An 'Alien Anal Probe' Is The Reason Why Saints Row IV Was Refused Classification

Yesterday news broke that Saints Row IV was refused classification by the Australian Classification Board and we've just received a copy of the report.

According to a statement from the Classification Board the game was refused classification as a result of implied sexual violence. Now we can confirm that the report states the following...

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 report also made mention of the use of illicit drugs.

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.

According to the report these are the two main reasons why Saints Row IV has been refused classification.


Comments

    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.

    OK, I take back my comment in the other thread.

    The weapon is just crazy toilet humour (in the same league as Family Guy) and there is no link between it implied sexual violence.

      It's sexual assault, albeit sexual assault couched in crazy toilet humour. The important aspect is whether or not it is justified by context. There may be scope to argue as to whether or not it is justified, but ultimately altering the content won't take away from the game.

        You can’t have a “weapon” which allows you to sexually assault someone, particularly in an open world game. It’s a bit of a joke and all, but it’s still a SERIOUS act of sexual assault which shouldn’t be trivialised.

        I was ok with the classification board decision this morning based on the legislation, now I’m 100% supportive of this decision. It’s actually a correct one.

        +1 to the classification board, and -1 to the dozens and dozens of people who posted this morning “OMG its just re-badged MA15+!” or “I can’t believe we’re back to square one” despite the fact that we’ve clearly had games like Mortal Kombat get through and the fact that none of us actually knew what had pushed Saints Row over the edge.

          Destroy All Humans! had an anal probe as the second weapon you received. At first, people would run around clutching their bottom, and after being shot with it a few times their brain would pop out of their head. *edit - ah, beaten by @mdolley, kudos sir*

          Just putting that out there (plus it's an awesome game, really should plug my PS2 in again).

          Last edited 26/06/13 11:38 am

            Fair enough, I’m not saying they aren’t inconsistent, just that within the context of Saints Row I think this decision is fine.

            The dildo weapon in the last game was fine because you just hit them around the head with it. Sexually penetrating someone either enemy or civilian with a weapon is a bit much in my mind and pretty clearly in breach of the R18+ legislation (which is different to what it was when Destroy All Humans was released, even if that part is probably very similar) even if its “funny”. The classification board got this 100% right and did their jobs exactly as they are supposed to.

            The drugs stuff concerns me but I don’t think the game would have been banned outright based on that element alone. Until I see evidence that it would have been I’m fine with it.

            The hysteria we saw on this website this morning was ridiculous.

              But why is an anal probe weapon inherently sexual? As far as I can tell it isn't being used in a sexual context and the only link it has to a violent sexual act is the fact that people can get raped in the anus.
              People can also get raped in the mouth so would that make a game featuring a gun which fires Subway sandwiches into peoples gobs an example of sexual penetration? It's an Alien Anal Probe weapon, not a 12 Inch Black Rubber Dildo weapon.

                I'm guessing the difference is implied sexuality inherent in "what appears to be a large dildo". If the weapon in your example forcibly inserted a Subway-branded "what appears to be a large dildo" into peoples mouths then I imagine it would be treated very differently.

                Well, there's a paragraph I never expected to write...

                Last edited 27/06/13 2:34 pm

                  That's a good point which I hadn't considered... Said no one on the internet, ever. ;)

                  But in all seriousness, I do agree with you that the phalic shape of this was why it was RC'd, I just don't necessarily agree that it has to be sexual implicit. I'm not sure what other shape the board would prefer an anal probe to be, but it's not a device being used to rape people, just probe them.

                  Probes are for probin' after all.

              I think the context is that its a video game. Do people really have problems differentiating reality from video games. What a freakn joke.

              All moral based censorship is inconsistent. In my opinion, the only way to address this issue is to follow existing law relating to crimes: For instance, if the media does not portray an actual crime taking place, then do not censor it!

              This protects real people, especially vulnerable people like children and women from being exploited in pornography, but does not limit artist expression or public speech.

              That's where the line should be. Australia is incredibly backwards in trying to act as the "thought police" when it comes to imaginary and fantasy media and the lines that they draw are anachronistic, overly broad and inconsistent. They are not so much lines, or laws, or rules, as they are interpretations of principles by people who do not represent mine, or your, interests.

              The classification board got this 100% right and did their jobs exactly as they are supposed to.

              They did their jobs, but you can say they were doing their jobs exactly as they were supposed to back when we were rallying for an R18+ rating. The new system is more open to violence but most of us who were after an R18+ rating wanted a system where producing valid identification that we were over 18 was enough to play anything we want to, or at the least a system that can tell the difference between the pineapple scene in Little Nicky and rape porn.
              Remember South Park 64? Does that contain beastiality because of the cow ray? That's more than enough to get it refused classification even though it was in no way sexual.

            Did you actually jam it in their poopers in Destroy? Or was it a gun like thing?

