Report: Singapore Bans Mass Effect Over Lesbian Love Scene

November 14, 2007 -
BioWare's Mass Effect has been banned in Singapore, according to GameAxis Online, a site operated on the island nation.

Apparently, the game's widely-publicized love scene between two women - one of whom is a blue-hued alien - didn't go down well with government censors. From the GameAxis Online report:
If you were expecting a raunchy Lust Caution movie-inspired sex scene, then you're going to come away disappointed. Of course, when a video like the one shown in Kotaku makes its round do you really expect our censorship board to let the game pass through its net? Of course they don't!

So here's the sad news coming from official sources. Mass Effect, the wonderfully crafted RPG from Bioware is now officially BANNED! The irony though, is that the ban probably only serve to intensify the game's demand here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Am0vf6GeXI

Comments

@HandofCrom

Erm... As far as I can tell, I doubt that we have any forms of child prostitution here at all. Its very much illegal and the police seem stomp on those kinda fellas with glee... And no, we do not have slavery here in Singapore.. ('cept Wage Slavery.... but that's pretty much everywhere, no?)

But yeah, our board of censors here are pretty anal about stuff like this....

Not really too surprised. Singapore has their eccentricities. A few years back I was working a job that got outsourced to singapore, a couple of us ended up going over there to train them, and they came back with some stories allright. Apparently you have to be real careful over there. Seems they still have public canings for law violations. Not sorry I didn't go, but not because of the laws or for want to see a new country. (My employer at the time was telling people to pay the costs up front and they'd reimburse. Cheap sons of a $$%%^.)

OK, here is the official response from the MDA...

'Mass Effect' was disallowed as it had content which featured lesbian intimacy which is unsuitable for the young. Under the current system where there is no age ratings, games allowed for distribution have to be suitable for a general audience, including children. There is currently no videogame classification system, as such our website has no listing of age ratings for games.

I've said it before, and I"ll say it again.

As bad as we think it is here, in other countries, it's freaking worse.

Pathetic! A semi lewd scene that shows nothing more then normal tv can, and they get pissy about it.

To all those that bitch about american ratings, myself included, be grateful.

Least we don't live there.

I hate Singapore. Didn't they ban "The Darkness" too?

This is the infamous lesbian love scene? I see more on tv than I do with that.

You're shitting me, right?

Singapore bans Mass Effect for THAT!? The scene was weak, those characters were (in my opinion, at least) somewhat ugly, and Singapore bans the game because of THAT?!

...

I don't know what to say about it... (*walks off, while shaking his head in disbelief*)

Wow...just wow. (laughs hysterically at the stupidity of some people)

I suppose Jack Thompson would favor this game getting banned for that weak scene.

@ Video game time

Doubt it, most people like that only outcry against homosexuality because it makes them uncomfortable and threatens their perceptions of sexuality.

Girl/girl action however dosen't present the same problems to a patriarchal morality system that the boy/boy scene does.

To sum up, in their twisted minds;
boy/boy = gross
girl/girl = hawt

Besides! The blue lass is obviously an alien - perhaps it has an x and y chromosome and only looks female by our perceptions? When you get right down to it gender isn't nearly as set in stone as current western thinking would portray.

I'm not surprised. Over there, an anime known as "Mon Cole Knights" was banned simply because one of the characters was homosexual in the original (heck, there really wasn't anything else BESIDES the fact he was gay, no "secret lover or relationship", no actual sex or innuendo, nothing.)

@ Kharnivore

Get it through your thick skull, I was just leaving a little teaser that Jack Thompson would not mind seeing the game banned just for that little scene.

It seems like you are not smart enough to understand that so back off me.

I can see why they don't like it if one of the people on the rating board "don't go down well." LOL

Now you know what a truly fascist state is like. Never pick of Australia again.....Ever. You cannot compare the two countries. Singapore is a superficial, ultra-conservative, repressive dictatorship. That country is no democracy, I don't care what you try to tell me. In Singapore, same sex intercourse is illegal, oral sex is illegal, chewing gum is illegal, Cosmo & Cleo magazines are restricted to adults, porn is entirely illegal, movies like SAW and Borat are banned from being released on DVD, the list goes on and on.

Singapore is the new Nazi Germany.

That's not even close to a lesbian love scene. That's more of a Titanic parody at the end.

It may be banned for sale in the country, but it's not illegal to play it. Only local retailers won't be able to stock it. But if Singaporean gamers want to play it, they could just order from an online store or parallel import it from elsewhere. The government can't do anything to players who already own it.

Cue Thompson claiming America should adopt Singapore's values in 10... 9...

Can anybody confirm this?

Last I checked, not even the regulars over at the official Mass Effect forums even knew about this.

Technically, it is not a lesbian scene. It has been said by Bioware, that the alien in question in asexual. Meaning they have only one gender. They do look female by our perception. So in effect it is only human on alien sex.

