What is considered offensive?

RobbySuaveRobbySuave Rising Star
edited October 2009 in The Rock Band Network
I know most 4 letter words are out, but would a word like "mothereffer" not be allowed in a song? I mean, it's not really a bad word. To me, it's almost like a bleep.

I've got a song of mine that has that exact word multiple times. Would it be allowed?

Comments

  • RobbySuaveRobbySuave Rising Star
    edited October 2009
    HMXMister_Game;3166955 said:
    We have an "Offensive Content" doc on the wiki, I'll see if we can't get it moved to the public page, but it probably won't happen soon.

    In the meantime, you should know that you need to

    1. Make a "radio friendly" edit of your song
    2. Make the song equivalent to an ESRB "T" rating
    3. Check out our DLC library for 800ish songs that define what we put into the game.
    So you're saying you couldn't have the word "mothereffer" in a song? I mean, that's what the song says, literally. How could I censor that? I figure it would be the same as if I was saying the real word, but then clipping out the "f*ck" part.

    Or would I have to censor the entire word? I'm confused. I wanted to do this song for Rock Band. It's just a catchy poppy type song. But if I would have to take out all instances of the entire "mothereffer" word, I think it would just be awkward sounding.

    I'm not complaining if that's how it is. I'd just like to know either way before I start working on it. I've got other songs I could do. I just wanted to do this one.
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Opening Act
    edited October 2009
    HMXMister_Game;3167009 said:
    With software development, the only thing you can count on is "It's done when it's done."
    Heh, yeah I'm a big fan of that theory myself, but it never seems to work for me. Please friend me and I'll send you my boss' phone number. Could you please explain it to him?

    ...he wants a completion date of a largish ground-up Mac app that I'm just beginning writing solo in addition to being head of IT.

    Thanks!
  • SwordofWhedonSwordofWhedon Opening Act
    edited October 2009
    I'm a big fan of the typical solution in Jeremy or Tenacious D songs of leaving a blank space to insert the appropriate word yourself.
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Opening Act
    edited October 2009
    SwordofWhedon;3167473 said:
    I'm a big fan of the typical solution in Jeremy or Tenacious D songs of leaving a blank space to insert the appropriate word yourself.
    And that's what HMX did in place of the rather tame three-letter slang term for breast in The Pixies' Number 13 Baby (i'm still a little surprised that one got edited given what we can hear in a pg-13 movie).

    Oh and "mothereffer" guy, it didn't seem like hmxmister_game was telling you that your particular case wouldn't pass necessarily. He seemed to be saying that generally speaking you have to have a radio friendly song that will pass a T rating, just like the docs say.
  • RobbySuaveRobbySuave Rising Star
    edited October 2009
    Yes, but would a song with the word "mothereffer" in it pass review? That's all I want to know.
  • DavyinaTogaDavyinaToga Road Warrior
    edited October 2009
    ethicalpaul;3167593 said:
    And that's what HMX did in place of the rather tame three-letter slang term for breast in The Pixies' Number 13 Baby (i'm still a little surprised that one got edited given what we can hear in a pg-13 movie).

    Oh and "mothereffer" guy, it didn't seem like hmxmister_game was telling you that your particular case wouldn't pass necessarily. He seemed to be saying that generally speaking you have to have a radio friendly song that will pass a T rating, just like the docs say.
    As a side note, I've heard that Tenacious D has alternate versions of their songs with gibberish substituting offensive words (why HMX didn't use those versions, I don't know but that's besides the point). If it's a work of your own, bladeblur, you could always re-record and change the word to something silly like "motherflipper," "Mother Hubbard" or "mallefurroh," like TenacD.
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Opening Act
    edited October 2009
    blueblur3000;3167763 said:
    Yes, but would a song with the word "mothereffer" in it pass review? That's all I want to know.
    We get that :)

    But I think the answer is that all any of us can do is give you general guidelines. Even when the actual document is available to us in the open beta I can guarantee there will not be a section that says "Appropriate use of the term 'Mothereffer' ".

    I'd say worst case is, if after reading the document when it's made available, you decide it should be ok, you submit it, and if it fails, then you can edit it out.

    Did you check out the Profanity thread?
  • RobbySuaveRobbySuave Rising Star
    edited October 2009
    I have checked out that thread before, yes.

    I just thought maybe a Harmonix person or someone behind-the-scenes would be able to give me a yes or no answer. As I said before, if I would have to completely censor the word, I'd rather not submit the song at all, because since that word is used a handful of times, I think it would take away too much from the song.
  • BathTubBathTub Road Warrior
    edited October 2009
    SwordofWhedon;3167473 said:
    I'm a big fan of the typical solution in Jeremy or Tenacious D songs of leaving a blank space to insert the appropriate word yourself.
    Actually Tenacious D recorded a radio version of Master Exploder with Freaking and Stuff, just for whatever reason HMX ended up using a censored cut of the Explicit version instead. It's all very strange.
  • SwordofWhedonSwordofWhedon Opening Act
    edited October 2009
    Actually Tenacious D recorded a radio version of Master Exploder with Freaking and Stuff, just for whatever reason HMX ended up using a censored cut of the Explicit version instead. It's all very strange
    I'd say it's preferable, because then the vocalist can insert the word themselves, Harmonix keeps their T and everyone is happy

    You play with the vocals turned off like a real man don't you? :)
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Opening Act
    edited October 2009
    blueblur3000;3167877 said:
    I have checked out that thread before, yes.

