Ah, censorship. The age-old technique of making things less fun From cusswords to mindless violence, the rules of censorship are here to ruin your fun by making it tame and uninteresting.
Or are they?
As it turns out, not every instance of censorship is just a bunch of lazy bleeps and blurs. Sometimes, the censors decide to get extra creative with their job, and the end result turns out to be even more entertaining than the original.
Sure, blowing people up into eerily realistic pieces can be great, but what if instead, you could give them an existential crisis, causing them to kneel on the floor and wallow in grief and disbelief? Or what if instead of showing you raunchy photos of half-naked people, the game showered you with pictures of adorable kittens and flowers?
Yes, sometimes censorship can be a fun medium in itself. Let’s examine some examples of hilarious censorship and appreciate the creativity of the people behind it.
10. "Coffee" Bars - Earthbound
Despite its innocent appearance, Earthbound isn't exactly safe for kids. It's full of disturbing things like brainwashed cultists, demons, and an actual scene of one of the characters being torn apart limb by limb.
With so many questionable themes, it's obvious that some parts of the original Japanese version of Earthbound had to be removed. But which part did the Western world decide was too problematic? It was the alcohol, of course!
Yes, apparently the US government thought adults having a casual drink at a bar was way more controversial than demonic rituals. The American port of the game replaced all of the bars in Earthbound with coffee shops and turned every inebriated NPC into a struggling caffeine addict.
The amount of effort that went into cleaning the streets of Earthbound's towns from alcohol consumption is truly astounding. There is not a single mention of it left in the game, and the people's weird obsession with coffee is actually written in a strangely endearing way.
It's a bit like looking into an alternate reality where coffee is a drug and every single Starbucks in the area is the dealer.
Or, you know, your average day in Seattle.