Report: Dark Sector Banned in Australia

February 14, 2008 -
IGN Australia reports that third-person action game Dark Sector has been refused a rating by the Office of Film and Literature Classification. The move is, effectively, a ban on selling the game in Australia.

In rendering the decision, the OFLC offered its impression of Dark Sector:
...a violent and sometimes gruesome game with a sinister storyline and ominous outcome. The violence and aggression inflicted upon the protagonist is of a high level, naturalistic and not stylised at all...

[the level of violence] exceeds strong and as such cannot be accomplished in a MA15+ classification... When Hayden cuts off his opponent's limb with the glaive, large amounts of blood spray forth from the stump and the injured person screams in agony which increases the impact.

IGN writes that Dark Sector, developed by Digital Extremes and publisher D3Publisher, is likely to be edited and re-submitted for a more marketable classification. A rep told the site:
This is (hopefully) not the end of the line for the game however, just a pretty substantial, but temporary, set-back.

Dark Sector is scheduled for release in the North American market on March 25th for Xbox 360 and PS3 and has been rated M (17 and older) by the ESRB.

Comments

Re: Report: Dark Sector Banned in Australia

storm
 

i'm wonder why so many games were banned in Australia..up to now, 28 games were banned because of the censorship..is the censorship little bit strict?? compare with that in Canada..there is no game being banned..as reference..there is a list of the game banned in Australia..

NameReason
7 SinsBanned because of high impact of sexual references.
50 Cent: BulletproofBanned because of high impact violence and cruelty.[3] A censored version was later released.[citation needed]
BMX XXXBanned because of sexuality and nudity in relation to incentives and rewards.[4] A censored version was later released.[citation needed]
Dark SectorBanned because of high impact violence. A censored version was later released.
DreamwebBanned because of a scene of sexualized violence. However, the game was censored, and re-released with an M15+ rating in 1996 for "Medium level animated violence."[5]
Duke Nukem 3DCensored because of violence and sexual references. Was eventually released uncut with an MA15+ rating.
Fallout 3Banned[6] for drug references. Subsequently edited worldwide with a removal of names of real-life drugs and resubmitted.
The GetawayBanned because of high impact violence. A censored version was later released.
Grand Theft Auto IIICensored because of sexual violence.
Grand Theft Auto: San AndreasHad its classification revoked following the Hot Coffee controversy and sexual violence. A censored version has since been classified MA15+.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice CityCensored because of sexual violence.
Grand Theft Auto IVCensored because of sexual violence.
Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum LaudeBanned because of sexuality and nudity in relation to incentives and rewards.
Marc Eckō's Getting Up: Contents Under PressureBanned because of high impact violence and the glorification of graffiti.
ManhuntWas available for a while but later banned because of high impact scary violence and cruelty.
Manhunt 2Banned because of high impact scary violence, cruelty and high impact of sexual references.
NARC (2005 update)Banned because of high impact violence and illegal drug use.
Postal 2Banned because of content (urination, high impact violence, cruelty, etc.)
PhantasmagoriaBanned because of high impact violence, cruelty, and a scene of sexual violence involving rape.
Phantasmagoria: A Puzzle of FleshCensored because of sexuality and nudity in relation to incentives and rewards.
Reservoir DogsBanned because of high impact violence and cruelty.
Shellshock: Nam '67Banned because of high impact violence; however, it was re-rated MA15+ by the Classification Review Board in its uncut form, upon appeal.
Silent Hill: HomecomingDrilling into body parts.
Singles: Flirt Up Your LifeBanned because of sexuality and nudity in relation to incentives and rewards.
Soldier of Fortune: PaybackBanned because of high impact violence. Activision has since modified the game to meet MA15+ guidelines.
Tender Loving CareBanned because of high impact violence; however, it has since been re-rated MA15+.
The PunisherBanned because of high impact violence; however, it has since been re-rated MA15+.
VoyeurBanned because of a scene of explicit sexual dialogue.

storm

Addendum: And as for difference between the US and Australia, I wouldn't trade a country with a robust government backed health care and social security system for what you guys have at all.

Our two counties are quite different. I could make comment on the poverty levels in the US as an glaring indictment on your government's policies ... but I won't. All countries have fault. Utopia does not exist.

Way to go Australia! You've officially started the fail-train. Aren't you just the coolest nation with an overly protective and out of touch with society Censorship Board in the world?

I seriously hope we don't get other nations doing the same thing and quoting how awesome Australia is for doing it first.

The OFLC gave No More Heroes an M ("mature" but unrestricted) rating. The description they give for Dark Sector could almost be applied letter-for-letter, except for the "naturalistic" part -- NMH hyperintensifies its violence by using what could be considered a surrealist touch to its environment, which I guess makes it okay to body-slam a foe into the ground and then impale them on an electrified sword while they whimper. There's only two conclusions that I can come to: either Dark Sector uses the most advanced technology ever devised for a videogame in order to bring the realism to a level where it could actually be confused with reality, or somebody in the land down under needs to take a second look at this decision.
---
Fangamer

@BmK

But you see, movies can be made for adults, whereas video games are just for kids and adolescents.