    I just thought maybe a Harmonix person or someone behind-the-scenes would be able to give me a yes or no answer. As I said before, if I would have to completely censor the word, I'd rather not submit the song at all, because since that word is used a handful of times, I think it would take away too much from the song.
    Ahh yeah. Well I would work on a different song at least until you get to view the Offensive Language Guidelines document (or whatever they are going to call it). Or maybe some hmx avatar will tell you directly, but it seems like they don't do that.

    Good luck, I'm interested in how it turns out.
  • Soror_YZBLSoror_YZBL Road Warrior
    edited October 2009
    blueblur3000;3166429 said:
    I know most 4 letter words are out, but would a word like "mothereffer" not be allowed in a song? I mean, it's not really a bad word. To me, it's almost like a bleep.

    I've got a song of mine that has that exact word multiple times. Would it be allowed?
    This may just be me being snarky, but I believe it shouldn't be allowed because it's really really just lame to say. Use the full word, and clip out the expletive. Mother effer is something you say when you're calling Chad and the Big Dogg (in the mor-NING) at your local radio station, trying to simultaneously win tickets to see Collective Soul and ***** about your next door neighbor's trampy daughter.
  • JamstruthJamstruth Opening Act
    edited October 2009
    HMXMister_Game;3167009 said:
    "It's done when it's done."
    Why does Duke Nukem Forever come to mind?
  • RobbySuaveRobbySuave Rising Star
    edited October 2009
    Soror_YZBL;3168557 said:
    This may just be me being snarky, but I believe it shouldn't be allowed because it's really really just lame to say. Use the full word, and clip out the expletive. Mother effer is something you say when you're calling Chad and the Big Dogg (in the mor-NING) at your local radio station, trying to simultaneously win tickets to see Collective Soul and ***** about your next door neighbor's trampy daughter.
    It's not lame. I don't say bad words. It's not like I'm censoring it to be cute; it's just how I talk.
  • davidshekdavidshek Community Playtester
    edited October 2009
    blueblur3000;3167877 said:
    I just thought maybe a Harmonix person or someone behind-the-scenes would be able to give me a yes or no answer. As I said before, if I would have to completely censor the word, I'd rather not submit the song at all, because since that word is used a handful of times, I think it would take away too much from the song.
    Yeah, we all get what you're trying to ask here, but people from HMX can't predict what the peer reviewers are going to do with your song. :)
    BathTub;3167921 said:
    Actually Tenacious D recorded a radio version of Master Exploder with Freaking and Stuff, just for whatever reason HMX ended up using a censored cut of the Explicit version instead. It's all very strange.
    HMX can only use the version they are given. Obviously they were given the "adult" version. :)
  • trg007trg007 Your Ever Rocking RBN Forum Guru
    edited October 2009
    blueblur3000;3167877 said:
    I have checked out that thread before, yes.

    I just thought maybe a Harmonix person or someone behind-the-scenes would be able to give me a yes or no answer. As I said before, if I would have to completely censor the word, I'd rather not submit the song at all, because since that word is used a handful of times, I think it would take away too much from the song.
    1. Nobody can answer this without hearing the actual song, because context plays a big role in censorship decisions.
    2. It's ultimately up to the peer reviewers to decide. You could try submitting the song as it is; if a reviewer finds it offensive, the song wouldn't be forever banished from the RBN - you'd just have to make the edit and re-submit.
    3. If it were up to me I'd just edit it as "mother [blank]" and leave it up to the player's imagination.
  • trg007trg007 Your Ever Rocking RBN Forum Guru
    edited October 2009
    blueblur3000;3167877 said:
    I have checked out that thread before, yes.

    I just thought maybe a Harmonix person or someone behind-the-scenes would be able to give me a yes or no answer. As I said before, if I would have to completely censor the word, I'd rather not submit the song at all, because since that word is used a handful of times, I think it would take away too much from the song.
    1. Nobody can answer this without hearing the actual song, because context plays a big role in censorship decisions.
    2. It's ultimately up to the peer reviewers to decide. You could try submitting the song as it is; if a reviewer finds it offensive, the song wouldn't be forever banished from the RBN - you'd just have to make the edit and re-submit.
    3. If it were up to me I'd just edit it as "mother [blank]" and leave it up to the player's imagination.
  • woodwindpizzawoodwindpizza Road Warrior
    edited October 2009
    blueblur3000;3166429 said:
    I know most 4 letter words are out, but would a word like "mothereffer" not be allowed in a song? I mean, it's not really a bad word. To me, it's almost like a bleep.

