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Bigotry and Transphobia in Policenauts 
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Post Bigotry and Transphobia in Policenauts
Spoiler:


Last edited by Reicifr on Sun Jul 06, 2014 1:24 am, edited 2 times in total.



Sun Sep 01, 2013 9:50 pm
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Post Re: Bigotry and Transphobia in Policenauts
I seriously doubt you will get something less "troubling" in the original text. Marc did a fantastic job on the translation/localization and tried to keep everything as accurate as possible.

Besides, Jonathan Ingram is an offensive guy, that's just the kind of character he is.

EDIT: I notice Slow Beef commented on this via twitter,
https://twitter.com/slowbeef/status/374406633629048832
https://twitter.com/slowbeef/status/374406486002114560

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Mon Sep 02, 2013 11:07 am
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Post Re: Bigotry and Transphobia in Policenauts
I have a transgender friend, know how much stuff like this is out there and how alienating it makes the media when found.

We always targeted a translation as close to the original as possible, and I am sure Marc will give you the details when he reads the post.

Welcome to the forums though, we are a small community and not a very active one, but we are constant.

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Mon Sep 02, 2013 11:59 am
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Post Re: Bigotry and Transphobia in Policenauts
best name ever wrote:
I seriously doubt you will get something less "troubling" in the original text.


It's....kind of weird that you put quotes around "troubling" here. What's the implication?


Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:12 pm
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Post Re: Bigotry and Transphobia in Policenauts
Hi Reicifr,

Just wanted to let you know I've started typing up a response to your questions, but it's going to have to wait until tomorrow. Was simply too busy today to finish it.


Mon Sep 02, 2013 9:47 pm
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Post Re: Bigotry and Transphobia in Policenauts
Kusano wrote:
It's....kind of weird that you put quotes around "troubling" here. What's the implication?

Reicifr described it as "troubling", I was simply quoting him.

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Mon Sep 02, 2013 9:58 pm
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Post Re: Bigotry and Transphobia in Policenauts
Spoiler:


Last edited by Reicifr on Sun Jul 06, 2014 1:26 am, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:38 pm
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Post Re: Bigotry and Transphobia in Policenauts
Reicifr wrote:
because this should be obviously bigoted and transphobic to anyone who sees it ... Calling a transsexual a transvestite is a form of hate speech


I don't think this was the prevailing attitude at all in 1993/4 Japan when the line was written and experienced by the initial audience.

Much as I respect Kojima, I think these lines are simply attempting to portray how 'base' and fallen Old LA is and set it up as a sleazy, seedy hellhole(in contrast to the later clean and 'higher' environment of Beyond) and the strip club is something the author felt the audience would intuitively accept as representative of that. By today's Western standards, using transgender issues in this kind of role is obviously taboo and would cause a controversy if it were in a modern Western game, as would the game's attitude to women, for that matter. The audience has changed so now the game comes across very differently to how it may have to the intended audience.

In Snatcher, I always thought that Gillian's interaction with the pot-smoking kid(as he is clearly an cipher for) is very much at odds at modern Western thoughts on marijuana legalisation and the drug war and so on- Gillian comes off as very over-zealous and unnecessarily brutal to a modern audience. Again I don't think that character interaction is meant to be subtle or making a point about Neo-Kobe city's culture, it's just an artifact of the age the game was produced in. At the end of the day, it's art and it is reflective of the time and culture it was made in. The audience is also biased by the time and the culture that they are living in.

A good analysis of Policenauts has to be aware of that, I feel, as there are certainly parts of the game that are very jarring to us now in their content and tone. I think the translation team did an excellent job presenting the game's tone as it was intended at the time of the release, so it's up to us as the audience to decide how we feel about it, and not judge the creator for failing to live up to the standards of an audience 20 years in the future halfway across the world.


Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:11 am
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Post Re: Bigotry and Transphobia in Policenauts
Spoiler:
[spoiler]
[/spoiler]


Last edited by Reicifr on Sun Jul 06, 2014 1:25 am, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:08 am
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Post Re: Bigotry and Transphobia in Policenauts
What do you want me to say?


Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:12 pm
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Post Re: Bigotry and Transphobia in Policenauts
Spoiler:


Last edited by Reicifr on Sun Jul 06, 2014 1:26 am, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:37 pm
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Post Re: Bigotry and Transphobia in Policenauts
You seem kind of unstable and to be honest I am afraid to continue talking with you, even though I would like to and I feel you completely misinterpreted my post. So I'm shutting up.


Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:49 pm
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Post Re: Bigotry and Transphobia in Policenauts
We are experiencing the game through Jonathan. Jonathan isn't the most politicaly correct character. What we see in the game is Jonathan's view on "Biovestites" and not necessarily the company, writers or translators view. I am not anti-lbqt, racist, and so on if I write a charater that is.

Your question is still vaild if this choice of words was the translators view or not. Judging the answers it appears that is not the case(in my eyes atleast). Is this the view of the writers then? I'd say probably no. You mentioned looking at cleaveges, upskirt and underwear on female charaters. However in the same game we have two guys living together and rasing a child. Then there is the date with Kaz in peace walker and the tape with Paz describing Snake and Kaz fighting naked in the shower. Most charaters in the Metal Gear universe seems to be bi- or homosexual. From this I'm going to assume the writers is ok with alternative sexualities and lifestyles.

That said I look forward to Marc's reply and see his thoughts why he made the decision to translate it like this.

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Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:00 pm
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Post Re: Bigotry and Transphobia in Policenauts
Tasukete~ kudasai~.


Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:01 pm
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Post Re: Bigotry and Transphobia in Policenauts
LambertAdams wrote:
You seem kind of unstable


Yo this is uncalled for, and you should apologize.


Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:15 pm
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Post Re: Bigotry and Transphobia in Policenauts
Spoiler:


Last edited by Reicifr on Sun Jul 06, 2014 1:27 am, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:21 pm
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Post Re: Bigotry and Transphobia in Policenauts
Reicifr wrote:
Tasukete~ kudasai~.

...
...
Mi no comprende, Ingles por favor?

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Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:03 pm
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Post Re: Bigotry and Transphobia in Policenauts
Buena pregunta.
Significa "en peligro / ayúdame".

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Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:19 pm
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Post Re: Bigotry and Transphobia in Policenauts
Reicifr wrote:
Okay, so I've been personally attacked and called unstable by a guy who apparently accuses me of personal attacks. And I should be feared? Maybe it's because I argue well! I think I do, at least in comparison. ; D

Some people don't know how to argue and sticks to ad hominem when it gets rough.

Reicifr wrote:
You're really gonna go this route? The ventriloquist didn't say it; his puppet did. Jonathan is not a person; he is a fictional character written by Hideo Kojima. You can write prejudiced characters, yes, but when most of the characters in your games have the same troubling views that crop up now and again, it becomes suspect.

I agree that is becomes suspect. However one could still create a world where most characters have a certain prejudice towards a certain type of people without having the same prejudice.

Reicifr wrote:
I never asked if it was the translators' view. Honestly, whether it's the view of the writer isn't important; this stuff will be around forever, and the writer won't.

No you didn't, but sometimes translators make stuff up that have nothing to do with the source material. The view of the writes is important though. Because then you know exactly what kind of message they want to convey with their story.

Reicifr wrote:
The juxtaposition of the first sentence with the rest is completely nonsensical, sorry.

Yes and no. It's diffrent between showing a cleavage right up in your face and imply that a character is gay. What I was trying to say is that saying a game is sexist because it shows cleavage without looking into the characters and story is like jugding a book by it's cover. You are obviously not that kind of person though seeing as you played these games anyway. Cleavage or not. However the cleavage is there to appeal to these games biggest auidience, straight men.

Reicifr wrote:
Anyway, this thread is getting deeply upsetting pretty quickly, so once I hear what Marc says about the translation, I'm outta here.

Thanks to the people that were decent to me.

What a shame. I was hoping to learn something.

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Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:28 pm
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Post Re: Bigotry and Transphobia in Policenauts
Most cringeworthy topic on the forums so far.

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Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:55 pm
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Post Re: Bigotry and Transphobia in Policenauts
Before I begin, let's just remember that one of the very few rules of the forum is to respect others. And there is nothing wrong with raising any issue for discussion, with the exception of piracy.

Okay, so I was the translator for the project.

Regarding the "biovestite" line, the word that Kojima used was バイオハーフ (bio half), which was almost certainly inspired by the Japanese word ニューハーフ (new half). In Japanese, "half" was commonly used when referring to individuals who are half Japanese, half another ethnicity. So one would say so-and-so is a Japanese-American "half." It's similar to saying one is "half Japanese, half American." Since the game was released, it has generally come into view that the term has a discriminatory tone ("half a person"), and alternatives like "mixed" are preferred. Japanese has a tendency of taking English words and re-purposing them (wasei-eigo), often with totally different meanings from the original words. Japanese people do not realize these terms are sometimes offensive in English. The more globally conscious ones will, but not all. In time, awareness may increase, as it did with "half."