So did Australia ban all of the Mortal Kombat games? Because that glaive move sounds pretty lame compared to MK fatalities.

How many are now banned in Australia? Seriously....

@ Michael

You know what is funny? That is exactly the reason why the government should have no say on what media is allowed and what rating if any it gets.

I can't believe that people in the US want that kind of system here.

@Zerodash: If you think YOU have the right to choose, why don't you go over to your next door neighbour and kill them in their sleep? Or why don't you fly down to Columbia, buy three hundred kilograms of cocaine and sell it on the local streets? Surely in a democracy, you have the right?

Yes ... my examples are ludicrous, sure .... but ok why doesn't your government provide a subsidised health care system? Why is your country have one of the highest rates of poverty in the OECD? If all I'm missing out is a lousy couple of games compared to that, I think we're doing pretty well ... :p

I posted this on destructoid , and am copy/pasting here( with a few edits).
------------------

I can't say i was awaiting Dark Sector with baited breath, but outright bannination is a joke. Seems kind of ridiculous to me , as from what I've seen of the game, it doesn't appear to be any more violent than say, Gears of War.

I really hope the OFLC pulls their collective heads out of their collective arse and realise an R (restricted to 18+ for our international friends) rating for games is needed. Not only do we have crap like this happening, but there's also the occasional game that slips through with an MA (15+) rating when it probably should have been rated R.( The original Manhunt springs to mind.)

Without wishing to get on the soapbox, I urge everyone in Australia who's bothered by this to write a letter (not email) to the OFLC.

Office of Film and Literature Classification
Locked Bag 3
HAYMARKET NSW 1240

Keep it civil, concise and respectful.

Consider that the game development community in Australia is thriving at the moment and IIRC has been pushing for the introduction of a R rating for a while now. If enough pressure is applied by both the developers and consumers, it will be enough to facilitate change.

You might not care about not being able to play Dark Sector, but what about Ninja Gaiden 2 ? Silent Hill V ? GTA 4 ? If we keep acquiescing to censorship, shit like this is going to continue unabated.

I understand the whole "it's interactive therefor it must be worse than movies!" Line but still..come off it you censoring wet naps. When you can freeze frame SAW III and see the bloody stump of a woman's head after it was shotgunned, or a woman's rib cage ripped apart..and you're worried about a little pixelated blood?

I'm waiting for the day when the whole world wears blazers, white shorts and penny loafers and carries around lollipops. We're headed there.

The "excessive" violence isn't even that excessive. How many games nowadays have limb severing with enemy AI crying out in pain?

if we bann everything avalible that when you chop of somethings arm, it cries out in pain, your gonna need to hook us up to a psudo matrix and ban real life.

Oh no. violence depicted in games isn't cartoony enough? when you sever an enemy's arm rainbows don't pop out? When you kill someone the Lollipop Guild doesn't showup and dance?

Whatever will we do?

well, having 15+ as the highest rating sort of lends itself to this sort of problem. should all 15 year olds have this game? maybe not, at parental discretion, but if they had another rating to give to it, then this wouldn't be an issue. in the US, at least we have an AO rating beyond M. not that I don't have my own host of issues with the ESRB system.

@muninn
An AO rating is the equivalent of refusing to rate a game in the Us though, as none of the console makers will allow it on their systems, and none of the major retailers will carry it. That's basically the same thing as banning it since no one beleives Americans are capable of making mature decisions about what to expose themselves to.

All in all, the game sounds promising. I just hope it's fun to play.

So i won't hold out hope of seeing it in the UK then, us English citizens can't be trusted with games like these.

@void
I know that an AO is a death sentence for a game, as consoles won't license it, and stores won't stock it, but at least we have a rating for "banned", as opposed to just not rating the thing. it's a minor point of etiquette, but it seems better to at least rate it something.

@ discombobulator
yeah, you crazy brits see someone get an arm lopped off in a video game, all of a sudden it's the cool thing to do, and it's all flesh wounds and "I'll bite your kneecaps off!" and everyone runs around armless.

Well hope fully dark sector is the interesting game i though it was when i first saw it.

And so censorship continues...

----
Papa Midnight

What is the storyline for the game even i havent heard to much about it all I know is that he used to be a Soldier then he got mutatated or something?

wtf is next they are going to ban here in Australia i am sick to death as a gamer seeing good games getting banned or edited it's not that god dam hard for the Rating system to bring a adults only rating for video games

"When Hayden cuts off his opponent’s limb with the glaive, large amounts of blood spray forth from the stump and the injured person screams in agony"

Which is what I expect to happen. Bloody hell..

Well, like it or not, Yatzhee is STILL going to review it, oy. Just like he did with Manhunt.

Same country that only a week ago apologized to the aboriginees for all the atrocities against them and 'till 1967 had them classified as wildlife.. Maybe irrelevant but to me it says something.

@Adaptor

It is a Labour Government, after all..

@Discombobulator:
BBFC rating: 18
(linked)

"not stylized at all…"

I thought they didn't like it when violence was stylized.

Australia needs a R18+ rating for games and fast. It's really unfair that movies can have an R18+ rating but a video game can't.

