Games Censorship: W


 

 

 

 

Wander Lust

Developed by ? / 199?

In June 1996, WANDER LUST was banned by the OFLC. It was most likely refused because of the use of nudity as an incentive or reward.

The Victorian Police were the applicant.

This was one of over twenty adult games that were submitted by the NSW and Victorian Police during 1996 and 1997. The full list of titles can be found under the DIGITAL DANCING: THE EROTIC CHALLENGE entry.


 

 

 

 

We Dare

Developed by Ubisoft / 2010

In September 2010, WE DARE: FLIRTY FUN FOR ALL was passed with a PG (Mild sexual references) rating. The game was released by Ubisoft in March 2011.

The Sydney Morning Herald obtained a copy of the full Classification Board report for the game. It revealed that Ubisoft had recommended an M-rating. The Board disagreed, and awarded a lower PG-rating.

 

The Board found also found that:

The classifiable element is sex that is mild in playing impact.

SEX

The game contains mild sexual references that are discreetly implied and justified by context. There is a sexual tone to the game, as suggested via some of the gameplay, song lyrics and text bubbles that appear at the beginning of each mini-game. Examples of note include but are not limited to:

In the mini-game "The More You Dare" players are encouraged to remove as many clothes as possible in fifteen seconds as the aim is to lose weight. During this fifteen second period, the avatars on screen perform a suggestive pole dance behind a screen, shown in silhouette.

One of the mini-games involves players imitating the dance moves of their avatar while dancing to songs such as, "I'm Too Sexy", "You Sexy Thing" , "Super Freak" and "Sex Bomb", all of which contain mild sexual references within the context of the song lyrics.

At the beginning of each mini-game, text bubbles appear stating information about relationships or physiological detail. Examples include but are not limited to: "many women prefer men who look like their fathers. This Is called sexual imprinting" and "married women tend to have affairs when they're unhappy in their relationship. Married men are just as likely to have affairs when they are happy".

It is the Board's view that the sexual references in this game result in a mild playing impact.

 

 

WE DARE: The controversy begins

Sex game to hit Australian stores
smh.com.au, February 28, 2011

Ubisoft will not release the game in the United States, but it has already received condemnation in Europe for encouraging underage sex with the game.

Some Australian retailers do not have the title listed on their websites, suggesting they will not stock the product.

But at least one major video game retail chain in Australia will stock We Dare, which is available from Thursday. Many online outlets are also selling the game.

 

 

A Wii bit kinky: sexy spanking game rated PG but Mortal Kombat banned
smh.com.au, February 28, 2011

A spokeswoman for publisher Ubisoft said We Dare would be sold with a "parental discretion advised" sticker. The spokeswoman would not be drawn into a debate on why We Dare was given such a low PG rating when games like Mortal Kombat were banned.

In its decision to give We Dare a PG rating the Classification Board acknowledged the "sexual tone" of the game but said its sexual references were "mild", "discreetly implied and justified by context".

It appears that Ubisoft has exploited a loophole in classification guidelines as although the game encourages players to undertake risque behaviour in their living rooms, graphic sexual depictions and nudity are not shown on the screen in the game itself.

"There's lots and lots of loopholes," said the former classification board censor who spoke to this website on condition of anonymity.

"I don't think it is them being lenient on sex and being hardcore on violence, I just think that the way the title has been done is very very smart on Ubisoft's part."

The former censor said the game's developers ensured any sexual behaviour happened in people's living rooms, not on the screen.

"They can't classify what people are going to do in their homes, they can only classify what's actually in the game and what's in the game is very very cartoony, maybe a little bit of sexual inuendo but that's about it."

Furthermore, the censor said the Classification Board rarely actually played the games they were classifying, and instead relied on game publishers to be upfront about the content of their games.

"Very rarely do people actually play the game when these titles get rated ... what happens is [game publishers] fill in a report and then that goes and gets rubber stamped by the Classification Board," he said.

 

 

Campaign launched to stop WE DARE sales

In March 2011, Collective Shout, the censorship group of Melinda Tankard Reist, began a campaign to prevent WE DARE from being sold in stores.

 

New video game encourages players to strip and spank each other
collectiveshout.org, March 03, 2011

Take Action

To object to the potential sale of this game in our large retail chains, please use these links to write to: Kmart, BigW and Target.

Target and Kmart have both advised us that they do not and will not be selling ‘We dare.’ Well done Target and Kmart!

