Itagaki maintains censorship sympathies
Speaking to Kikizo as part of a new interview, Team Ninja boss Tomonobu Itagaki has stated that he admires the job done by organisations like PEGI and the ESRB, as they work to classify what content is unsuitable in videogames. He describes the task as a difficult one, and says he doesn't feel censored by such bodies.
"First of all," Itagaki told the website, when questioned about the recent Manhunt 2 furore, "it's very difficult to classify what people find offensive or what people find to be too violent only in words - in rules and regulations."
"The second point is, that being said, I don't believe the adage that the artist should be able to express whatever he wants is necessarily applicable in this case, because we're creating entertainment. And entertainment shouldn't include things that make people feel uncomfortable or extremely upset."
He added that he believes it is good that organisations are trying to understand the complex issues surrounding violence and other adult content in games, and that it is a good thing for the industry. Perspective also seems important, Itagaki raising the subject of decapitation - something of a taboo in the west. "But say from a Japanese perspective, when you decapitate someone you're killing them instantly. So from a Japanese perspective, with the sword, when you decapitate somebody you're basically giving them a very quick and easy death."
While Itagaki appears to have some sympathy for the BBFC and friends, then, Rockstar might disagree - the publisher recently criticising such bodies for hindering artistic expression. More on the designer's thoughts can be found in the interview.