"But you see, movies can be made for adults, whereas video games are just for kids and adolescents."

How many more people are going to say that?

@ jack

yeah they like it to be not sylized... but only if its stylized. *head explodes with paradox*. It is pretty nonsensical how they change their minds.


@BMk

yeah its well unfair. I cant understand how movies have it n games dont. bloody stupid. didnt realise australia had such a daft ratings system, i thought the uk was bad!



i really dont get it overall though, you chop of somebodies arm and they scream... errr doesnt that happen in a lot of games and films?

HELL it happens on TV!!! anyone seen 24 or prison break has seen an arm get chopped off! (are those shows banned over there?), and which is more realistic. Human actors, or polygonal models with "large amounts" of uber squirty blood that "sprays forth"...

"[the level of violence] exceeds strong and as such cannot be accomplished in a MA15+ classification…"

So? Use the R18+ rating you silly widget!


Andrew Eisen

I'm convienced at this point that you can create an extremly violent game, but it would get maybe a "T" rating at the most if instead of blood rainbows shot out of wounds.

Games rated MA15+ by the OFLC:

God of War PSP
Condemned 2
GTA IV
Soldier of Fortune: Payback
Turok
Stranglehold
Conan
Manhunt

And, yes Todd, all the Mortal Kombat games (some are actually M instead of MA15+)


Andrew Eisen

Now we're mandating HAPPY ENDINGS?! What is this, nineteen fifty-frigging-four? (See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comics_Code_Authority )

*Humms "Another one Bites The Dust"*

Someone should compile a list of games banned in Australia.

Why not create an MA17+ rating? The notion that the Australian game ratings board maxes out their ratings at 15 years of age suggests that teenagers are the oldest group of people that actively play video games. MA15+ sounds like "T and a half" in American ESRB terms.

It's been said time and time again, but until an R18+ for games is used in Australia, this is just going to keep on happening again and again.

Imagine if the ESRB didn't have an M rating (the equal of an R) and instead just gave anything with content beyond that of a T rating an AO rating, causing the game to be unable to get a license. That's essentially the way things are in Australia now, except they seem to have more tiers for their ratings so it's not as bad, as a lot of things can slide under the M15+ rating they have. Still, not everything can.

I understood, when they banned Manhunt. I understood, when they banned Manhunt too. I was irritated, when they banned Soldier of Fortune..

Now I'm just mad, I was looking foward to this game, it was on my list of game that I was goig to get when I get a 360...

We REALLY need an 18M rating here.. this is just ridiculous.. for once, I actually think I might get the whole idea of "slippery slope" people keep talking about >.

I should probably point out that although Soldier of Fortune has an MA15+ rating, dismemberment was removed and blood was toned down to get it.

In other words, the version of SoF in Australia is censored.

Also, despite what I said earlier, Manhunt is also currently banned. It was originally MA15+ but that rating was pulled 13 months later after it had been on the shelves.


Andrew Eisen

How did Turok get rated MA15+? I really can see the difference between it's killing moves and Dark Sectors...

You know, I'm almost tempted to do an experiment. I would write a book entirely in... I don't know if it would be called first person, or third person, but the book would refer to the protagonist as "you", as in "You walk down the dark street". Then I would have this protagonist, the reader, follow a downward spiral, breaking every law, commandment, and moral. The protagonist wouldn't be characterized as amoral, they would instead know what they was doing was wrong, but do it anyway. It would be extremely graphic, disgusting, horrible, and horendous (pull up theasaurus, add more adjectives to taste). I'd probably have to get a couple of ghost writers because I don't think I have enough darkness in my soul for it.

Afterwards, I'm sure I could get someone to publish it. And any country that DOESN'T ban this book, would have no moral ground to stand on for banning videogames. I'm sick that books can have the foulest things possible under the sun and moon, and everyone knows in their bones you can't ban them, but as soon as a videogame flashes a little blood or nipples, they are swinging the ban hammer like John Henry.

sounds awesome, sucks it was delayed.

mogbert,

That would be a second-person narrative. Not used very much. Off the top of my head I can't think of anything except some of the Choose Your Own Adventure books.


Andrew Eisen

Well the US version only has an "M" rating, and it's still scheduled for a 2/26/08 release date.

I'd give you 20:1 odds there's an "option" to tone down the blood-spattering, though I'm sure almost all of you will ignore that ... :P I'll probably get a copy in March. (Have kinda run low on "expendable" funds this month!)

Well, I hope that the game is revised to get an M rating (as an AO
rating would have the same, pseudo-ban, effect).

If not then I'll have to settle with importing it. Will probably end up
cheaper that way anyway. As no doubt the PS3 ver will be $110AU
(which is about ~$100US with the current good exchange rate) if bought
at EB or GAME.

@300baud

That is, I believe *exactly* what these kinds of laws worldwide wants. Something like the Comics Code Authority, but more restrictive.

I wouldn't have bought it anyway. D3 Publisher usually has the worst games on any console.

@That_1_Guy:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_banned_computer_and_video_games#Aus...

Although this game has not been added to the list yet.
Now that I see that we have more banned games than China I am
worried.
 
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