Games Censorship: P


 

 

 

 

Paranautical Activity

Developed by Code Avarice / 2013 / MobyGames

In January 2016, PARANAUTICAL ACTIVITY was banned by the Classification Board. The applicant was Digerati Distribution.

The Board's database gave the following reason for the RC-rating.

Games 1(a) The computer game is classified RC in accordance with the National Classification Code, Computer Games Table, 1. (a) as computer games that "depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be classified."

 

 

Australia Just Banned The Game Made By The Dev Who Threatened Gabe Newell
kotaku.com.au, January 6, 2016

Digerati told me via email that they would "look at removing the ‘offending item'" to comply with the Classification Board’s requirements. “The reason they gave was 'illicit or proscribed drug use related to incentives and rewards' – the prescribed drug in game is Adderall and picking up the item gives you a 15% speed increase," Digerati’s Nick Alferi said.

 

Adderall
paranautical-activity.wikia.com
An item found in Gift Shops and Mini-Boss Rooms.
Increases the player's speed by 1.15 the player's movement speed.
Adderall is a drug that stimulates the part of the brain that causes hyperactivity.

 

Paranautical Activity (2013) - Digerati Distribution [usa] Adderall drug


 

 


 

 

PC Foreplay

Developed by Interactive Girls Club / 1994

In July 1996, a 3.5" disc containing PC FOREPLAY and ADULT FILM CAMERAMAN was banned by the OFLC. The Victorian Police were the applicant.


 

 

 

 

Peepshow 2: The Girlie Game

aka The Girlie Game

Developed by Romantics / 199?

In April 1997, a CD-ROM of PEEPSHOW 2: THE GIRLIE GAME was banned by the OFLC. The NSW Police were the applicant.


 

 

 

 

Phantasmagoria

Developed by Sierra On-Line / 1995 / MobyGames

In August 1995, a beta version of PHANTASMAGORIA was banned by the OFLC. The full commercial version was Refused Classification in September 1995. Nudity and sexual violence was the reason for both RC-ratings. Sega Ozisoft was the applicant.

PHANTASMAGORIA appeared in Australia as the new games classification system was being introduced. At the time, it was up to each individual State to amend their classification laws. Delays in States such as Victoria allowed Sega Ozisoft to import and sell their stock of the game before the laws were implemented nationwide.

 

 

PHANTASMAGORIA: RC-rating report

CLASSIFICATION BOARD
PHANTASMAGORIA
C95/177
VOTING: UNANIMOUS
DECISION: REFUSE

SYNOPSIS: A complete version of that screened and Refused on the 9th Aug 1995.

COMMENT: In the Board's opinion, this complete version CD-ROM game warrants a Refuse under the computer games guidelines for one scene of simulated sexual activity between consenting adults and one scene of simulated sexual activity that contains strong overtones of sexual violence.

Under the Computer Games Classification Guidelines;
"simulated or explicit depictions of sexual acts between consenting adults" and,
"any depiction of sexual violence or sexual activity involving non-consent of any kind" warrants Refuse.

Chapter One of the seven disc game shows a male and a female, earlier identified as man and wife, in bed after the woman awakes from a nightmare. The husband consoles her; this subsequently develops into a short scene of simulated waist up thrusting intercourse, revealing a side view of the woman's bare breast as she lays atop her partner.

In chapter four, a bathroom scene shows the woman in a negligee at a mirror combing her hair. The husband walks up behind her, strokes her hair, and runs his hand over her clothed breast. Angry from a prior scene argument, she brushes his hand away. He continues his advances until they both willingly embrace and kiss. This is shown with soft background music.

The husband lifts her under her armpits, carries her to the bathroom wall, continues kissing her and the camera closes in on his hand lifting her clothes. At this point, the music changes tempo and tone, becoming darker and thumping. The man's face is shown with an evil expression, eyes glaring wide as he holds the woman's hands up above her head on the wall behind her. He is shown to begin a vigorous thrusting motion, simulating intercourse. The woman's face is seen in close up, crying and scared, shaking her head from side to side during what, at that point, begins to look like a sexual attack.

