Games Censorship: Silverball Product Version 8 (2003)


 

 

 

 

Silverball: Product Version 8

Developed by Wolfgang Krem - TAB Austria / 2003

In October 2003, SILVERBALL: PRODUCT VERSION 8 was banned by the OFLC because it offered nudity as an incentive or a reward to interactive gameplay. This adult arcade game machine was submitted by LJ Digital World.

 

 

SILVERBALL RC-rating

Thanks to Dean L. for sending in the full Classification Board report for SILVERBALL: PRODUCT VERSION 8.

 

Title: SILVERBALL PRODUCT VERSION 8
Board Report T03/2558

SYNOPSIS:

Stand alone amusement machine containing over 100 games including quizzes, puzzles and card games.

 

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 preamble to the Guidelines for the Classification of Films and Computer Games it is stated that : “Impact may be higher where a scene…encourages interactivity”.

In the Board’s majority view this game warrants an RC classification, as it offers depictions of nudity as an incentive or reward to interactive gameplay.

This games console contains over one hundred games, including “Shooting Range”, “Find It Girls”, “Ice Volley”, “Crosswords”, “Quizard Erotic”, “Striptease” and “Striptease 2”. In these final two games, when the player successfully proceeds through the game (for example by winning a poker hand), a picture of a fully or partially naked female is displayed on the screen. As the player proceeds through the game, the degree of nudity increases.

In the Board’s majority view, the general rule in the Guidelines for the Classification of Films and Computer Games stating:

“…except in material restricted to adults, nudity and sexual activity must not be related to incentives or rewards” applies to the gameplay described above, as the player is shown photographs with increasing amounts of nudity following successful gameplay. Therefore the game cannot be accommodated in the MA(15+) classification and must be Refused Classification.

In addition, the game “Quizard Erotic” include pictures with upper body (including breast) nudity, but these images are shown regardless of the player’s success in the gameplay (answering “sex oriented” trivia questions). Further, the amount of nudity revealed in these images is not determined by the player’s success. The Board’s majority view is that this gameplay does not provide nudity as an incentive or reward, but that the nudity is incidental to gameplay. These depictions of nudity are not greater than strong in impact and would not require the game to be refused classification. However, some consider this gameplay also offered nudity as an incentive or reward and would require the game to be classified “Refused Classification”.

 

Minority View

In the minority view, the depictions of nudity in the “Striptease” and “Striptease 2” games are incidental to the game and not an incentive or reward. Therefore, the “general rule” quoted above does not apply to this computerised traditional card game as the spirit of this rule was not intended for a game of this nature. The minority specifically took into account section 11(d) of the Classification Act concerning the persons or class of persons to or amongst whom it is published or is intended or likely to be published. In the minority view the game can be accommodated in the MA(15+) classification, where access to play by persons under fifteen years would be restricted.

A further view within the minority is that the sexualised nature of the textual references in the game “Quizard Erotic” would also contribute to an MA(15+) classification, but other members consider this element could be accommodated at an M(15+) classification.

 

Decision

In the Board’s majority view this game warrants an RC classification, as it offers depictions of nudity as an incentive or reward to interactive gameplay.

 

 

M-rated SILVERBALL

LJ Digital World appealed against the ban, and in November 2003 they were rewarded with an M (Contains some nudity) rating.

 

Classification Review Board determines Silverball Product Version 8 M15+
Classification Review Board
November 21, 2003

A three-member panel of the Classification Review Board met today to finalise its determination. The Review Board unanimously determined that the computer game, Silverball Product Version 8 is classified M15+ with the consumer advice "Contains some nudity".

Material classified M15+ is not recommended for persons under 15 years of age. It is an advisory category.

The Review Board convened in response to an application from the applicant, which sought leave to be represented by Gary Robb & Associates.

In reviewing the classification of Silverball Product Version 8, the Review Board worked within the framework, and applied the provisions of the

The Review Board is an independent merits review tribunal. It meets in camera to hear applications for review of decisions of the Classification Board.

 

 

SILVERBALL: Review Board report

 

21 November 2003

23-33 MARY STREET
SURRY HILLS, NSW

MEMBERS: Ms Maureen Shelley (Convenor)
Ms Jan Taylor
Ms Dawn Grassick

APPLICANT: LJ Digital World Pty Ltd

BUSINESS: To review the Classification Board’s decision to Refuse Classification (RC) for the computer game Computer Games) Act 1995.

DECISION AND REASONS FOR DECISION

 

1. Decision

A three-member panel of the Classification Review Board unanimously determined that the computer game, Silverball Product Version 8 is classified M15+ with the consumer advice "Contains some nudity".