[Update] To clarify, these retailers may not actually be selling ‘We dare’ at the moment and they may not intend to. The purpose of writing to them is to let them know about the issues surrounding ‘We dare’ as outlined in the article and to urge them not to sell the game now or in future.

[Update] EB games is selling ‘We dare.’ Contact them here. We suggest clicking on ‘General and Corporate information’ on the left hand menu and then click on ‘I have a general question about your company.’

To object to the classification of this game, please fill in the online enquiry form for the Australian Classification Review Board here. Their policy states that a fee waiver occurs, if the material:

(a) involves a matter of interest to the public at large, or to a significant
portion of the public; or
(b) provides a public benefit; or
(c) encourages or contributes to a desirable public purpose.

Also,
Write directly to the Attorney General’s Classification branch on attorney@ag.gov.au. Att: Jane Fitzgerald (Assistant Secretary)

 

 

WE DARE: PG to be reviewed

Classification review announced for the computer game We Dare
Australian Government
Classification Review Board

Wednesday 6 June 2011
Media Release

The Classification Review Board has received an application to review the classification of the computer game, We Dare.

We Dare was classified PG with the consumer advice ‘Mild sexual references’ on 8 September 2010.

The Classification review Board will meet on 17 June 2011 to consider the application. The decision and reasons will later be published on www.classification.gov.au

If an individual or organisation wishes to apply for standing as an interested party to this review, please write to the Convenor of the Review Board.

The closing date to lodge your application as an interested party and any submission is 5.00pm on Friday 10 June 2011. Please note that the Review Board can only consider submission about the game We Dare itself and not any other matters relating to classification policy or issues generally.

Submissions should be emailed to crb@classification.gov.au or sent to:

The Convenor
Classification Review Board
Locked Bag 3
HAYMARKET NSW 1240

The Classification Review Board is an independent merits review body. It makes a fresh classification decision upon receipt of an application for review. The Classification Review Board decision takes the place of the original decision made by the Classification Board.

 

 

Review Board confirm PG-rating

We Dare classified PG upon review
Australian Government
Classification Review Board

Friday 17 June 2011
Media Release

A three-member panel of the Classification Review Board (the Review Board) has by unanimous decision determined that the computer game We Dare is classified PG (Parental Guidance) with the consumer advice ‘mild sexual references’.

Material classified PG may contain material which some children find confusing or upsetting, and may require the guidance of parents or guardians. For this reason, PG games are not recommended for viewing or playing by persons under 15 without guidance from parents or guardians. Consumer advice is additional information about the main content of the game which is intended to help consumers decide if they want to view of play this type of material.

This game contains a series of mini games which provide a single player (or a multiple of players up to four) with a variety of tasks. These mini games, which are randomly available to players based on a choice of ‘moods’, include dance moves and activities, which may require interaction with other players. There are no sexual references in actual game play. Text boxes, which contain miscellaneous facts about gender differences and interactions, randomly appear whilst a mini game is loading. Some of those text boxes contain mild sexual references. The text boxes contain no interactive elements.

In the Review Board’s opinion the overall impact of this element does not exceed mild.

The Classification Review Board convened today in response to an application from the Minister for Home Affairs and Justice, to review the decision made by the Classification Board on 8 September 2010 on the computer game We Dare. The Board classified the game PG (Parental Guidance) with the consumer advice ‘mild sexual references’.

In reviewing the classification, the Classification Review Board worked within the framework of the National Classification Scheme, applying the provisions of the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995, the National Classification Code and the Guidelines for the Classification of Films and Computer Games. This is the same framework used by the Classification Board.

The Classification Review Board is an independent merits review body. Meeting in camera, it makes a fresh classification decision upon receipt of an application for review. This Classification Review Board decision takes the place of the original decision made by the Classification Board.

The Classification Review Board’s reasons for this decision will appear on the Classification website when finalised.

 

 

WE DARE: Full Review Board report

Australian Government
Classification Review Board

Review Date: 17 June 2011
23-33 MARY STREET
SURRY HILLS, NSW

MEMBERS: Ms Victoria Rubensohn AM (Convenor)
Ms Helena Blundell
Dr Melissa de Zwart

APPLICANT Minister for Home Affairs and Justice, the Hon Brendan O’Connor MP

INTERESTED
PARTIES Ubisoft

BUSINESS To review the Classification Board’s decision to classify the computer game We Dare PG (Parental Guidance) with consumer advice ‘mild sexual references’.

