Australian ratings board explains Reservoir Dogs ban

Office of Film and Literature Classification points to scenes of torture, violence, bullet-time as reasons for refusing classification for the game.

Late last week, Australia's Office of Film and Literature Classification refused classification on Eidos' upcoming film-based shooter Reservoir Dogs, making the game illegal to sell in the country. Now the board has explained why.

In a release dated June 28, the office explained its reasoning for the ban. Citing the game's "frequent depictions of violence that have a high impact," the board determined that it exceeded the allowable content to receive an MA 15+ rating, the highest rating applicable to games. Specifically, the office noted the following as reasons for denying the game a classification:

• Players (participants in a bank heist) can literally blow the heads off hostages and police as well as execute hostages at point blank range with a gunshot to the head;

• Using a series of so-called signature torture moves, players can use different means to torture hostages and thereby cause police to lay down their weapons, such as repeated pistol whipping the side of the head with blood spray evident, burning the eyes of a hostage with a cigar until they scream and die, cutting the fingers off a hostage with blood bursts as the victim screams in pain;

• In lieu of taking a hostage the player can opt for a more violent scenario where a slow motion shootout occurs, accentuating the violence.

Eidos has not returned requests for comment on the matter, but Atari Australia has been reported as saying it will not try to resubmit the game for approval.

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Discussion

105 comments
jemlyn
jemlyn

It's weird that my country, which is so laid back, seems so under the thumb by the OFLC when it comes to computer games. Yeah, they did ban Manhunt. And Leisure Suit Larry (wtf?). And Mark Ecko's Getting Up. It's really like they just choose the odd game to pick on every six months, perhaps so it looks like they're doing their job! And maybe they pick on games over movies, because anytime they try to ban a film (Baise Moi, for example), the film community goes nuts and backlashes so effectively it always ends up overturned. The game manufacturers, and indeed anyone who stands to lose money from the ban, should organise petitions, perhaps on their websites.

Le-Beave
Le-Beave

The game sounds awesome... quite alike the film. Man Australians are strict when it comes to games. Didn't they ban 'Manhunt' aswell?

The-Pieman
The-Pieman

Well, I guess theres only one solution for me. I'll have to order from America over ebay. There is no way that I'm going to miss this game, especially no filthy swine rating dogs who think that games like this have effects on everybody.

TS616360
TS616360

The movie was by far one of the best Ive ever seen so Im definitely gonna have to get this That n cuz Ive always wanted to hack someones ear off with a straight razor

santacruz123
santacruz123

this is so stupid, i cant believe they would ban a game on one of the greatest movies of all time! they will probably re-release it like GTA San Andreas. I hope they dont do this to Scarface: The World Is Yours

BYS2
BYS2

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

hellraiser6669
hellraiser6669

OH MY GOD!!!!! I must get game, blood, kill.........,torture,,,,.........gettting hungry for human flesh......(drools)

HaloSaid009
HaloSaid009

hmm a head blow sounds like a move in GTA. But tourture will be fun it's like a GTA but with more blood.

hemakm3
hemakm3

Lighten it up and rename Resevoir Kittens--that would probably pass. But, no one would play.

cal_hooper
cal_hooper

What, a game that stays true to the movie and they get mad because of the violence, which is the same in the movie? And they banned it? Why, so no 15 year old will torture his mother for not buying him violent games? Again, I blame the parents. Take care of your dirty litte offspring so that the rest of us that are allowed to buy these games can go about our business! Mother of God!

faizali86
faizali86

definitely, this will go down in the list of most violent games of 2006!

faizali86
faizali86

definitely, this will go down in the list of most violent games of 2006!

dingo_451
dingo_451

Yea. . .this game sounds pretty disgusting, but they shouldnt have banned it, im sure there are a few out there who would want to play it. . .cant see why though

ElHypno
ElHypno

Jeeez, That first sentence in my post sounds completely retarded.... Oh well.

jaefrmbk2k
jaefrmbk2k

looks like qubeley can't admit that Erebus crushed him & his weak arguments. the government got the poor aussies tryna justify a contradictory lack of choice

ElHypno
ElHypno

While I personally don't like the idea of torture as a method of game play but you have to admit that the Resevoir Dogs world is a highly violent one and anything less than this "ultra violence" would seem out of place and wouldent fit with the theme of the movie. Only differnce this time is you participate in the bank robbery from hell, in which " Mr. Blonde became a mad man" instead of hearing about it second hand from Mr. White and Mr. Pink. This and Scarface shouldent be judged by differnt standards than the movies in which they emulate. The mood and the theme of the game needs to match that of that movie its licenceing. Again, the ESRB should be enough of a safe guard in makeing sure that children arent playing without parents permission or supervision. I think nothing pisses off gamers more than playing a game of a movie and it not takeing you back to that world in its fullness.

