South Park co-creator Matt Stone has offered his take on the censorship of newly released console and PC game South Park: The Stick of Truth, saying what was censored in the game was actually mild enough to be shown on the TV show without issue.
"It does feel like a double standard, a little bit," Stone told The Guardian today. "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."
Make a joke, they did. For the European and Australian versions of the game, during certain censored scenes an image of a statute making a face-palming gesture appears, along with text describing what you would have seen in the uncut version. Some of the censored scenes depicted anal probing and abortion.
South Park: The Stick of Truth is fully uncensored in North America.
Stone said he believes the interactive nature of video games can make some people more "uncomfortable" with certain subjects, as opposed to simply watching an event unfold. This is why what needed to be cut from the game would have been no problem at all on the show, he said.
"There is an interactiveness that makes it different. 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," Stone 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."
South Park: The Stick of Truth was recently delayed in Germany and Austria due to the game's use of an "unconstitutional symbol," which we understand to be a swastika. The game launched in North America this week for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. For more, check out what the critics are saying.