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

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.


  • 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).

          • 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…

          • 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?

        • 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.

          • 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?

      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]

      • 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.

        • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.


          • 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.

          • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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*

      • 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.


          • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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???

    • “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?

      • 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*

          • 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”?

      • 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.

      • 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

    • That’s exactly right, they will remove that one weapon, and get passed for the drug stuff, then get an R18+ rating. No biggie.

  • The thing is this is the exact reason we wanted an R18+ rating in the first place. Me thinks that without the R18 rating, if this stuff was removed it would be shoehorned into MA15+.

    I find this new R18+ rating system quite frankly insulting. They just renamed MA15+ to R18 and told us we got want we wanted.

    Now i have to obtain this game by shady means, which is a hassle that the R18 rating was meant to remove.

    Fing pathetic.

  • As usual, even when the classifcation board tell us the reasons, the community of Kotaku refuse to acknowledge they over-reacted… and even worse now they are making references to a South Park episode.. last time I checked, I couldnt control that South Park episode with a controller (other than pausing, rewinding, stopping etc – you know, linear controls that have no affect on the content)

    People refuse to approach this with a calm mind, and instead make ridiculous references to other media (like the stupid user car analogy that always get banded around when people talk about used games) that have no direct correlation to the subject at hand – and this is the reason why our past-time has difficulty gaining the respect of the community, when we are quick to go off half-cocked and cry foul that a game featuring sodomy with a weapon, that has no effect on the content and quality of the game, is banned even though we dont know what context it was being used

    A weapon penetrate the anus people, whether implicit or explicit, it occurs. There is no need for this kind of weapon, it cannot be justified by any context and our system was set up to stop games with ‘implied sexual violence’ – which, as a community of gamers, we all agreed it should do. The system has now done that and we cry foul and want to change the goal posts to suit us (I guarantee you, if the game was called Alien Anal Probe 3: the Bludgening and was banned, we’d all be agreeing that it was a good decision to ban the game based on its content) because its a Saints Row game?

    • You make a valid point, but I think your overview of the “Kotaku Community” is fairly skewed. There’s many more posts here that respect the decision than oppose it. What we are having is a dialogue. And I’m pretty sure Pez’s reference to the south Park pilot was tongue-in-cheek.

      • Check out the other two SR4 is banned posts.. you’ll see pages of comments that were very very quick to dismiss classication board!!

        • Kneejerk reactions, based on assumptions. We didn’t have the data then that we have now, and I think people were not mentally prepared for the fact that games could actually still be RC’d, so they feel like the decade-long fight has proven to be for nothing, in under six months.

          • My kneejerk reaction was based on reading a super vague media release provided by the ACB with absolutely no further information.

            What people are getting upset about is that this game is being approve and getting adult ratings in other countries and that’s what R18+ was meant to do here; bring Australia up to date with the rest of the world so that we could have the same adult media as the rest of the Western world. If the US (considerably more conservative than Australia) and the EU can allow the game without any modifications, why not Australia? And no, I’m not trying to justify rape or blah, blah, blah…

    • I’m actually having a hard time working out what your stance is. You seem to have for and against points.

    • and even worse now they are making references to a South Park episode.. last time I checked, I couldnt control that South Park episode with a controller (other than pausing, rewinding, stopping etc – you know, linear controls that have no affect on the content)

      It’s easy to confuse it since some people are referencing the joke in the South Park pilot episode, but the new South Park game will feature a (presumably) interactive version of the same gag. So it is somewhat relevant.

      There is no need for this kind of weapon, it cannot be justified by any context and our system was set up to stop games with ‘implied sexual violence’ – which, as a community of gamers, we all agreed it should do.

      First of all I didn’t agree to that. Second, one could argue it’s not sexual. The big floppy dildo bat in the previous games wasn’t sexual. It was an object associated with sex but using it wasn’t a sexual act. If you were shoving grenades up people’s butts or down their throats it wouldn’t be automatically considered sexual. Even the rape scenes in the previous games weren’t sexual. They’re making crude jokes, that’s it. This isn’t a rape simulator and it doesn’t encourage anything sexual.

      Ultimately you’re approaching this from a judgmental point of view and that’s not the job of classification. From a judgmental point of view the entire game should be banned. The series is crude, ultra-violent and shallow. Saints Row is the definition of pointless and like 99% of video games contributes nothing positive to society.
      That doesn’t matter. Classification exists to put a sticker on the box that says what’s in the game. If that content is deemed unsuitable for younger audiences that’s fine, but as a grown man it’s influence over what I play should never extend to more than telling me what’s in the game and which stores are allowed to sell it.

      • Yes, but as a community we agreed that a game, as with most other media, if it had sexual violence it would be refused classification – you are forcibly inserting something up the anus of another person – the textbook definition of rape, whether thats with a phallic object or something else – the anus is being penetrated against the person’s will – its rape – its sexual violence – thus we agreed as a community that it should be refused classification. Regardless of what happens in the game elsewhere, this particular scene is a bit we control – we force the NPC to be “raped” (for lack of a better word, my apologies on how unpopular this post will now be)

        My stance is simple – I want to defend what we fought for. We fought for an R rating and we fought to dismiss the idea in the Catholic Church’s head that this was going to be a floodgate to allow games with sexual violence in it – unfortunately this game has that, and as a community we need to stick by our decision. We cant be demanding this game break the rules because its Saints Row – thats besides the point (and I loved SR3 – an absolute corker of a game, and yes I was looking forward to this!)

