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VTubers Race to See Who Can Get Banned First — by Streaming Porn on ‘Splatoon 3’

Splatoon 3 promo image. Image: Nintendo. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aiuIZN0KDFQ

Not only is Splatoon a very creative game and standout among first/third person shooter games, but so are many of its players. However, a group of Japanese VTubers (streamers and content creators that use digital avatars rather than show their faces) recently tested the limits of creativity and this game when they decided to use the paint in the game as a mechanism to stream pornography. Now all the accounts of this group, Shinso-gumi, find themselves without YouTube channels and possibly legal action with Nintendo.

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So how did they do it? First, you need to know how Splatoon works and what game mode they were in (on Splatoon 3). In Splatoon, players use brightly colored squid and octopus ink as ammo against opponents. In the particular game mode they were playing, Turf War, the main objective is to cover as much of the map’s surface area with your color ink. Normally in video capture, chroma keys are green or blue (think green screens), but they can be set to other colors. Members of Shinso-gumi set their chroma key on their streaming software (likely OBS) to match the enemies’ ink.

The first tweets found online about the, erm, creative undertaking come from @Kikaze_Kimiko. They announced this as a tournament to see who could avoid being banned on YouTube the longest. These Splatoon 3 players knew they were getting into deep trouble when they began this. Automation Media reported that the problem arose when “AVスプラ” (a.k.a. “AV Splatoon” or Adult Video Splatoon) became the trending topic on Japanese Twitter. One of the accounts (Shigure Mito) got taken down midstream, and many more followed.

(if removed from Twitter)

My initial reaction (and still is to a degree) is to laugh this off because it’s pretty creative, and the bans were warranted. However, I completely understand and agree with the criticism that this was a game very much oriented for kids, and it should have been done in a way to mitigate children from accidentally finding the content. It doesn’t have to be foolproof, but there’s not enough evidence to say they took any precaution at all.

Nintendo Has Thoughts

For those unaware, Nintendo is very protective of its brand and property. Back when I got super into gaming content on YouTube about a decade ago, there was a copyright strike issue between Nintendo and creators online every other month. So, needless to say, they were not a fan of this pornography project. In a tweet that looks to be a reaction to this, they linked their copyright guidelines. Google translated this tweet thread, which read:

Notice from Public Relations Please see the guidelines below regarding the use of our copyrighted works on network services such as YouTube. Use that violates public order and morals, acts that intentionally mislead the rules of the game, acts that significantly damage the value of the game or characters and the world, and acts that encourage or take advantage of them will be deleted or legally enforced. We may take measures, including measures. Please be careful.

Because of Japanese (and American media’s) attitudes towards pornography, even if this wasn’t Nintendo this is an expected response. @Kikaze_Kimiko apologized in a now-terminated YouTube account (citing “multiple or severe violations of YouTube’s policy on nudity or sexual content.”) Kotaku reported that this apology came in the form of a blow-up dinosaur. However, their October 11 Twitter apology is still up.

(via penguinz0 a.k.a. MoistCr1TiKaL a.k.a. Charles, featured image: Nintendo)

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Author

Alyssa Shotwell
(she/her) Award-winning artist and writer with professional experience and education in graphic design, art history, and museum studies. She began her career in journalism in October 2017 when she joined her student newspaper as the Online Editor. This resident of the yeeHaw land spends most of her time drawing, reading and playing the same handful of video games—even as the playtime on Steam reaches the quadruple digits. Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 & Oxygen Not Included.

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