              Check it - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3f0mnavCPI&feature=player_detailpage#t=85s

              Or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T90stXhBcSA - better vid, but from the 3rd game which was vastly inferior.

          There's no reason to restrict this from adults. Yes, it's inappropriate for children. But why is it inappropriate for adults?

          Because you can commit a crime?

          There are many, many games out there where you can commit cold blooded murder. Why aren't these games banned?

          If you don't like it, that's completely fine, you don't have to buy it, you don't have to support it, you don't even have to think about it. But why does someone else have the right to make that decision for other people?

            I’m going to steal bits of a post I put in the other story, but basically the difference is because it’s sexualised crime .

            As a society we are FAR more accustomed to violent criminal behavior in entertainment then we are sexualized violence, mostly because the two things cause VERY different reactions in most people when exposed to them.

            Without getting too creepy about it I’d have to say that if I’m seeing a hot naked girl having sex on the screen my urge to recreate that act is a billion times stronger and more immediate than if I’m watching a Rocky movie and I get the sudden urge to punch someone in the face (which I do).

            Nobody’s saying that killing someone is less of an offence than raping someone, it’s a common sense acknowledgement that exposing someone to sexualized imagery is far more likely to elicit an emotional (and physical) response in a person that they feel compelled to act on. When you combine sex and criminal acts (violence, abuse of children) then you run a must greater risk of pushing a particularly unbalanced individual over the edge than you do with regular violence.

            For that reason Governments across the world tend to put harsher classifications on depictions of sexualized crime in the media, and while “comical”, anally raping someone on the street in Saints Row most certainly counts as both sexual and violent and under the legislation is clearly banned. While I doubt that Saints Row would inspire anyone to recreate this kind of thing, I don’t have a problem with legislation that draws a clear line through interactive sexual assault, even if it’s under the guise of comedy.

              Dang you are eloquent in your responses. +1 Internets to you! :P

              I could understand this if it were an actual act of rape. But really, I don't see how this is going to incite urges in someone playing the game when it's made as comedic and silly as it is.

            I don't necessarily think that it's restricted to adults but rather been banned & restricted in order to try & protect children/underage, I have lost count how many times clueless, irresponsible parents/adults have let children/underage play games & be exposed to things that they SHOULD NOT be exposed to, which is very wrong. I don't mind the government stepping & protecting innocence & upholding good morals & principles, there is no place for things that degrade & corrupt our modern society. I can not stand rude crude & inappropriate behavior & in no way should it be exposed to children. I wish more people would stop being a disease in society & have good morals & principles that each new generation can look up to.

            Haven't you learnt anything from watching Law & Order: Special Victims Unit?...

            "In the criminal justice system, sexually based offenses are considered especially heinous. In New York City, the dedicated detectives who investigate these vicious felonies are members of an elite squad known as the Special Victims Unit. These are their stories."

            – Opening narration

          Ah yes. Very serious. If a game like this were allowed who knows how many dildo armed children we'd see running around attempting to penetrate peoples anuses..

          Seems legit.

      Toilet humour?

      http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity_Grammar_School_(New_South_Wales)

      In 2000, a group of Year 10 boarding students assaulted a boy several times using a large wooden dildo made in a woodwork class, which the students called the "Anaconda".[21] Three students were expelled by the school and convicted of various offences as minors. Compensation payments to two victims of bullying at the school are likely to have been approximately $1 million.[22] It was alleged that the school had a culture of bullying[23] A film loosely based on the incident, Boys Grammar, was produced in 2005.[24] Academics now quote this case, and the school's attempts to minimise public awareness and perceived damage to it, in studies in this area.[25]

        O.o ___ Grammar School?

        *climbs in ROFLcopter*

        Did they get the idea from a game, an R18 game that only adults should be buying? or did it come from their own sick and twisted minds?

        Thats why the R18+ was created... plus what does that have to do with anything.... its a just video game, not like the kids at that school were being forced to play games about rape

        You need to grow some balls.
        The world is violent, society is violent. Not because of games but because of who we are.
        Humans are an aggresive species, we have been doing worst before their was TV.

        But instead, people like you complain about violence in Video Games yet you know crap all about the human brain.

        People can stop this bullshit and accept that its always going to happen. It is the parents job to monitor the games their kids are playing.

        Yet movies are waaay more graphic. Look at the Human Centipede, but no one complains.

        We are supposed to be living free lives. What I watch and play is my choice, no one elses. Ive got a brain, I know whats right and wrong.

        For these children to stick something up another kids ass show that their parents didnt do a good enough job, or blame the school teachers who dont do their job at protecting kids from other kids and turn a blind eye to it.

        Society is more complicated then you think, to blame it on Video Games is stupid and wrong.

        For someone to massacre people means their mental state needs to be bought toquestion. But everyone becomes closed minded and dont look at the bigger facts.
        For example, no one questions why people let their kids play with toy guns or toy swords, even though Im not against it, it does have a bigger effect.

