Over a year since being blocked by Microsoft for explicit content, Privates takes top honors for "best learning game."
Many titles haven't made it through Xbox Live's vetting process in the past, but few have been as strangely memorable as indie game Privates. Most people first heard about Size Five's immodest shooter back when Microsoft first denied it a spot in Xbox 360's Indie Marketplace in September of 2010. Apparently, someone over there thought that a game about an elite team of condom-hatted commandos assaulting the inside of an infected vagina was somewhat too explicit for their demographic. Well, it might be too sexual for gamers, but according to the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, it's not too sexual for secondary school kids. In fact, they believe it's quite the opposite; they've awarded Privates a BAFTA award for best secondary school learning game in the Children's Awards category.
"I can't thank BAFTA enough for honouring a tiny studio who made a weird little game," said Dan Marshall, founder of Size Five. "It was a great night, and I'm brimming with pride. To stagger home with one of those oh-so-familiar shiny metal face awards is so surreal, and completely magical."
For those of you unfamiliar with BAFTA, it's actually a fairly big deal. Aside from running year-round educational programs, they hold multiple high-profile award ceremonies honoring excellence in movies, television, videogames, and animation.
The fact that BAFTA decided to recognize Size Five doesn't necessarily mean that Microsoft was wrong in denying it virtual shelf space between games such as Limbo and Trials HD, just that the game does an exceptional job of educating kids about the risk of STDs and the importance of safe sex. And in case you were thinking that Privates was just a quick way for a small developer to cash in on some people's apparent obsession with naughty bits, just remember that Size Five actually offers the game for free. So, hats off, Size Five. But not condom hats. Those, we should apparently keep on.