While the narrative structure has by this stage clearly indicated that evil forces are influencing the husband's actions and, that the game play is such that the player's role as the wife is to prevent this from happening to herself and her husband, the above guidelines do not contain anything that allows contextual justification considerations by the Board.

Thus, the unanimous decision of the Board is that the game warrants Refuse under the Computer Games Classification Guidelines.

September 5th 1995

 

 

The OFLC on PHANTASMAGORIA

The following is taken from the 1995 to 1996 Annual Report of the OFLC.

 

One commercial game, Phantasmagoria, was Refused Classification during the last year. In this game one played from the perspective of a wife who had recently moved into an old house possessed by evil spirits.

This seven CD game using actors in full-motion video contained a visual of breast nudity within an implied love-making scene between the wife and her husband and a scene in which the 'possessed' husband's sexual advances turned into a violent sexual attack.

According to the computer games guidelines, nudity in a sexual context, unless there is a bona fide educational, medical or community health purpose, requires refusal, as does any depiction of sexual violence.

 

 

PHANTASMAGORIA: The controversial scenes

Thanks to Richard C. for this information.

 

The two problem scenes in PHANTASMAGORIA can be found on YouTube.

In their report, the OFLC identify these as being responsible for the RC-rating.

 

Scene 1: Nudity
"... a male and a female, earlier identified as man and wife, in bed after the woman awakes from a nightmare. The husband consoles her; this subsequently develops into a short scene of simulated waist up thrusting intercourse, revealing a side view of the woman's bare breast as she lays atop her partner"

In this YouTube clip it appears from 02:30 to 02:50.

 

Scene 2: Sexual Violence
...a bathroom scene shows the woman in a negligee at a mirror combing her hair. The husband walks up behind her, strokes her hair, and runs his hand over her clothed breast. Angry from a prior scene argument, she brushes his hand away. He continues his advances until they both willingly embrace and kiss. This is shown with soft background music.

The husband lifts her under her armpits, carries her to the bathroom wall, continues kissing her and the camera closes in on his hand lifting her clothes. At this point, the music changes tempo and tone, becoming darker and thumping. The man's face is shown with an evil expression, eyes glaring wide as he holds the woman's hands up above her head on the wall behind her. He is shown to begin a vigorous thrusting motion, simulating intercourse. The woman's face is seen in close up, crying and scared, shaking her head from side to side during what, at that point, begins to look like a sexual attack.

While the narrative structure has by this stage clearly indicated that evil forces are influencing the husband's actions and, that the game play is such that the player's role as the wife is to prevent this from happening to herself and her husband, the above guidelines do not contain anything that allows contextual justification considerations by the Board.

In this YouTube clip it appears from 00:10 to 03:20

 

 

RC-rating for THE ROBERTA WILLIAMS ANTHOLOGY

In April 1997, THE ROBERTA WILLIAMS ANTHOLOGY was banned by the OFLC. This was most likely done because of the inclusion of the first chapter of PHANTASMAGORIA. See the separate entry in our Games Censorship Database for more information.

 

 

Further PHANTASMAGORIA censorship information

Anthony Larme's PHANTASMAGORIA memorial contains everything you could possibly want to know about the game. The controversial scenes are documented, and the censorship timeline takes an in-depth look at ban.

 

In November 1997, Anthony Larme and Andy Bellatti conducted an interview with Roberta Williams and asked her about the rape scene that helped get PHANTASMAGORIA banned in Australia.

 

Question: The opening scene of chapter four, where Adrienne is sexually assaulted by her demon possessed husband after an initially amorous encounter, shocked many people. In Australia, the game was banned to everyone because of that scene. In the USA, several retail chains refused to carry the game and some reviewers accused Phantasmagoria of "making a game of sexual violence". In what ways is that contentious scene essential for furthering the plot and character development within Phantasmagoria? Did you intend it to be a counterpoint to the love making in the game's Introduction?

Roberta: That scene is very essential to the plot. I knew it would be controversial and could have taken it out at any time. I kept it in because it was the pivotal point in the plot where Adrienne suddenly realises that something is terribly wrong with Don. Up to that point, she knows that Don isn't feeling well, but she attributes that to the bump on his head or to stress from moving or with his work. We know that he's possessed by some sort of demon, but she doesn't. This is the way I wanted to let Adrienne know that something is very wrong with Don, and that he's capable of hurting her. I wanted her to start being afraid of him and to abruptly kick her out of her comfortable world and into a world of horror. That scene does that. Without that scene, the rest of the story would make no sense. And yes, it was a sort of counterpoint to the lovemaking at the beginning of the game where Don is normal and we see that he loves her and is really a gentle person.