        Ive been playing Video Games since I was 4 and Im 21 now, and I only played Shooters and violent games, yet I dont have any desires to shoot anyone or stick a peice of wood up some kids ass, its common sence to know whats right and wrong.

        Why this whole debate about Violence caused by Video games is still ongoing blows my mind cause I know it isnt true.
        Kids bully and bash others cause it makes them feel superior.
        Kids go on a massacre to kill 20 children is because they have a mental dissability, but that info is left out of the news to manipulate people into thinking its games, not the fact that the kid had a Mental Dissability and his mum trained him to use guns and have easy access to the weapons. No one mentions his mum fueled his love of violence, and is the reason behind it all.

        Pisses me off that the people who cause such things to happen dont get the blame.

        Now obama tried getting rid of the crap gun laws, and bring in strict ones. But it didnt pass, yet americans would rather have their rights to a gun rather then make their country safe. But instead, Video Games are a scape goat. But Video Games will never be banned, especially in America cause of the amount of video games. You get rid of video games then a large percent of the population will force the Gun Laws to become strict resulting in a decrease in violence and the American Goverment taking a massive beating for being wrong or lieing to everyone.

        Suck it up buddy, ur wrong Im right.

          The fuck has this got to do with American gun laws?

          We have stricter restrictions on the depiction of sexualised crime across all forms of media.

          Sexual media can and does have a stronger impact on the behaviour of those watching because it elicits hormonal and physical reactions in some people who are more likely to act on them than they are with just plain violence. I’ve put a more detailed explanation a few posts up if you don’t understand.

          This game was refused classification under the same kind of legislation that makes it a crime to distribute cartoons involving child pornography even though there is no victim and “it’s just a cartoon”. While clearly not the same, the intention is that media depictions of crimes of a sexual nature should require a much higher level of contextualisation to be allowed. Clearly a game allowing you to sexually penetrate strangers because it’s “funny” doesn’t meet that standard (which isn’t the classification boards problem, it’s pretty clear in the legislation).

          It has nothing to do with gun laws, violence, Obama or the assortment of other issues that you’ve entirely misappropriated during your idiotic tirade.

            If the game had you penetrate through the chest instead of the anus do you think it would pass classification?

        And yet.. This happened before any such games existed. Better ban the word anus next, it could somehow incite crimes in the past.

      @finaldelerium and @zap: My bad, again. Sorry for missing this angle.

      At this rate I'm gonna be mistaken as the PR manager for the XBone with all this back peddling!

      I guess you didn't see this part:

      "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."

      Yes, they were in the right to refuse classification. It's a game, not a filthy television show with potty humor.

        The Penetrator from SR3 was also a large dildo, if you haven't noticed

    The OFLC have got a point in both those cases.

      Not the alien drugs. Call it anything other than drugs and it's perfectly acceptable. Power-ups, gamma radiation, mushrooms... well, maybe not mushrooms. The drugs as rewards or providing awards part of the classification scheme always seemed dumb to me.

      Can't really protest the Applicant though. As far as the classification guidelines go, there's no way that could get through. EDIT: Misread it and thought the alien anal probe was called the applicant. In fairness, that's a good name for an anal probe. And that is a sentence I never thought I'd say.

      Last edited 26/06/13 10:13 am

      While I agree, I think that they're wrong when they say it's not justified by context. It's clearly tongue-in-cheek humour and while inappropriate in most circumstances, not out of line with similar "humour" used in other media.

      I think when looked at in the context ludicrous nature of the game, it is not so wholly unacceptable. I think they've overreacted here.

      That said, Volition will make an edit - that probably won't fundamentally change the gameplay - and we'll still get a crazy fun game out of it. No big deal. All that's left is for people to cry about "the principle" and how adults shouldn't have to contend with censorship. I don't disagree - I'm against censorship in general, but come on. Save the fight for when it matters.

        Yeah, I really don't want to go to the battlements over a handheld sodomiser.

          Now that you put it that way, I've changed my mind.

          GIVE ME SODOMY OR GIVE ME DEATH.

            WE FEW, WE HAPPY FEW, WE BAND OF BUGGERED

            Last edited 26/06/13 10:14 am

              Aye, fight and you may die. Run, and you'll live... at least a while. And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days, from this day to that, for one chance,
              just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives.....
              but they'll never take our SODOMISERS!!!

          A hand-held rape device you mean? Let's call a spade a spade. We really shouldn't be trivialising this kind of thing, and if we want society to take us gamers as serious and mature people then let's not go around with a multi-pronged rape device in our games and calling it a "gag".

          If only all civilised conversations regarding censorship involved phrases like "handhel sodomiser" and, "At least with the dildo bat you beat people with it."

            Which is a sentence I thought I'd never type. Might send that one back in time to 12 year old me.

        Censorship matters, but only in cases when you personally aren't too fussed about the outcome?

