The Petscop videos employ censorship on a number of occasions. When an object or words are censored, a black box appears on the screen, obscuring that object or words from the viewer. Four of these censored objects are referred to as Caskets in Petscop 20, and gives a description from Rainer for each one of them. These censors are not part of the game itself, but rather are edited into the videos after each recording, presumably by the Family. The purpose of the censorship is not clear. Most current theories suggest that censors contain personal information related to the main characters, as the censor in Petscop 16 is known to be a phone number. Rainer's description suggests that viewing a Casket has an affect on the player, as he says "Anybody who sees them is sure to become part of the family".
When these are done, they will be great.
Anybody who sees them is sure to become part of the family.
When describing Casket 3, Rainer mentions a list of objects that was created by Anna, Marvin's wife: "That Saturday, busy with work, she pinned a note. It contained a list of objects."
The first appearance of censored objects on the channel is seen in Petscop 7 (see Casket 1 below). The last frame of the video contains a message from the video editor, presumably the Proprietors, summarizing the censored items:
We've had to cover something with a black box.
Right now we can't say why.
Some other things we're expecting to "censor" in the future:
- "A big present with a sticker on it"
- "Something on a wall, in a black house"
- "Written on a chalkboard"
The reason why the listed items are in quotation marks is not certain, but may be direct quotes taken from Anna's note.
List of Censors
The Family's list of censors is found in Petscop 7, Rainer's summary of censors are found in Petscop 20, and censors themselves can be found in Petscop 7, 9, 10, 14, 16, 22 and 23.
This censor is seen in Petscop 7. Rainer's description goes as follows:
This one is called “Casket 1”.
You showed Care her red, blurry reflection in a vase.
You said, “Do you see that? Look at how ugly you are now.”
Care squinted her eyes.
The reflection wasn’t clear at all, but as you began to describe her grisly deformities, she began to “see” them.
“Nobody wants to see you like this,” you said.
But she soon escaped, and bravely returned home.
In her bathroom mirror, she saw a clear picture.
In Petscop 7, this was accessed when Paul enters a face combination in the Child Library that is Care’s face with Mike’s eyebrows. On the table in the next room, there is a censored object. Paul's immediate reaction is to remark "I don't know, maybe that's just something that it puts in any room." And ends the video shortly after that. Close analysis suggested a single red pixel peaked out from underneath the censor box.
The picture shown in Petscop 20 shows a red flower vase, laying on its side, containing a yellow flower.
This censor is seen in Petscop 9, and most likely corresponds to "A big present with a sticker on it" from the Family' list. Rainer's description goes as follows:
This one is called “Casket 2”.
As I painted, I watched Care dance around the house.
She liked to spin. She became a blur.
But in that blur, somehow, as she spun around...
From 45 degrees, to 90, to 180, to 360, to 720, 1080, 1440, 1800, 2160, winding, tightening, tightening
I was stunned by pure horror and disgust.
In Petscop 9, Paul enters the Party room which is accessed behind Windmill Girl's room in the Child Library. What appears to be a red, upside-down, spinning pyramid emerges from a present box with an illegible label, but is otherwise censored. Paul's immediate reaction is to say "what the fuck", and purposefully avoids seeing the present again for the rest of the scene.
The image in Petscop 20 shows an upside-down red pyramid, whose core vaguely resembles Care's head. It should be noted that the concept of spinning girls appears multiple times in Petscop: The Windmill Girl is shown slowly rotating within the Windmill in Petscop 9. In Petscop 19, Care's recording shows the Guardian spinning around in a circle, ignoring Randice's puzzle. In Petscop 21, Care's recording shows the Guardian again spinning in circles, dancing around the signs in Even Care. In Petscop 23, Paul spins around to show Marvin what room he is in.
This censor is seen in Petscop 14, and most likely corresponds to "Something on a wall, in a black house" from the Family's list. Rainer's description goes as follows:
This one is called “Casket 3”.
After kicking you out of the house, your wife started painting the walls black, to cover the stencils.
I helped. She made it feel urgent.
That Saturday, busy with work, she pinned a note.
It contained a list of objects.
In Petscop 14, Paul accesses Marvin's bedroom, where one wall on the far right side has a censored object on it. Paul's immediate reaction to it is "On the right side there’s a windmill. On the left side there’s something... that Marvin does not bother to look at". Paul was only able to access Marvin's room using a Demo recording, so at this point he may not have directly seen the censor himself. Later on in the video, Paul pushes a Bucket into the bedroom, and uses a paint roller to cover over the censor in black paint.
In Petscop 20, this object shows a miniature panorama of Marvin's room. On the wall there is the outline of two red hands, in similar position to the hands on Care NLM.
This censor is seen in Petscop 23, and most likely corresponds to "Written on a chalkboard" from the Family' list. Rainer's description goes as follows:
This one is called “Casket 4”.
Five words, written on a chalkboard, in the dirty building that you inhabit.
In Petscop 23, the classroom on the third floor has a chalkboard with illegible red text on the bottom left, which is censored whenever the player gets closer to it. As Petscop 23 is only shown as a Demo Recording, there is no verbal commentary from Paul during the entire sequence, assuming that the player is Paul at this point. In either case, the player in Petscop 23 makes no reaction or commentary on this censored object whatsoever.
The image in Petscop 20 shows a chalkboard with five, illegible words in pink letters, exactly in the same arrangement as in Petscop 23. This may be a reference to the non-canonical story Tapers, which was also written by Tony Domenico. In that story, Care sees a chalkboard in the School with various random words scribbled on it, of which only five are legible: "another", "begin", "add, "for", and "Supe". It is also worth noting that the phrase "Do you remember being born?" has five words in it, which appears several times throughout the series (most prominently in the Quitter room and the Original Soundtrack). However, this phrase isn't censored at any other point that it appears.
In Petscop 16, the burn-in monitor alert gives the following statement:
Family, neighbors, police, (or whoever,)
KEEP GAME CONSOLE RUNNING,
call provided phone number
The phone number directly under this message is covered in a censor. However, at one point the censor disappears prematurely, revealing the first three digits of the phone number are 203. This area code corresponds to most of the state of Connecticut.
In Petscop 10, Paul asks the red TOOL "where was the windmill?" and the answer is censored. Paul has no reaction to this, and the video immediately ends. Some experimentation suggested that the answer could not have been very long, or else would have broken the censor.
In Petscop 22, this same censor appears again from the same question being posed to the red TOOL. This time, Paul calls his friend and has a prolonged discussion about this message and what it could mean. From this conversation, Paul reveals that the censor gives geographical coordinates for the location of the Windmill, or more specifically where the Windmill used to be before it disappeared. No part of these coordinates are revealed, except that it contains "2" as a digit. The satellite image at these coordinates reveals a large "stone", possibly similar to the platform in Petscop 4. Paul also mentions there is a second set of numbers below the coordinates, but the meaning behind these numbers are never explained.