 

2. Legislative provisions

The Classification (Publications, Film and Computer Games) Act 1995 (the Classification Act) governs the classification of films and the review of classification decisions. Section 9 of the Classification Act provides that films are to be classified in accordance with the National Classification Code (the Code) and the classification guidelines.

Relevantly, section 11 of the Classification Act requires that the matters to be taken into account in making a decision on the classification of a film include:

(a) the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults; and

(b) the literary, artistic or educational merit (if any) of the film; and

(c) the general character of the film, including whether it is of a medical, legal or scientific character; and

(d) the persons or class of persons to or amongst whom it is published or is intended or likely to be published.

 

3. Procedure

The Review Board convened in response to an application from the applicant, which sought leave to be represented by Gary Robb & Associates.

The Review Board received a written application for review and supporting written submissions from the Applicant’s representative, Mr Gerard Rees.

At the Review Board’s meeting on 6 November 2003, three members of the Review Board viewed the computer game, which was submitted in the format of an amusement machine containing more than 100 games including quizzes, puzzles and card games.

Mr Rees also made an oral submission on behalf of the Applicant and was attended by three personnel from the Applicant, [Please insert names Luke Phillips demonstrated some of the games but was unable to demonstrate the classifiable games to all levels of play.

The Review Board then met in camera to consider the matter on 6 November 2003. The Convenor had viewed all the images from the amusement machine in CD Rom format and reported her findings to the panel. The Review Board re-convened by teleconference on 21 November 2003.

 

4. Matters taken into account

In reaching its decision the Review Board had regard to the following:

(i) the applicant’s application for review (including written and oral submissions);

(ii) the computer game Silverball Product Version 8;

(iii) the relevant provisions in the Classification Act;

(iv) the relevant provisions in the Code, as amended in accordance with section 6 of the Classification Act; and

(v) the Guidelines for the Classification of Films and Computer Games, as amended in accordance with section 12 of the Classification Act.

 

5. Synopsis

The game console Silverball Product Version 8 is a personal computer hard and softwired to provide access to approximately 113 arcade-style and computer games. These include action games, standard card games, general knowledge quizzes and other games. Of these games 15 games on the console reviewed were listed under the heading Erotica. These games contained some partial and total nudity.

 

6. Findings on material questions of fact

The Review Board found that approximately 98 of the games were standard computer or arcade-style games that would be accommodated by a G or G(8+) rating.

The Review Board found that 15 games under the heading Erotica contained static photographs of partially nude men and partially nude and nude women.

The Review Board found that none of the photographs of men portrayed nudity.

The Review Board found that of the more than 550 photographs of nude or partially nude women 525 were very mild in impact, 20 were mild in impact and five were moderate in impact. The majority were of the standard that can be viewed in unrestricted magazines in most newsagents.

The Review Board found that the poses were for the most part those characterised as "glamour shots" rather than sexually explicit.

The Review Board found that the five photographs that were moderate in impact could only be accessed in the games "Striptease" and "Striptease 2". These photographs could only be accessed at the highest level of play, which Mr Phillips was unable to achieve in prolonged and repeated play during demonstration before the Review Board.

 

6. Reasons for the decision

The Guidelines state

"Impact may be higher where a scene . . . encourages interactivity" and "Interactivity includes the use of incentives and rewards, technical features and competitive intensity. As a general rule . . . except in material restricted to adults, nudity and sexual activity must not be related to incentives or rewards"

The Guidelines further state

". . . some visual impacts have less impact than others; for example, an incidental depiction may have less impact than a direct one."

In this matter the Review Board accepted the submission of the applicant that the general rule did not apply for some games. The Review Board found that the general rule did not apply for the following reasons:

•The photographs are static pictures with little accompanying sound (the words "Oh yeah" are repeated in some activities). The photographs can not be manipulated by the player in anyway. The player can not control the duration of the photograph’s presence, nor the size of the picture. In all games, the pictures are present for moments or seconds.

•The photographs are, at most, moderate in impact

•The interactivity is with the game play rather than the photographs for the games Striptease and Striptease 2, which contained the photographs with moderate impact.

•Whilst the interactivity was with the photographs in Match It Girls and Match it Boys, the pictures diminish in size and duration as the complexity of the game increases. As the player becomes more skilled in matching pairs of pictures, more pictures appear, the pictures decrease in size and any impact they may have had as depictions of nudity is diminished.

The Review Board accepted the applicant’s submission that the nudity was incidental to play rather than reward for play for some games.