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

This is by far, the worst bunch of comments I've ever read. I feel Gamespot should just remove all comments from this story. The war in I raq has no place here. Anyways, RD the game..... Australia needs to add a new rating for games,plain and simple. Will the ban prevent the game from playing in consoles there? No, they'll just make people import the **** Let's not forget the Hot Coffe scandal in the US. OOOOOH NOOOOOO. The only thing that did was make my copy triple in value. The problem itself seems to be money. I'm willing to bet that if Australia had a "top ranked" ( to be read 'system seller')Developer or Publisher based out of there (bringing in jobs and money) the R18+ rating would already be in place. But I do have a question for the the few people from down under. How hard is it to get a kid into a R18+ movie if you're the parent?

snarple_basic
snarple_basic

Its fun the see the envelope being pushed, buts its scary knowing that when im in line at circuite city there might be a 13 year old kid picking this game up. Stores should card there customers more, it doesn't seem to happen much on long island, too easy for young kids to get there hands on stuff thats not meant for them, thats were the problem come from.

thatguytony
thatguytony

Wow, qubeley, you never cease to astound me with your idiotic opinions. I realize your a fool who thinks that because someone plays a violent game they instantly turn into a killer, but maybe the rest of us with common sense shouldn't be stopped from playing the games we want. Go back to leaving under what ever rock you crawled out from until you decide to get a clue about "real" violence and "fake" violence and the difference between them. I truely feel sorry for the Aussies, must be frustrating to have your goverment tell what you can and can't play, and I thought the States were getting bad.

damo320
damo320

Fair enough that some comments suggest Australia should have a R18+ rating for video games. But even if that were the case I'm still concerned about the "adults" who wanna play a game where you get to torture people in such a sadistic manner. Thats sick no matter which age group you attempt to restrict it to.

gdogg4210
gdogg4210

is burning people's eyes with a cigar even necessary

kellymae
kellymae

I Want THAT Game!!!!!!!!!

DarthPhreak
DarthPhreak

"apwc: While I dont think an all out ban is necessary, I'm happy to see that unlike the ESRB here in the states, Australia cares about the content in video games and doesn something about it. Here in the US, we leave it to politicians, who have no business messing with game" That's right they have no business messing with games, that's why there's the ESRB. And unlike Aussieland, the ESRB has M and AO ratings for adults. It is my understanding that Australia has no ratings higher than 15+ or so. Therefor, they use it as an excuse to not let a game into the country, instead of... simply adding an 18+ rating. And don't give me that ESRB doesn't care crap. They're fighting every restrictive legislation the bandwagon politicians are throwing at video games. And it's not the ESRB fault if store clerk Bob sells San Andreas to little Tommy, nor is it their fualt parents are retarded and have no right to raise children.

mattxavier
mattxavier

If this comes to PC I won't mind trying it out.

WeeWeeJumbo
WeeWeeJumbo

Hmm... I think Reservoir Dogs remains one of Tarantino's greatest films, but hearing about torturing hostages to death... I think even I don't want to play this game, and I'm as jaded as they come. Or, at least, I thought I was. Cigars in the eye? Of hostages... I mean, that cop has a bad end in the movie, but... he's a cop. Hostages, though? Whoever is making this game seems to be making a political statement as much as he's making a game, given the state of affairs. I suppose we should be proud of him for that, but it's a statement I wish he didn't have to make, or that maybe he could make in another way.

zehoo
zehoo

Australia is backwards when it comes to rating games. We need an 18+ rating introduced but they refuse to do it. o and ALLE LE BLUE

shizwill03
shizwill03

Wow. I need to pick this up. It sounds grusomely AWESOME.

