Britain Is The Latest Country To Ban A Sexy Dungeon Crawler

The roguelike dungeon crawler Omega Labyrinth Z is coming to the West sometime this year on PlayStation 4 and Vita - but not in the United Kingdom, nor in a handful of other countries that have banned it, including Australia.

Screenshot: PQube Games

According to the BBC, the UK has added its name to a list of countries that have refused to give the game a rating, which already includes Australia, Germany, New Zealand and Ireland. This is tantamount to blocking it from being sold in stores. The Video Standards Council (VSC) explained its decision in a post on its website earlier this week which cited, among other things, the game's sexualisation of underage characters.

"The VSC Rating Board believes this content in a game, which would have strong appeal to non-adult players, is an issue which would be unacceptable to the majority of UK consumers and, more importantly, has the potential to be significantly harmful in terms of the social and moral development of younger people in particular," wrote the ratings agency.

The last game to be refused a rating in the UK was Rockstar's Manhunt 2 in 2008. A version of that game that had been edited to comply with the country's laws was still initially rejected, and it wasn't until after a long appeals process that the game was able to get a PEGI 18 rating and thus allowed into the country.

Omega Labyrinth Z has traditional RPG elements such as traversing dungeons for items and fighting enemies in turn-based combat. It also has what's euphemistically referred to as "fanservice", however, meaning things such as collecting underwear and bras, and rubbing women's bodies using touch controls in order to free them from imprisonment so they can join your party. In the first Omega Labyrinth, one of the goals of protagonist Aina Akemiya was to increase her breast size.

Screenshot: PlayStation

Sex role-playing games such as this aren't new or rare. Gal*Gun: Double Peace was a 2016 rail-shooter in the same vein as Omega Labyrinth Z. While it also included sexualised minors and was banned in Germany, the VSC did rate that game for the UK as PEGI 16, a rating which states, among other things, that "Sexual activity can be shown but it must not include visible genitals". VSC told Kotaku via email was that the difference between the two games had to do with how Omega Labyrinth Z "normalised sexual behaviour towards children".

"In one mini game, the player is given the objective to sexually arouse a sleeping small child holding a teddy bear, whilst she verbally rejects," the agency wrote. "Ultimately, we felt there is a serious danger that impressionable people, i.e. children and young people viewing the game would conclude that the sexual activity represented normal sexual behaviour."

Publisher PQube Games said in a tweet it had tried to appeal the decision, but the VSC rejected it. Kotaku reached out to PQube for comment earlier today, but has not heard back.

In the US, the game will be releasing with an ESRB rating of "Mature", meaning that it is recommended for players 17 and up, and can be carried by mainstream retailers and listed on the PlayStation Store. (The ESRB, which is not a government organisation and is voluntary, also has a rating of "Adults Only", which mainstream retailers in the US choose to not carry.)


Comments

    on one boo game bans

    on the other hand

    ...objective to sexually arouse a sleeping small child holding a teddy bear, whilst she verbally rejects,

    who the heck green lights that as an idea

      It's become a pretty common element in Japanese otaku-bait shovelware trash games like this. It's one of the unfortunate consequences of adding a touch screen to the Vita & DS/3DS.

      Japan's culture has a much more lax attitude to pedophilia than most of the developed world.

    I came thinking, what kind of Donald Trump like logic have they used to ban this game... then read "the player is given the objective to sexually arouse a sleeping small child holding a teddy bear, whilst she verbally rejects"... and decided censorship is fine my me.

    The first game was complete garbage (unsurprisingly) so no real loss.

    The irony though is that the company localizing this is based just north of London. So their employees are working on localizing a game they will not be legally allowed to buy.

    Yet another stupid judgement. They should not just ban games due to their topic. Sick and tired at being over 18/21 and being told 'no you cannot buy a game just because it has anime based young characters', Over this nonsense, all governments can grow up and stop acting like stupid people.

      It's all the stupid old people that are in charged of most countries.

      being told 'no you cannot buy a game just because it has anime based young characters'

      They're being told 'No you can't buy this game that lets you molest an underage girl who is verbally telling you to stop'

      You go man! Support those people who want to witness underage children be sexually assaulted! I hear NAMBLA is recruiting!

    If you’re the kind of person that is able to get yourself off to cartoons,I pity you.And unless it’s Jessica Rabbit,I’m not interested...

    This is what is so retarded. Like the board knows this game is for adults and would of rated it R18+ if it got into Australia.
    But this argument of:
    ""Ultimately, we felt there is a serious danger that impressionable people, i.e. children and young people viewing the game would conclude that the sexual activity represented normal sexual behaviour."", is weak sauce.
    Well it is an adult game to begin with, how the hell would children and young people view the game if they can't get it in the first place because you need ID to buy R18+ stuff? This goes for other games as well and not only this. I always find the reasoning behind a lot of the restrictions of games into countries is that it isn't good for people under 18. Well that's the reason you have a rating board and the games not on shelf or off limits to the younger audience at stores.

    Last edited 18/03/18 10:24 am

      This is what is so retarded. Like the board knows this game is for adults and would of rated it R18+ if it got into Australia.

      It has been banned here for most likely the exact same reason, being asked "to sexually arouse a sleeping small child holding a teddy bear, whilst she verbally rejects"

        It's interesting to try and look behind the development process and the superficial representation of the character Urara. Yes, she dresses and behaves as a very young child, possible as young as 5 or 6 years old - carrying a teddy bear, not speaking in a developmentally appropriate way.

        However, if you take her measurements as set out by the developers ( https://gematsu.com/2017/03/omega-labyrinth-z-details-marika-mirei-urara-berona-new-awakening-system ) you get height 143cm, B69, W54, H71.

        Plugging these into a body visualizer ( http://bodyvisualizer.com/female.html ) you get this: https://imgur.com/a/a6IJG

        Comparing the measurements with statistics for Japanese girls in their early 20s ( http://nbakki.hatenablog.com/entry/Bust/Waist/Hip_Measurements_Japanese_Girls ) you find that the measurements for Urara (including height) correspond to roughly 88%-90% of the average for a Japanese girl in her early 20s, with one exception, which is hip measurement (only 83% of average).

        Now, hips start to widen during puberty, but we don't know exactly when. Puberty in Japanese girls commences earlier than in Caucasian girls ( https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/cpe1992/2/Supple1/2_Supple1_1/_pdf ) at about 10.0 years of age on average. Hip widening is caused by estrogen production.

        The big unknown (I couldn't find data) is average hip measurements in the 10-20 year age range. If we had this, we could estimate Urara's age a bit better.

        It's pretty clear from the image and the measurements that Urara has passed the age of puberty, but that she has not yet hit the age of 20.

        Interestingly, the only other indicator I could find was average height of Japanese children. Urara's height corresponds to that of a Japanese girl of the age of about 10 years and 11 months ( http://nbakki.hatenablog.com/entry/Girls_Average_Height_and_Weight_by_Age_in_Japan ) although this shouldn't be considered determinative.

          i feel like you're reading way too far into this. Having the resident loli character is pretty much standard for this kind of game. Doing a bit of lampshading doesn't really change that the character was specifically inserted to cater to an underage fetish.

    Make a new PS4 account and sign up to the USA account, then use a online website to buy USD cards and you can still play it! I'm going too! looking forward to it. I don't need others to tell me what i can and cannot play.

      Or don't play a game that asks you "to sexually arouse a sleeping small child holding a teddy bear, whilst she verbally rejects"!

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