Don't they also arrest you for chewing gum in public over in Singapore?

It's a nice place to visit, but I sure as hell don't wanna live there. Even their guided tours felt like subliminal propaganda.

@Yuki

I love countries like this, involved in slavery and child prostitution and all forms of government corruption that would make us sick, but they get on a moral high horse over some video game. Maybe they should focus on the reality of their country.

I am very curious to see how the media and the anti-games folk will handle this. The christians in this country (and their republican puppets) have basically made homosexuality the number one worst thing a person can do.

I personally can't wait for Mass Effect for this very reason- I want to see if a game can tackle a sexual/romantic situation in a serious manner. Given Bioware's track record, I believe this could be a significant evolution in videogames as a storytelling artform.

*reads article*
...
...
...

...and yet, somehow...life goes on.

That looks sharp graphically but is less than some of the things you can see on tv, like other people said. But whatever. We'll see how well government censor can work the internet and mail system to stop people from importing.

saw that coming a MILE away...

what is it with BioWare and lesbians? First Juhani in KOTOR, now this? Is it because the legal sex age for lesbians in Canada is 12? Were there lesbians in Jade Empire?

Feh, that was one of the stiffest sex scenes I ever saw...

*ba-dum-tish!*

@Twin-Skies

Earlier this morning I spoke with a Microsoft employee who's involved in the entertainment and gaming division in Singapore. It's true: as much as they wanted to bring the game to Singapore, the government banned it. But like I mentioned earlier, it's not illegal to play or own the game in the country. So Singaporean players are still free to obtain their game from other sources.

Did they ban it for the censored version (above) or the actual one that you could download off gamevideos.com or somewhere?

@Jack Thompson, who will no doubt eventually join this thread with all the grace of a stampeding rhinoceros with hemorrhoids-

So what is this part of the game then, a "How to score with alien chicks when dialog options are limited multiple-choice" simulator?

@ SLIPSLOPSLAP:
Godwin in 11.

i love america cause you cant ban games no matter what hillary clinton thinks or what the conservative christan parties want (read: SRN News)

bastards

Big 'meh'. I agree with Godkarmachine O Inary; TVs done worse. Let's just hope no one figures out that it promotes interspecies couples so me and my green girlfriend can continue to live in peace.

Also if no one's going to say it... needs more (.)(.)... even if they are virtual.

*pirates of carribean voice* Welcome to Singapore!

Its interesting that Pandralisk hasn't made an appearance in this article. Perhaps it is because he cannot connect Singapore with his twisted view of Christianity.

Dumbfounding...

I find it disturbing that this mode of thinking persists ANYWHERE in this day and age.

But I guess not everywhere is actually in "this day and age". Go America...

@ Fat Cat Lim

Play-Asia FTW!

HAW-HAW! Your government is homophobic, oy!

As I said at GayGamer.com *face palms*

Homosexuality is illegal in Singapore, along with anything that might make people think about it.

Whoops, ment .net, but still, the face palm still applies.

That's it?

Maybe Singapore has something against Smurfs...

Well in any case at least the anti-gamers now have a haven for their cause.

That scene was...surprisingly underplayed. Not offensive at all.

Oh, and to answer MaskedPixelante's question, yes there was a lesbian option in Jade Empire. If I remember correctly it ended in a rather passionate kiss.
Bioware seems to care the most about telling a good story and having solid interactions between the characters. Thus they seem to feel that gender should not be a limit as far as which characters can interact and how.

Hmm guess they need to do a quick time travel and remove Jade Empire (Baldurs gate and others) which as not has a only a lesbian "scene" but a male gay "scene" (my understanding that is implied since they black out the screen beford they kiss). Still there it is. Then again if Singapore wants to run their country that way that is their business.

Actually, I doubt JT will pay any attention to this at all because: A) It wasn't made by Rockstar, B), it wasn't made by Take-Two, C) It wasn't made by Microsoft, D) it's classified as an RPG.

Yes, he really is THAT petty.

Quite tame, yet totally hot.

Bad, Singapore!

Didn't go down well, eh?

Nicely done.

Nice so unlike Aus you can import it ^^

Oh I forgot to add this is typical morlisim fro the top down to show that they are "protecting" and doing stuff.

Mister Thompson will more likely suggest that there will be consumer edits that move the camera, to reveal hidden content.

@Eveyone who brought up JT

He dosen't care about stuff like this. If you keep mentioning it then when he does the search for his name here (as he always does) he will most likely give the "I don't care you morons!" line and leave it at that or talk about something that has nothing to do with the article. Don't jinx it!

@Article

This makes me automaticaly win because that means my pron is better than your pron. What do they have over there? Amish Girls Gone Wild? Look! It's an ankle! OHH!! A wrist!.

Ok, I ran out of jokes. But seroiusly, it is absurd enough that I can make fun of it easly.
 
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