Butts Are Off-Limits In Nintendo Games, But Penises Aren't

I've been playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf in preparation for a review next month. One of the staple features in the Animal Crossing franchise is a store run by a fox. The store sells rare items and art. Like, say, this fine statue here. Warning: NSFW content ahead.

Let's take a closer and uncensored look, shall we?

...yeah, that's definitely a penis. While it's possible this item existed in previous Animal Crossing games, its inclusion now comes as a slight surprise given the recent news of censorship in Fire Emblem: Awakening. We can't look at a racy butts, but a fully exposed penis is OK? Then again, many censorship decisions don't quite make sense.

Certainly not the decision taken with Fire Emblem, either. I mean, this was left in:

Arguably, the reason the statue is OK is because it depicts "art", and so the exposed penis isn't offensive. Can that distinction be made? Some people would say Tharja's sexualised depiction is "art", therefore it shouldn't be censored.

What do you guys think? I think it's interesting to look at what we accept as art and what we don't and why that is.

In case you're wondering, I bought the statue. I just need to find a place in my house for it now.


    Art is free from censorship and since that statue is a very famous piece of art (or very close to), Nintendo have no need to do it.

    Last edited 04/05/13 10:50 pm

    Is Michelangelo's David "NSFW" now?

    If it were modern art with a penis, they would blur or obscure it, but that one is a classic. To obscure that would be too blatant.

    In the Vatican Sestine Chapel they even have naked guys with penis exposed painted on the ceiling.

      In the Vatican basement there is an order of monks called the Cappudocians who make murals on the floor of their sacred space using the bones of dead brothers of the order. Seriously.

    You'll notice that the scene was only censored for us in the Western world. So it says nothing about Nintendo really but more "our" views on the female body. While I'm not exactly criticising you on the article, perhaps a piece on why this sort of crap still happens, as oppose to implying Nintendo have arbitrary criteria on showing human anatomy when it's not really their fault.

    Granted beach themed DLC is really nothing more than fan service and we can argue about objectification and whatnot but lets stick to why a picture of a girl in a bikini bottom is still in this day and age considered inappropriate, and thus we need to be shielded from such an image. Not saying the Japanese are any more open minded, they have their own societal problems.

    Last edited 05/05/13 1:05 am

      It's not really us, it's USA. They're really sensitive about nudity for some reason.

        I left out a specific country for a reason. While I'm than aware of the primary cause of this sort of thing happening, that doesn't mean all countries in the Western world are scotch clean either. Take mine (Australia) for example, we still apparently have issues with women breastfeeding in public.

        Last edited 05/05/13 2:42 pm

          Australia is barely a 'Western world', so behind in everything it's absurd.

    I think if you're focusing intently on the penis on Michelangelo's David, you may have issues with your priorities. It's not like it's a giant wobbling boner there to traumatise the children (won't someone think of them, by the way?), it's just a penis.

    It's fun pointing out inconsistencies and expecting people to be perfect...I love doing it in footy lots of fun complaining about bad calls.

    Anyways, this is small, too small to really care about. If censoring impacts the game, that's when you have to say stop and really analyse what's being censored and whether they just employed an over sensitive person.

    .. In this example its because boobs are hawt to EVERYONE UNIVERSALLY. Men love boobs. Women love their boobs (mostly, but all should). Lesbians love others boobs. Even gays love boobs.

    hehehe penis woo hehahaheh woot, sorry had to do it :D

    I don't wanna work in a place that this article is nsfw...

      The statue is probably fine. Zooming in on its wang like a giggling child is possibly not.

    Great analysis Patricia! I certainly appreciate the lengthy critique and summation of the art versus pornography debate. Your post-sructuralist analysis of the semiotic disparity between the two forms is indeed both rigorous and groundbreaking. Further your examination of cultural norms and expectations was simply astounding in its detail and breadth.
    Further, I would like to thank Kotaku US in general. It is articles like this and the three decades of boobies (recently published over three days) that inspires gamers such as myself onto higher planes of intellectual pursuit and cultural understanding. Kudos to you all!

      I forgot to commend Mr Plunkett on this article http://kotaku.com/the-ass-nintendo-doesnt-want-you-to-see-487825312
      In particular his keen and intelligent observation to Ms Hernadez regarding the insight that 'Reggie is a tits man and not an ass man' was both witty and thought provoking. It takes an intellectual giant to put forward such unadulterated and unashamedly brave conclusions amongst the high-browed and stuffy intelligentsia that reside at Kotaku US. I applaud the strong, unwavering and pro-feminine stance that US Kotaku continues to have. You do not send mixed messages, you do not pander to the lowest comman denominator and you certainly do not wish to have your cake and eat it too. If only more gaming sites were as admirable and ethical as you - the world would be a better place.

    What's amusing is that there's a replica of "David" in Japan that the locals were asking to have pants be put on because of that very issue...

    Also, is Patricia trolling us with a slow zoom onto a penis?

    Last edited 05/05/13 5:52 pm


    I'm just going to leave this here

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