 

DECISION AND REASONS FOR DECISION

1. Decision
The Classification Review Board (the Review Board) by unanimous decision determined that the game We Dare should be classified PG (Parental Guidance) with the consumer advice ‘mild sexual references’.

 

2. Legislative provisions

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

Section 11 of the Classification Act requires that the matters to be taken into account in making a decision on the classification of a computer game 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 computer game; and
(c) the general character of the computer game, 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.

Three essential principles underlie the use of the Guidelines, determined under
section 12 of the Classification Act:
• the importance of context
• the assessment of impact, and
• the six classifiable elements – themes, violence, sex, language, drug use and nudity.

 

3. Procedure

A three member panel of the Review Board met on 17 June 2011 in response to the receipt of an application from the Minister dated 2 May 2011 to review the PG classification of the computer game, determined by the Classification Board. Those three members had previously determined that the application was a valid application.

The Review Board was assured that the computer game, the subject of the review application, was the same game as had been classified by the Classification Board.

The Review Board viewed the recorded gameplay and a demonstration of the game on 17 June 2011.

Ben Smith and Jane Dignam, who appeared on behalf of Ubisoft, attended the Review Board to answer any questions that the Board had and to demonstrate live play.

The Review Board then considered the matter.

 

4. Evidence and other material taken into account

In reaching its decision the Review Board had regard to the following:
(i) The application for review
(ii) the computer game, We Dare
(iii) a disc of material provided by the Applicant which depicted the full range of mini games
(iv) the relevant provisions in the Classification Act, the Code and the Guidelines, and
(v) the Classification Board’s report.

 

5. Synopsis

We Dare is a party game for the Nintendo Wii.

The game consists of a series of mini games which provide a single player (or a multiple of players up to four) with a variety of tasks. These mini games, which are randomly available to players based on a choice of ‘moods’ (being Enchanting, Naughty, Persuasive, Brainy and Adventurous), include dance moves and activities, which may require interaction with other players. Players accumulate points based upon their success in performing the set tasks. Interspersed in the game are ‘binary’ questions designed to match-make personality types between players.

Players are represented by highly stylised cartoon-like avatars. The mini games cover a range of situations, including:

• ‘Who Dares Wins’, which requires a player to ‘weigh in’ on the balance board, the player then has fifteen seconds to shed as much weight as possible. The avatar reflects the loss of weight by shedding clothes. The player who has lost the most weight wins the game;

• ‘Big Apple’, where two players cooperate hands free, to press the remote with their faces, to simulate eating an apple on screen; and

• ‘Never Let Me Down’, where one player must lie across the knees/legs of another player, and be tilted to achieve a flying effect on the screen, while the remote is pressed to alter speed.

Each mini game has a different theme song or music.

Text boxes, which contain miscellaneous facts about gender differences and interactions, randomly appear whilst a mini game is loading.

 

6. Findings on material questions of fact

(a) Themes –
There are no classifiable themes in the computer game.

(b) Violence –
There is no violence in the computer game.

(c) Language –
There is no classifiable language in the computer game.

(d) Sex –
The game contains mild sexual references which are discreetly implied and justified by context. There are no sexual references in the interactive game play. There are some sexual references in text boxes which randomly appear while the mini games are loading. Text boxes contain miscellaneous facts about gender differences and interaction. Text boxes contain no interactive elements. There are some sexual references in some of the song lyrics. The impact of the sexual references in both the text boxes and the song lyrics is no higher than mild.

(e)Drug Use –
There is no drug use in the computer game.

(f) Nudity –
There is no nudity in the computer game.

 

7. Reasons for the decision

Pursuant to the Guidelines for the Classification of Films and Computer Games, this computer game is classified PG as the impact of the classifiable elements is mild. Material classified PG may contain material which some children find confusing or upsetting, and may require the guidance of parents or guardians. It is not recommended for playing by persons under 15 without guidance from parents or guardians.

 

8. Summary

The Review Board determined that the computer game We Dare is classified PG, with the consumer advice of ‘mild sexual references’, as a game where the classifiable element is sex that is mild in impact.

 

 

Classification Board comments

PG: Parental Guidance Recommended
Computer Games
Classification Board Annual Report 2010-2011

We Dare is a party game for the Nintendo Wii that can be played in single player or multiplayer modes. Players begin by customising their appearance and personality and then select a number of mini-games to play, based on their personality types. At the end of each mini-game, each player receives a score based on how closely their game play matched their chosen personality type. The graphics are highly stylised and cartoon like and the background scenery changes with each mini-game. The Board classified the game PG with consumer advice of ‘Mild sexual references’. The consumer advice refers to the mild sexual references in the game that the Board found to be discretely implied and justified by context. There is also a sexual tone to the game as suggested by some of the gameplay, song lyrics and text bubbles that appear at the beginning of each mini-game.