 

Phantasmagoria - Sierra-On-Line [us] PC


 

 

 

 

Phantasmagoria: A Puzzle of Flesh

aka Phantasmagoria 2

Developed by Sierra On-Line / 1996 / MobyGames

PHANTASMAGORIA: A PUZZLE OF FLESH took three months to be classified in Australia. The alpha version was initially shown to the OFLC, then the beta, the uncensored, and finally the modified version. The OFLC were also shown a videotape of all the contentious scenes.

In February 1997, the censored version was passed with an MA15+ (High level violence, Horror theme, Sexual references) rating.

 

 

PHANTASMAGORIA 2: The censored scenes

Anthony Larme's PHANTASMAGORIA 2 memorial contains everything you could possibly want to know about the game. The censored scenes page reveals that the Australian MA15+ version:

...automatically censors the three sex scenes but allows the four censorable violent scenes to be optionally censored by the consumer.

 

Phantasmagoria; A Puzzle of Flesh - Sierra On-Line [us] PC


 

 

 

 

Playboy: The Mansion

Developed by Cyberlore Studios / 2004 / MobyGames

This game has never had problems with the Australian censors. It is included as an example of classification policy.

 

In October 2004, PLAYBOY: THE MANSION was passed with an MA15+ (Strong sexual content, Nudity, Adult themes) rating. Ubi Soft Entertainment gave it an Australian release in March 2005.

PLAYBOY: THE MANSION is of interest because it was one of the first games to have a consumer warning of 'Strong Sexual Content'.

It was also passed in 2004, the same year that the OFLC banned LEISURE SUIT LARRY and SINGLES: FLIRT UP YOUR LIFE because of their sexual content.

 

 

Why PLAYBOY: THE MANSION was passed

Rated D for Dilemma
smh.com.au, April 9, 2005

Sex is increasingly part of video games. Playboy The Mansion with "breast nudity present but not genital" - to quote the classification office - was launched last month. The player takes on the role of Hugh Hefner and can have "sex; with a variety of women.

Not all games get passed the classification office. A version of Manhunt, with examples of torture and plastic-bag asphyxiation was refused classification, as was the sex romp Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude . The office cited "the general rule which prohibits nudity and sexual activity related to incentives or rewards".

Owen Hughs from the games producer Ubisoft says Playboy The Mansion doesn't use sex as a reward and players "can't have sex with drunk people".

 

 

David Warner offers another reason for the MA15+ rating.

Apparently, the reason this game passed is that there is no sexual violence against women. For instance in GTA: Vice City the OFLC deemed the ability to have sex with a prostitute and then being able to attack them to get your money back as unacceptable. Likewise in Leisure Suit Larry Magna Cum Laude there were scenes where it was possible to spank women during sex – an act deemed as sexual violence… Playboy the mansion contains no such violence…

 

 

Mick McClanahan played PLAYBOY: THE MANSION, and provided the following run-down.

You can get a variety of girls drunk and have sex with them. The sex is shown, but there is only breast nudity as they are wearing a thong. You chat up the girls then take them to the couch and have sex with them. Depending on what type of couch you're on, there are about three different sexual positions you can do it in.

The more you progress in the game, the more points you get. They allow you to unlock various things such as real photos of fully naked playmates and small cheats to get people instantly drunk and horny etc.

You can smoke cigars with people.

You can make you're employees take off the top half of there clothing and so they walk around fully topless.

 

 

PLAYBOY THE MANSION: PRIVATE PARTY Rated MA15+

An expansion pack titled PLAYBOY THE MANSION: PRIVATE PARTY was classified MA15+ (Strong Sexual Content, Nudity, Adult Themes) in October 2005.

 

Playboy: The Mansion - Ubisoft [au] XboxPlayboy The Mansion: Private Party - Ubisoft [us] PC


 

 

 

 

Pocket Gal 2

Developed by Data East Corp / 1988 / IAM

In December 1996, a CD-ROM of POCKET GAL 2 was banned by the OFLC because of nudity, which was used as an incentive or reward.

