San Andreas banned down under

Latest Grand Theft auto joins Rockstar siblings Manhunt and GTA III on the censor-board blacklist of the antipodean nation.

In the wake of the "Hot Coffee" scandal, debate is raging in the United States on whether to regulate the sale of sexually explicit and/or violent games. However, there is no such discussion in Australia, where the government's Office of Film and Literature Classification can ban games outright.

And banned it has, forbidding sales of Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude, BMX XXX, and Manhunt in the past. While a heavily edited version of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City was approved by the OFLC in 2002, Grand Theft Auto III was banned in Australia when it was released in 2001.

Today, that same fate befell its successor, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Though it has been on sale in the antipodean nation for months, recent revelations about the Hot Coffee sex minigames hidden in the game's code prompted the OFLC to revoke the game's original MA15+ classification, which lets it be purchase by persons aged 15 and over. It received the classification for "Medium level animated violence, Medium level coarse language."

"Businesses that sell or hire computer games should remove existing stocks of this game from their shelves immediately," said Des Clark, director of the OFLC. "Parents are strongly advised to exercise caution in allowing children continued access to the game, particularly if they might have access to the 'Hot Coffee' modification."

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