Zen Studios alters classic pinball art to protect family-friendly rating

Jeff Strong

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 19, 2012
8,140
2

u-photo-u1


u-photo-u1


Girls in bikinis and video games have always gone hand in hand ;)

It’s kind of funny that the some of the industry is more prudish about this now than nearly 40 years ago.

Not that big of a deal to me, but just find it a bit interesting that it’s something that needs censored now.
 
Last edited:

Blkthorne

New member
Jul 12, 2013
466
0
In a pm to shutyertrap I made the point of you see women/girls in bikini's at swimming pools and beaches and we have this mess with the ERSB ratings for tables from the 70's-90's. Kids playing/played Mortal Kombat, GTA, list any FPS out there and Zen is stuck on pinball tables for ratings???? Plus South Park was another license Zen had at one point and that somehow made it fine with Disney and the ERSB??
 

Herbert Birdsfoot

New member
Nov 2, 2017
8
0
I hate the censorship in the William's pinball. The whole thing is just ridiculous. Anyways how many 10 year olds play Williams pinball? And why is there no censorship on PC? Censoring an animation in MM that shows a guy climbing up the ladder and kissing a girl on the cheek. Thats just preposterous.
 

shutyertrap

Moderator
Staff member
Mar 14, 2012
7,334
0
I'm beginning to wonder how much of this is related to the ESRB rating? And how much of this is related to Disney?

Disney is well known for being censorship happy and Zen has a partnership with them for the Marvel and Star Wars tables. Ticking them off could prevent future negotiations (such as Indiana Jones) from going through.

2 seasons ago I was working on a Disney kids TV show. Any and all cleavage was forbidden, which made filming our first episode of the season a task as it was set in a water park. So all the women had to wear either rash guard style shirts or tankinis. Our actress who played the mom, Cerina Vincent (look her up, quite stunning) had a swim suit that showed just the tiniest of cleavage and the solution was to put a cover-up blouse on her. I've heard this conversation many times elsewhere, and I agree it borders on body shaming simply for having curves. God forbid men from taking responsibility for perving out and instead let's just blame women for having bodies that cause 'feelings'.

I said it in my Twitter post about the article, I'm not so concerned with the censorship as I am with the removal of modes, as mentioned would have to be done for bits featuring gambling. I'd rather the table just not get made then, wait until a solution arises that the unaltered version could be put out. In trying to hide the bits that might offend, I feel instead a giant spotlight is shined on what is missing. I mean what would even be left of Jack*Bot? It'd just be Pin*Bot! The only art issue I would hate to see is with Elvira, as the look and attitude is exactly what makes the character. Again, I'd rather they just not make it. There are a ton of tables to choose from that don't need editing, do those.
 

shutyertrap

Moderator
Staff member
Mar 14, 2012
7,334
0
"Close, but no cigar."
Hah.

This whole thing is a story about directing your anger appropriately. Not at Zen, not at the ESRB, but towards the people and organisations that the ESRB is protecting us from.

One silver lining of not having the license is that you don't have to deal with these issues anymore, eh Matt?!
 

thetrout

New member
Apr 10, 2012
32
0
I genuinely don't care about the "censored" artwork at all. FT still looks and plays great, and I wouldn't have even noticed the change unless it was pointed out to me.

The game has an "everyone" rating. It really doesn't matter if kids play Mortal Kombat or GTA in their spare time, or if they've seen worse in real life. The rating has a specific meaning, and Zen has to conform to that so long as the rating remains. (Whether or not Farsight risked skirting around this rating is irrelevant.)
 

Blkthorne

New member
Jul 12, 2013
466
0
2 seasons ago I was working on a Disney kids TV show. Any and all cleavage was forbidden, which made filming our first episode of the season a task as it was set in a water park. So all the women had to wear either rash guard style shirts or tankinis. Our actress who played the mom, Cerina Vincent (look her up, quite stunning) had a swim suit that showed just the tiniest of cleavage and the solution was to put a cover-up blouse on her. I've heard this conversation many times elsewhere, and I agree it borders on body shaming simply for having curves. God forbid men from taking responsibility for perving out and instead let's just blame women for having bodies that cause 'feelings'.

