: "You.. want to see my ID? Oh BOY! Do you know how long it's been since someone thought I looked like a teenager?" and so on and so forth, acting hilariously ecstatic about being thought so young, and embarrassing the poor cashier half to death in the process.

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    Member Just Doug's Avatar
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    I wish more people had joked with me about it. I'd gotten endless insults and even a couple threats over asking people for ID to buy beer. But anyway, to make sure I was clear (from re-reading myself in the quote I don't sound that clear), it's the 20-somethings getting all offended at being carded that I don't understand.

    Back to the RPGcast...Zoltan has topped himself yet again. I always suspected "Kjata" to be a typo. People used to argue whether it was BA-ha-mutt or Ba-HA-mutt. Now it's Ba-ha-"moot."
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    Gunclaws and Meow. Administrator Paws's Avatar
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    I turn 30 in a couple weeks and I still get carded for lottery tickets. Why get offended?

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    RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff GaijinMonogatari's Avatar
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    I never got carded even when I was underage, oddly enough.

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    Releaser of Heavy Metal LegendaryZoltan's Avatar
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    Americans get offended at all KINDS of stupid stuff. I think it's a combination of having too much freedom and just trying to be macho.

    I'm glad you liked the two Zoltans thing. I guess I'll keep that style. I should let you know that when I can't find the details of a words pronunciation online, I just fill in the blanks myself. Since, Bahamut and Kujata are Arabic, I just assumed that's the pronunciation because that's I think the vowels in Arabic are pronounced. . . . Because that's how the vowels of almost all languages are pronounced. And now you know my secret. You don't even need my segments anymore.
    Last edited by LegendaryZoltan; 07-04-2011 at 03:14 AM.
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    複線ドリフト!! RPGamer Staff Quin's Avatar
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    As I remarked on the podcast, seeing the katakana for something helps me figure out those odd pronunciations, due to the phoentic nature of the Japanese language. e.g: "クジャタ" (ku-jya-ta) and "バハムート" (ba-ha-muu-to, silencing the "o" on the end). Going by this, I've been pronouncing SRT boss "Seputagint" wrong for quite a while, as according to the Japanese for it (セプタギン), the "t" on the end is silent.

    This is a useful stop gap for me as I don't get phonetic transcription.

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    Member Just Doug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LegendaryZoltan View Post
    Because that's how the vowels of almost all languages are pronounced.
    That's actually a handy trick. Five is the "typical" number of phonemically distinct vowels (and having as many as English does is unusual)--usually the set of vowels found in Spanish or Japanese or a zillion other languages: a (vowel in bot), i (vowel in beet), e (vowel in bait--except that in English that's a diphthong but whatever), o (boat, again technically often diphthongized in English), and u (as in boot). Whenever you see a foreign word you don't know how to pronounce, defaulting to these sounds for a, e, i, o, and u is often a good guess. Unless it's French, Dutch (or any Germanic language for that matter), Mandarin as written in Pinyin, Vietnamese, a bunch of other stuff I could name... It also helps that these are the values assigned to these letters in the International Phonetic Alphabet. Once you learn IPA, it allows you to pronounce any word of any language you can find an IPA transcription for. Wikipedia articles sometimes list a pronunciation in IPA, and you can also wiki "IPA" for a page on IPA itself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quin
    As I remarked on the podcast, seeing the katakana for something helps me figure out those odd pronunciations, due to the phoentic nature of the Japanese language.
    Another handy trick, and one that's quite useful when dealing with JRPGs which frequently have names that come from nowhere. Katakana is almost purely phonetic and so what you see is what you get, but one must also temper the pronunciation with the knowledge of the restrictions of how the sounds of Japanese can be arranged, and what sounds Japanese uses to represent sounds of other languages that it doesn't have. Once you have a feel for how words get affected by being "Japanized", you can use katakana to recreate a pretty good pronunciation for an English-speaker. Assuming you know how to read katakana, of course, which one could learn in a relatively trivial amount of time.

    These guesses can mislead you from time to time though; depending on where such-and-such language got its romanization from, letters can represent very different sounds. I've gotten to the point where I see "j" as "y" in "yes" before "j" in "jest," even though many fictional or exotic words written from an English perspective or for an English audience assume people will lean towards the latter. On the other hand, delving into anything with a Germanic language involved (German military terms, Norse mythology, etc.) pronouncing "j" like it sounds in English makes you sound like a moron. I know I've lost most of you by now, but I hope you're reading, Zoltan. You strike me as a fellow language nut. If not, you should be!

