Australia Refuses Outlast 2 Classification
Australia is the lucky country—unless, of course, you just so happen to be unlucky enough to be a gamer over the age of 18. If you are that unlucky, you might be able to vote, buy alcohol and buy pornography in certain jurisdictions, but the Australian Classification Board (ACB) knows that you can’t be trusted to make your own decisions.
In the fine tradition of South Park: The Stick of Truth, Saints Row IV and State of Decay, which suffered edits to receive Australian releases; and Hotline Miami 2, which never made it down under at all, the ACB has deemed Outlast 2 a danger to the Australian way of life. According to the ACB, Outlast 2 will warp the minds of gamers, forever turning us into hopeless, irredeemable sinners, needing the government to protect us from ourselves. From their report:
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.
As adults are unable to be trusted to make their own decisions as to which games they should or should not play, the ACB refuses classification to any games that, as they put it:
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.
Negating the fact that the above is simply a description of a really fun time, it has been widely reported that violent video games help build empathy (if it wasn’t common knowledge already, it is now that Silent Protagonist has reported it). Rather than turning us sweet, innocent and unsuspecting gamers into ritualistic orgy addicts who can’t help but succumb to whims like committing sexually violent acts, researchers at the University of Innsbruck undertook a study that confirmed that video games can replace schadenfreude with empathy.
Silent Protagonist can confirm that the ACB is, surprisingly, not ignoring this research. In fact, said research is exactly the reason why certain video games are refused classification. Australia is currently in the process of removing penalty rates for people who work on Sundays. Australia still refuses to allow same sex marriage. Australia continues to keep refugees locked up in processing centres with worse conditions than third world countries.
Australia does not like empathy. And gamers must suffer for it — or order our games online.