Further, the Review Board found that the quizzes contained educational material regarding health matters.

The Review Board also considered persons or class of persons to or amongst whom the game is published or is intended or likely to be published. The Review Board accepted the applicant’s submission that the Silverball console had been commercially unsuccessful in gaming arcades and that its intended and likely audience was patrons of hotels and clubs.

The Review Board noted that a casual glance at the console would not afford a passerby a view of offensive material either in its "standby" mode or when it was being played. Also, the only invitation to play the Erotica games was provided by the symbols for male and female. It appears that the manufacturers of the product have taken steps to ensure that casual observers are unable to view unsolicited material.

 

7. Summary

The Classification Review Board unanimously determined that the computer game, Silverball Product Version 8 is classified M15+ with the consumer advice "Contains some nudity".

 

 

I TOUCH vs. SILVERBALL

In 2003, the OFLC also banned the I TOUCH. This was a similar adult arcade game machine to SILVERBALL: PRODUCT VERSION 8. In that case, the distributors of I TOUCH did not appeal, and the machine remained banned.

The I TOUCH case is covered in our Games Censorship database.

 

Classification Board and Classification Review Board
Annual Report 2003 to 2004

The Board classified the computer games Silverball and I Touch RC for offering depictions of nudity as an incentive or reward to interactive game play. Silverball and I Touch were submitted in the format of amusement machines containing numerous games including quizzes, puzzles and card games.

 

 

SILVERBALL and the 2004 Guidelines Review

In 2003, new classification guidelines were introduced. These were reviewed in 2004. One of the cases examined was that of SILVERBALL: PRODUCT VERSION 8.

 

Report on the Review of the Operation of the 2003 Guidelines for the Classification of Films and Computer Games
Prepared by Kate Aisbett, Entertainment Insights
December 2004

Executive Summary
Review process
A review of the first twelve months’ operation of the Guidelines for the Classification of Films and Computer Games 2003 (the 2003 Guidelines) was promised by the former Attorney General, the Hon Daryl Williams AM QC MP, to ensure that the decisions made under the 2003 Guidelines align with those made under the Guidelines for the Classification of Films and Videotapes – Amendment No. 3, 2000, and Guidelines for the Classification of Computer Games – Amendment No. 1, 1999 (the previous guidelines). The review of the 2003 Guidelines has been conducted and is the subject of this report.

The principal object of the review is to assess whether the combining and recasting of the previous guidelines into the 2003 Guidelines has had the effect of changing the level of content that falls into the various classification categories for film and games.

 

Silverball Product Version 8

The Board refused classification for the game console Silverball Product Version 8. The Review Board classified the game console content M. Silverball Product Version 8 is an arcade style game console that contains 113 action games, card games, general knowledge quizzes and other games. Fifteen games on the console are listed under the heading Erotica. These games contained some partial and total nudity that lead to the RC decision by the Classification Board. The Classification Board applied the general rule - stated in the 2003 Guidelines - that ‘except in material restricted to adults, nudity and sexual activity must not be related to incentives or rewards’.

Under the previous guidelines for the classification of computer games, games were refused classification if they contained, among other things, ‘nudity, including genitalia, unless there is a bona fide educational, medical or community health purpose’.

As an added guidance, the 2003 guidelines state that interactive material will, as a general rule, be refused classification if it contains ‘nudity and sexual activity … related to incentives and rewards’ (page five of the 2003 Guidelines).

These protections, the impact and context tests, and the consideration that interactivity may intensify impact, ensure that the standards of the previous guidelines with regards to computer games are maintained in the 2003 Guidelines.

The Review Board made an exception to the general rule, and cited other sections of the 2003 Guidelines to support its decision. The Review Board noted the nature of the depictions of nudity (static, small and brief) and their likely impact. The extent to which the depictions of nudity were related to rewards was examined and in the Review Board’s opinion the nudity was incidental to play in some games, rather than reward for play. There are examples of incidental nudity in computer games under the previous guidelines, including Danger Girl (classified M in October 2000) and Dead or Alive 3 (classified M in November 2001).

The Review Board drew on section 11 of the Act and the Code to further qualify its decision. The report considered that the likely players would be patrons of hotels and clubs, and that a casual passer-by would be unlikely to view potentially offensive material when the machine was in standby mode or when the games were being played.

The Review Board decision does not suggest any change in the standards under the 2003 Guidelines but a difference in opinion to that of the Board in the use of the classification tools. See Attachment D for further information.

