Adjustable Censorship is when you are given the option of turning mature content (usually violence, swearing, or sexual content) on or off. This usually happens in Video Games
, but other media, such as DVDs and websites, occasionally have such options. You may have an "On/Off" toggle or a slider that goes from "Bloodless Carnage
" to "High Pressure Blood
" to "Gorn
". There may also be an option to change the color of the blood
or replace it with something silly like flowers.
This is fairly common in Arcade Games
, so that more family-oriented establishments can carry games that they consider profitable but by default are too inappropriate for the establishment.
In some older games, back when adult content was much less acceptable in video games, the mature content was deactivated by default and had to be re-activated through a cheat code in order to hide it from the censors, making this a possible way of Getting Crap Past the Radar
. The ESRB or other similar organisations
will generally rate a game assuming all mature content is set to its highest level.
- In Alien Hominid, there is a "Gore" option in the options screen. Turning it off will replace all blood with flowers.
- Assassins Creed II and up have an option to turn off blood.
- Rise of the Triad offers several levels of gore ranging all the way from clean to Ludicrous Gibs.
- The original Half-Life gave players the choice of disabling blood, which could only be re-activated by inputting a password. Gibbed enemies would instead hold their last pose and quickly fade into non-existence.
- Team Fortress 2 has the command-line option "-sillygibs" which, instead of de-activating blood and gibs, replaces it with goofy clocks, springs, cheeseburgers, balloon animals, unicycles, etc. This is actually a holdover from the German version, where (due to Germany's strict laws on depiction of violence in media) it is on by default and cannot be deactivated. Equipping the Pyrovision Goggles (or equipping Pyro with a Rainblower or any other Pyroland weapon) will do this too.
- Call of Duty:
- Shadow Warrior has a censor option that removes most violence, but is not perfect; enemies sliced in half with a katana turn invisible for a few moments before collapsing—normally they stand still and play their "falling apart" animation.
- Soldier of Fortune allowed you to enable or disable gibs, among other things.
- Perfect Dark gives the option to turn all bullet firing guns into paintball shooters. This changes the blood and environmental bullet holes into multicoloured paint. In addition, there is a primitive language censor. All sentences containing a swear are entirely blanked out, instead of merely bleeping the offending word.
- Bulletstorm has an option for alternate, slightly less profane dialogue.
- Unreal Tournament 2004 has adjustable gore in the game settings. With no gore, dead characters just collapse. With full gore you get anything from limb loss to Ludicrous Gibs.
- Serious Sam has options to change enemy carnage from bloody red chunks of meat to floral blood with mushroom giblets. The HD remake also allows for enemies to erupt giant pieces of candy whilst bleeding glitter.
- Crytek's Far Cry and Crysis allow you to turn off blood effects.
- First Encounter Assault Recon ("F.E.A.R.") has an option to turn off gore, which disable blood spray and dismemberment. For instance, when shotgun rounds and explosives deal massive damage to enemies, they vanish rather than gib.
- Borderlands 2 allows you to "Censor Gore", which turns off gibs and pools of blood.
Real Time Strategy
- Version 1.0 of Boppin' featured the option to turn off the characters' suicide animations. Version 1.1 is a self-proclaimed "politically corrected version" that replaced the Accursed Toys screen (which depicted a bloodied teddy bear impaled by a knife), but the censorship can be disabled with a command line option.
- Some versions of Minesweeper have an option to replace the mines with flowers, and the explosion sound effects with chimes. This is the default (only?) option in some regions, where minefield imagery would be too close to home.
- Brutal Legend has a profanity option (if only "because it's funnier" with censorship). In addition to bleeping out every swear word, it also covers Eddie's middle finger with the "Parental Advisory: Explicit content" logo during the next to final boss. The game also asks if you would like to censor blood/gore too (for instance, in the intro, when Ormagoden roars and causes the Kabbage Boy members' heads to pop off, choosing the censored option causes them to simply faint instead). The reason the game's intro asks if you would like the game censored or uncensored is because Tim Schafer and Double Fine received a letter from a dad who loved playing Psychonauts with his 9-year-old son, and they were both excited to play Brutal Legend, but were worried that it would have too much inappropriate material for his son.
- Neverwinter Nights has a gore slider in the game options. The max setting frequently results in enemies outright exploding. Zombies are particularly prone to this when hit with a cleric's or paladin's Turn Undead.
- The American release of The Witcher censored the copious nudity present in the original European version. CD Projekt Red released an optional Director's Cut patch that restores it.
- Fallout 1, Fallout 2 and Fallout Tactics Brotherhood Of Steel have options to tone down the swearing and gore used (And providing the page picture in the case of gore). Of course, this being Fallout, there's a special trait called "Bloody Mess" that always shows the bloodiest animation the settings allow (instead of randomized damage-dependent).
- In the first three installments of Silent Hill, an expanded options menu is accessible by pressing L1, L2, R1 and R2 at the game's regular options screen. This menu always includes an option to change the color of blood in the game from red to green, violet or black. This is probably more for fun than for censorship though, as no one tells the player about said hidden options menu and that the blood is red by default.
- Gears of War gives the player the option to remove all the blood and Ludicrous Gibs. This is a series where the primary weapon is an assault rifle with a chainsaw bayonet. The chainsaw still works but the blood becomes sparks, as opposed to rainbows.
- The first Max Payne allowed the player to disable blood and all graphic novel sequences in the game.
- Katawa Shoujo has an option to skip the mature content (though some instances of nudity remain). Instead, you get a Relax-o-Vision.
- Saya no Uta gives you the option to blur and/or darken the disturbing images.
Non video game examples
- Parodied on the Saturday Night Live fake commercial for an online filter that keeps teenagers from letting their parents know about their personal lives when they post them on Facebook ("The 'Damn It, My Mom is on Facebook' Filter") which turns such status updates as "There isn't enough beer in the world for me to listen to Glenn Beck's holy roller B.S." to "Boy, do I need new dungarees" and alters incriminating pictures (turning a drunk girl at a party into a ventriloquist dummy, turning a bong into a saxophone, and putting digital clothes on nudity).
- A lot of websites allowing users to upload content, such as deviantART, feature an adjustable content filter.
- Web search engines often include an option to show or exclude adult content in search results.
- Some DVDs of Family Guy (particularly those featuring episodes made after the show was revived in 2005) have an audio option where the viewer can choose between listening to the censored TV version of the audio or the uncensored audio, which has bleeped out language uncensored. The censored version mostly has bleeps for words like "fuck" and "shit". Most of the show's dialogue edits, however, are the kind where they record two lines and pick the inoffensive line for TV and the original offensive line for DVD and/or [adult swim]. Those are not included on the DVD.
- A service called Clear Play allows the viewer to select a level of violence, sexuality, etc. and watch compatible DVDs with the selected elements stripped out. This is done through the same methods used to make movies "family-friendly" on network television: mute, filters, and even complete elimination of some scenes.
- Eddie Izzard DVDs always have an option for bleeped audio, since his acts are mostly family-friendly except for the copious swearing.
- Lee Mack's Going Out stand-up DVD has an option to switch off the bad language.