Ben Kuchera

This is what it takes to show a “mature” rated game in Australia

This is what it takes to show a “mature” rated game in Australia

Saints Row 4 was initially refused classification in Australia, reportedly due to the inclusion of an anal probe. Just because it's fun to hear insane things described by government officials, here is the quote from the Australian Classification Board:

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.

There was also some issue with “alien narcotics.” Volition and Deep Silver have since created an “Australian” version of the game, most likely with these elements either removed or adjusted to fall in line with the ratings, and that version of the game is being shown at PAX Australia. Of course, there are rules about how the game can be shown to the public.

You can see the booth in the image above, taken during the media hour of the show. The entire demo area is hidden behind a thick black curtain, and players have to show wristbands that prove that their age has been checked in order to play the game. Apparently no video of the game can be shown outside the booth, so a few stills from the game pop up on the televisions, as well as a warning about the required age to play the game.

I sat down and gave it a try and had a good time. Saints Row IV is an amazing game, and I'll admit that I couldn't tell the difference between the original version of the game, and the Australian version. I also didn't explicitly go looking for guns of dildos, so I will admit my methodology may have been a bit dodgy.

Be very happy that the ratings bodies in the US are voluntary, and not under the control of the government. Australia, I'm going to admit that I think you can be trusted to see dildos and fictional drugs.