        Classifications dont exist to put stickers on the box – they exist to uphold the majority of the communities view on what is acceptable – and it works – we, the gaming community, lobbied for a change to our classification system and it worked it – but we also agreed to not allow anything with sexual violence in it. Yes, it took us years to get what we wanted, but we got it. Dont take what I say out of context – I am defending what we, as a community, fought so hard for and what we ultimate agreed too. If we didnt want to agree with the sexual violence aspect, we should have lobbied that (knowing well that we wouldnt have received our R rating)

        Nothing will stop us getting the game elsewhere – most of us imported MK and there was no issues with it, and the same will happen here.

        BTW – I am pretty sure Metro Last Light is rated R18+ for Strong Sexual Violence – does anyone know what context the sexual violence is in that game as compared to this scene in SR4?

        • Me, personally? I fought for there to be classifications for things in place. For purchasers to know what was suitable for:

          1) Unsupervised children (IF you believe children should ever be unsupervised when playing games.)
          2) Supervised children.
          3) Older teenagers.
          4) Adults.

          Adults includes… EVERYTHING. Nothing is going to melt our brains. Rape-porn isn’t my thing, but as long as it was made by consenting performers, I don’t care if that’s how someone gets their rocks off. We’re all sensible enough to know the difference between a murder in a snuff film and murder in Rambo. It’s pretty bloody obvious which category a Saints Row video-game falls into.

          • This ^. Thats exactly what I fought for. @ dansdans, just because the law passed doesn’t mean the the community as a whole supported what was passed. That’s saying that all laws are passed with community consent…

            What country are you living in? Because here in Aus tonnes of laws are passed without community consent.

        • you are forcibly inserting something up the anus of another person

          Thanks to the fact I was about 13 when GoldenEye was released I’ve forcibly inserted literally millions of bullets into the anus’ of NPCs. That doesn’t make it sexual violence. The mere presence of objects that primarily function as sexual objects doesn’t make an act of violence sexual. In Saints Row IV it’s almost certainly played closer to a Road Runner cartoon than pornography. As described I wouldn’t expect it to be any more graphic or sexualised than kicking someone in the nuts in the previous games.

          Yes, but as a community we agreed that a game, as with most other media, if it had sexual violence it would be refused classification

          Again, I didn’t agree to that. Your entire stance boils down to you being ok with the moral crusade as long as it’s led by your group. All you’ve done is moved the lines to the point where they no longer bother you.
          I do consider this an improvement over the previous classification system and it was worth fighting for, but if things like this are still being refused classification then it’s not good enough. When it comes to sex and classification in Australia the system is just broken. If you’ve ever had sex with the lights on you’ve probably done something that, on film, would be refused classification in Australia.

          • Just to add some context you may not have considered… Its a video game…

          • Ok dude… I’ve seen you post the same thing down the entire page. “Because it’s a video game” doesn’t give it context. Say there is a child playing some education game then suddenly, a rape scene. Oh it’s alright because it’s a video game.

            What you actually have to think about is what is the context of that particular game? Is that feature necessary? I can’t think of any reason for an anal probe to be in SR4.

          • No, obviously there is an difference between a game made for adults that has implied sexual assault actions and a game made for education.

            Not all games are made for children. That is the context. I dont want anyone else to decide for anyone else what is appropriate for others to see. Sure they can recommend but that’s the limit. Parents should be the ones responsible for filtering the content for their children.

          • I think I am wasting my time arguing with you…. twist my words if you want, thats ok.

            As for sex and classification – do some more research please

          • I’m not trying to twist your words here. Sorry if it came off that way. I just don’t feel that it’s automatically sexual violence to put something in someone’s butt, even if that something is dildo-like in appearance (I also don’t feel sexual violence is reason enough to prohibit 18+ people from buying/playing it).
            Sorry if claiming your methods match those of the old moral crusaders offends you but as blunt as I was it’s true. I didn’t mean to imply that you want your group to be in charge to push your beliefs on others, the idea didn’t even enter my head. However the reality is you’re supporting the same system they did, where the classification system acts as a way of banning and censoring, only with the boundaries redefined to not interfere with what you do.

            I’m actually not really into violent media. If a game or movie promotes itself with blood, gore and adult content it usually has to work way harder to grab/hold my attention. Most of the games that were refused classification over the past few decades I had no real interest in anyway. Actually the reason I like Saints Row so much is that it’s so disconnected from reality that it’s closer to Ren & Stimpy than the real world.
            I just hate the idea that I live in a country where someone who is over the age of 18 can’t buy a game or watch a movie because a classification board doesn’t approve of it.

          • It’s not sexual violence to put something in someone’s butt, if all parties are consenting. Without consent, it’s violence. Without context, it’s in breach of the guidelines and must be removed classification. At no point did anyone lobby for the addition of non-contextual sexual violence to be included within the ratings categories. If you want to be the one to lead that charge, feel free.