There were a number of media reports suggesting that the PG rating for We Dare may be inappropriate.

The Minister for Justice referred the Board’s classification decision for We Dare to the Classification Review Board which, on review, also classified the game PG with consumer advice of ‘Mild sexual references’.

 

Correspondence
Complaints
Classification Board Annual Report 2010-2011

The Classification Board received 674 complaints in 2010–11. The Board had received 1,090 complaints in 2009–10.

The computer games which attracted the most complaints were Mortal Kombat, We Dare, Halo: Reach, Duke Nukem and Left 4 Dead 2.

Many of those who complained about the decisions for computer games (primarily Mortal Kombat) also requested the introduction of an R 18+ classification for computer games.

The Classification Board received 387 complaints in relation to the classification of computer games. The Board made 891 classification decisions for computer games in 2010–11. Some titles received a large number of complaints while other titles received single complaints but overall, the complaints were about a small number of titles. This compares with the 194 complaints received about computer games classifications in 2009–10.

Thirty complaints were received about the classification of the computer game We Dare which the Board classified PG with consumer advice of ‘Mild sexual references’. Complainants considered the PG classification to be too low. On appeal from the Minister for Justice, the Classification Review Board reviewed the decision and also classified the game PG with consumer advice of ‘Mild sexual references’.

 

We Dare - Ubisoft [au] Wii


 

 

 

 

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings

Developed by CD Projekt Red / 2011 / MobyGames

In April 2011, THE WITCHER 2: ASSASSINS OF KINGS was banned by the Classification Board.

A censored version was passed with an MA15+ (Strong violence, sex scenes, nudity and coarse language) rating in May 2011.

 

Kotaku reported that the game had been modified to remove a scene of 'sex as a reward'. The modifications to the side quest were made to reject the offer of sex.

 

The Witcher 2 Modified For Australian MA15+ Release
kotaku.com.au, May 3, 2011

According to Namco Bandai’s local team:

In the original version your character Geralt was given the choice of accepting sex ‘as a reward’ for successfully completing this particular side quest. The Australian Classification Board originally refused classification as they deemed the inclusion of ‘sex as a reward’ as not suitable for an MA15+ classification.

The change is only minor, in that the character choice is now made automatically for him. The character and the side quest are still in the game but presented in a slightly different context. No other changes have been made and this change has no impact on gameplay, storyline or character development.

 

In February 2012, THE WITCHER 2: ASSASSINS OF KINGS ENHANCED EDITION was passed with the same MA15+ (Strong violence, sex scenes, nudity and coarse language) rating.

 

Full details of what was removed can be found here.

WITCHER 2: ASSASSINS OF KINGS - Comparision
Movie-censorship.com
Censored Version - Rating: OFLC MA15+, Region: Australia
Uncensored Version - Rating: USK 16 Region: Germany

 

 

Classification Board comments

RC (Refused Classification)
Games
Classification Board Annual Report 2010-2011

The Witcher 2 – Assassins of Kings is the second game in the Witcher series and is based on the books of the Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. The game is a fantasy role playing game set in medieval times in which players control a professional monster hunter (or Witcher) with special skills and supernatural abilities. In the view of the Board, the game contained sexual activity related to incentives and rewards and therefore classified the game RC in accordance with item 1(d) of the computer games table of the Code. A modified version of the game was subsequently submitted for classification. In the view of the Board, the game was sufficiently modified to the extent that it could be accommodated within the MA 15+ classification

 

MA15+: Not suitable for people under 15. Under 15s must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian
Computer Games
Classification Board Annual Report 2010-2011

The Witcher 2 – Assassins of Kings is the second game in the Witcher series and is based on the books of the Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. The fantasy role playing game is set in medieval times in which players control Geralt of Rivera, a professional monster hunter (or Witcher) with special skills and supernatural abilities. The classifiable elements in the game are violence, sex, nudity and coarse language that are strong in impact and justified by context. The Board notes that this game is a modified version of the game previously classified RC. In the view of the Board, the game had been sufficiently modified to the extent that it could be accommodated within the MA 15+ classification. This computer game was classified MA 15+ with consumer advice of ‘Strong violence, sex scenes, nudity and coarse language’.

 

 

 

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings - Namco Bandai [au] PC


 

 

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