 

Attachment D – OFLC responses to titles referred to in the report

Silverball Product Version 8

On 7 October 2003, the Board classified the computer game Silverball RC (Refused classification).
The computer game was submitted in the format of an amusement machine containing over 100 games including quizzes, puzzles and card games. In a small number of the games, as the player proceeds, a picture of a fully or partially naked female or male is displayed on the screen. As the player successfully progresses through the game (for example, by winning a poker hand), the degree of nudity increases.

The Board’s decision report noted that:

In the Board’s majority view this game warrants an RC classification, as it offers depictions of nudity as an incentive or reward to interactive gameplay.

In the Board’s majority view, the general rule in the Guidelines for the Classification of Films and Computer Games stating: ‘…except in material restricted to adults, nudity and sexual activity must not be related to incentives or rewards’ applies to the gameplay described above, as the player is shown photographs with increasing amounts of nudity following successful gameplay. Therefore the game cannot be accommodated in the MA(15+) classification and must be Refused Classification.

In addition, the game ‘Quizard Erotic’ include pictures with upper body (including breast) nudity, but these images are shown regardless of the player’s success in the gameplay (answering ‘sex oriented’ trivia questions). Further, the amount of nudity revealed in these images is not determined by the player’s success. The Board’s majority view is that this gameplay does not provide nudity as an incentive or reward, but that the nudity is incidental to gameplay. These depictions of nudity are not greater than strong in impact and would not require the game to be refused classification. However, some consider this gameplay also offered nudity as an incentive or reward and would require the game to be classified ‘Refused Classification’.

 

The distributor submitted the computer game to the Review Board for a review of the Board’s decision. On 21 November 2003 the Review Board determined an M classification for the computer game, with the consumer advice, ‘contains some nudity’. The Review Board noted that:

In this matter the Review Board accepted the submission of the applicant that the general rule did not apply for some games. The Review Board found that the general rule did not apply for the following reasons:

• The photographs are static pictures with little accompanying sound (the words ‘Oh yeah’ are repeated in some activities). The photographs can not be manipulated by the player in anyway. The player can not control the duration of the photograph’s presence, nor the size of the picture. In all games, the pictures are present for moments or seconds.

• The photographs are, at most, moderate in impact

• The interactivity is with the game play rather than the photographs for the games Striptease and Striptease 2, which contained the photographs with moderate impact.

• Whilst the interactivity was with the photographs in Match It Girls and Match It Boys, the pictures diminish in size and duration as the complexity of the game increases. As the player becomes more skilled in matching pairs of pictures, more pictures appear, the pictures decrease in size and any impact they may have had as depictions of nudity is diminished.

 

The Review Board accepted the applicant’s submission that the nudity was incidental to play rather than reward for play for some games.

Further, the Review Board found that the quizzes contained educational material regarding health matters.

The Review Board also considered persons or class of persons to or amongst whom the game is published or is intended or likely to be published. The Review Board accepted the applicant’s submission that the Silverball console had been commercially unsuccessful in gaming arcades and that its intended and likely audience was patrons of hotels and clubs.

The Review Board noted that a casual glance at the console would not afford a passerby a view of offensive material either in its ‘standby’ mode or when it was being played. Also, the only invitation to play the Erotica games was provided by the symbols for male and female. It appears that the manufacturers of the product have taken steps to ensure that casual observers are unable to view unsolicited material.

 

 

SILVERBALL: Erotic adult games

Details of the adult erotic games that could be found on SILVERBALL: PRODUCT VERSION 8 are listed below. These descriptions and images are from the manufacturer's website.

 

 

SILVERBALL: FIND IT BOYS Game

On the screen you will find two identical pictures. However; the picture on the right has been altered in 5 places. You must correctly locate the 5 differences before the time runs out. If you incorrectly guess the location of a change the clock speeds up. Find all the mistakes, and you will move on to the next picture.

Silverball: Find it Boys - TAB Austria [at] Arcade Game

 

 

SILVERBALL: FIND IT GIRLS Game

On the screen you will find two identical pictures. However; the picture on the right has been altered in 5 places. You must correctly locate the 5 differences before the time runs out. If you incorrectly guess the location of a change the clock speeds up. Find all the mistakes, and you will move on to the next picture.

Silverball: Find it Girls - TAB Austria [at] Arcade Game

 

 

SILVERBALL: FIND IT GIRLS 2 Game

The purpose of this game is to recognise five inconsistencies in the right picture and to indicate this with a motion of the finger When you have identified all five errors you progress to a further round

Silverball: Find it Girls 2 - TAB Austria [at] Arcade Game

 

 

SILVERBALL: FIND IT MANGAS Game

On the screen you will find two identical pictures. However; the picture on the right has been altered in 5 places. You must correctly locate the 5 differences before the time runs out. If you incorrectly guess the location of a change the clock speeds up. Find all the mistakes, and you will move on to the next picture.