          • I think your statement about GoldenEye is a bit of a stretch. I never thought that when playing GoldenEye. When you shot the characters in the game, were the pants forcibly removed and the gun rammed up their anus before you fired the bullet? This is context that you are adding to the game, the game didn’t show this happening, it was just a bullet hitting a body part. You chose to shoot the character in the area where their anus should be, and then put the idea of that happening there yourself. The game didn’t have it or tell you to do it, you put that idea there, That’s the context you put on something that doesn’t actually show that happening and in no way implies it happens. Saints Row 4 however looks like it actually has it happen. The persons pants are ripped open and a dick shaped object is forcibly inserted into their anus. It’s pixelated but it actually happens. It is visibly shown, you don’t need to imply this yourself.

            also *puts on troll face* wasn’t GoldenEye rated MA15+ in Australia? What was 13 year old you doing playing it? *takes off troll face* 😛 haha sorry couldn’t resist.

            *edit to add below stuff*

            I think the reason this is an issue for the classification baord is that this weapon can be used on any random innocent in the game. It has no strong context implying that it’s wrong, when it is a pretty crude thing to be doing. It’s the same reason the drug use has got it banned. No negative context on the illicit drugs, only positives. Which is not like how illicit drugs are in real life.

        • The Catholic Church and the Australian Catholic Bishops group were two of the biggest SUPPORTERS of R18 and adults making their own decisions.

          The non-representative ACL opposed it.

          You should really try to get that right.

          • No probs. There’s enough the Catholic Church has to account for, but they’re often quietly progressive on a lot of this stuff.

    • I disagree. I lump video games into the same category as all other media. Its pixels on a screen. I knew the law change was just a cosmetic one at best. It just makes me sad that after 10 years of fighting the good fight, we actually got no where.

      BTW Im not saying I support the content, but its not for a board of other people to actually decide for me what I can and cant view.

    • When did we “all” agree to this? As you might have noticed by the responses here, that is far from the consensus.

      Adults should be able to watch/read/play anything they want to, just so long as they’re not hurting others in the process.

      If someone doesn’t like the content of a particular game, or movie, or tv show, or book, they don’t have to watch/read/play it. No-one is forcing anyone to do anything here.

      Everyone has their own morals they live by, they shouldn’t force them on others.

      • Again, and I will say this very clearly, when the R 18+ rating was tabled, we all knew (if we read the documentation, and I did – if people didnt, thats their fault) that sexual violence would not be permitted

        We knew this, and we pushed for the R18+ without questioning this.

        If we had a problem with it, we should have (as a gamer community) voiced our concern now – but at the time everyone thought sexual violence = Japanese Hentai rape simulators and everyone thought it was the right decision to be made

        Look up the old R18+ arguments and you will see this – in the body of articles and in the comments that we (the community) wrote.

        Im not seeking to change history here, or looking to force a view on anyone – no doubt I would enjoy this game with the anal probing weapon more than most of you – but the fact is as a gaming community when we fought for an R18 rating, we knew that sexual violence would not be permitted and we never said anything

        And for the sake of this argument – the gaming community is the “we” – if you want to fragment away from that, feel free, but at the time we were united on this cause, and this is what we knew eventually would happen.

        • We were far from “united” on the R18+ proposal. There was people, like myself, pointing out that this isn’t the system we wanted.

          If you’re the voice of the gaming community, I’ll be happy to fragment form that. Your opinions do not represent mine, and I’m sure there are many others that feel the same way.

          • What system did you want then? And how active were you in voicing that opinion?

    • You are just pandering this interactive/reward ideology goes along with that kind of mentality that adults who play games cannot seperate reality from fiction. Nothing has proved this, if anything I could argue that saints row is cartoon stylised and people are likely to be more influenced by live action television shows and movies showing the same thing. Both of our arguments are unsupported by evidence though. It’s two sides of the coin, just don’t go around thinking you have it all figured out simply because you side more with one.

      • I hope this comment inst target at me, because thats certainly not what I said or implied

  • For those worried about a watered down version though, at least this won’t be that bad… the edits to Left 4 Dead 2 left the game unplayable. Edits to this game will simply involve removing the optional mission (or re-labelling the drug) and the removal of a single weapon from the game (even though it’s humourus in nature). I doubt the average joe would even miss it.

    • Yeah, this is like when Fallout 3 got RC’d because they originally called Med-X morphine. It was a divergence from the original and unnecessary. When it was changed back, the game was fine – dismemberment and all, even though the classification board opposed dismemberment in MA15+ games at the time as well.

      Rename the drug, slightly tweak or even remove the weapon, and we still have what I hope is going to be a really good game.

      • I thought they removed the animation showing you injecting the stimpacks into your arm?

    • I’ve tried to play L4D2 a few times, and it’s staggering just how bad it is compared to L4D1. You wouldn’t have thought that simply making the enemies vanish in a puff of smoke on death would have such an effect on the experience, but it absolutely does.