The term "new half" came about in the 80s. It's not clear who coined it, but it caught on when a pre-op transsexual, Rumiko Matsubara, entered a female modeling competition and won, later revealing she had been born a man. Therefore, a "new half" is a person who is, well, a new kind of "half." As derogatory as that term may sound to a native English speaker, again, this is wasei-eigo.

With that background, please bear in mind that I translated Policenauts in 2005, so I am trying my best to remember how I approached this scene. I couldn't confer with Kojima, so I all I had to go on was what is in the game, and for whatever reason, I went with "biovestite." I can't remember if I had a specific justification for it in my mind. I can tell you that at the time the game was written ('89/'90), "new half" was generally used to refer to a man, pre-/non-op, with a female appearance who worked in the sex trade.

So maybe a better choice would have been "transgeneder," being that these women are transgenders who have undergone gene therapy? (What would you consider appropriate?) But yes, as you point out, the bar is located next to a VR child porn dealer in a run-down part of L.A., so one has to draw one's own conclusions from that. I would imagine that in the game world, it is likely a shunned establishment. At least that's how I've always interpreted it.

I cannot comment on Kojima's intent, but bigotry was not mine. In my case, you could put it down to being younger and inexperienced. Policenauts was the first translation project I ever did. Apart from AP English classes in high school, it was the first writing I ever did. Would I change this translation today? Yes, because when I look at it now, "transgeneder" immediately pops out at me as the right way to go. It's simply the most accurate way of putting it, and the two words, transgender and gene, fit together nicely. But I stand by >99% of the game's text. The only other parts I would change are the two (three?) instances of internet slang. I inserted those as a way of hinting at how language has evolved over the decades between now and 2040, similar to the migration of "man" out of hippie slang. Naive, I know. In hindsight, it was unfair to expect players to make that interpretation. Again, that was inexperience.

The "so-called women," however, that was not explicitly in the original Japanese. I added that because I saw it as appropriate, given Jonathan's extreme character (verbally and physically harassing nearly every woman he meets), my interpretation of "bio half" and the strip bar, and, as you point out, this nostalgia we see throughout the game. I couldn't imagine Jonathan not saying that in that situation, considering those three factors. So I am fully responsible for that line. But I don't consider it as going against the spirit of the game any more than the addition of the phone sex line conversation to the Sega CD version of Snatcher goes against its. It's just that Snatcher has a more playful tone, whereas Policenauts' is more 意地悪 (ijiwaru, "mean").


Last edited by Marc on Thu Sep 05, 2013 11:51 am, edited 2 times in total.



Tue Sep 03, 2013 6:51 pm
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Post Re: Bigotry and Transphobia in Policenauts
Reicifr wrote:
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Damn... I consider Policenauts to be one of, if not, my favorite game and yet I didn't even know this little monologue existed.

AwesomeBrand wrote:
Mi no comprende, Ingles por favor?

Esto debería ser "No comprendo, Inglés por favor?"

best name ever wrote:
Buena pregunta.
Significa "en peligro / ayúdame".

Buena respuesta.

Dezu wrote:
Most cringeworthy topic on the forums so far.

This thread was a pretty bad read, aside from Marc's post. I always love reading about instances like that in a work. Chalk it up to wanting to know everything I possibly can, but I just find even the most insignificant stories about the development of a product I've enjoyed fascinating.

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Sat Dec 07, 2013 12:17 am
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Post Re: Bigotry and Transphobia in Policenauts
GirianSeed573 wrote:
AwesomeBrand wrote:
Mi no comprende, Ingles por favor?

Esto debería ser "No comprendo, Inglés por favor?"

best name ever wrote:
Buena pregunta.
Significa "en peligro / ayúdame".

Buena respuesta.


I can assume that there is a correction so I will iterate it then. "No Comprendo, Ingles por favor?"

Marc wrote:
...when I look at it now, "transgeneder" immediately pops out at me as the right way to go.

v1.1 Here we come~!

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Sat Dec 07, 2013 3:46 am
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Post Re: Bigotry and Transphobia in Policenauts
Just noticed that my message in this thread was deleted. Well, boo-hoo-hoo for me.

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Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:35 pm
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Post Re: Bigotry and Transphobia in Policenauts
I wouldn't be too worried, it's only a video game.


Sun Dec 29, 2013 9:13 am
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