Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Censored English Hentai Games List

An ongoing project to document eroge with various types of censorship in an easily browsable and sortable spreadsheet


(Google Form) Eroge with a censored official English release, a comprehensive list


Feature image courtesy of Censored Gaming on Twitter

Publishers face financial, social, and political pressure to censor games for Western release.  This is particularly true with eroge--a genre of erotic "hentai" games, typically text-focused and using the visual novel format, that have proliferated in Japan and have carved out a niche market in the West.  These games are developed to Japanese cultural standards, which allow for extreme types of pornography that are marginalized or even banned in the West, such as loli, mindbreak / rape, guro, and scat.  Perhaps most concerning of all are the market forces pushing companies to remove sexual content from games designed for mature adults--all for the purpose of appealing to a "wider audience", Western values, or maybe just so that media sites will give them the time of day.  Steam represents both an opportunity--for eroge companies to connect with new users--and a dire threat that could compel Japanese eroge developers and English publishers to whitewash their games for English release.

English publishers, caught between the allure of market forces that incentivize them to launder sexual or offensive content on one side and potential backlash from anti-censorship activists on the other, often seek the coward's way out: censoring content without informing some or all of their users.  They figure that users can't boycott them over changes they don't know about.  Companies have gotten away with this and continue to do so to this day.  Less sinisterly, some companies try to appeal to both audiences by releasing an uncensored adult version of a game on one platform and a censored non-adult version on a different one (usually Steam).  A side-effect of this platform gap is that users of the non-adult version may be unaware that their version is censored or that an adult version is available.

Project goals


The overarching goal of this project is to comprehensively list and document censorship of eroge in official English releases.  My broad inclusion criteria encompass censorship of many different types, even types that many may not deem objectionable.  Some games that were not technically censored will also be included for the sake of identifying games with both an adult and non-adult release.

My primary goals include:
  1. Calling attention to eroge that were explicitly altered for English release, including removal of all sexual content or excision of certain types (e.g., loli)
  2. Highlighting eroge with non-adult versions that never saw a full, uncut adult release in English
  3. Identifying games with both adult and non-adult English versions to help Steam users and casual VN players discover eroge
  4. Providing a resource to facilitate restoration of cut or altered content in these titles
Secondary goals include:
  1. Documenting original English erotic games with both adult and non-adult versions
  2. Documenting doujin/indie games that meet any of the other primary or secondary goals. 

Implementation


I'm using a Google spreadsheet to compile a comprehensive list of censored eroge, categorize and describe the censorship, and direct users as to where to obtain the adult version or instruct them how to restore it.  Many of the column headers are labeled with comments that explain the information they contain.

The Remedies column includes links to unauthorized patches.  To my knowledge, these patches do not work without the original game.

(Updated 3/2/16) I've split eroge into 3 tabs: Japanese original, professional (professional games originally in Japanese); non-English original, indie (amateur games originating in a non-English language); and English original (generally amateur).  I decided to split off the non-English indie from the Japanese professional games to keep the main list from becoming inundated with the trashy DLsite titles now appearing on Steam.  This is an attempt to try and maintain the comprehensiveness of the list without distracting from the core purpose of the project: documenting censorship of Japanese professional releases.

Sorting and manipulating data


All tabs except the community submissions tab are protected to prevent data tampering or corruption.  To sort or otherwise manipulate the data, go into the spreadsheet, click File > Download as > save as the file type of your choice (probably Excel or Open Document).  That'll allow you modify your personal copy of the spreadsheet.  If you want to make any community submissions, you'll have to return to the original version curated by me.

Why are games that weren't censored included in the list?


Contrary to popular belief, there is no single agreed upon definition of censorship.  The broad definition I'm using includes types of information control that many would not consider objectionable or "censorship".  For example, I consider Steam a censored platform because it does not allow titles with ero content regardless of market demand.  Gaming news and review sites likewise exclude eroge from coverage with extreme prejudice.  This creates an information gap where users who might be interested in adult titles are unable to buy them simply because they don't know about them.  I'm interested in closing this gap.

Eroge with a non-adult release in English fall under Primary Goal 3, and thus will be included in the list.  Titles will be included even if the Japanese adult release came after the Japanese non-adult release.  If the English non-adult release mirrors the Japanese one, it will be marked "uncensored".

In summary, I'm documenting multiple types of censorship, and many users won't be interested in all of them.  Don't grab your pitchforks simply because a game made the list.  Please use the sort function to identify the types of censorship that interest you. 

Community submissions


This list is maintained and curated by me.  I welcome community submissions and corrections, as I'm not omniscient and I don't know about every eroge that's ever been censored.  Submit additions and corrections as comments in the spreadsheet or in the Disqus comments below.  Submissions that fall under the primary goals will be prioritized.  Mosaic censorship (blurring of genitals required by Japanese law) is not one of my inclusion criteria, but I occasionally provide this information for specific titles that meet other inclusion criteria.

To my valued readers


The Product Link column includes affiliate links to shop pages.  I profit from these.  Please click the links and purchase the games that strike your fancy if you appreciate the work I've put into this project.  The J-List affiliate links are site-wide, so you don't necessarily have to buy the games in the list to show your support.

If you liked this article, check out some of the adult visual novels on J-List, browse my other articles in the Popular Posts section, and feel free to follow me on Twitter.

External links policy


If you'd like to share this list, please link to this blog post rather than directly to the spreadsheet.  Unauthorized reproduction of the list, other than for personal use, is prohibited.


Credits


Information from The Visual Novel Database (VNDB) serves as the foundation for most of the entries in my list.  I indexed this information and supplemented it as necessary.

For Steam releases, I referenced Steam group Hentai!'s list of censored titles.  Their list is slightly more inclusive than mine and provides some extra details about the releases.  The list is worth checking out if you're primarily interested in Steam titles.  Note that you must create a Steam account and join Steam group Hentai! to view the list.

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