Chien Thon Yeun was the applicant.

This YouTube clip provides an overview of this billiards game.

POCKET GAL 2 is the oldest game to be banned in Australia.


 

 

 

 

Porntris

Developed by Image Line Software / 1993 / MobyGames

In May 1996, a 3.5" disc of PORNTRIS was banned by the OFLC. The Victorian Police were the applicant.


 

 

 

 

Postal

aka Loose Cannon

Developed by Running with Scissors / 1997 / MobyGames

In October 1997, POSTAL was banned by the OFLC because of violence. The game, submitted by Sega Ozisoft, was described as a 'Modified Australian version'.

This YouTube clip provides a look at the gameplay.

 

 

POSTAL: Classification Board Report

The Classification Board (the Board) at the Office of Film and Literature Classification has viewed the computer game Postal and classified the game RC (Refused Classification). This means the game cannot be legally sold, demonstrated, or advertised in Australia.

In the Board's view the game offends against community standards to the extent that it should not be classified.

The game play is based around a central character who uses a variety of weapons to kill armed 'hostiles' and unarmed civilians in a number of different locations. The aim is to kill a pre-determined percentage of the population on each level. Locations for gameplay included suburban city streets and parks. The player can exit the game at any time by committing suicide.

The Board noted that killing opponents, and unarmed civilians, is the basic feature and purpose of gameplay.

In the Board's view, the neighbourhood context in which violence occurs is the source of much of the impact of the game. The Board noted that although the characters in the game are small animated figures, the soundtrack emphasises the fear and suffering of the victims.

The Board noted community concerns about massacres and other acts of random violence in such locations.

Although some of the more extreme material in the full American version of Postal has been removed from the version submitted for classification in Australia, the Board was of the view that Australian community standards preclude the modified version being available for sale in Australia.

In reaching its decision the Board took into account the National Classification Code, a schedule to the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995, and the Classification Guidelines for Computer Games.

John Dickie
Director
October 1997

 

Postal - Running with Scissors [us] PC


 

 

 

 

Postal 2: Share the Pain

Developed by Running with Scissors / 2003 / MobyGames

POSTAL 2: SHARE THE PAIN took a while to be picked up for distribution in Australia.

The delay meant that many fans imported the game themselves.

 

The games conundrum
crn.com.au, February 23, 2005

 One publisher that confirmed it will ship unclassified games to Australia is Running with Scissors, a small US game publisher whose game Postal was banned in Australia in 1997. The sequel, Postal 2, was not picked up by any local publishers and thus it was not submitted for a rating through the OFLC.

Commenting on the copies of Postal 2 that were being sold at retail in Australia, company managing director Vince Desi confirmed Running with Scissors does not have a licensed publishing partner in Australia. 'I'm glad to hear at least one retailer is selling it, even if they are counterfeit copies.

'Yes, we do sell [Postal 2] online and receive many orders from Australia, so we're happy to ship there. It's quite expensive and a real show of support when someone pays more for shipping than the actual cost of the product they're buying.'

 

 

POSTAL 2: Banned in Australia

In October 2005, POSTAL 2: SHARE THE PAIN was banned by the OFLC because of high-impact violence. Zoo Digital Publishing was the applicant.

This YouTube clip provides a look at the gameplay.

 

Title: POSTAL 2 SHARE THE PAIN
Board Report
T05/4947

SYNOPSIS:

First person shooter in which the central male character carries out errands in the fictional town of Paradise, Arizona and engages in violence with the inhabitants using a variety of weapons and behaviours.

 

REASONS FOR THE DECISION:

When making classification decisions the Classification Board ("the Board") is required to follow the procedure set out in the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 ("the Act"). The Board is required to apply the National Classification Code and the Classification Guidelines, while taking into account the matters set out in Section 11 of the Act.

 

Majority View:

In the Board’s majority view, the computer game warrants an RC classification as it contains violence that is high in impact and cannot be accommodated at the MA15+ classification.

The player controls a character who must carry out a series of tasks on each day in order to advance through the game. Along the way the character is able to initiate or be drawn into conflict between various groups in the town where he lives.