        Crazy fun game after being edited or not, the fact that someone else has determined what I am capable of viewing, listening to and playing will never sit right with me. Whether or not this is an issue "that matters" I was really looking forward to this game and someone has decided I should be prevented from playing it as the creators intended.

        Hello imported copy. I may not even ever use that weapon, but as an adult that should be my choice to make.

          "Censorship matters, but only in cases when you personally aren't too fussed about the outcome?"

          Yep, basically. I'll let other adults justify why they think a weaponised anal probe is something they are entitled to have in their works of fiction.

            Because the world don't move to the beat of just one drum.
            What might be right for you, may not be right for some.

            Why should adults have to justify that in a work of fiction? Shouldn't that burden be on the people trying to ban it? I think the worst part of our nanny-state is the fact that so many people are ok with it. They actually seem to welcome all the controls and regulations.

              Well, the classification board has already justified why it should be refused classification, in accordance with the classification guidelines. The ball's really in our court now.

              I have decided this is not a game I wish to win, so the ball has bounced slowly to a halt.

              There are other players who may wish to continue this game.

          The adults of this country have never proved that they are capable of making a mature decision about such things, and as such, we can't expect to be treated with that level of respect.

        Over the past 24 hours I have realised that there are people in this country that are above the age of 18, and still heavily influenced by things like this.

        We like to think that all adults in this country are level headed, mature individuals, but lets be honest for a moment, most people in this country between the ages 18-30 are still as mature as 10 year olds.

        After hearing their reason for this classification, I can understand. But not about the drugs bit, who cares about that.

          31+ and I'm just getting sick of 60 year olds being out of touch and calling me a kid...

        I just hope we end up with a scenario where the name is changed. ie the "morphine to med-x" fallout edit.

          I think the game will simply ship without the weapon for us.

          Since the plot, the story, the characters are still intact I can deal with the lack of a single non iconic weapon.

            In reality, its probably not a weapon we would have used, much like the giant dildo in saints row 3, it's funny, for a few minutes, but it's not like its the game breaking best weapons ever that you really want to keep using the entire game.

            I'm still upset over censorship though.

            Last edited 27/06/13 8:37 am

              I was initially outraged, but after some consideration and the prudish/inconsistant nature of the ACB. I figured I rather lose a weapon for the reasons you said than the whole game.

              So we change Alien Narcotics into Rowinite and bang we can play the game.

      No they haven't....

      ...we're banning games for a bit of virtual potty humour? Really? REALLY?

      This country's a joke. Our progressive understanding of morality is fractured when you put a frickin' video game with a dildo weapon on the same level as violent porn.

      So then deem it only suitable for people that can differentiate between reality and non-reality... Which in this country, according to the ACB guidelines, dont exist...

    ... I genuinely wonder how many people would be inclined to run around with a homemade alien anal probe after playing SRIV and attack people with it — tasteless? Sure, but the whole game thrives on that sort of humour. A threat or bad example to anyone? Unlikely.

      Not sure that's the justification for banning (reenactment).

        You're right, it's not that simple — but I was quietly in support of their decision last night, thinking it was fair that they still have the option to refuse classification and that a lot of other people were going over the top in saying it's censorship and the worst thing ever.

        Hearing that it's something so ridiculous and physically impossible/cartoon-like in this context, it seems like a judgement based on good taste more than anything else, and the decision still doesn't align very well with themes and concepts in other media — a sodomiser/alien probe is more Family Guy than A Serbian Film.

          I'm not sure it's the probe itself but how it's executed that's the real issue.

            There's no distinction between the object and how it's executed in my expressed opinion — I just simply don't agree with how they're approaching an anal probe joke.

            I'm not saying the RC is wrong. I'm absolutely fine if they want the implicit link between real drugs and any sort of benefit to be removed, but I think the extended joke in the former issue helps them demonstrate the poor taste of the game, more so than anything credible in the context of SRIV.

              There is a huge difference between the object itself and how it's executed. Saints Row 2 had you using a dildo to beat people up, but you weren't ass raping them. This game has you running around doing it to anyone, men and women. It is probably the lowest thing the Saints Row games has ever tried to do in my opinion.

              I think it's poor taste and played for laughs, but it's still a handheld rape device. At least with the dildo bat you beat people with it.

      Do you know how many times the youths of this country have run around mimicking funny things they have seen on the internet?!?!

      I agree with this refused classification now. What context is there to run around shoving a dildo up peoples butts in a video game? wtf.

        You're the President of the United States, you fight aliens and in the previous game you could become a zombie and knock cars around with a giant dildo bat — that context is that it's an outrageous, ludicrous game with no basis in reality and that thrives on cringeworthy humour, aimed at adults.

        I haven't played any of the first three games in the series but just because I don't see the appeal in the games personally, that doesn't mean I think something done (quite clearly) for comedic effect is grounds for restricting the game from the adult population.