      As for the anal probe? Enh. I personally don’t have a problem with it, we’re doing far worse to people in the game, but whatever. I won’t MISS it. I only need the dubstep gun.
      Oh, and those narcotics. The morphine/med-X change was bloody pointless, it’s very hard to see why these people had such a bug up their ass about use of a painkiller to treat injuries, but were perfectly OK with perforating anyone you felt like for any reason (or even no reason) whatsoever.

      Double-standards: We has them.

      • Double-standards: We has them.

        No, we don’t. You’re comparing the violence to drug use… They’re two seperate ratings.

        Comparing painkillers (a legal substance) to treat injuries (their actual purpose) is different to using narcotics (usually illegal substances) for the purposes of recreation. Promoting violence in games is one thing, promoting recreational drug us is another.

        • Fair point, but I’m coming at it from the same place the board is: legal substance used to treat injuries (actual purpose) was not OK by the standards of the board. So they, themselves, are lumping all drugs in together.

          The broader point is, even taking drugs for their intended purpose or for recreation, pales in significance to the wanton destruction and violence which are considered acceptable. THAT’S the double-standard.

  • I don’t get it. An alien anal probe was in Destroy All Humans. How is this any different?!

    • Both ridiculous and inconsistent to ban this in a clearly over the top, Family Guy style parody game.

      An anus isn’t a freaking sexual organ until you put an actual genital in it. Might as well ban a game because someone puts a gun in someone’s mouth.

      The drug part is really worrying because it’s so inconsistent. You can smoke joints for health in SR2. (and if you say weed doesn’t count, why was Risen banned)


  • Anyone know if the Australian pre-order on Steam would be modified if they do water down the game?

  • I anal probed tons of people in Destroy All Humans!

    I was kind of over this game when they said you played the president of america, with superpowers, fighting aliens. Now that its been refused classification I HAVE to go buy an uncut version

    ….DAMN YOU CLASSIFICATION BOARD, look what you done, LOOK AT IT!!

    • The anal probing in DAH was justified. You were an alien. With SR4 there is no reason to have that weapon. Like you said, you play as the President of America. I can’t think of anyway to justify the need for an anal probe

  • what’s the difference between being anti censorship and being “don’t tell me what I can and can’t do – no matter what it is” ? Is there one?

    • That’s a ridiculous question, you may as well ask if there is a difference between talking about rape and actually raping someone.

    • Me, personally? We have laws telling us what we can and cannot do, and as a layman, I’ve noticed that the common thread is mostly (mostly) dictating what we can and cannot do to other people. Things which will affect others.

      The anti-censorship crowd may well have a unifying purpose in being OK with being told what we can and can’t do to others, but object to being told what we can and can’t do to our own minds. To understand why people might feel so strongly about it, it’s basically a non-consensual effort by a collective Other force to control the main thing which makes you… ‘you’. Your mind.

      Some might find this especially offensive when the collective other tries to force these restrictions and regulations on your mind, for reasons which may be abhorrent to you – such as religion.

      • cool – but couldn’t you argue that what is being censored is not what the individual is putting into their own mind (done to self) but what an individual/group of individuals is selling to the general public (done to others)? I suppose you could then say that unless controversial material is made available, I don’t get the chance to make the choice as to whether I consume it or not. Interested to know if people think anything at all should be censored, or if the decision to consume should always be available, no matter the content? Where is the line? is there a line? if there is a line, should it be fixed or change as culture does?

        • I’m not much of a believer in censorship, but I think it has a very small place.

          I can’t speak for others, but my own beliefs seem to be pretty close to much of what gets carried out in other, less-hysterics-inducing media than video-games. Snuff films? Censor. Someone died to make that. Child porn? Same again – a kid was harmed in the manufacture of that. Torture flicks of animals? Again – ban it. Cartoons of any of the above? Whatever, let it go. Better that someone be at home jacking it in private to a cartoon than buy a panel-van and go looking for some real-life version of a fantasy that they’re not allowed to indulge via media.

          I don’t buy the argument some folks use that repeatedly fantasizing about something inspires people to go and act on their fantasies. I suggest quite the opposite. If it were illegal to watch porn, I suspect there’d be a HELL of a lot more motivation for folks to be getting out to the bars on a Friday night than there currently are. We’ve seen that the rise of video-gaming in society has corresponded to a reduction in violent crime, too. Causal? Maybe not. But it makes intuitive sense that folks are less pent-up when they have a non-harmful release-valve to turn to.

          Of course there are those who would say that fantasies should be controllable and suppressed. Forever. Anyone who knows anything about fantasy has to laugh at this. People who make this argument sound like the folks who think that gays can be ‘cured’ with some good ol’fashioned prayer and repression.

          The theme there should be pretty easily understood. It’s similar to the first thing I mentioned: harming others.

          There are things which blur the lines, though. Instructions on how to make bombs? OK, that’s got the real risk of facilitating harmful actions in the hands of someone with ill-intent, but how instructional are we talking here? Some of my chemistry classes bordered on that, in explaining how things react. And there are legitimate reasons to be dealing with explosives and educating yourself better outside of the training provided. Compromise: You look that shit up, we have very serious, secretive men and women start looking into violating your personal privacy, and hope they realize you had good (or at least IDLE) intentions.