    Arabic, by the way, has 3 phonemically distinct vowels--a, i, and u, all (as far as I know, please correct if I'm wrong) pronounced as I mentioned above. So good job Zoltan!
    Last edited by Just Doug; 07-04-2011 at 04:24 AM.
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    Under watcher LordKaiser's Avatar
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    This reminds me of the people from the continent that comes to the island and pronounce the ñ as a n when those are different letters with different pronunciation. So those weird letters may have completely different sound than expected even if they look familiar.
    Never buy a game published by D3 Publisher that is not WKCII. They cheated on their fans by releasing a game that they didn't support not even for a year and they released a rushed translation.

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    Releaser of Heavy Metal LegendaryZoltan's Avatar
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    I read all of that JustDoug. I now officially deem you my new "smartest person I've ever met." I actually understood all of that somehow. Maybe I should become a language nut like you suggested. I agree that the international phonetic symbols are the way to go to pronounce anything. Unfortunately, I have not learned them. I suppose I could get right on it and it wouldn't take that long. As for Japanese, I speak it, so no problem for me dealing with katakana words. And Japanese pronunciation is usually closer to a words real pronunciation than the American version. I didn't know there were only 3 vowels in Arabic. That's crazy! The don't have o or e? Yeah, Kaiser, isn't that the same letter that's in the word pinata? Sorry, I don't know how to make that on my computer.
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    複線ドリフト!! RPGamer Staff Quin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Doug View Post
    Once you have a feel for how words get affected by being "Japanized", you can use katakana to recreate a pretty good pronunciation for an English-speaker.
    In most cases, it's just knocking the vowel off the end (Which happens a lot in Japanese anyway, just look at "Desu"). You do have to tread a little carefully around the characters that are a little odd pronunciation wise, the l/r-series and "fu/hu" being the worst offenders.

    Quote Originally Posted by Just Doug View Post
    I've gotten to the point where I see "j" as "y" in "yes" before "j" in "jest," even though many fictional or exotic words written from an English perspective or for an English audience assume people will lean towards the latter.
    I was half expecting Kujata to actually be クヤタ (Kuyata) when I first encountered it precisely because of this effect.

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    I didn't learn anything! MasterChief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LegendaryZoltan View Post
    Americans get offended at all KINDS of stupid stuff. I think it's a combination of having too much freedom and just trying to be macho.
    I don't know about "too much freedom," but in a country of 300 million+, you're going to have your fair share of over-sensitive types. Just comes with the territory.

    There's an issue with Anna's somewhat naive belief that government intrusion wouldn't effect the content being made. The problem with that, of course, is that the mere threat of government intrusion was enough to drive creative industries into censorship, not once, but twice. The idea that it wouldn't happen a third time is overly optimistic, perhaps even myopic. As to using the ESRB as a basis for legal restrictions, that would grant a private, non-government organization the force of law, and while that may fly in Canada, down here in the States, our officials are either A) elected, or B) appointed by an elected official. Therefore, barring a government-established rating system which would almost certainly be catastrophic, the only way for ratings to work would be a voluntary system, akin to the modern MPAA.

    Also, the majority court opinion held that video games communicate ideas, and nothing in the Constitution exists to prohibit which ideas children are exposed to. This is, after all, the same Supreme Court that said it was OK for the Westboro Baptist Church to spew its hatred near the funerals of our casualties, and said it was unconstitutional to ban video depicting cruelty to animals. Even Roberts and Alito, who were particularly disgusted by Postal 2, were weary of the potential splash damage into other products, with Alito clearly saying that he'd be open to a law that was more thoughtfully written. However, in the end, it is the communication of ideas, no matter how disgusting they may be, that was at the heart of the matter, as it is the cornerstone of the American experience. Honestly, I'd rather have kids spewing curses in Call of Duty lobbies than to injure that.

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    Member Just Doug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LegendaryZoltan View Post
    I read all of that JustDoug. I now officially deem you my new "smartest person I've ever met." I actually understood all of that somehow. Maybe I should become a language nut like you suggested. I agree that the international phonetic symbols are the way to go to pronounce anything. Unfortunately, I have not learned them. I suppose I could get right on it and it wouldn't take that long. As for Japanese, I speak it, so no problem for me dealing with katakana words. And Japanese pronunciation is usually closer to a words real pronunciation than the American version. I didn't know there were only 3 vowels in Arabic. That's crazy! The don't have o or e? Yeah, Kaiser, isn't that the same letter that's in the word pinata? Sorry, I don't know how to make that on my computer.
    Heh, don't make me blush. I'm not special, linguistics is just my specialty. I became a linguistics major when I took a Gen Ed. class about linguistics and realized just how interested I was by the subject, but in retrospect I know I've been into languages and how they work ever since I was a kid.