          Most of the time refused classifications in this country is more-so a response by the government to edit the game to an appropriate level. This game is already confirmed to be in the process of editing for the purpose of being resubmitted to the Classification Board, and without a Dildo rape device.

          Sorry, i love gaming, I hate censorship, but what kind of fucked up developer puts THAT in ANY game. I really would like to see the justification by the person, or team, who thought up that weapon.

            "dildo rape device"

            Typical fear mongering ignorant fool.

      You've never heard of a buttplug? Seriously? Or a dildo? Or a vibrator? I mean I'm being quite crude here but... yeah. Adults partake in these activities on each other if that's their *thing*, on a voluntary basis... but I guess in this case, it's endorsing the idea of anally raping someone more or less. Despite jokes I've made in regards to prisons, I don't find the realistic idea of that cool, and I don't quite find the idea of this weapon that cool to be honest. I find it... well... there's a line that can be crossed, and to quote the Simpsons 'Ya didn't just cross the line, ya threw up all over it!' My personal pick for an alien probe would've been to follow DESTROY ALL HUMANS idea, shoot a beam of light at someone and have it enter them comically through the backdoor, without 'penetration' physically via a dildo or whatnot, the light sort of 'hits' them, the 'jump' and it disappears, a comical effect, same result...

      What I'm saying, is that I'm against censorship but I'm also against shockingly bad taste, which I think this is. I won't really miss this weapon personally I guess. No biggie as it'll get redesigned. *shrug*

      Last edited 26/06/13 12:31 pm

        I won't miss the weapon either — I won't miss the game full stop, but personal preference doesn't excuse the lack of consistency in classifications and that media showing greater depictions of rape or sexual violence have been classified (and classified at a 15+ rating in some instances) but a video game is picked out (by virtue of being a video game?).

        To quote a Lifehacker comment:

        One episode of Family Guy had an entire subplot where Peter was repeatedly raped by a bull and turned into his "bitch". Any reasonable adult is capable of acknowledging this as a silly, bad-taste joke. Same applies to the Saints Row "alien dildo" weapon. Is it stupid and in poor taste? Certainly. Should it result in the entire game being banned for adults? Nope.

          The difference I believe there, is the ability likely to interactively 'rape' people anally with the probe. Not that I personally believe anyone would do it in real life, but I believe that's the mentality going around the offices there at the moment.

          First thing, rape jokes, regardless of their medium, are a disgusting attempt at humour (this is in reference to the broader discussion, and should not be perceived as a personal attack). This discussion on whether one form of rape joke is okay while another isn't is absurd.

          Second, I'm going to call bullshit on that comparison.

          The implied rape of Peter Griffin by the Breeding Bull in the 'Dial Meg for Murder' (s08e11) is achieved by cutaways to shocked family members or scenery with Peter's cries in the background. The report on the SRIV depiction of implied rape is entirely more explicit, albeit without the traumatic defence scene and dialogue observed in the Family Guy episode.

          Details, especially in this instance, do matter.

            "First thing, rape jokes, regardless of their medium, are a disgusting attempt at humour" IN YOUR OPINION. I have actually heard some very funny rape jokes done by professional comedians, such as Jim Norton or the Late Patrice O'neal.

            Just because YOU don't find something funny, doesn't mean that the right to view it should be taken away.

            I leave you with this clip, again by the late Patrice O'neal, a man who, in my opinion, is one of the greatest and funniest men to to have ever lived. A man who championed free speech, even on things he doesn't agree with, such as racism, (he's african american), and who above all else, hated censorship.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjIuPSuYSOY

              Oh shit, you're right, what I actually said was "No one should make rape jokes because I don't find them funny"...
              Except, I didn't say that. Not nearly close. Saying something is a disgusting attempt at humour does not equate to restricting the right for a person to say/view/hear a thing. It plainly means I don't think rape jokes are a positive form of humour, and that proliferating and normalising rape culture through humour is deleterious to many aspects of society and culture.

              Respect runs both ways here. I respect that a person may find hearing and telling rape jokes to be funny, and that they can tell them if they want to; they should respect that words carry impact and ramification, and some people, such as myself, don't find rape jokes funny and will pull them up on it.

                Fair enough. Dont play the game then.

                How dare someone else decide for me what is suitable for me as an adult to play/view/enjoy. Thats the freaking crime here. Its a video game. Not reality.

                  Dismissal? I guess discussion must be a thing of the past. Which means that this should be quick.
                  Your first two sentences are short sighted, ill worded, and contain a heft of irony. Think of all the maleficent and down right illegal acts that our society utterly condemns, all the criminal things. By your reasoning, you as an adult should be able to view/enjoy any of those things without censure. Irony being, you'd be partaking in criminal activity, the literal freaking crime. If you want to focus on elements of game narrative that you find welcoming, say so without being so ridiculously obtuse.