          And that’s how we go. Are others harmed? If so: Bad. If not: Knock yourself out.

          Anyone who can be set off on a spree of sexual/drug-addled violence because of a video game, 50yrs ago probably would’ve been arrested for the same thing, only because of the urgings of his clothes-pegs. You have to already be crazy to be a danger to someone because of anything a video game might have in it.

          • You’ve hit the nail on the head mate. Plus reading your responses in this thread have made you my new favourite poster on Kotaku! Very well reasoned and eloquently put forth discussions.

            To use your point as a springboard, the main reason the ACB are so savage when it comes to topics that are sexual, can be perceived as sexual, or as having anything to do with genitalia is because the entire system is running on conservative christian values. Or being run by people who have to work toward keeping conservative christian values. Same reason drugs are frowned upon so much; also part of those values.

            So this censorship is nothing more than trying to force everyone to follow the same values as them. I am not christian, I do not want my entertainment to be filtered through a group who’s view on sexuality is as dark and twisted as the church. The fact that the anal probe gun has been considered worse than any of the other actions in the game goes to show how warped the ACB’s morals are, “Oh all the cold blooded, insane murder is fine, but don’t penetrate the butthole! That’s not cool!”. The church has no place in the rating of entertainment, or the choices I or anyone else makes. The church doesn’t belong anywhere other than within the four (tax free) walls of the church. If you want to be dictated to by a religious group, go to it and ask for whatever guidance you feel you need.


            They should change it to an Orgasm gun, you shoot it at people (at the crotch, once in effect pixelate the crotch are), they have a loud, mind-altering Orgasm, then their heads explode. That would be the nicest way to kill someone ever, climaxing, total bliss, then POP. See if the censorship board take offence to that.

  • R18+ should cover drug use. Maybe forcing sodomy on civilians is a bit beyond tasteless? Then again. blowing someone’s head off isn’t exactly the most kindest thing you could do to them either.

    But if other countries don’t see the need to ban it, why would this one? IDK. I will consider this ruling throughout the day.

    • Being rewarded for drug use is an interesting quirk of our classification system – on its face it kinda makes sense that the ACB doesn’t want to condone positive associations with drug use, but we get rewarded for murdering people in countless games. I think it’s one of those things where you have to say ‘it is what it is’ – it’s not really a fight worth having.

      On the other hand, it turns out you can rape people (and not just bad guys) in this game, and it’s played for laughs. There was no way in hell that was going to fly.

      • It’s totally a fight worth having because we’re dealing with inconsistent laws. I don’t get why it’s fine to murder countless people (even innocent civilians in CoD for instance), a game that attempts to portray realism.

        Yet in an over-the-top, completely unrealistic setting, we worry about ‘alien anal probes’ and ‘drug use’. How is the murder of innocent people less important than rape? They’re both equally bad and one could easily argue that the former is actually worse.

        That’s inconsistent. Just as inconsistent as the government allowing us to smoke, which leads to tens of thousands of deaths in Australia each year. Or why not ban alcohol ads, especially in the context of a sporting event, because it encourages children to drink which in turn we know leads to many problems, including countless deaths.

        Will a single person end up being raped because someone has played this game? I would say the answer is: pretty unlikely.

  • So it has a disgusting weapon used as over the top toilet humour that people will use once, instinctively clench up their butt muscles as they say “that’s disgusting” then never use it again.

    I’m not “Pro Anal Probing” but I think if people are warned the content is in there then they should be able to make the decision for themselves on if they buy the game.

    Which they will. By either choosing the sanitized Aussie version or getting it via other means.

  • Southpark had Cartman get an anal probe years ago and a satellite dish came out of his anus.
    That was only rated MA15+

  • Well, this usually means one thing:
    People will simply get the game from the US, where you will find it uncensored and you can play the game at full thrust. (Pun intended)
    Most of us have a friend or relatives in the US, who we can order the game to be shipped to from Amazon, who will then happily forward the game to us here in Down Under.
    For those who don’t have friends or relatives in the US will probably resort to the usual channels of torrenting.
    Gamers will get what they want, one way or the other.

  • We have R18+ and they still restrict games what kind of BS country do i live in. Like MK9 importing here i come. Aus censorship are so backwards with R18+ ratings anyway.

  • “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.”

    If it was a hyper-realistic serious game/movie/tv show, I’d think that it was disgusting, and I would understand the boards decision. But this is a crazy cartoon-like game with over the top humour. Clearly the people at the ACB have no sense of humour. It’s ok to go to war in a game like Call Of Duty and kill as many people as you can, or play ultra-violent games like God Of War and Dead Island, but you can’t have an alien probe dildo weapon, double standards much.

    • The ACB don’t create the guidelines, they just make the decision based on said guidelines. It’s their job. Sexual violence creates a higher threshold than regular violence.

    • It’s not just an alien probe dildo weapon, it’s rape. And not just rape, but ‘humorous’ rape.

    • If it was a hyper-realistic serious game/movie/tv show, I’d think that it was disgusting, and I would understand the boards decision.