    Just a little bit more about Arabic (about which I know relatively little, mind you, mostly quips about it brought up in classes I shared with a grad student from Egypt), there are "three vowels" because there is only a three-way distinction that's needed for speakers of Arabic to tell what words are being said. There could be vowels in Arabic words that sound like "e" or "o" to us but to them they could just be versions of "i" or "u" respectively. We'd need a native Arabic speaker to clarify for us precisely how aware they are of the sounds "e" and "o" in their Arabic, if it appears at all. When I mentioned that Arabic has three vowels in my previous post, I used the phrase "phonemically distinct" without explaining what a phoneme is. My explanation is a bit long but only because I'm always paranoid of not being clear when explaining things and give copious examples.

    -----
    Phonemes are the (distinctions between) sounds in a language that its speakers are consciously aware of. Basically, a phone (a sound) is what we actually produce and a phoneme is what we think we pronounce. This means that the inventory of actual sounds found in a language (as distinguished by some measure of difference in the acoustics) is often larger than the number of sounds speakers of that language are aware of. For example, many speakers of English have two kinds of L, one that occurs at the front of syllables (as in "la") and a "velarized" L that occurs at the end of syllables (as in "al"). Try saying "la" and "al" clearly and see if your tongue goes to the same position for both Ls.

    To go the other direction, we can tell L from R because we were raised in a community that speaks a language where that difference is important. Some languages don't have that distinction and to them the sounds L and R could be difficult to tell apart even tough they're plain as day and night to us. Such a language could have one or the other or something inbetween (as in Japanese), but even if there are times where their Ls become Rs or something else, as far as they're concerned they still think of themselves as saying whatever sound is "really" part of their language. There are instances where the sound in Japanese we romanize as "r" sounds more like a "d" (as in "benri" 'convenient'), and then there's the thuggish way of trilling or rolling an R to sound macho or tough or whatever you want to call it. No matter how different these actual produced sounds are from the lateral flap it usually is, Japanese speakers will still identify those words as having that letter. No native Japanese speaker would say that "benri" is spelled with a d (and not just because "di" isn't present in Japanese outside of loanwords).
    -----

    Phew.

    As for how English words get "Japanized"--chopping off the extra "u"s, "i"s and "o"s will get you pretty far most of the time! It does get a bit more nuanced paring down English's diverse vowels into their set of five. Knowing what the long vowels, and sometimes the normal ones, are meant to represent (the ones that aren't extraneous to us, that is). It's to the point that sometimes they change the vowel of an English word even if that vowel is already in their language! My name, Doug, has a vowel that Japanese does not have and would be said "dagu," which sounds disturbingly like the English word "dog." When I raised my concern to my Japanese teacher (this was way back in 101!), he explained that "dogu" would be the English word "dog" turned into a loanword. Even though the vowel in "dog" is the same vowel that's in the Japanese syllable "da," they use "do" because they (this is only my supposition) need "a" to approximate the "uh" in words like Doug and the "a" in words like "back" in their loanwords. Additionally, long A ("aa" or rarely "ah" in romanized Japanese) in a loanword is frequently "er" or "ar" in the original English, as in "seeraa" for "sailor" or "kaa" for "car"; "oo" or sometimes "oa" is the same for English's "or" as in "sapooto" for "support" or "doa" for door. Like I said, encounter enough of these loanwords (or made-up names for RPGs, etc.) and you get a feel for what it would spell/sound like in a Western European sort of language.
    Last edited by Just Doug; 07-04-2011 at 05:51 PM.
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    Under watcher LordKaiser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LegendaryZoltan View Post
    I read all of that JustDoug. I now officially deem you my new "smartest person I've ever met." I actually understood all of that somehow. Maybe I should become a language nut like you suggested. I agree that the international phonetic symbols are the way to go to pronounce anything. Unfortunately, I have not learned them. I suppose I could get right on it and it wouldn't take that long. As for Japanese, I speak it, so no problem for me dealing with katakana words. And Japanese pronunciation is usually closer to a words real pronunciation than the American version. I didn't know there were only 3 vowels in Arabic. That's crazy! The don't have o or e? Yeah, Kaiser, isn't that the same letter that's in the word pinata? Sorry, I don't know how to make that on my computer.
    Yep that's the word with alt-164 ñ used in Spanish words like ñame (a root that's eaten boiled and usually accompanied with codfish and olive oil) , piñata, piña etc. Other languages like German are confusing with many weird letters. ä
    Never buy a game published by D3 Publisher that is not WKCII. They cheated on their fans by releasing a game that they didn't support not even for a year and they released a rushed translation.

