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Updated: Outlast Outlawed...

Australian censors ban Outlast 2 video game but then pass a cut version with an R18+ rating which will be distributed worldwide


Link Here1st April 2017
Full story: Banned Games in Australia...Games and the Australian Censorship Board
Outlast 2 is a first person survival horror shooter from Warner Brothers. It is PEGI 18 rated in Europe and and M rated in the US.

Kotaku Australia has learned that Outlast 2 has been banned in Australia, predominately for the depiction of implied sexual violence.

Australia's Censorship Board provided a detailed explanation of the reasons to Kotaku. The censors identified multiple scenes where sexual violence is implied in hallucinatory scenes involving the main character, Blake.

One particular scene shows a female creature thrusting against the main character while his wife is tied up in chains. The censors explained:

[ Spoilers! hover or click text ]

In one cut-scene in the game ... a female creature prepares Blake for a ritual. She says, I want to see your true face. Your seed will burn this world. Shortly afterwards, he objects to having psycho-active dust blown into his face, yelling, Nope! Nope! before he stumbles into a forest clearing.

His vision blurring, he witnesses what appears to a ritualistic orgy. His wife, Lynn, calls out for his help, saying, It hurts! Oh god!, as she hangs from chains on a raised platform at the front of the clearing. Humanoid creatures, their skin grey, spattered with blood and scarred, implicity have sex as others pray, or chant, or gesticulate.

One creature has another bent over a rock, thrusting as they implicitly have rear-entry sex, another sits astride the pelvic region of a creature prone on the ground, moving their hips rhythmically as they too implicitly have sex. Two other pairs of creatures in the clearing are also implicitly having sex.

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.

In the Board's opinion, the above example constitutes a depiction of implied sexual violence and therefore cannot be accommodated within the R18+ classification category and the game is therefore Refused Classification.

The Board's report also notes that the game could be passed R18+ should the offending scene be cut.

Update: Australian worldwide censors

25th March 2017 See  article from pastemagazine.com . See also listing from classification.gov.au

The Australian Censorship Board has now passed a cut of Outlast 2 with the adults only rating R18+ for high impact horror themes, violence, blood, gore and sex.

The board told IGN it is satisfied that that the original version of the game that was refused classification has been modified to allow the game to be classified R18+, implying that the game's previously objectionable sexually violent content has been edited.

Developer Red Barrels then issued a statement saying that they have adopted this cut version for worldwide distribution:

Outlast 2 has been rated R18+ by the Classification Branch in Australia and will be released 26th April 2017. There will be only one version of Outlast 2 available worldwide.

Update: The cut version was the intended version all along

1st April 2017  See  article from press-start.com.au

The game producers have now claimed that the version cut to obtain an Australian R18+ was the version that the intended to release all along and that it should not be therefore be referred to as a cut version when it is distributed worldwide. Red Barrels said:

The original submission of Outlast 2 sent to the Australian Classification Branch contained the final game code and a video file for reference taken from an Alpha version of the game. This video file should not have been sent along with the game code, as its content was not representative of the final game.

In the second submission, the same game code was submitted with a video file reflecting the final game content. The game was then approved for release with an R18+ rating. There will be only one version of Outlast 2 available worldwide.

 

 

Offsite Article: Obituary: Bill Leak...


Link Here11th March 2017
Bill Leak: a free-speech hero. Brendan O'Neill pays tribute to the great Australian cartoonist

See article from spiked-online.com

 

 

Update: Miserable Queensland...

Australian state bans Wicked Campervans' humorous slogans


Link Here15th February 2017
The Australian state of Queensland has banned humerous slogans on campervans and other vehicles following a high-profile campaign. It follows complaints about slogans and imagery on hire vehicles primarily aimed at young backpackers.

Queensland passed the laws on Tuesday night, meaning vehicles can be deregistered if owners do not remove slogans deemed to be offensive.

The bill enjoyed all party support with the opposition's political correctness spokeswoman, Ros Bates, saying she was appalled by the slogans.

[The slogans] include 'it's easier to apologise than ask for permission', and 'I can already imagine the gaffer tape on your mouth'... and for any member of our society these slogans are sickening and perverse.

These vans promote rape, encourage sexism and incite violence and control.

The new powers can be enforced if slogans are not removed within 14 days of a complaint being upheld by the nation's Advertising Standards Bureau.

 

 

Censored for adults...

Manchester by the Sea cut in Australia for an M rating


Link Here1st February 2017
Manchester By the Sea is a 2016 USA drama by Kenneth Lonergan.
Starring Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams and Kyle Chandler. BBFC link IMDb

An uncle is forced to take care of his teenage nephew after the boy's father dies.

In Australia the film was originally passed MA 15+ (like a 15A in UK terms) for strong coarse language. However the distributors preferred an M (like a PG-15) rating and so the film was cut.

The film was then passed M (PG-15) for mature themes, coarse language, violence and sexual references after category cuts.

The clue to what was cut was provided by the BBFC who passed 1the film 15 uncut for very strong language. The BBFC further commented about the strong language in its insight advice:

There is a single use of very strong language ('cunt'), employed in a sexual sense. There is also frequent strong language ('fuck' and 'motherfucker'), some of it used in an aggressive manner.

So presumably the Australian film distributors removed the use of the word 'cunt'.

It doesn't look like a film that will appeal to youngsters so presumably it has been censored for adults who would prefer not to hear strong language.

 

 

Split Decision...

Australia's film rating appeals board maintains an M rating for the thriller Split


Link Here25th January 2017
Split is a 2016 USA horror thriller by M Night Shyamalan.
Starring James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy and Haley Lu Richardson. IMDb

Kevin, a man with at least 23 different personalities, is compelled to abduct three teenage girls. As they are held captive, a final personality - "The Beast" - begins to materialize.

The Classification Review Board received an application to review the classification of the film Split. Split was classified M (something like a PG-15) with the consumer advice Mature themes, violence and coarse language by the Classification Board on 8 December 2016.

The Classification Review Board met on 25 January 2017 to consider the application but did not change the rating, but slightly modified the consumer advice. The board announced:

A three-member panel of the Classification Review Board has unanimously determined that the film Split is classified M (Mature) with the consumer advice Mature themes, violence and occasional coarse language .

The Classification Review Board convened today in response to an application from an aggrieved party, Consumers of Mental Health WA (Inc) (CoMHWA) to review the decision made by the Classification Board on 8 December 2016 to classify Split M with the consumer advice Mature themes, violence and coarse language .

For comparison:
  • US: Rated PG-13 for disturbing thematic content and behavior, violence and some language.
  • UK: Rated 15 for sustained threat, abduction theme

 

 

BBC censors news story about an advert being censored in Australia...

Another example where BBC does its best to avoid spelling out of the complaint


Link Here 6th January 2017
  
Only half the advert was published by the BBC
 

Australian advert censors of the Advertising Standards Board have upheld complaints about an unofficial tourism advert promoting holidays in the New Territories (NT). The advert read 'CU' (see you) 'in the' (smaller letters) 'NT'.

The censors ruled that the language was obscene and not appropriate in advertising in any form .

Many believed it was an official tourism campaign after it went viral in November , but the territory's tourism authority said it was not involved. The creators of the ad, NTOfficial.com, describe themselves as a brand that aims to represent the true spirit of the Northern Territory .

The BBC were a bit cryptic about describing the advert and only included half the picture. The BBC described the advert as follows:

An unofficial slogan for Australia's Northern Territory has been declared obscene by a standards watchdog, two months after it swept the internet. The advert used an acronym for See You in the Northern Territory to effectively spell a profanity.

  
The original advert in all its glory
 

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