      If it was realistic and serious in a movie it would be fine. Watch the original of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’. Not a pleasant scene. Not a movie with a ton of artistic value either (unless just being in another language makes it valuable). Watch The Watchmen. It has the most intentionally sexy rape scene I’ve ever seen and it went through just fine. It’s also the sort of movie where it should have been written on the poster that it contains a rape scene since it’s sort of unexpected.
      People are fine with the idea that you just don’t take children to see those movies/don’t buy them the DVDs, but if it’s a video game it’s still assumed that A) it’s targeted directly at children and b) children will get hold of it.

      • *attempted* rape scene. In Watchmen. I personally didn’t think it was intentionally sexy either. But I do agree that there’s a double standard, and that the interactivity thing is over-hyped.

    • It’s ok to go to war in a game like Call Of Duty and kill as many people as you can, or play ultra-violent games like God Of War and Dead Island, but you can’t have an alien probe dildo weapon

      CoD, GoW and Dead Island. These games are completely different. The violence in these games are jsutified. CoD, you are in a war. It’s kind of expected that you kill to protect your country. God of War, I wouldn’t really know about because I haven’t played much of it. Dead Island is set in a zombie outbreak. You have to kill the zombies to survive. I don’t think these games actually depict sexual violence either.

      What I’ve been telling people is that this anal probe is completely unjustified. There is absolutely no reason for this anal probe to be in the game.

  • HAHAHAHAHA this is the reason, oh my alien probing god! TV has proven that alien probing is REAL, and therefore this weapon would be classed in the same category same as any military weapon you’d find in most war games.

    In all seriousness though, you can kill/murder people in other games with replicated real guns, but having a little anal probing fun?? I mean you have to fight aliens in this game, and usually the best form of defence is to use their own weapons against them!

    As for smoking ‘alien narcotics’, there is no connection to real world drugs, which Fallout 3 had a problem with, and subsequently had to change because of. But this is ridiculous, this game was obviously reviewed by someone that needs an anal probing to find some sort of intelligence, (I hear we keep it in our bums) 😛

    In Saints Row III you could beat people with a giant dildo, which is a real world item! They need to fck all the panel members off and employ some younger blood and people that no longer ride their dinosaurs to work!

  • Totally cool with this decision. The drugs I don’t think should matter, and I think on their own wouldn’t be an issue. Raping people for Lolz is not funny. But great publicity for their upcoming game……

  • Thank God we have the classification board to protect us from the hordes of people that would have felt inspired to run around and anally probe the unsuspecting public.

    • Am I the ONLY PERSON HERE that realizes that the show Tosh.0 did this? He challenged people to put something up peoples butts, catch it on video and send it in! How is THAT okay to be shown on TV but when you do it in a video game, nooooooooo watch out masses, we’ll save you. =/

  • The Anal Probe gun doesn’t bother me. It’s a weapon, easy to remove.

    The issue i have is with the drug thing. This can’t be a simple rename, it’s the act of smoking drugs to increase super powers that’s caused the ban. As anyone who has seen the game in action, super powers are a main gameplay mechanic. If Deep Silver/Volition remove the “drug” then they cripple the mechanic.

    I’m anti-drugs personally, but I understand the difference between fiction and reality. It’s a same that the ACB needs to bubble wrap all the morons out there who do not. “Punish the many to protect the few”.

    • Mario has been consuming mushrooms to enhance his abilities for decades. People might argue that it’s depicted as a cartoon so it’s not as bad, but Saint’s Row is hardly a series rooted in realism either. The original Saint’s Row even let you smoke a joint and make the screen go all blurry!

    • Just a thought but isn’t there some sort of chemical in the mushrooms that Mario eats to become big? Its that a drug = super powers equivalent?

      Just make a true R-18 rating and don’t allow children access. Simple!

  • Did anyone else interpret the title as a real life anal probe caused the ACB to refuse classification? Those darned aliens, always interfering with our ratings system!

  • It all fine, in the Australian version all you have to do is get the guy you’re shooting with the gun to sign a form giving consent to the the anal probe, then after ten days cooling down period you track the guy down and shoot him with your anal probe gun.

    what is wrong with that??

  • Ok, the anal probe… Yeah, fair enough. That is a bit too far, even for a Saints Row game. But the “alien narcotics” isn’t refusal worthy. It’s no different to our old-time favourite Bioshock, where you were rewarded with supernatural powers by injecting strange fluids into your arm. The only difference there is in exhibit A, you inject it, in exhibit B, you smoke it. Either way, same goods, same results.

    Lets hope the SR team just make a quick-fix, disable the anal probe in the game (lets face it, no point deleting the files now, 90% of us will just mod it back in for sheer amusement) and make a resubmission.

  • Maybe they could replace it with the human cannon gun from SR3. It has pretty much the same effect of launching them into the air but without the probing part .

  • I’m sure all members on the rating board are beating their chests as to how they conquered the evil video-game that nearly slipped past their xray vision defenses that protect the subculture of Australia where the only sexual jokes that flourish are men in skirts and gay jokes.