I said it in my Twitter post about the article, I'm not so concerned with the censorship as I am with the removal of modes, as mentioned would have to be done for bits featuring gambling. I'd rather the table just not get made then, wait until a solution arises that the unaltered version could be put out. In trying to hide the bits that might offend, I feel instead a giant spotlight is shined on what is missing. I mean what would even be left of Jack*Bot? It'd just be Pin*Bot! The only art issue I would hate to see is with Elvira, as the look and attitude is exactly what makes the character. Again, I'd rather they just not make it. There are a ton of tables to choose from that don't need editing, do those.

Pretty much how I am feeling, rumors they will remove the gambling mode/game from Champion Pub and as you brought up this would essentially destroy Jack*Bot or Riverboat Gambler. I'm the same way, the little art changes in Fish Tales weren't a big deal but the tables like the two Elvira ones would make me wonder why bother if you totally change any modes or the very character of the table.
 
Last edited:

steven120566

New member
Mar 7, 2015
261
0
From someone who could never stand Elvira, or her schtick... Even I say why censor it? I do find Elvira offensive so I just don't play those tables much. I don't think they should censor it though. Why change the tables? It falls on the player to not buy the ones that they don't care for. I mean, even if Pinballwiz45b doesn't have a game play video up, somebody else does. So I can check out the game if I want before buying it. It's on me to know what I am buying. The studios should stay true to the original creations as much as they are able to.
 
Last edited:

Palmer Eldritch

New member
Dec 17, 2012
429
0
I genuinely don't care about the "censored" artwork at all. FT still looks and plays great, and I wouldn't have even noticed the change unless it was pointed out to me.

The game has an "everyone" rating. It really doesn't matter if kids play Mortal Kombat or GTA in their spare time, or if they've seen worse in real life. The rating has a specific meaning, and Zen has to conform to that so long as the rating remains. (Whether or not Farsight risked skirting around this rating is irrelevant.)

does the rating have a specific meaning? or does it just happen to depend on which person at the ERSB got to rate that game? for instance here are some ratings for dragon quest games:

Dragon Quest Builders - E10+ - Alcohol Reference, Fantasy Violence, Mild Blood, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes
Dragon Quest VII - E10+ - Comic Mischief, Fantasy Violence, Mild Blood, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Simulated Gambling, Use of Alcohol
Dragon Quest IX - E10+ - Alcohol Reference, Animated Blood, Comic Mischief, Fantasy Violence, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes

Some of them are rated T with the same descriptors, probably because of themes in the games.. but as for pinball and zen, there are no mature 'themes' or storylines... regardless, when zen says they absolutely cannot have simulated gambling or alcohol references in an E10+ game they are either misinformed or lying to protect their corporate image.
 

Pinballwiz45b

Active member
Aug 12, 2012
3,650
10
From someone who could never stand Elvira, or her schtick... Even I say why censor it? I do find Elvira offensive so I just don't play those tables much. I don't think they should censor it though. Why change the tables? It falls on the player to not buy the ones that they don't care for. I mean, even if Pinballwiz45b doesn't have a game play video up, somebody else does. So I can check out the game if I want before buying it. It's on me to know what I am buying. The studios should stay true to the original creations as much as they are able to.

Did you just assume my stance on Elvira tables? I have Party Monsters up but not Scared Stiff.

Some tables, I don't do, for good reason. They're too easy on Pinball Arcade. It just gets boring after a while.
 

