Korean MMO Gets Middle-east Make Over

November 30, 2008 -

Rappelz, a free-to-play MMO developed in South Korea, is getting a face lift to bring it into line with the Middle-east's Islamic sensibilities, according to website TechRadar.

[Dubai publisher] Game Power 7... has made a few adjustments to Gala's role-player Rappelz to make it supposedly more appealing to customers in Islamic countries...

 

As well as changing the background music, the noises monsters make (really?) and taking out non-Muslim religious symbols, such as crosses, Game Power 7 has given some characters a little more to wear. We're told that female players will be properly covered up so that they're no longer showing too many flesh-coloured pixels. Arms and legs get special attention, with chainmail and long stockings pasted on.

The new version of Rappelz is online now and aimed at 19 countries that include Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.


Comments

Re: Korean MMO Gets Middle-east Make Over

This is a form of segregation. Basically saying, "Hey! You're different from any other religion, whether for better or worse."

I had recieved news of christian people being slaughtered by muslims in Africa over the past few days. It is sad, because the release stated that the church was pleading for a cease of bloodshed.

Tolerance must go both ways.

---- There is a limit for both politicians against video games, and video games against politicians. http://www.goteamretard.com

Re: Korean MMO Gets Middle-east Make Over

Have to agree with you.  Muslim culture in the middle east, IMO, is far too...  I'm trying to come up with the right word.  Stagnant?  Repressing?  Insular?  Intolerant?  I need a word that encompasses all those meanings, though to be honest, muslim culture is becoming synonymous with those words anyway, in western culture.

 

They need to accept that there are other people in the world, and that they are different, if they want to play with the rest of the world.

Re: Korean MMO Gets Middle-east Make Over

"Have to agree with you.  Muslim culture in the middle east, IMO, is far too...  I'm trying to come up with the right word.  Stagnant?  Repressing?  Insular?  Intolerant?

   These are relative opinions, nothing more. Stagnant/repressed/insular/intolerant compared to what? There are aspects to their culture I quite like, just as there are aspects to our culture (western) that I also like. To white wash an entire culture because of the snippets you see on the news is foolish.

"I need a word that encompasses all those meanings, though to be honest, muslim culture is becoming synonymous with those words anyway, in western culture."

   Once again, you relate their culture to Western culture, assuming that you/we are the golden standard to judge all others. This is a very dangerous assumption.

Re: Korean MMO Gets Middle-east Make Over

I find this very disturbing. Especially the part where they say that they censor every religious symbol that is not muslim, picture a world were every media was tailored this way for every country it was delivered to.

This is an excellent way to further the segration of the muslims and the rest of the civilized world, tailoring media to fit them. Why can't they make it so that it's tailored for humans instead of christians, muslims and whatnot!?

And to the people that think this will make women look respectable in games think again. Try comparing a women dressed in all black with only their eyes visible and a women in a bikini, covered only over the vital parts. Which do you think best represent the oppressed females around the world?

 

This is a huge step backwards for the gaming industry, censorship is for rl, let our haven be. Let our games be free.

RTS gamer

Re: Korean MMO Gets Middle-east Make Over

I'm not painting every Muslim with the same brush here, but a large portion of the populace prefers things to be traditional, even when they want progress.  To them it's a balancing act of old values and modern changes.  And I'm not just talking about governments here.  You have to remember that for a lot of the Muslim world, your religious life cannot be seperated from the rest of your life.  Islam is a part of everything, even the governments (loose forms of theocracy).  It's not like Christians who keep religion at church and that's it.  So, Islamic morality weaves it's way into every part of their culture, including entertainment. 

For the change in music, that's sort of a cultural thing, they have different tastes, and the MMO devs want to appeal to as big an audience as possible.  Anime does this frequently when localizing for Western audiences (and usually only the Japanophiles complain about it).  The female avatars is obvious, since women are supposed to dress according to a level of modesty dictated by Islam.  As for the removal of religious symbols, I agree that's probably taking it too far.  Muslims are not closed minded, nor are they automatically offended by other religions.  The Koreans probably overreacted by trying to avoid any possible conflict.

Re: Korean MMO Gets Middle-east Make Over

Uh oh, someone might get offended. CALL UP THE PC THUGS! Delete EVERYTHING that might be offensive, we don't want another LittleBigPlanet!

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

Re: Korean MMO Gets Middle-east Make Over

You're overexaggerating the issue. They are just tailoring the game a bit so that it fits with the beliefs of Islam at large. Does that make it right? No. Does that make it a terrible act of media over-censorship? No. It's not like they are making all female characters wear veils, they are just modest-ing them up a bit so that there will be no protests.

Re: Korean MMO Gets Middle-east Make Over

    I second this.  Games are for everyone, not individual groups.  Let everyone have the same game, not have different versions for different areas.  This i like when they edited that mission in Fallout 3 to make it suitable for Japan.  The japanese gamers were dissapointed.  I accept that women need to be properly armored and I'm happy with that change *looks at Soulcaliber 2*.  As for the sounds of monsters and the music so long as it's not blatently offensive like when a monster dies it says "Islam sucks" then leave it.  Random grunts and screams are universal.  In games people scream the same when they die regardless of country of origin and I've played enough games to know that.

