Saturday, December 27, 2008

Left 4 Dead is Right 4 Censors

Apparently the cover art for a video game titled Left 4 Dead has been censored outside of the United States. Left 4 Dead is a survival horror first-person shooter that follows the story of four survivors of an apocalyptic pandemic. In other words, the Left 4 Dead game borrows heavily from George Romero’s classic film, Night of the Living Dead.

The United States cover depicts the hand of a zombie (victim?) reaching up-- the thumb having been bitten off. Apparently censors in Europe and Japan observed the cover art-- the missing thumb-- as “too grotesque for the general public.” Needless to say, the thumb has been returned on cover art for the European and Japanese version of Left 4 Dead.

So why am I mentioning this on a blog dedicated to art? First, cover art for a video game is art-- depending on who you ask. Second, I find it interesting when cover art is censored-- especially outside of the United States. The US often has a bad reputation for censorship. So it is interesting that this cover art has been censored elsewhere.

Consider this an open debate about art and censorship.

Take care, Stay true,

Brian Sherwin
Senior Editor

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good point. I have friends in Germany who think that we in the US are a bunch of prudes. It is ironic that Germany is one of the countries that has banned the original cover for this game. We view imagery on the news that is more violent.