Silverball: Find it Mangas - TAB Austria [at] Arcade Game



SILVERBALL: MATCH IT BOYS Game

The computer briefly shows you various picture pairs. Try to match these pairs as quickly as possible. If you mark two different pictures, time is deducted

Silverball: Match it Boys - TAB Austria [at] Arcade Game

 

 

SILVERBALL: MATCH IT GIRLS Game

The computer briefly shows you various picture pairs. Try to match these pairs as quickly as possible. If you mark two different pictures, time is deducted.

Silverball: Match it Girls - TAB Austria [at] Arcade Game

 

 

SILVERBALL: PUZZLE BOYS Game

Complete the puzzle as quickly as possible. The buttons on the left may be used to preview the image and for limiting to the parts at the edge. The faster you play, the more points will be awarded.

Silverball: Puzzle Boys - TAB Austria [at] Arcade Game

 

 

SILVERBALL: PUZZLE GIRLS Game

Complete the puzzle as quickly as possible. The buttons on the left may be used to preview the image and for limiting to the parts at the edge. The faster you play, the more points will be awarded

Silverball: Puzzle Girls - TAB Austria [at] Arcade Game

 

 

SILVERBALL: QUIZARD EROTIC Game

A picture will appear on the screen with a question. Under the question are 3 possible answers. Using the buttons located on the cabinet you must select the correct answer. The faster you answer the question the more points you will receive. A wrong answer and you lose 1 of your 3 lives. Answer some questions correctly and you move onto the bonus round.

Silverball: Quizard Erotic - TAB Austria [at] Arcade Game

 

 

SILVERBALL: SHIFT IT BOYS Game

Move the picture pieces which the computer has jumbled up and put them back together to form one complete picture. The numbers on the individual pieces should help you (1 = upper left). To move a piece, you only need to touch it (it is also possible to move several pieces at once).

Silverball: Shift it Boys - TAB Austria [at] Arcade Game

 

 

SILVERBALL: SHIFT IT GIRLS Game

Move the picture pieces which the computer has jumbled up and put them back together to form one complete picture. The numbers on the individual pieces should help you (1 = upper left). To move a piece, you only need to touch it (it is also possible to move several pieces at once).

Silverball: Shift it Girls - TAB Austria [at] Arcade Game

 

 

SILVERBALL: STRIPTEASE Game

The goal of this game is to strip the selected girl. Always try to hold onto your best cards and thus to have a better hand than the girl. 5 of a kind = 1100, royal flush = 1000, straight flush = 900, four of a kind = 800, full house = 700, flush = 600, straight = 500, 3 of a kind = 400, 2 pairs = 300, 1 pair = 200

Silverball: Striptease - TAB Austria [at] Arcade Game

 

 

SILVERBALL: STRIPTEASE 2 Game

The goal of this game is to strip the selected girl. Always try to hold onto your best cards and thus to have a better hand than the girl. 5 of a kind = 1100, royal flush = 1000, straight flush = 900, four of a kind = 800, full house = 700, flush = 600, straight = 500, 3 of a kind = 400, 2 pairs = 300, 1 pair = 200

Silverball: Striptease 2 - TAB Austria [at] Arcade Game

 

 

SILVERBALL: STRIPTEASE BOYS Game

The goal of this game is to undress the selected man. Always try to hold onto your best cards, and thus have a better card combination than your male opponent. 5 of a kind = 1100, royal flush = 1000, straight flush = 900, four of a kind = 800, full house = 700, flush = 600, straight = 500, 3 of a kind = 400, 2 pairs = 300, 1 pair = 200

Silverball: Striptease Boys - TAB Austria [at] Arcade Game

 

 

SILVERBALL: SWAPPER BOYS Game

By exchanging, put the picture parts (which have been mixed up by the computer) back together into a complete picture. In order to exchange two parts, you must touch both one after the other. Touching a piece a second time cancels the selection.

Silverball: Swapper Boys - TAB Austria [at] Arcade Game

 

 

SILVERBALL: SWAPPER GIRLS Game

By exchanging, put the picture parts (which have been mixed up by the computer) back together into a complete picture. In order to exchange two parts, you must touch both one after the other. Touching a piece a second time cancels the selection.

Silverball: Swapper Girls - TAB Austria [at] Arcade Game


 

 

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