  • Well I guess shoving a dildo anal probe into civilian asses is a bit much (though it’s the whole games don’t affect us in real life argument again). The drug thing is ridiculous. Heck, I don’t condone the use of recreational drugs in real life at all and I have no problem with it popping up in game. The people who play this game would all be adults. If we were offended by the game, we shouldn’t have bought the game to start with given the game’s MO. It’s a very unnecessary type of censorship.

    • It’s not about being offended. It’s about showing things that are in fact extremely illegal in real life (with good reason) and portaying them as no big deal.

      • No, if it made it into the game, you would be offended because you think it portrays something that is inappropriate. But you’re assuming that we can’t tell the difference between something that is clearly a game vs something that is real life. It’s one of the arguments people used to push the R18+ rating in the first place. You’re saying that I as an adult will play this game, see this anal probe, go into real life, see something similar then think it’s no big deal. That pisses me off. You think I don’t know that this sort of thing in real life is wrong? Cuz that’s what you and the classification board seem to be implying.

        Why should you, or anyone else for that matter dictate what I play in a game that I KNOW isn’t real. There are no studies to confirm that any of this has any impact on a person’s perception of reality. Go find the science journals, read them carefully. There is no proof. Not unless you already had psychotic episodes in the past in which case anything could be a trigger, not just games. The mainstream media unfortunately has blown the games side of thing out of proportion because it is an easy scapegoat. At this very moment, anyone who disagrees with the alien probe but agrees with extreme violence is being a hypocrite. Violence is as wrong and as illegal as rape is and yet we seem to make the distinction between a game and reality with violence just fine.

        Whilst I understand that many of you find this inappropriate – don’t do it! Hell, don’t buy the damn game. It’s what I do when I don’t like something a developer has done.

      • if you would like to talk about portrayal and context there is a lot more to this situation than just simply ‘bad things are bad’. To any long term fans of sandbox action games and anyone who objectively analyses the genre it’s blatantly clear that the saints row series is and has always been satire/parody to the highest degree.

        So it’s a bit of a stretch to argue that the intent of the game is to portray illegal things as no big deal. Do you see them as no big deal? I don’t and i would argue any sane competent person would have no problem disconnecting this form of entertainment from reality just like any other movie or tv show – would you accuse the first episode of South Park (Cartman Gets an Anal Probe) of similar crimes against decency?

  • Whilst I understand the outrageousness of Saints Row – I agree with the classification board. Sexual violence is never funny; it’s one thing to slap someone with a dildo but quite another to penetrate someone.

    I can’t support developer decisions like this. At least I have fond memories of Saints Row the Third.

    • Right people being dead is fine and funny but rape or sexual violence is bad no matter what.

  • People seem to be having trouble understanding the idea of context and how it applies to classification. Violence can be graphic if it its integral to part of the story and consistent with the scenario in which it is portrayed. Killing characters who are attacking you is different to killing unarmed NPCs. Killing non-human characters (such as monsters, aliens, robots or zombies) is different to killing realistic human characters. Killing someone in a ruined underwater city, on an alien planet or in a post apocalyptic war zone is different to killing them in a supermarket carpark. A cut scene implying sexual violence or torture is different to actively particpating in it.

    Sadly there are too many people in this world who simply can’t distinguish between fantasy and reality. People who walk into schools and shoot children. People who rape and murder own family members. People who behave with no care or regard that their actions might destroy the lives of someone else. We don’t live in a society where you can do whatever you want. We live in one where certain actions have consequences because we need to protect vulnerable people from the malicious ones.

    How can we tell someone that it’s wrong to rape someone as a joke in real life, if we decide that it’s ok in books, films or video games? When and where do we draw the line?

    • How can we tell someone beating a person to death with a giant purple dildo as a joke in a video game is ok but not in real life

      How can we tell someone running down pedestrians in a car dressed like a hotdog as a joke in a video game is ok but not in real life

      How can we tell someone killing people as a joke in a video game is ok but not in real life

      We are basically deciding adult human beings cannot discern what is right and wrong behaviour in the world and letting them even simulate doing it in a non existent fantasy world will tell them its ok to go around doing it.

      Some people don’t like the Anal Probe weapon because its sexual violence or that its immature. Ok that’s your opinion and choice to make you probably never have to actually use the gun in the game and if you never want to use it you would never have to but censoring it and removing it is not right. Just because you don’t disagree with something does not mean you can just have it removed because it offends you. I am offended with people who side with the rating board on this one but im not going to call out and demand your posts all be deleted and your opinion silenced that would be censoring you.

  • Keep in mind Atelier Totori Plus was briefly refused classification (then later re-rated MA) so consistency isn’t something we can necessarily anticipate from the Classifications Board.

    That said, while calling the weapon an example of sexual violence is a stretch, it really isn’t much of one.

    As for the drugs, just call them herbal remedies and you can do anything with them. That seems to be the approach of the alternative medicine industry anyway…

  • Unfortunately, it’s the line about having an interactive rape device, not about the weapon and what it does. If there was a cutscene with the anal probe and anuses, I think it’d have passed. But because the player has to press buttons then it becomes interactive, which pushes it over the threshold for the maximum rating.

    • *wipes a tear from eye* What would we ever do without the Kiwis?
      As if it weren’t enough that they furnish us with a steady supply of talented actors which we can cheerfully claim as Australian when they’re hot, then disown when Hollywood turns them batshit loco.

