Outlast 2 Has Basically Been Banned in Australia

ffronw

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Outlast 2 Has Basically Been Banned in Australia

//cdn.themis-media.com/media/global/images/library/deriv/1389/1389173.jpgThe Australian government's Classification Board has refused to classify Outlast 2, effectively banning the game.

If you're an Australian gamer who's hoping to dive into Outlast 2 [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/169729-Outlast-2-Releasing-in-April-Outlast-Trinity] when it releases later this month, we've got some bad news for you. The upcoming survival horror game from Red Barrels is the latest title to be banned down under.

In a ruling issued yesterday, the Board said that Outlast 2 does the following: "depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be classified."

In September of last year, the Outlast 2 demo was handed a R18+ rating by the same board for "high impact violence, blood and gore, strong themes, moderate language, and mild nudity." But the full game adds a scene that contains what the board calls "implied sexual violence." The Board goes on to say that such scenes, "cannot be accommodated within the R18+ category," which led to the refusal of classification.

That's not necessarily the end of the road for Outlast 2, though. In its report, the Board noted that it "is of the opinion that without the depiction of implied sexual violence listed above, the game can be accommodated within the R18+ classification." That means that if Red Barrels is willing to change that scene, it could resubmit the game for classification and possibly get it to market.

There's an excerpt from the Board's report over on Kotaku Australia [https://www.kotaku.com.au/2017/03/heres-why-outlast-2-was-refused-classification-in-australia/], but if you're wary of spoilers, you may want to give it a pass.

Outlast 2 is heading to PC, PS4, and Xbox One on April 25 - just not in Australia.

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Neurotic Void Melody

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*Sigh* Oh silly Australian classification board, did you not see the first game's content at all?
And if it's not suitable for full-grown, responsible adults, then who is it suitable for? How do you deal with day to day news?
 

Weaver

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depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be classified.
I'm from Canada which I thought was the king of fuzzy laws, but this is some next level shit.
 

Enrathi

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I'm curious as to whether they use a similar system for movies, or if it's just video games. I'm assuming just video games, but don't honestly know one way or the other. And if it's only video games, why so strict that even adults can't use their own judgement as to whether something will offend them or not? Is it because movies are art, more socially acceptable, and/or a bigger part of the economy and culture? Is it due to the interactive nature of video games?

That last one seems a bit like a cop-out to me, if that's the case. I mean, I play tons of video games and never once did I think I was actually committing the violence or other crimes depicted. Just like when I watch a movie, I don't think to myself "John Wick is awesome! I should go out, buy a gun, and start killing people right after I finish watching this!" That's also not even bothering with the decline of violent crimes since violent video games became mainstream, assuming that it could be some misguided attempt at that tired argument as opposed to just good old-fashioned censorship and the Board being out of touch with current gaming.

Overall a rather silly ruling in my opinion, but it's ultimately their choice what to do.
 

EbonBehelit

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Always nice to see our Government taking some initiative and doing their best to keep morally corrupting media out of the hands of grown adults. For their own good, of course.

/s

... and as long as this country is run by the Liberal Party, this will never change.
 

Avnger

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And now this is censorship. Funny how the usual suspects aren't as up in arms as when a studio cuts 3 frames of underage panty shots from a game.
 

Spade Lead

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implied sexual violence
That is what bothers them? It is implied that there is sexual violence, but none is actually shown? So, when are they going to ban the internet since rape fetish porn and rape fetish novels and short stories are a thing?
 

FalloutJack

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Fortunately, Yahtzee is over HERE now, so he could have at it if he wanted too.
 

Zendariel

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Spade Lead said:
implied sexual violence
That is what bothers them? It is implied that there is sexual violence, but none is actually shown? So, when are they going to ban the internet since rape fetish porn and rape fetish novels and short stories are a thing?
There was an excerpt from the review board on the kotaku article that was linked in the article. According to it it is just barely not shown. Part of the the excerpt in the spoiler tags.

There is some sort of ritual orgy taking place, where a female(?) creature probably rapes the main character.