Weapons include shotguns, handguns, ordinary items like a spade and baton, molotov cocktails and the ability to douse people with petrol and set them alight. The game requires a number of shots to kill a person and the body can be repeatedly shot and kicked around on the ground. The player can also shoot dogs and cats that appear periodically.

Another feature of the game is the character’s ability to urinate on people with a seemingly endless supply of urine. The majority of the gameplay involves combat and killing in a variety of ways as well as degrading other characters. The impact of this is compounded by the main character uttering deadpan, trite statements such as "I bet you didn’t think you were going to die today". It appears the tasks the character is required to carry out are merely a means and a reason for him to travel through the town.

Another feature of the game is the player’s ability to have the central character commit suicide. The game allows the player to take this option "when things get too much". The visuals depict the character taking an object, apparently a grenade, from his pocket and placing it in his mouth. The grenade then detonates blowing his head off with resulting blood spray. The result of this action means the game then returns to the beginning of the level.

In making its’ decision, the Board noted that the game contained very little in the way of a linear storyline, developed characters or missions with a purpose. Unlike other games at the MA15+ classification, there does not appear to be anything to inhibit or deter the player from engaging in violent behaviour against any character, rather the game’s design encourages them to do so.

 

Minority View:

In the Board’s minority view this game warrants an MA 15+ classification in accordance with Part 2 of the Computer Games Table of the National Classification Code.

A minority of the Board considered that the impact of the game was not unlike that found in other games at the MA 15+ classification and that the violence was mitigated by the black humour accompanying the action.

 

Decision:

In the Board’s majority view, the game warrants an RC classification as the violence and themes exceed strong and cannot be accommodated at the MA 15+ classification.

 

 

Running with Scissors targets Australian gamers

POSTAL Games Now Available via Download No Country Is Safe Running With Scissors Offers Softwrap's Online Delivery System
November 23, 2005
www.gopostal.com

Tucson, AZ After dealing with censorship at virtually every level of the game industry for nearly a decade, the world's most blacklisted and banned software company Running With Scissors has discovered the means by which to cure the entire world's need to go POSTAL.

Through a partnership with Softwrap, Running With Scissors is now making available for the first time in many countries it's POSTAL games. Actually because Softwraps service allows you to download these games, there isn't a country or place on earth that can stop you from getting these hard to find game titles. The original cult favorite POSTAL: Classic & Uncut, the sequel POSTAL 2: Share the Pain and the recent all too insane add-on Apocalypse Weekend are currently available from the RWS store.

"Softwrap gives Running With Scissors the ability to deliver POSTAL games to every human being regardless of their state of freedom." explained the company's devious spokesman, potential Bond villain and CEO, Vince Desi. "Governments, customs agents or other traditional barriers to going POSTAL will become irrelevant as the Softwrap system sidesteps distributors, retailers and other would-be gate keepers to deliver the game anywhere and everywhere. From the land Down Under to the mountains of Korea, the world can now go POSTAL in peace and privacy, as God intended."

As for Softwrap, they are of course delighted to use their knee breaking software solutions to elude the wannabe game busters. As Dylan Solomon, Softwrap COO explained: "Softwrap has worked closely with Running With Scissors to provide a customized solution that utilizes Softwrap's leading encryption and ecommerce technology, which has to date successfully been employed to secure more than 21,000 individual software games, utilities and applications." Softwrap employs a system whereby the user can purchase, download, install and play games without having to enter an activation code.

Gamers anywhere in the world with Internet access simply visit the RWS gift shop and access the link to electronic delivery. This will transport them to a page hosted by Softwrap where they can make their purchases. Following the transaction, a link is provided that allows the user to download, install and activate the game(s).

"We're just glad that at last responsible kids and irresponsible adults the world over can now get their paws on the most blacklisted and banned game of all time!" horned Vince Desi.

For information on POSTAL2: Apocalypse Weekend expansion pack and other cool POSTAL products and gear, visit our new expanded site www.gopostal.com

Running With Scissors develops and publishes outrageous software just for the hell of it. Contact Vince Desi 520 907 1010, vince@gopostal.com or visit http://www.gopostal.com/

 

 

 

ACMA and OFLC comment on the POSTAL 2 downloads

PC World published this informative article by Mitchell Bingemann which examined the consequences of games such as POSTAL 2 being available for download, and free of censorship.