    Tailoring a game for one type of people is just telling them that they're different and don't deserve the same game.  Changing the religious symbols can also have a major impact in the game depending on the characters.  Look at all the games where a religious institution is either the enemy or the hero.  Changing the symbols can change the setting or even the way the game plays as different religions conduct things differently.  Change too much and you're making a brand new game just for them.

    Games are a legitimate art form.  So many games prove that.  You don't censor art.  If this is censored then does this mean that images of the Mona Lisa in the middle east have her dressed so only her eyes show?  Censoring art makes the artwork itself much less effective.  Art tends to provoke emotions, ideas, some kind of reaction in the person viewing it.  If it makes the person feel offended then it's doing it's job but I feel that those offended will be the minority.  If they are offended they won't play it. 

Re: Korean MMO Gets Middle-east Make Over

I really don't think they're making it more appealing to the customers who will buy the game in muslim countries. They're making it more acceptable for the governments of those countries.

---------------------------------

Internet troll > internet paladin

-------------------------------------------------------- Believe in something! Even if it's wrong, believe in it! GET OFF MY PHONE! -Glenn Beck

Re: Korean MMO Gets Middle-east Make Over

I don't think it's really right for any of us to complain or even pay it much mind. Islam is the Middle-East's dominant religion. Over here in North America, if a game developed in a different country (doesn't matter which) featured something that opposes the beliefs of Catholacism (spelling?) to an extreme degree (e.g. Abortions, cross-burning) the PR people would probably edit said segments in translation in order to avoid pissing too many people off. Logically, the same would go for foreign countries.

Re: Korean MMO Gets Middle-east Make Over

This bothers me because I see it as a removal of freedoms for the consumers. I understand the distinct differences in values and standards between the US and the Middle-East, but it's still a rather disturbing symbolic gesture to decide for everyone what is appropriate and best suited to their tastes... On top of that, it's just a game. I don't understand what issues some flesh colored pixels could raiseor why the Monster noises needed to be changed.

Re: Korean MMO Gets Middle-east Make Over

Music and noises are probably to fit the different culture more. I mean everyone has different sounds in mind regarding monster screams, right?

Oh and for some reason I can understand people not liking female characters being essential sex-objects. No way you can justify the lack of armor on important places.

Re: Korean MMO Gets Middle-east Make Over

Well, ti's not really about being sex-objects.. They're talking about covering up arms and legs. I can understand the leg part to some extent, but are exposed shoulders really that obscene or offensive?

I've never played the game, but if it's your standard Korena MMO then the female armor is probably a bit more sexualized. I can understand removing any clevage, maybe, but making sure that the whole female avatar has as little exposed skin as possible is just oppressive and even a bit sexist.

Re: Korean MMO Gets Middle-east Make Over

 Y'know, i'm reminded of my senior year of high school... i was painting a mural with a female in it, a several week long project, and one of the teachers, the vp in fact i think, came over to make sure i was gonna put plenty of clothing on her and not make it too revealing... i her my reassurance i had no plans to do so(which was true)... it took much effort to fight the urge to be a smart ass and say out loud "he said as he starred across the hall at an old mural with a half naked man"... hoho, double standards... to be fair though, i have no idea how old that other mural might have been and thus a different administration could have been around to judge it... though i doubt it would have made a difference, knowing how people regard the female form vs the male form; half naked men are fine but half naked woman are unacceptable, demeaning, offensive and so forth... 

man, i seriously don't even remember what i was thinking back when i painted that thing... it was symbolic of... err... something...

Re: Korean MMO Gets Middle-east Make Over

Holy shit.

just how backwards do you have it? christ.

Re: Korean MMO Gets Middle-east Make Over

I'm trying to figure out if this is considered a good thing or a bad thing...

Re: Korean MMO Gets Middle-east Make Over

As long as it doesn't go too far, like not allowing or limiting female characters, or greatly covering up even their faces and such, I don't see why it would be a bad thing. They're actually trying to reach out to more frigid people rather than just the oversexed nerds who like scantly-clad females running around everywhere.

Re: Korean MMO Gets Middle-east Make Over

I'd so play this if it was released here as well. Imagine, a game where females wear proper protection for once rather than their looks being aimed at being eye-candy. I find a girl in lingerie-armor hot but with armour I consider them cool. And newsflash, I play games not for hotness, we got porn for that. I play them because they're cool.

Re: Korean MMO Gets Middle-east Make Over

No crosses? Really?

Re: Korean MMO Gets Middle-east Make Over

Sweet!

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Re: Korean MMO Gets Middle-east Make Over

I'm not a prude or anything, but I've always wanted female avatars to be as equally protected as their male counterparts.  Never been a fan of the "chainmail bikini" and the like.  If you're going into battle, dress like it!

Apparently, all I need to do is move the middle east.

But it is true that Muslim artistic sensibilities are somewhat different than Western ones.  While we hold the greco-roman love of the human form as one of the highest representations of beauty, the Islamic distaste for "idolatry" has led to a very different feel in thier artwork. You don't find many depictions of people in their art, and when you do, they are covered up.  Of course, this is more about an issue with Muslim concepts of female "modesty," not artistic differences.

Re: Korean MMO Gets Middle-east Make Over

Though it remains to be seen just how far in the other direction they are going to go.  Equally protected is one thing, a pair of eyes peeking out from a heap of clothes is quite another.

 

-Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person's fear of their own freedom-

Re: Korean MMO Gets Middle-east Make Over

Flesh colored pixels? oh dear god

 
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