                  Video games are not reality insofar as their narrative, characters, and environments are completely fictitious or emulations of non-fiction.
                  The wonderful justification for any claim that 'it's a video game, not reality' is that there is no measurable impact from the actions of the player, bluntly, there is no 1:1 of an NPC death and the death of a living human, 'cause then we wouldn't be discussing video games at all.
                  Cool, so the impact of in-game actions is non-translatable. That was part isn't entirely true though.
                  To get down to it, a video game is often a tangible object, in the form of a disc, it is composed of a known coding language, everything one sees in a video game is a real asset created by a real person transmitted by light and decoded first by our retinae and then later by the synergy of thousands of neurons; all of the audio is done by a real person, potentially with real instruments, and observed by as sound waves that, depending on their tone, rhythmic composition, cadence, and timbre will either be processed in the language centre or be screened cognitively and potentially in memory as song; once the video game is running we interact with it via a controller, we respond to on-screen prompts, we feel the force-feedback from our actions, and we are presented with and react to audio cues directly linked to our action or inaction. The culmination of all of this is that a video is a real object and system that is most definitely a part of our collective reality.
                  However, if you wanted only to say that 'there is no causal link between video game narrative and our general behaviours', then you should have said that plain and simple.

                  TL;DR If you have something to say, and you believe that something holds any merit, be clear and accurate with your words.

                "No one has ever heard an unfunny rape joke, and then gone out rapin' "

                Rape jokes don't contribute to a "rape culture." I have never met any one from this mystical culture you claim exists? People can't be swayed on rape, there has never been a complelling enough argument (far less a joke), where a mans turned around and gone, "You know what, Imma rape a bitch now, i think thats ok"

                Funny jokes/tasteless jokes whatever, they are all born out of the same place, and that place is "funny" Wanna know how I know that? Because real hatred isn't funny, its uncomfortable and horrible, and what is rape if not one of the ultimate forms of hatred.

                Ok, will endeavour to make more articulate arguments in future. Also not from a mobile.

            Also, I can't reply to your reply to "Grummmmm" But are you serious? You just spouted off on some diatribe that was done as an excuse to do nothing more than flex your keyboard skills. It had the relevance of.... I can't think of a ridiculous enough analogy to fit that wanky flexing of your 'word muscle'

            Also, why does jokes contribute to a rape culture and movies don't? Should we now also censor every movie that has a rape scene? Condemn every actor who's ever played a rapist?

        The argument for censorship because of bad taste would make us miss out on a tonne of content like Game of Thrones, Sons of anarchy, Breaking bad, The last of Us, The walking dead (game and show).

        Just slap on an R+18 sticker with High level Implied sexual violence and High level Drug use and let them sell to ADULTS.

        If your children are able to view, play or re-enact the scenes from this game then you are failing as a parent. Set up the content blockers on your computer, set the mature ratings on their phones and consoles and tvs.

        I say this is just insane. The context is that this is a video game!

          I fail to see how quite a few of those you named would be banned there... I never said I endorse censorship due to bad taste, don't know why you think I did, I just said I won't miss it as I draw my line of taste pretty much there.

            Rape in game of thrones, drug use in breaking bad. If games get banned for it, tv shows and movies should too. Its just imaginary content. Even if its rape, its not because its pixels on a screen.

              Breaking bad you don't get any 'rewards' for the drug use and it's not interactive. There's seperate rules for games and shows... I think you're vastly missing that point here...

                Thats funny I think you are vastly missing the point too. Its just pixels on a screen. Not real. But feel however you want.

                  No you bloody listen.

                  Bacon and eggs. I want bacon and eggs.

                  Im cooking.

                  Want some?

                  Indeed, this interactive/reward ideology goes along with that kind of mentality that adults who play games cannot seperate reality from fiction.

    Call me an idiot, but that's not really a bad ruling. In this context, I think the penetrating weapon is just silly and similar in tone to Saints Row 3. What I believe they're banning it for is precedent, if they allow this in then someone can make an unwilling rape game or whatever, and because this was let in they'd have to let it in too. So although I think this is pretty harmless in the context of this videogame, I think it could be a lot worse in something else.

    I think the drug use decision is silly though.

      Making a game that has a weapon that rapes people (and where the game is not based solely around that weapon) and a game purely about rape are two entirely different things. One should be banned, the other shouldn't.

        Which is why when they edit the game and remove the anal probe dildo, the game will get an R18+ rating.

      Note that ACB decisions officially don't create precedent though. The board who convenes to classify one title is under no obligation to be consistent with any previous decisions.

      Yeah, after reading that description, I agree with the decision.

      That would still just be a video game. The context doesn't change for me in any show, game, book or film. Surely that is the rational perspective??? Tell me if im wrong.

    Didn't the pilot of south park include a young child by the name of Eric Cartman have a large satellite protrude from his anus following an alien anal probe? Pretty sure that episode made it onto TV with an MA rating.

      But did he run around ramming explosive dildos into people's butts?

      No, instead he took photos of himself sucking another 8 year old boy's testicles.

