Outlast 2 Has Basically Been Banned in Australia

Outlast 2 Has Basically Been Banned in Australia

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The 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 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, 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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*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?

The nanny state sighs again.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

thankfully we live in times of GOG and VPN, too.

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

Spade Lead:

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.

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

Spade Lead:

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.

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!

Now I KNOW the game's going to be great

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

Avnger:
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 bitch 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.

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

Kotaro:
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

Enrathi:
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.

Avnger:
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.

Ya know...
For a nation that was once a penal colony, and is FILLED with shit that wants to kill you...
Got some pretty tight asses there.

Nanny state can't deal with it. Seriously? These idiots want to regulate what adults can and can't see? What what is this crap to 'refuse to classify'? These morons are paid with tax money so are they refusing to do their job?

Ignore them and just import it. Probably cheaper by the way.

Czann:
Nanny state can't deal with it. Seriously? These idiots want to regulate what adults can and can't see? What what is this crap to 'refuse to classify'? These morons are paid with tax money so are they refusing to do their job?

Ignore them and just import it. Probably cheaper by the way.

Yeah ... a lot of this garbage just means we kind of send money elsewhere rather than domestic retailers. It hurts businesses, does little to restrict consumption ...

This. Besides all the waste of time people are affected economically over government's BS.

Good to see exactly where our taxpayer dollars are going. Also, never ever tell these fuckers about Steam Codes or international shipping.

There are some curious points here.

Many, many countries ban certain things on the internet, and quite a lot of things that are banned its hard to argue against, things like child pornography.

Ditto on other mediums (similarly book, film whatever all can be censored for certain things. It is often the relatively young mediums that tend to be the most heavily monitored though.

A random aside the BBFC (who give age ratings to films and some games in England and Wales at least (Scotland has a distinct legal system)) doesn't have any power to prevent things being shown in a cinema, that power rests with the local government (so the local council) generally they go with the BBFC rating as they lack the resources, but they do overrule (in both directions) the BBFCs judgement (at least on council in Wales I think it was banned Life of Brian).

That all said this does seem odd.

Not surprised in the slightest, we've banned games for less and ban like... a few hundred at a pretty regular pace. Ah well. Wasn't going to buy it personally, but I imagine I'll be able to watch it in a Lets Play, and anyone who does want it will just order it in.

LostGryphon:

Avnger:
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 bitch 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.

Wait I thought the usual suspects were the other guys? Or the other, other guys? Do the usual suspects even exist?

...are the usual suspects just the friends we made along the way?

Since the introduction of the R18 rating in 2013 9 games have been refused classification in Australia and of those 9 4 of them got through later with changes mostly relating to drug use (which is an illegal thing here) and sexual violence (also illegal).
1 game got through unedited after changing publishers.

I don't know what my point is here, I also don't feel that video games should be judged any more harshly than movies. But I wouldn't be surprised if most of the people on the classification board still believe that violent video games cause children to become raging psychopathic murder hobos but passively consumed media like tv and movies don't.

Zendariel:

Spade Lead:

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.

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

And yet I can still buy F.E.A.R.2, which ends with the player character

so they can't even enforce their stupid bans consistently.

OT

Well bugger! At least I can be somewhat consoled by the fact I probably wouldn't have been able to run it on my machine anyway....

back in the day even when games were banned you could still find them on shelves

 

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