 

Banned games find unchecked entry into Australia
pcworld.idg.com.au, February 13, 2006

OFLC director Des Clark said that the online distribution of Postal does not present a loophole for consumers to bypass illegal distribution and is a matter for the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

However, ACMA's hotline manager of content assessment, Mike Barnard, conceded that preventing distribution was not conclusive and the only fullproof method of stopping people downloading banned content was "if they chose not to".

If prohibited material is hosted in Australia, ACMA can issue take-down notices or inform relevant law enforcement agencies to take action but its powers dramatically wane when faced with overseas hosting, as is the case with Postal.

"With overseas hosting, ACMA can refer the content from the downloadable source to manufacturers of content filters so ISPs can block the offending URLs," Barnard said.

Under the Internet content codes of practice, ISPs are required to offer subscribers filters. However end-user implementation is completely voluntary, which makes the system ineffectual for those who wish to download the software.

ACMA's only other course of action is to notify overseas law enforcement agencies of sufficiently serious material, but this only extends to child pornography or sexually violent scenes, neither of which feature in Postal.

People found in possession of refused classification material or those distributing it can face a variety of penalties as outlined under relevant State and Territory classification enforcement legislation. However as OFLC restrictions act purely as a guideline for consumers and law enforcement and ACMA only regulates the conduct of ISPs, a grey area exists between the two bodies, allowing end users to receive downloadable banned content unchecked.

Although Clark said that the relevant Australian review agencies were aware of the issues presented, no complaints or action had been lodged with either body to address the distribution into Australian states and territories.

Clark would not comment on the possibility of online distribution spreading to all banned games, or the prospect of including an R18+ rating in the classification system for computer games, which could potentially eliminate the need for online downloads.

He said any re-evaluation of the classification system would require state, territory and federal review.

 

 

POSTAL 2: Complaint to the OFLC

Classification Board & Classification Review Board
ANNUAL REPORT 2005–2006
Classification Board
Computer Games

The Classification Board classified the computer game Postal 2 Share the Pain RC because it contains violence and themes that exceed strong impact and therefore cannot be accommodated at the MA 15+ classification. The decision reflected the player’s ability to acquire various weapons, the requirement to repeatedly shoot or kick human and animal victims in order to kill them, to copiously urinate on them and to be able to commit suicide by placing a grenade in their mouth.

 

Classification Board Annual Report
2007-08
Complaints
Computer games

Single complaints were received about other titles. These include that Postal 2: Share the Pain was classified RC, that the computer game

The Classification Board also received 553 complaints that were specifically in regard to an R 18+ classification for computer games. 550 complaints were concerned about the absence of an R 18+ classification for computer games in Australia and called for its introduction. Three complaints did not support the introduction of this classification category for computer games

 

Postal 2: Share the Pain - Running with Scissors [us] PC


 

 

 

 

Private Investigator

Developed by Image Line Software / 1996

In May and June 1997, CD-ROMs of PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR were banned by the OFLC. The Victorian Police were the applicant.


 

 

 

Pro Surf Executive

aka Surf Pro Executive

Developed by Spake Productions - MC Board / 1998 / Australia

In October 1998, a 3.5" disc of PRO SURF EXECUTIVE was banned by the OFLC due to a scene of simulated intercourse. Electronic Arts was the applicant.

 

In their 1998 to 1999 Annual Report, the OFLC explained the reason for the RC-rating.

The computer game Surf Pro Executive was classified 'RC (Refused Classification)' by the Board in July 1998. The game uses low quality graphic animation and revolves around the player manoeuvring a surf-board over the face of waves with points awarded for tricks and successful riding. The game includes a depiction of simulated intercourse.

Despite the low graphic quality and lack of detail in the depiction the Board considered .. this scene warranted 'RC' in accordance with the computer games classification guidelines which do not permit "simulated or explicit depictions of sexual acts between consenting adults".


 

 

 

 

The Punisher

Developed by Volition / 2004 / MobyGames

In November 2004, THE PUNISHER was banned by the OFLC due to high impact violence. THQ Asia Pacific was the applicant.

