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Old 06-26-2007, 01:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
Punishment 101
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Top 10 BANNED Video Games

Manhunt 2 may be the hot topic today following the BBFC's questionable decision to reject the game and refusal to give it a classification (thus making it illegal to sell in the UK) but banning games is more worryingly common than you may realise. Here's 10 games that have been gagged across the world...

10. 50 Cent Bulletproof
Banned in: Australia

Why? The Australian censor is notoriously heavy handed and ranks as one of the most ban-happy boards in the world. While the Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) accepted the foul language, drug use and excessive violence in Fiddy's actually-quite-rubbish vanity exercise they were turned off by the slow motion counter-kills - specifically the ones involving knives and on-screen blood splatter. To be brutally honest is was no great loss...

9. Commandos Behind Enemy Lines
Banned in: Germany

Why? Germany enforces extremely strict censorship on videogames, and as such game publishers will often do a special Teutonic version to pacify the examiners. An oft quoted example is the use of green blood which marks out the character being killed as an 'alien', making it more acceptable. Commandos was banned on a more obvious technicality: an issue with missions that involve allied soldiers going on missions to kill Nazis, and use of the swastika.

8. Pokemon
Banned in: Saudi Arabia

Why? One of the more bizarre bannings has religious foundations - in 2001 Pokemon and all its associated spin-off games were the subject of a fatwa in Saudi Arabia which said the card featured the Star of David, which was associated with Israel and international Zionism. It was suggested the games had "possessed the minds" of Saudi children. The edict was expected to be followed rather strictly as punishments would likely include lashings and deportation.

7. The Guy Game
Banned in: United States

Why? A morally reprehensible game in theory and in practice (IGN gave it 7.7) The Guy Game was a fratboy's dream which focussed mostly on tits and beer with some trivia thrown in. What its makers failed to realise was that one of the cheerleaders who flashed her parts on camera during the course of the game was only 17 and thus under-age. She complained and the game became illegal.

6. Mercenaries
Banned in: South Korea

Why? Not surprisingly South Korea don't take too lightly to games that involve fictional representations of wars between themselves and their slightly mental Northern cousins. To be honest we'd probably be the same if old Kim Jong II was breathing down our necks.

5. Command and Conquer: Generals
Banned in: China

Why? This strategy game got the backs of the Chinese government up, with the Ministry Of Culture proclaiming it "smeared the image of China and the Chinese army". It also took offence that the game required players to destroy various national monuments like the Three Gorges dam.

4. GRAW 2
Banned in: Mexico

Why? Recently seriously pissed off one Chihuahua Governor, Jose Reyes Baeza Terraces after he discovered Ubisoft's game featured a fictional storyline that saw the citizens of Chihuahua fleeing their town and being replaced by armed insurgents. Unfortunately, Terraces exposed his painful lack of video game knowledge when he was quoted as saying, "Violent video games ... attempt to divide the good will of the residents of American and Mexican cities".

3. Reservoir Dogs
Banned in: New Zealand

Why? No great surprises here as anything associated with Quentin Tarantino seems to attract a fair degree of controversy - not that he had anything to do with this woeful adaptation of his 1992 film debut. Amazingly, given the film's cult classic status today, the BBFC (who is responsible for the banning of Manhunt) initially refused to give it a video classification and it wasn't until 1995 that UK film fans could see it outside of a cinema. The New Zealand OFLC banned it for on much the same grounds as the BBFC did, saying "the film tends to promote and support the infliction of extreme violence and extreme cruelty…for the purpose of entertainment."

2. Marc Ecko's Contents Under Pressure
Banned in: Australia

Why? Although style guru Marc Ecko's graf game was initially granted a 15 rating by the Australian OFLC it was later banned after an appeal ruled that the game promoted an illegal act (graffiti) give hints and tips on how to do it and rewarded the player for scribbling 'I love Tracey' on public buildings and infrastructure. Clearly the Aussies don't do hip-hop.

1. Postal
Banned: In 13 countries

Why? The fact it's advertised as banned in 13 countries works in the same way that Ruggero Deodato's exploitation classic Cannibal Holocaust was supposedly banned in 50 countries - it's a great selling point. Unsurprisingly, it's not available in Germany and Australia and someone tried to get it banned in the US. It's got a lot to do with the fact the minimal plot involves the lead character going on a killing spree, shooting people, innocent or not, simply because he's angry about being evicted from his house.
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