DopedToInfinity

New member
Mar 31, 2012
440
0
2 seasons ago I was working on a Disney kids TV show. Any and all cleavage was forbidden, which made filming our first episode of the season a task as it was set in a water park. So all the women had to wear either rash guard style shirts or tankinis. Our actress who played the mom, Cerina Vincent (look her up, quite stunning) had a swim suit that showed just the tiniest of cleavage and the solution was to put a cover-up blouse on her.

My niece watches that programme when she is round our house. Without resorting to sexist acronyms, she is very nice looking.
 

steven120566

New member
Mar 7, 2015
261
0
Did you just assume my stance on Elvira tables? I have Party Monsters up but not Scared Stiff.

Some tables, I don't do, for good reason. They're too easy on Pinball Arcade. It just gets boring after a while.

Oh no pinballwiz... Only reason I gave you that shameless endrosement was I typically look to your channel (and others) to see what a table looks and sounds like prior to buying it. Or else I am looking to pick up specific gameplay tips.

The meaning of my post was simply that it is 100% the players responsibility to know what they are buying.

I was making no presumption on whether you like any specific table or not nor was I claiming that you post videos for any partucular reason at all... just that I use your channel as a research tool LOL.

If it seemed otherwise, I am sorry man.
 
Last edited:

Jeff Strong

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 19, 2012
8,140
2
BTW, speaking of gambling, I saw Zen has an “esports” app that allows you to play for real cash? Doesn’t look like it ever really took off though?
 

shutyertrap

Moderator
Staff member
Mar 14, 2012
7,334
0
BTW, speaking of gambling, I saw Zen has an “esports” app that allows you to play for real cash? Doesn’t look like it ever really took off though?

I play it. It’s only 2 tables, Epic Quest and Mars. It uses the same company, Skillz, that FarSight uses for their Pinball Tournaments app. It also suffers from the same problem in that you wind up playing against the same few players over and over. I stopped playing when I kept going against a player who’s scores seemed impossible in the time gotten. This happened in both Zen and FarSight’s games.
 

shogun00

New member
Dec 25, 2012
763
0
Plus South Park was another license Zen had at one point and that somehow made it fine with Disney and the ERSB??

Yeah, but they censored the living crap out it. No language, no suggestive dialog, no mention of Kenny's deaths, and no blood. However, they were able to manage to keep the humor intact. As long as the content of the tables fall within the ESRB's rating guidelines for said rating, then Disney doesn't give much of a stink about it.

Not to mention, Zen has proven to Disney with the Deadpool table, that they can tone down a violent property and still have it remain faithful the original source.
 

Striker

New member
May 26, 2017
138
0
"Close, but no cigar."
Hah.

This whole thing is a story about directing your anger appropriately. Not at Zen, not at the ESRB, but towards the people and organisations that the ESRB is protecting us from.


Agreed. These are the same people that got the State of California in 2005 to enact a law banning the sale of "violent video games" to minors.

Fortunately the U.S. Supreme Court struck it down on First Amendment grounds in 2011. Why? One, what's a "violent" video game? What may be offensive to some may be nothing to a horror movie fan. Two, why video games? Kids have been buying violent books, music, et al. for decades. Anyone remember the violent ending of Hansel and Gretel? Classics like Dante's Inferno and Lord of the Flies are pretty gruesome. How many times did Wile E. Coyote blow himself up while chasing the Roadrunner? 7-2 decision, written by Antonin Scalia. Breyer dissented, because if we could ban the sale of Playboy, Penthouse, et al. to minors, he didn't see much difference for violence. Clarence Thomas also dissented, because when the First Amendment was written in the late 18th Century it was unlawful to sell or give *anything* to minors without a parent's consent. (Originalism to the extreme, I suppose.)
 
Last edited:

wilbers

Member
Aug 8, 2018
569
0
Only just noticed, but backglass in Junkyard has a few more bubbles in the bath - got 2 monitor display so have the uncensored backglass version on second monitor or I'd have likely never known there was a change.
 

Members online

Members online

Latest posts

Latest posts

Top