Recently video games have taken a bit of a bashing from the Australian classification board preventing certain games being released down under. The latest games to be refused classification are Undead Labs State of Decay and Deep Silvers Saints Row IV.
State of Decay was released a few weeks ago and has since been unavailable in Australia due to the Australia Classification Board putting a hold on the release until a few things were checked over. It’s finally came back with a huge red “DENIED” stamp on its fore head due to what the classification board deems as “illicit or proscribed drug use”.
The games decision report reads:
The game contains the option of self-administering a variety of “medication throughout gameplay which act to restore a player’s health or boost their stamina. These medications include both legal and illicit substances such as methadone, morphine, amphetamines, stimulants, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, codeine, aspirin, “trucker pills,” painkillers and tussin. Of these, methadone, morphine, and amphetamines are proscribed drugs and the term “stimulant” is commonly used to refer to a class of drugs of which several are proscribed.
The team at Undead Labs are currently working with Microsoft to change the names of some of the items used to regain health in the game in order to comply but for now Australians will have to put up with what may be one of the best XBLA games out right now.
Most people know of Saints Row thanks to one particular choice of weapon and no I don’t mean the Dubstep Gun, I’m talking about the games use of large purple dildo’s as weapons. Well it seems that the Australian Classification Board has taken a look at one particular weapon available in the game, the “Alien Anal Probe”. Part of Saints Row IV’s report reads
The game includes a weapon referred to by the Applicant as an “Alien Anal Probe”. The Applicant states that this weapon can be “shoved into enemy’s backsides”. The lower half of the weapon resembles a sword hilt and the upper part contains prong-like appendages which circle around what appears to be a large dildo which runs down the centre of the weapon. When using this weapon the player approaches a (clothed) victim from behind and thrusts the weapon between the victim’s legs and then lifts them off the ground before pulling a trigger which launches the victim into the air. After the probe has been implicitly inserted into the victim’s anus the area around their buttocks becomes pixelated highlighting that the aim of the weapon is to penetrate the victim’s anus. The weapon can be used during gameplay on enemy characters or civilians.
In the Board’s opinion, a weapon designed to penetrate the anus of enemy characters and civilians constitutes a visual depiction of implied sexual violence that is interactive and not justified by context and as such the game should be Refused Classification.
The board also point out certain drug-related uses
The game contains an optional mission which involves the player obtaining and smoking drugs referred to as “alien narcotics”. Smoking the “alien narcotics” equips the player with “superpowers” which increase their in-game abilities allowing them to progress through the mission more easily.
Deep Silver has since issued a response to the games classification denial which reads “Volition, the developer, are reworking some of the code to create a version of the game for this territory by removing the content which could cause offence without reducing the outlandish gameplay that Saints Row fans know and love.”.
All though Saints Row IV is known for it’s tongue-in-cheek and “outlandish” gameplay does that really mean that we need to turn a blind eye to what is essentially a rape gun which promotes the use of sexual violence in such an open way?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!