Autolycus
Autolycus

"Oh god. You lefties just can't go two seconds without dragging the war into this. Guess what, war and violence has been part of cilvilization for thousands of years. You think suddenly everyone will just decide "Hey lets be friends!"??? NO. Now if we do what people like you want, we would never ever win a war again. We fight people who have no rules and want to win. I think we need to find the will to win here in America because of people don't want us to." You naieve American. You are doing exactly what they want you to do. Do you know why the U.S. Went to war? FOR MONEY. Nothing more, nothing less. They are going to use "Terrorism" as the reason to set control on the general population. They can use that for tapping telephone conversations without a warrant. Reading EVERY SINGLE EMAIL, without a warrant. Throwing you in prison, without Trial(ever) without a warrant, just for saying you dont agree with there actions. Its called TYRANNY and its what the U.S. Government has become. So instead of blaming the truth on some "left wing" liberal. Why dont you get your head out of your a$$ and realize that the left and right wings are all part of the con to make americans think that democracy is really there. because its not. America is a FASCIST government, not a democracy. THE TRUTH HURTS. So don't even bother with some pathetic attempt to demoralize this comment. It just makes you look worse because you are defending something that doesnt exist anymore(democracy)

Fallout_red
Fallout_red

I wasn't interested in this game but thanks to this new PROMISING info, I'm looking forward to this game. Gush... dont they get it? Its ONLY a video GAME!!!!

BewilderedRonin
BewilderedRonin

As soon as Hillarly Clinton opens her mouth to complain about this game... *BLAM!* Teabag!!! Dez nuts in ya mouf!

amogley
amogley

Having read about the content, it makes me wonder what the game developers are thinking about putting such content in the game in the first place. You have to know that you are asking for trouble with the current political environment. Perhaps they consider all publicity as good publicity. Already people are discussing the game before it hits the shelves! The argument about games allowing people to become more involved and repeat specific violent actions .. that's BS .. you can rewind movie scenes and re-read sections of a book. Was the book banned? Was the film banned?? This isn't about the game. This is about the governments inability to control and enforce their trading standards.

alexgangur
alexgangur

K1LLSWITCH: "If this is bad, then ban the movie because all the things listed above is similar to the movie." The reason why our much-loved OFLC will allow the movie but not the game is becuase not many game retailers here really bother about making sure that game purchasers are older than the required age to purchase the game. Movies, on the other hand, are treated completely differently, and a minor will almost never get into a MA15+ or higher rated movie, even with a parent, and almost never be able to purchase/rent a movie with such a high rating.

qubeley
qubeley

Funny you talk about race riots, do you know that most of the so called "race riots" are just two gangs of people fighting along one street? I felt hilarious that overseas media blow it so out of proportion when reporting them. Only the Cronulla one is a serious and it is not originated by race hatred, it is because an ethnic gang beat some life saver on the beach up that caused the whole thing. I always found how hilarious is whenever things happened in one street got blown out of proportion overseas. And dear Americans, it's not that the world doesn't know how your beloved president treated the victims of the hurricanes and how other ethnic group got treated unfairly in your country. We got those well covered here too BTW do you know that Japan banned a number of games too? Two GTA games were banned in Japan too and it has a hefty fine for breaching the rating restrictions. When it comes to unnecessary violence, it is always better be careful than sorry. Our OFLC is being very responsible in banning that game. Same as what they did with GTA San Adreas when the Hot Coffee crap came out. Same as with that stupid 50cent game. BTW that game was allowed to be on sale after re-making and re-submitting. If they can cut down so much violent stuff to sell a game, that means those "artistic expression" thing is bs and they just want to sell more copies for money.

damo320
damo320

I think any game that simulates torturing people is not suitable for under 18's full stop. Maybe Gamespot should run a poll asking what their readers / viewers think?

rynmls
rynmls

this game looks promising for me...

cypher50
cypher50

BTW, to the patriotic Aussies: I know you are defending the right of your country to ban certain types of artwork for the greater good and thus the comments about our crime rate & such here in America. Well, many of the games your country bans are also available in Japan & the UK... Also, Australia has just as many ugly situations (for instance, several race riots over the last year or so) as any other country; banning certain videogames of all things isn't going to end violence in general. Rather, the government (if it is going to intervene) should make sure that this sort of content is only available to adults and that sales of it are monitored on a strict basis...

cypher50
cypher50

Quote from apwc: "While I dont think an all out ban is necessary, I'm happy to see that unlike the ESRB here in the states, Australia cares about the content in video games and doesn something about it. Here in the US, we leave it to politicians, who have no business messing with games " apwc, the Office of Film and Literature Classification IS A GOVERNMENT AGENCY IN AUSTRALIA. While I agree that the ESRB should be more stringent in its ratings (like actually using AO labels), saying that "Australia cares" while saying that you don't want politicians meddling shows that you haven't really examined this news story closely. I'm glad this sort of oversight doesn't exist in America...last thing I need is for the same people obsessed with gay marriage to be deciding which games are obscene... That said, I think that the game industry & retailers do need to be more observant of who plays games this violent and work toward ensuring that minors cannot get their hands on this content without their parents knowing.

knifeyspooneyDS
knifeyspooneyDS

lone creek- do you mean wolf creek- that was rated r18+ here- very different to MA15+ and M

daqua_99
daqua_99

Good on them. The OFLC has a responsibility to us to stop things like this happening. If a child plays games like this and grows up with this in mind, its not the parents who are wronged, society is. America, maybe you should follow Australia and get some laws in. It might help bring down crime.