    I've got a song of mine that has that exact word multiple times. Would it be allowed?
    "Mothertrucker" is in She's Country by Jason Aldean. ;)
  • RobbySuaveRobbySuave Rising Star
    edited October 2009
    Really? Hm...I think "mothereffer" is a little more suggestive of the real word than "mothertrucker" though.
  • Alright_ComputerAlright_Computer Butt Neck
    edited October 2009
    I'd say it's fine since it's not the actual word and you should at least give it a shot. In the event that it fails peer review because of the language, you should go back and revise it, then try it again. I'm pretty sure euphemisms for words are acceptable, it's just when you actually use the word that it gets offensive.
  • RobbySuaveRobbySuave Rising Star
    edited October 2009
    I guess I don't get exactly how peer review works. Say 10 people review it. Out of those 10, 1 person thinks "mothereffer" is offensive. I would then have to change it? One person's opinion is enough?
  • trg007trg007 Your Ever Rocking RBN Forum Guru
    edited October 2009
    blueblur3000;3170487 said:
    I guess I don't get exactly how peer review works. Say 10 people review it. Out of those 10, 1 person thinks "mothereffer" is offensive. I would then have to change it? One person's opinion is enough?
    That's how it currently works. I'm not sure if that will change once everything is open to the public.

    I'm also not sure if there's a way to report someone who might be abusing the review system by using bogus reasons to fail a song (i.e., if there's NO abusive language at all but they just don't like the song, so they pick that reason).
  • HMXMister_GameHMXMister_Game Harmonix Developer
    edited October 2009
    trg007;3170734 said:

    I'm also not sure if there's a way to report someone who might be abusing the review system by using bogus reasons to fail a song (i.e., if there's NO abusive language at all but they just don't like the song, so they pick that reason).
    We have methods of tracking bogus reviews (either griefing someone by voting their song down, or passing content that otherwise should fail). People who abuse the system will be warned, then banned temporarily, then kicked out RBN with no refunds.
  • wrldindstries302wrldindstries302 Road Warrior
    edited October 2009
    ethicalpaul;3167593 said:
    And that's what HMX did in place of the rather tame three-letter slang term for breast in The Pixies' Number 13 Baby (i'm still a little surprised that one got edited given what we can hear in a pg-13 movie).

    Oh and "mothereffer" guy, it didn't seem like hmxmister_game was telling you that your particular case wouldn't pass necessarily. He seemed to be saying that generally speaking you have to have a radio friendly song that will pass a T rating, just like the docs say.
    You can also say the S-word, N-word, and F-word (in a non-sexual context) in pg-13 movies too. You can also say all of those things (except for the F-word) in T-rated games.

    Rock Band is different because they're asking you to say it.
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Opening Act
    edited October 2009
    Oh the T rating has different guidelines if the player has to say the word? I'm dubious.
  • kuiosiklekuiosikle Opening Act
    edited October 2009
    That could follow if it's true. I mean (good) parents attempt to keep their children away from foul language, with the fear that they might repeat it. These music games are literally asking you to repeat the words coming out of screen, and then reward you for doing so correctly.
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Opening Act
    edited October 2009
    Yes, if it were true I guess it would be true. But is it true? Here is the rating language:
    Titles rated T (Teen) have content that may be suitable for ages 13 and older. Titles in this category may contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling, and/or infrequent use of strong language.
    So apparently a single expletive should not disqualify a song from a T rating, which sounds good to me. I am working on a song with a single non-sexual F bomb in it, so I guess I should submit it as is?
  • socrstoprsocrstopr Opening Act
    edited October 2009
    ethicalpaul;3178421 said:
    So apparently a single expletive should not disqualify a song from a T rating, which sounds good to me. I am working on a song with a single non-sexual F bomb in it, so I guess I should submit it as is?
    I would call infrequent use once or twice per GAME, not per song. I can guarantee you will need to drop that out.
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Opening Act
    edited October 2009
    Yes, you would call "infrequent" one thing, others might call it another thing. It's why the game ratings are just as annoying as the movie ratings. No one wants to say something is not allowed and yet they want to make things be not allowed.

    I'm sure the RBN offensive language document will be helpful when it appears to us unwashed ones :)
  • trg007trg007 Your Ever Rocking RBN Forum Guru
    edited October 2009
    ethicalpaul;3178421 said:
    Yes, if it were true I guess it would be true. But is it true? Here is the rating language:



    So apparently a single expletive should not disqualify a song from a T rating, which sounds good to me. I am working on a song with a single non-sexual F bomb in it, so I guess I should submit it as is?
    RBN content isn't dictated by the ESRB's Teen rating; that's just the example Harmonix has given as a guideline. Just because something is allowed in a T-rated video game does not necessarily mean it will be allowed in a song. The offensive content page (the one that's not yet viewable by everyone) specifically states that the F-word is not allowed.
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