Wintermoon wrote:Call me culturally insensitive if you will, but I don't see the moral difference between Minori blocking non-Japanese ip addresses from their website and a restaurant refusing to serve people because of their skin color.
I don't think it's a case of being culturally-insensitive, but I don't think they're necessarily the same at all, and it does everyone involved a disservice to assume that they are. In terms of something like racism and discrimination, the intent is the important thing. A restauranteur who turns a bunch of black guys away just because they're black
is being racist, and sure, that's not excusable. But a restauranteur who turns away a bunch of black guys because he's not open, because they're not wearing shirts or because he doesn't have any tables free this evening isn't doing anything wrong at all - he's not turning them away because
they're black, he's turning them away and coincidentally they're also black. If a bunch of aliens turned up and he's worried that he might feed them something that kills them and cause a major interplanetary incident, is that racism or self-preservation?
If Minori are intentionally trying to stop their products getting into the hands of Westerners - if they're closing their website to non-Japanese IP addresses because they think non-Japanese people are inferior
, and they're closing down translation projects because they don't want Americans playing their games
, then sure, it's no better than a restaurant not serving people because of their skin colour. But if they're telling the truth when they say that they'd be happy to entertain licensing and publication deals with Western companies if those companies would submit the games to the ESRB or other relevant ratings board, then this obviously isn't the case, and it's disingenuous and unconstructive to try and paint it like that. Do you believe that - if a caucasian went to Minori's hypothetical self-run shop and tried to a buy a VN, asking in perfect Japanese, they would automatically refuse the sale just because he's caucasian? Frankly, we hear this "Japanese people hate westerners and that's why they deny us their cool stuff" line over and over again, but lots of Japanese companies do
get into licensing and publication deals and sell their things to Westerners, so it's obviously not a barrier so often as people like to believe.
If there were an American company which had a website which they had to pay the bandwidth costs for, who sold products which they know only get shipped to American distributors due to demand, and they subsidise their site with advertisements aimed at Americans, would it be racist or no morally different from refusing restaurant service based on skin colour for that website to turn away people without American IP addresses? Their advertisers probably aren't going to pay them for impressions to people in Taiwan, no matter how funny or kitschy the Taiwanese think the video ads are, so the American company is losing money serving that website to Taiwanese people. Or Brits, or Germans, or Japanese. A small minority of those people might have a real interest in going out of their way to import the product, but in the end it's a negligible part of the company's revenue.
If Disney closed down an unofficial Japanese fan translation site, would anyone in the West assume it was just because they didn't like Japanese people and didn't want them to enjoy Disney movies?
I think you are seriously overvaluing your own attention. Internet fame is dirt cheap compared to the effort that goes into translating a visual novel.
Exactly. Maybe people start translation projects because they want to be recognised as doing something, and maybe some of them look down on people who don't speak Japanese themselves, but seriously, it's an amazingly convoluted and time-consuming length to go to just to annoy some Internet VN fans, it's hardly plausible.