        He also farted fire during that episode.

      Yes he did and i have seen a screen shot of the upcoming South Park RPG and it contains the alien probe (satalite), it will be interesting to see if it will be banned when they go for clissification.

      There is a large difference between a video of such an act and having a character that you are playing as that actively chooses to do this. Different situations get different classification

        Explain the difference. I call bull*hit. There is reality... and there is everything else. Social media, books, films, tv, the "current events" on the news and video games.

      That wasn't sexual assault though, that was an actual probe from actual aliens, and it was relevant to the plot. This is a weapon, and it's there for no significant reason. Completely different situations.

    In this day and age, where we have a lot of controversial tv shows, movies and other games, these are the only reasons for it not being given a classification? really?

    Better ban South Park then. Also while your at it, better ban 'Weeds' and 'Breaking Bad' because it glorifies illicit drugs. ALSO, better not give 'The Hobbit' classification, because clearly Magic Mushrooms are ingested by wizards and help aid them on their quests.

    In 50 years people will laugh about this, it's 'Catcher in the Rye' all over again.

      You haven't actually watched Breaking Bad, have you?

      Wait, did you just compare Saints Row IV to Catcher in the Rye???

      Last edited 26/06/13 10:07 am

        Yes and no.

          Breaking Bad depicts drug use as a negative (the whole second season for starters) and that drug dealing is dangerous and violent.

        I think you guys will find that the real reason for the RC is the anal probe dildo.

      "Glorification" is not the issue, the issue is drugs providing a positive effect and linking them to ingame rewards. This is understandable, to a degree. But Weeds and Breaking Bad, while examining drug culture, never really portray the narcotics as positive things. Look at the terrible person Walter White became because he decided to start making meth. Look at all the shit Nancy had to deal with due to her foray into the marijuana trade. You think these programs are the same as when you inhale magic cocaine and get superpowers?

        Also, the drug users in Breaking Bad are pretty disgusting

        I think Saints Row isn't worth such moral outrage that it gets banned.
        My initial post was completely sarcastic and I wasn't commenting on the specifics of the content (seriously, Catcher was banned... it's crazy), rather highlighting the subject matter. I think it's ridiculous we're even discussing this in this day and age.

        Saints Row should be classed as R18. It's not like the game is being banned worldwide, hell it has a Pegi18, it's just the class board trying to continue banning content despite the introduction of R18.

      Im pretty sure Drogo raped Khalesi in season 1 of Game also. But that's fine because its "in context"... To me reality and video games are very separate things. Just like all forms of media.

        That was "fine" because in that scene (and in most other rape scenes) we're compelled to feel sympathy for the victim and shown how much she is suffering, we don't laugh at her.

          Irrelevant. It was depicted. Interpretation is up the the viewer, not anything else. Stance stands, there is reality and then there is media.

            Do you feel that way about games where the entire point is to rape women? It's not real so it's fine?

              Hey, if there was a publisher that was game enough to stand up to the conservatives, its their right to create whatever content they please. Its not real. Plus, how many quality devs would want to make that sort of game.

              But who the frack do I think I am to restrict anyone from doing anything, as long as it doesn't harm any one?

                I agree with you on stuff being "in context". The reason that the game of thrones episode got classified is the context. You see all the shit she has gone through, that she is basically sold to Drogo, and that she is not enjoying it. The context of the episode is presented so that the viewer will hopefully feel sympathy with her. If the viewer doesn't that says more about the viewer than it does about the show. However the problem with video games and this instance in particular is that sometimes it can lack context. This can be a real problem with open world games. Let's say you get the anal probe weapon whilst escaping aliens that have just used this weapon against your character and you witness it being used on lots of innocent characters as well. For your character to then get the weapon and use it against the aliens could be justifiable in this context. Using a horrible weapon on the "bad guys"/aliens that created it and were abusing innocents. However if you can use this weapon on any random person on the street in the game, this lacks a context that can explain why this behavior is not normal in society. It's played for comical effect and to be funny, it's not necessarily shown as such a terrible thing. That's what the classification board would have issue with as per the guidelines. Negative things can be shown, as long as there are negative consequences and they are not shown as positive. Same with the drug use. It gives you benefits, no downsides, which is the complete opposite of how illicit drugs are in real life.

                Also I don't see how making a game where your objective would be to rape women would be "stand[ing] up to the conservatives". I'd be interested to know how you think someone could make a game where as the main character you go around raping women and have it justifiable in the context provided?

                *edited for spelling and grammar*

                Last edited 26/06/13 5:25 pm

                  If they had the balls to try and publish a game with all that negative stuff in it they would encounter issues with coservative parent groups and lobbyists. Good luck!