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    is not declawed RPGamer Staff Ocelot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MasterChief View Post
    There's an issue with Anna's somewhat naive belief that government intrusion wouldn't effect the content being made. The problem with that, of course, is that the mere threat of government intrusion was enough to drive creative industries into censorship, not once, but twice. The idea that it wouldn't happen a third time is overly optimistic, perhaps even myopic. As to using the ESRB as a basis for legal restrictions, that would grant a private, non-government organization the force of law, and while that may fly in Canada, down here in the States, our officials are either A) elected, or B) appointed by an elected official. Therefore, barring a government-established rating system which would almost certainly be catastrophic, the only way for ratings to work would be a voluntary system, akin to the modern MPAA.
    Nah, that wouldn't fly in Canada, either. In fact, a bill that would have allowed government funding to be revoked for artistic material found offensive didn't even make it through Parliament a few years ago due to public backlash. Canadians are pretty serious about their rights and freedoms, it's just that they're not always as... colourful about the debate as, say, the US pro-gun lobby.

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    I didn't learn anything! MasterChief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ocelot View Post
    Nah, that wouldn't fly in Canada, either. In fact, a bill that would have allowed government funding to be revoked for artistic material found offensive didn't even make it through Parliament a few years ago due to public backlash. Canadians are pretty serious about their rights and freedoms, it's just that they're not always as... colourful about the debate as, say, the US pro-gun lobby.
    Well, the Canada statement was about giving private organizations the force of law. It blows my mind that Canada would place legal restrictions based not only on a private organization, but on a private organization that isn't even based in Canada. Hell, even home-release movies have different ratings. Legally binding or not, you'd think they'd want something more reflective of their own culture.

    Then again, I've had my mind blown before.

    As to debates here, gun rights aren't the only ones that get colorful down here. Thanks to many factors including (but not limited to) regional tensions, religious extremism and the formation of echo chambers via the internet and biased 24-hour news networks, debates of any sort are often reduced to screaming and name-calling. It's an... interesting development in modern America, that's for damn sure.

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    is not declawed RPGamer Staff Ocelot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MasterChief View Post
    Well, the Canada statement was about giving private organizations the force of law. It blows my mind that Canada would place legal restrictions based not only on a private organization, but on a private organization that isn't even based in Canada. Hell, even home-release movies have different ratings. Legally binding or not, you'd think they'd want something more reflective of their own culture.

    Then again, I've had my mind blown before.

    As to debates here, gun rights aren't the only ones that get colorful down here. Thanks to many factors including (but not limited to) regional tensions, religious extremism and the formation of echo chambers via the internet and biased 24-hour news networks, debates of any sort are often reduced to screaming and name-calling. It's an... interesting development in modern America, that's for damn sure.
    Having looked into it, it's not that simple, at least not in Ontario. Although the ESRB classifications are used, the Ontario Film Review Board has the right to reclassify games at its own discretion, so the ESRB ratings on their own don't have the force of law.

    And yes, I know all about the USA, I'm actually an American expat.

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    To me the interesting bit about the Supreme Court case wasn't that they decided against regulating video games, but that one of the main points against doing so was apparently that it was violence that was trying to be the cause for regulation. From what I heard Scalia said that he would consider regulation like this if it came before him in the future and the topic was sexuality not violence. Maybe it's a weird european view on things, but to me the taking of life is something that I'd want my child to see less than the making of life ...

    On the topic of regulation hurting the industry I can see that to a degree. As a German I get to be on the receiving end of video game censorship a lot. Because overly violent video games may not be advertised in Germany, many big games get stupid german patches like green blood or the likes. For a grown up it's annoying to have to have stuff like that in games because the goverment wants to keep children from wanting these games. At the same time everyone knows that being forbidden is the most interesting things for kids about some games.
    The bigger problem for me though lies with the money every game publisher has to pay for their game to be tested in terms of age restrictions. That alone costs 50000€ just for Germany per game. If the company doesn't want to pay that much, the game is unrated and therefore treated as adult-only, meaning no advertising again. It's a big problem for niche games and far more annoying than having to show your ID at the counter.

    But then again after seeing the "your mom hates dead space 2" adds, I can see the logic behind the advertisement ban.

  20. #20
    I didn't learn anything! MasterChief's Avatar
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    I always found obscenity to be an interesting aspect of law. Even a good portion of sexually explicit content doesn't fall into the obscene category due to that whole "serious social value" thing. My guess is that violence on its own isn't generally viewed as entertainment enough to most people, combined with its depiction being a cornerstone of classical literature, including the bible itself. Really, the only mainstream attention garnered to the porn industry was during the porn chic era, and it became ever easier to see porn as... For lack of a better term, empty and non-communicative. Again, it's very interesting to me how... Weird obscenity law is, and my guess is that the law being tried here would have fared better had there been enough of a non-communicative violence industry and the law would have been narrow enough not to restrict communicative violent media at the same time. There's no legal restriction toward communicative sexually explicit media such as *****, Baise Moi and Showgirls aren't legally restricted in this country either, and this law would have cut off Call of Duty to spite Postal.

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