A censored version was passed with an MA15+ (High Level Animated Violence, Medium Level Coarse Language) rating in December 2004.

 

 

THE PUNISHER: OFLC report

Thanks to Mick for sending in the OFLC report in which they list the violence in the game.

This YouTube clip contains all of the scenes.

 

OFLC unsuitable content:

1) The Punisher is able to literally use guns to blast off victims limbs. Blood, bone & skin fragments are shown.

2) The Punisher can knife people in the face. Some blood is shown.

3) The Punisher holds a mans face on a grinding wheel in a repair shops. Despite the fact, the camera zooms out while the climax of the scene takes place, it is still of high impact.

4) The Punisher dunks a mans head in a bath of acid.

5) The Punisher lowers a drill into a mans eyeball, blood is evident.

6) The Punisher kicks a mans head a dozen times, on a curb until his head explodes.

7)A blow torch is applied to a mans face several times. The victim says "fuck off & die asshole" before he dies.

8) A man is thrown into a tree mulcher screaming & blood spray is evident.

9) A man is placed inside a coffin incinerator, which has glass walls. The player watches the victim burn to death. The victim is on fire & is screaming, trying to escape.

10) A mans head is stomped on 16 times by The Punisher, before a metal crate falls & crushes the victim, creating blood spray.

11) A man is pushed into a ceiling fan, the man resists but then looses his grip. His limbs & head are cut off in a shower of blood when he is pushed into the fan.

In scenarios 1 to 11 listed above, the violence takes place over a prolonged period accompanied by the sound of an accelerated heartbeat & protests of victims. Despite the scenes turning black & white just as the "coupe de grace" is delivered, the impact of the episodes is high.

 

 

Australian MA15+ version

Mick played the censored version of THE PUNISHER, and compared it to the OFLC's objections.

 

The two following scenes were removed from the game before its world-wide release.

4) The Punisher dunks a mans head in a bath of acid.

7) A blow torch is applied to a mans face several times. The victim says "fuck off and die asshole" before he dies.

Having played the whole game, I would say that it looks like we have the same edited world-wide version. The removal of the above two scenes were enough for the OFLC to grant it an MA15+.

 

 

Censored release and fan patches

In the US, UK, and Europe, a modified version of THE PUNISHER was released. It did not take long for fans to make unofficial patches that restored much of the censored violence.

 

The following patch was made available in 2005.

geocities.com/dravensff/punisher_index.html

The PC Camera Patch corrects the camera positions and stops the camera zooming in on the Punisher during the Environmental Interrogations. It also adds the additional Quick Kills that were cut from the game and makes the nastier Quick Kills happen more frequently. The Camera Patch now enables the censored blood & gore during the Interrogations and also the Quick Kills.

The Latest Camera Patch also now improves a number of camera positions during the Quick Kills and adds a little extra gore to the game. Plus It now enables the Blood Damage effects for the Item Quick Kills, Special Kills and a large number of Environmental Interrogations. The new Patch also corrects the Grinder and Nail Gun Interrogations. Both interrogations now function in the game as they were intended to.

 

 

At MobyGames, CaptainCanuck explained the censorship.

Along with the interrogation scenes being censored in black and white and zoomed in when you killed a criminal, the PC version had blood removed from the interrogations as well (most notably in the face smashing and punching interrogations).

Also, THQ cut some rather disturbing quick kills. One involved The Punisher using his knife and plowing it into the side of a criminal's head from behind (you had to have had a shotgun or rifle selected as your current weapon to get it). Another involved The Punisher coming up from behind and giving the criminal a bullet enema (ie. shooting the criminal up the butthole with his gun).

Fanmade patches were created to restore some of these interrogations, along with the gore missing from interrogations.

 

 

The OFLC on THE PUNISHER

Classification Board & Classification Review Board
Annual Report 2004-2005
Classification Board
Computer Games

The Classification Board classified The Punisher RC for violence of a high impact that could not be accommodated within the MA15+ classification. A modified version of The Punisher was subsequently submitted and classified MA15+ with the consumer advice ‘High level animated violence, medium level coarse language’.

 

The Punisher - THQ Asia Pacific [au] Xbox


 

 

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