        I haven't watched the show, so maybe it's different (I doubt it) to the book, but 1) her name is Daenerys, and Khaleesi is a title she gets, as female counterpart to Khal (the way that Empress is counterpart to Emperor); and 2) it really depends how you wish to define rape, but it was certainly not rape in the 'forced, sexual violence' sense, but possibly rape in the 'statutory rape' sense (not necessarily a reference to her age, as the age of consent is different depending on the culture, and has historically been quite low compared to modern Western standards - but instead, a reference to her vulnerable, powerless position). Maybe the book does provide more context though, that makes it more clear that it's not rape.

          It's a lot more rape-ey in the show. In the book she was terrified, but he was almost gentle about it and in the end, she wanted it (at least that's how I read it). In the show she is crying as he has his way with her. I understand why they made the change though, because they wanted to show how weak and vulnerable she is, so the changes she goes through to become a strong Khaleesi seem more powerful.

      Heh. There's a simple rule when it comes to drugs in video games. You don't have to change anything from your overseas markets, you just simply rename any reference of "drugs" to "medicine" for the Australian market. I reckon that should pass muster.

      But ultimately, this WAS about the forced anal dildo. The Saint's Row series is pretty much devoid of context (that lack of seriousness is part of its appeal), so any sexual violence in it is always going to lack any context that will allow it to be classified. As I understand it, if the sexual violence had some context justifying its use, it would be classified - but that has to be tested. I mean, by that definition, a rape game would be acceptable... when it obviously would not be. Maybe you need acceptable context (but what's that? Saving a woman from rape maybe? Taking vengeance on a rapist perhaps?).

    Maybe re-design the weapon? Make it not so much a 'dildo' but some sort of device that launches people into space. Perhaps a unique weapon that propels them towards the 'mothership', like an abducting device. No 'penetration' needed; surely there is something that doesn't instigate violating someone's backside?

      Why not just slap the "R-18 with high level implied sexual violence and drug use" sticker on it and the make sure the marketing for this game is covered in "Adults only"?

    Um... didn't the game Destroy All Humans have a weapons specifically called an Anal Probe? A game that was rated M in Australia.

    Sure, you didn't specifically insert it, but I remember 'victims' running away clutching their rears after being hit with it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8bq7q7IOhY

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Destroy_All_Humans!#Weapons_and_abilities

      That's different though - there's no forcible insertion.

        But there is none anyway. Its pixels on a screen. Make believe.

        there's no forcible insertion in any of it, its just an illusion man, what you're actually seeing is something that looks like it, but is actually just an accumulation of pixels. The only forcing that happening is that of you pressing a button or clicking a mouse. Its meant to be funny and fun, if you take it as real life or inspiration to go out in the real world and do the same then there's something deeply wrong with you. Its just a game.....

      Yeah, that was my first thought. I'm pretty sure there was a brown particle effect as well. The only real difference is that DAH didn't have you manually inserting it (and didn't pixelate the effect).

      Honestly, I personally find it distasteful and it's just one more reason why I wouldn't have bought SR4, but I was expecting something much worse for the game to be banned. This is just part fo the general low-brow humour of the game, and doesn't sound particularly high impact.

      That is it. I wish there was some consistency in the ratings. Seems sometimes places get away with it sometimes it doesn't..

      That was my first thought too. But then it occurred to me you were actually playing as an alien and you were actually harvesting brains, there was the "context" behind the weapon, as opposed to here where it's senseless.
      I'm not saying I agree with the censorship, but I can see the difference and why DAH got away with it when SR4 has not.

        Most of SR is senseless- that's the point. It sounds like this is extremely low impact violence of a mildly sexual nature. I wonder if the dildo was removed from the weapon would it stil be banned- given that Its the part of the weapon that is sexualised??

        I personally don't think this should be RC. The probe to me is a weak excuse. I hate drug use in real life and games and hate it when my character chooses to do drugs in a game. But drugs do make you feel better- that's their whole point.

        While there reasoning makes sense in the legislation as it is written, I feel shortchanged by it. And that makes me sad for games that people may actually buy

    I do find it interesting that the game's use of censorship is used as part of the justification here.

    A bit like this youtube video. Censoring something seems like a surefire way of making something look dirtier than it is, or that we assume the worst. Doesn't that nullify the entire point of that sort of censorship?

    Not that I ever really understood the point of that sort of censorship but that's another point entirely.

      I think in this case the censorship was just for humorous effect.

        Well, yes. That and if they actually animated anal penetration, they'd get in trouble with more than just our classification board.

        Doesn't change the fact that the use of censorship was used against the game when classifying it.

    If people are unable to separate reality from games/film then they have more issues that need attending to first.

    Can we grow up and leave the protectionist society behind yet?

    Violently jamming a sex device up someone's anus would violate the "interactive sexual violence" bit, yeah.

    That said, it's a single weapon they'll cut out. No big deal.

      It is a big deal. The whole reason we wanted an R18 rating was for things like this.

      The R18 rating for this game in other western countries are fine with this weapon, yet seems we are applying a rebadged MA15+ rating to our games. Its insulting to say the least