Guitargamer1
Guitargamer1

That is much more violent then hte movie. It did not have cigars being put out in people eyes and it never showed a hostage getting shot in the head.

jamesh-42
jamesh-42

Angel_Belial: Not all people pissed off about decisions like this believe the OFLC is rating games badly. This game probably isn't appropriate for release as MA15+. The outcome I would have preferred would be for the OFLC to rate the game R18+ and allow it to be sold to adults. Unfortunately that option is not available to them due to political decisions. Many stores selling games also sell movies, so are already having to enforce the age restrictions when selling R18+ movies. Surely they can do the same when selling games.

broker1
broker1

"ketsuatama This is typical of what it has been like in Australia for as long as I can remember. We are protected from ourselves by social scientists and their politically correct mates who know whats good for us!" Come on its still the lucky country. From the reasons given seems very fair, no way that's suitable for a 15 year old. I do still think that we need another level of classification though, most people from 20-30yrs old grew up with games and we want to play games that are adult in nature (and not just pRoN.) But of course, how do you market and display such games? With online game purchases it's becoming less of an issue, but I still think there has to be a retail distribution model that would work. I was over the moon when OFLC banned bulletproof, POOR GAMES SHOULD BE BANNED and..I hate Fifty, pofiteering @!# and ego overload! But for Activision to edit and re-release was dissapointing.

damo320
damo320

anamnawshad: LOL why is teh movie not banned then? Answer: I live in Australia and can answer this. The reason the movie wasn't banned is because in Australia films can get a R18+ rating which Reservoir Dogs fits nicely into. However Australia does not allow for R18+ rated video games so if the game is as gratuitously violent (torture scenes) as the film it can't receive classification here. Simple. A friend of mine inquired with the classification board as to why no R18+ games classifications currently exist. He was told that due to the interactive nature of a game (ie implying its much worse than a film which is a non interactive scenario) and the ease with which under 18's can get their hands on restricted material from older siblings etc they currently don't consider it appropriate.

qubeley
qubeley

Erebus: It's not that I cannot choose for myself . It is that I know better what is like to be a responsible adult, gamer, and citizen than a lot of those so call "freedom fighters" games publisher who cires out against censorship. There are bad censorships I must say but banning unnecessarily violent video games is not a bad censorship. As many people say, they can re-edit the game to pass it on a lower level. If Atari refused. Tough. A government is supposed to be responsible for their own citizen, not just go all out bombing other countries while having their high school students are going around shooting their school mates and make it to the headlines around the world.

ketsuatama
ketsuatama

This is typical of what it has been like in Australia for as long as I can remember. We are protected from ourselves by social scientists and their politically correct mates who know whats good for us!

WhitePointer
WhitePointer

"SCboy79S I don't see what their problem is... they are all ex-cons. They should be used to it by now." Funny how Americans seem to conveniently forget that their country was also started by English convicts...

Angel_Belial
Angel_Belial

I don't think it's at all unfair that people in Australia who wanted this game won't be able to buy it. The highest games rating the OFLC board gives is MA15+, which means fifteen years and older can only play this game. Being fifteen does not make you an adult. This game would've needed to be rated R18+ - eighteen years and over - for it to be an accurate rating. OFLC made the right decision. As an Australian, I've always been behind our OFLC board. By the descriptions of violence in this game, if it was re-made into a movie (yeah, I know it was one to begin with), it would be rated R18+. People are deluded if they think this is descrimination against their rights as gamers. How about little twelve year-old boys, and their rights as movie-goers? No one would mind that the boy wouldn't be able to see the R18+ movie, but if it's to do with games everyone thinks they should have the right to play them. If you are underage, you do not have that right, just as with movies.

qubeley
qubeley

Yeah America should be glad cos they have more high school shooting and homocide in the country . Thanks to the "freedom" they granted to all the Americans from the government. Look forward to hear more of those news from America while they are enjoying their irresponsible art form called violent video games. I am sure we will have all the comprehensive converage of these crimes over here in Australia.