Outlast 2 is the latest in a long list of games to be refused classification in Australia. The ratings board’s site didn’t go into explicit details as to why, although Kotaku reached out and were given a pretty detailed report. Basically, its because of a scene of implied sexual violence. Implied. As in ‘not shown explicitly’. This is the world we live in.
Australia has a long and sad history when it comes to video game censorship. Firstly, their Classification Board refused to issue their highest R18+ rating to the medium of video games for many years, under the assumption that nobody over the age of 18 would be playing video games anyway. As you can imagine, being denied the highest rating resulted in tons of games either being banned or outright censored over the years. As if this wasn’t bad enough, the country has also now implemented a ‘do it yourself’ questionnaire for developers to fill out when it comes to mobile games. Ticking the wrong boxes has resulted in literally hundreds of titles being blocked from release.
Along with countries like Japan (where Gears of War 4 was recently banned) and Germany, Australia is one of the primary offenders when it comes to censoring video games. Whatever happened to that crazy idea that adults should be able to choose their own entertainment rather than having the government regulate what they can or can’t watch or play? Or the even crazier idea that freedom of speech and free expression are essential to democracy? Having the government choose what can and can’t be released is actually how an authoritarian society would function. Fuck censorship.
Those of us who don’t live down under will be able to experience Outlast 2 on April 25.