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Freedom of speech? Bah! Who wants that? Games are clearly rotting humanity’s collective eternal soul and must be banned accordingly. The following collection of violent, titillating titles have offended censors all over the world. Some have been beaten to death by the banning bat for their gory deaths, others for displaying acts of girl-on-girl action, while one was even banned for having a two-headed cow. Really, just what is this world coming to?
10. Aliens Vs Predator
Banned in: Australia
Fair play to the Aussies on this one, they have done their homework. In the Office of Film and Literature Classification’s (OFLC) exhaustive breakdown of why it denied HR Giger’s finest a release, it cites the game’s high-impact violence as the main problem. Namely ‘explicit decapitation and dismemberment as well as locational damage such as stabbing through the chest, mouth, throat, or eyes’. Ah well, at least games are given a thorough going over Down Under before they’re kiboshed.
9. Call of Duty: World at War
Banned in: Japan
A bit of a no brainier this. The game was refused a release in the Land of the Rising Sun because of its strong, gory violence against Japanese soldiers. Considering you can unlock specific achievements/ trophies for flame-grilling Japanese soldiers in trees, the ban is pretty understandable. We’d be slightly surprised if Japanese gamers wanted to spend half the game slaying their fellow digital countrymen, too.
8. Fallout 3
Banned in: India
Butchering make believe bovines is a huge no-no. Well, at least in India. Though the game lets you blow up a small town with a nuclear bomb and kill countless innocents, it was Fallout’s depictions of two-headed cows that secured Bethesda’s masterpiece a banning in India. The cow is a revered holy symbol to Indians, while Brahmin (the name for the fictional mutilated milk-gushers) was too similar to Brahmin, a group of Indian scholars.
7. Left 4 Dead 2
Banned in: Australia
The ban that inspired 170 Australians to dress up like the undead and march through the streets of Sydney as part of the Great Zombie Lurch. The march was organised in protest to Valve’s sequel being heavily modified before it could secure a MA15+ rating from the OFLC, after the original uncut version was denied classification. The game had to be stripped of all decapitations, incidents of dismemberment and piles of dead bodies before it could go on general release. The incident has since sparked a debate in the Australian government over the introduction of an R18+ rating for violent games.
6. Mass Effect
Banned in: Singapore
Attention gaming enthusiasts who live in Singapore: your country deems cross-species lesbian relations as amoral and any game that contains such content will be banned post-haste. This unfortunate fate befell Mass Effect, thanks to its now infamous sex scene. The ban didn’t last long, though, and the game has subsequently been released with an M18 rating. So now anyone who wants to buy the game in Singapore can feel like a dirty old man purchasing porn. Huzzah!
5. Dark Sector
Banned in: Australia
Good old high-impact violence. It goes together with slaughtering free speech like… eh, two things that go together really well. Swiftly glossing over our miserable simile skills, this Resi 4 impersonator left the censors all queasy thanks to the gratuitous spurts of blood that accompany finishers. The OFLC also lowered its glasses and tutted with disapproval at the censor baiting neck-breaking kills and ‘post action twitching body parts’. Clearly messing with a monster’s digital corpse is no laughing matter in Australia.
4. Grand Theft Auto IV
Banned in: United Arab Emirates
Niko Bellic’s amoral Balkan brand of brutality was banned in the UAE (along with many other regions) because of its objectionably violent content. The ban wasn’t exactly rigorously enforced, though, with Dubai’s airport selling out of all of its copies on the day of release.
3. Condemned 2: Bloodshot
Banned in: Germany
It seems the German authorities have an aversion to seeing crack heads getting their skulls smashed in by urine-soaked toilet seats. Condemned 2, like its predecessor, was banned in Germany due to its violent content. The original game was pulled off German shelves almost two years after its initial release thanks to the Representation of Violence Act. Bloodshot angered a different branch of the government, namely the BPjM, which analyses media works and their potentially harmful affects on young people.
2. Sexy Poker
Banned in: Australia
Not all Wii games are family-friendly fodder. Sometimes, like in this case of the ‘sexy’ card game, they can be sickening pieces of degrading filth not suitable for public consumption. Well, that’s what the good ol’ OFLC thought anyway, when they refused to grant the game classification. It means Sexy Poker has the esteemed honour of being the only WiiWare game to be refused a release. However, Aussie gamers desperate for a bit of anime grot can take advantage of a sneaky workaround. If they switch their Wii’s region settings to New Zealand (where the game isn’t banned) they can download it with their Australian Nintendo Points, which work on Kiwi machines.
1. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Banned in: Saudi Arabia
Hardly a shocker considering a significant portion of the game looks like it could pass for downtown Riyadh (that’s the Saudi Arabian capital – don’t say we’re never educational). Infinity Ward’s acclaimed shooter was officially banned by the Ministry of Information because of cruelty and violence against Islamic soldiers. How does slitting Alsatians throats count as cruelt… oh.
December 15, 2009
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