Operation Torrential Downpour Suggestions

For those not in the know, the original thread is here. Operation Torrential Downpour is a response to the news that the Western release of Fire Emblem If/Fire Emblem Fates may be censored. Recent confirmation by Nintendo’s PR that FE Fates’ headpatting minigame will be removed did not help matters.

Currently, there are several other operations trying to reach out to developers and publishers to show that Western gamers do not want censored localisations.

I’d like to give constructive criticism and throw out ideas based on my observations so far. Pardon the tl;dr and ‘ideas person’ schtick.

1.) Organisation

The reason that Operation Torrential Downpour and other ops about video game localisation aren’t getting much traction despite the uproar with Fire Emblem Fates is because everyone’s efforts are too scattered/decentralised.

So far I saw a new account on Twitter whose purpose is to ask NoA to uncensor FE Fates. On KotakuInAction there’s Operation They Don’t Speak for Us and Operation No Gaming Censorship. The original poster for Operation No Gaming Censorship said in an earlier thread they aren’t experienced with chan boards and asked someone to post their stuff on 8chan and to post 8chan suggestions on KiA. Their newest thread then got taken off KiA’s front page so that Brad Glasgow’s GG survey could temporarily take its place.

This is all very inefficient. Based on Operation Rainfall, it might be a better idea to create a unique website in order to merge all these operations together and be more well organized. I already saw suggestions to merge. At least try to rally under the same banner/name so that more people on various platforms (Reddit, Twitter, 8chan etc.) might realise that this is A Thing.

If Operation Rainfall was a fan campaign to get games localised, perhaps Operation Downpour can be a fan campaign to get games localised well.

2.) Emails, Mails and Messages

When people say they’re cancelling their preorders or boycotting etc. over bad localisations, are they also COMMUNICATING TO THE COMPANIES INVOLVED about WHY they’re doing this?

Things like > > > > > This < < < < <

and > > > > > This < < < < <

is probably THE most important and effective method because you’re showing that their poor localisations and censorship is alienating customers and hitting their bottom line.

Best to whip up a step-to-step guide ala Operation Disrespectful Nod with contact information, example messages and everything. The easier and more convenient something is the more likely people will do it.

There is a contact list here and I don’t know how many people are aware of it due to the current problem of poor organisation.

As a sister operation, it would be a good idea to repurpose Operation Rebuild/Rebuild Initiative to send mails to anti-censorship localisers like XSEED and IFI saying you’re supporting them BECAUSE of their anti-censorship stance and to stand firm against outrage over controversial content. Prove you’re a customer or became a customer by posting receipts, pictures, screenshots etc. as evidence. Connect with them, thank them and show them they have your support.

3.) Digging

People should do their own research, compile their own digs and make a master list. Think of it as part of being an educated consumer.

A DeepFreeze-esque database to keep track of localisation changes and censorship sounds amazing, but it will require a lot of effort and know-how. I highly doubt a site like that will appear anytime soon, so in the meantime educate yourself on the games you’ve enjoyed or are interested in, then share it with the class.

Refer to BoogiepopRobin’s guide to digging here: http://pastebin.com/rLaHep51

Regarding advice specific to localisation digging, acquainting yourself with how localisation works and the mindsets involved is useful. You’ll find out that sometimes things aren’t as clear-cut as it seems.

For example, dukope/Lucas Pope wrote two detailed posts on how Papers, Please was localised. Part Two goes into the challenges of translation itself.

In interviews, localisers might admit to changing things and even wholesale rewriting.

Additionally, perhaps we could set up a list of localisers and publishers to dig and compile information on ala Operation Shills in a Barrel.

I hear people grumbling about Ghostlight or NISA or whoever ruining games but I have no concrete idea what happened. With a list it might be easier for people to tackle whichever ones they know about and work in groups.

4.) Infographs

Convert digs into a more palatable form to educate others with by summarizing it in infographs. This can motivate people to get involved with the campaign.

Speaking as a casual who hasn’t been gaming recently, what pushed me over the edge is discovering that localisers were mistreating paying customers who were unhappy about their censored or bad localisations. Games getting censored after explicit promises that it wouldn’t happen is also bad PR, such as with Blade and Soul and Xenoblade X.

Spread that information, but make sure you really have the facts straight with hard proof so you aren’t just smearing companies. Don’t end up resembling a game ‘journalist’ spreading outrage and lies about gay conversions. Archive everything and always source the claims on your infographs.

The catch is getting the point across might be hard because case studies like Blade and Soul may require loads of background knowledge and explanation, so it may take quite a bit of effort to make succinct, well-designed infographs that aren’t just massive walls of text. It’s definitely possible to make a good summary for complicated events, like GG Explained in Five Minutes.

Alternatively, make a not so text-heavy or minimalist infograph and slap a link to an article explaining the situation with hard evidence, such as OneAngryGamer’s pieces on Blade and Soul’s censorship. Maybe tag it with #OPDownpour or links to specific OPs:

A rough example I made from editing the original

You can also use infographs to promote localisers and publishers you like.

This is all the suggestions I have so far. I would like to thank everyone for the feedback and encouragement.

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