  • I wont worry sumone will make a patch to put it back into the game or just import it :). Pffft silly Classification Board wont stop me

  • this is getting beyond a joke to be honest. what was the point in getting an R rating when they still wont let through games? i mean half the things in saints row they are talking about will be pixel censored anyways…. time for another petition while i start ordering games from other countries again i think

  • Where can I find out who’s on the classification board, and their ages and backgrounds? Because from the looks of things these men in suits are making some stupid decisions. There is an R18+ rating that is being used as if it were MA15+, meaning it does bugger all! It appears after these 2 bans, that it’s time to cut them loose and rehire to get some actual competent decisions being made.

    Left 4 Dead 2 was the first strike but then we got the R18+ years later. Then we lose Saints Row IV and then State of Decay because these people are treating the rules with a “we make a decision on how we feel” manner, meaning previous decisions mean nothing. It’s disgusting. I’m 22 years old. I want to play this game, I know what I’m paying to play and I don’t think I’m going to run around with a dildo and shove it up innocents behinds. If you’re going to create an age restriction – USE IT. I’ve heard quite a few friends say they can’t afford to buy it on Steam right now before we get locked out. And I’m prett ysure if they can’t get it by other means due to the ban, they’ll pirate it. Which is logical, why lock us out? I want to continue playing the game I enjoy.

    There is no censorship here, this is the wrong kind of censorship. One weapon in an entire game has ruined the ability to experience the game for Australian fans. So the classification board has gone “oh this one little bit is insulting and we don’t like it. It goes against our guidelines so BAN”. I think these guys needed to rewrite their bloody guidelines to fit in with the new R18+ rating that they created, or was that too hard?

      • Hmmm, that’s pretty left-wing. Explains a fair bit now. And as someone else has mentioned – the decisions are coming down to a bunch of 40+ year old women who are (if I may stereotype) the antithesis of gamers.

        They’re like our moms that want to ‘protect’ us and keep harm at bay.

        To be fair on them though, they’re just following what the law stipulates. So they’re doing their job. It’s the law that should be looked at if there’s anything to be done about this.

        It does bother me though that a very, very small group of individuals end up dictating what I can and cannot see/watch/experience as an adult in a free, democratic society.

      • Thanks for that, a good read. Although nice looking people – I don’t think they’re a good representatives of a gaming crowd, and shouldn’t make judgements on it. I still believe a more diverse range of board members is required.

      • Looks like 1 of them actually plays games.
        I would love to know what the mother of 3 from Lane Cove thought of Human Centipede when they allowed it to be classified.

  • I thought the point of having an 18+ was so that people could play unrestricted content if over the age limit? Some people don’t find this offensive and others do, they need to let people choose what is right for them. Release an 18+ version and a modified version.

    • R18 does not equal unrestricted. It still has guidelines that it falls under and these two games happen to breach them. As I pointed out above, the people on the board are technically doing their job as the law dictates.

      If we want change, we’d have to push for a change in the law that governs these things.

  • We obviously can’t let people play this filth!
    They’ll be pressing X to sexually assault each other in the streets and taking drugs that don’t even exist if we let this in!

  • Okay, if it had been like the humorous dildo weapon in the last game, I’d have said ‘oh come on, dildo fights are funny and everyone stopped being shocked by sex toys years ago’. If it was like the one in Destroy All Humans I’d have said ‘that’s kinda silly, you’re not actually doing anything bad with it, you’re getting up in arms over a name’.

    But this? Yeah, no, I agree with the Classification Board on this. And I’m surprised other countries aren’t making similar decisions.

    There’s poking fun at a prudish society still shocked by the existence of sex toys, and then there’s rape jokes. One of these is funny, the other isn’t a subject that anyone should ever joke about.

    (As for the drugs thing…yeah that barely deserves a footnote in comparison.

    But I do recall some rumblings about Bioshock and a couple of other games (can’t remember what they were but they had a similar mechanic; I think Left 4 Dead 2’s adrenaline shots were also something that got the game its rating). Drug use I don’t think is anywhere near as shocking; while I agree there should be a warning about it on the label (for those who really have an issue with it) I think anyone old enough to be playing MA or R-rated games isn’t shocked by drug use.)

  • Jumping on this one late, I know.. but with all the talk about it I got to wondering.. “…and not justified by context…” that’s a very significant line that people are missing here. Presumably then, if the context justifies it, then that sexual violence is to be allowed. Considering the game revolves around an Alien invasion, and anal probes are pretty much cannon as far as that goes, and that the entire game is of a very sexual and very violent nature (NB that these are not generally ‘connected’, they are two individual themes within the title), I’d have to argue that a sexualised anal-probe weapon is entirely within context and justified.

    As to drugs, well that appears to be entirely down to personal opinion and whatever other interpretation the OFLC wants to apply.

    Surgeon Simulator 2013. Hypodermic Needles containing a green liquid which, when injected into the patient, slows their bleeding. Absolutely a positive gain from drug use. Absolutely against the R18+ guidelines. Absolutely not anything that grown adults need be “protected” from.

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