"As Blake yells for the creatures to "Get away from her!" a female creature, her greyish breasts bared, pushes him onto his back, holds his arms to the ground and repeatedly thrusts her crotch against him. As Blake protests, saying "No! Stop that!" the creature thrusts again, before placing its face over his midsection and then sitting up and wiping its mouth.

Although much of the contact between the creature and Blake is obscurred, by it taking place below screen, the sexualised surroundings and aggressive behaviour of the creature suggest that it is an assault which is sexual in nature. The Board is of the opinion that this, combined with Blake's objections and distress, constitutes a depiction of implied sexual violence."

Almost missed this line because it was not on the spoiler warning area.
"The board's decision, which have been provided to Kotaku Australia, was based on multiple scenes where - even though it is implied that the main character, Blake, is hallucinating - sexual violence is implied."

Not really surprised about the decision since Australia seems to have banned games from much less.

Also if i'm not completely mistaken, Australia has tried to restrict internet in the past.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_in_Australia
 
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Spade Lead said:
implied sexual violence
That is what bothers them? It is implied that there is sexual violence, but none is actually shown? So, when are they going to ban the internet since rape fetish porn and rape fetish novels and short stories are a thing?
I think the forced gender reassignment surgery via buzzsaw of Outlast: Whistleblower was more than implied! And here I thought my country was getting more grown up.
 

Lori Croft

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It's kinda silly especially when things like Far Cry 3 with the ending with Citra goes through but this is banned... granted they heavily censored Left 4 Dead 2 and I would honestly rather not having the game at all then deal with heavy censorship... but our country has been doing this since forever and I don't see it ending any time soon so... yay!
 

PsychicTaco115

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Now I KNOW the game's going to be great
 

Blacklight28

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Praise be to our glorious Liberal overlords for once again shielding the proud citizens of Australia from the moral degeneracy of video games.
 

Tsun Tzu

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Avnger said:
And now this is censorship. Funny how the usual suspects aren't as up in arms as when a studio cuts 3 frames of underage panty shots from a game.
Hi.

Fairly usual suspect, circa 2014-2015.

And, yes, this is bullshit. The same as it's been every time the land down under pulls this sort of thing...and, yet, the population keeps voting these people into office.

What do you want us to do about it though, aside from ***** like we do everywhere else?

Aussies are used to this by now, I'd think.

Get some outside keys or procure the game some other way. Circumvent the nannystate wherever you can, basically.
 

Kotaro

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Wasn't the whole point of the R18+ rating to put an end to the trend of game bannings in Australia?
 

pookie101

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Kotaro said:
Wasn't the whole point of the R18+ rating to put an end to the trend of game bannings in Australia?
up to a point.. they still dont allow certain movies for instance
 
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Enrathi said:
I'm curious as to whether they use a similar system for movies, or if it's just video games. I'm assuming just video games, but don't honestly know one way or the other. And if it's only video games, why so strict that even adults can't use their own judgement as to whether something will offend them or not? Is it because movies are art, more socially acceptable, and/or a bigger part of the economy and culture? Is it due to the interactive nature of video games?
Australia still bans books and films too. Books invoke the least ire of the board, and games get the worst of the attention. The OFLC apparently regards the interactive nature of games to increase the impact of content, and thus rates them more strictly than other media. Its worth noting however that although these things are banned, its not actually illegal to possess them, its just illegal to commercially import them and sell them. Years ago I bought a copy of Manhunt (which remains banned to this day) off ebay without difficulty, and its still sitting on my shelf and I'm not breaking any law by having it.
 

Ogoid

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Avnger said:
And now this is censorship. Funny how the usual suspects aren't as up in arms as when a studio cuts 3 frames of underage panty shots from a game.
Well, speaking as a card-carrying member of the Usual Suspects...

It's entirely possible that Australia has as large and influential an output as far as mainstream gaming goes as the US and Japan do, one I'm just completely ignorant of; but other than that being the case, it seems to me that while this is, unarguably, utter and complete bullshit, it's also mostly an issue of distribution as opposed to creation, one specifically and exclusively affecting Australia, a country I happen not to live in.

So... yeah. There's that.