Australia's tough classification regime for games has struck again, although this time the victim isn't as high profile as last year's big-name casualties (such as Fallout 3 or F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin). Sexy Poker--an upcoming WiiWare game developed by Gameloft--has been refused classification by the Board, effectively banning the strip poker game from sale down under.
Sexy Poker pits a player against six different female opponents who wear stereotypical costumes, such as nurses' outfits, sports uniforms, police clothing, and business wear. According to the Board, the game was refused classification because nudity was used as an incentive--in this case, winning a game of poker.
"In the Board’s view Sexy Poker offers depictions of nudity as an incentive or reward to interactive game play. In the Board’s view, the general rule in the Guidelines for the Classification of Films and Computer Games prohibiting depictions of nudity as an incentive or reward, applies to the game play described above, as the player is shown increasingly detailed amounts of nudity following successful game-play," the statement said.
"In the view of the Board, the impact of the game exceeds strong as except in material restricted to adults, nudity and sexual activity must not be related to incentives or rewards. As such the game cannot be accommodated in a MA15+ classification." Because there is no R18+ rating for games in Australia, the highest classification level for a game is MA15+.
With Sexy Poker, 2009 has now seen two games banned in Australia, although Necrovision--which was banned in April--has since been reclassified as M-rated after the developer made changes to the game.
For more on Australia's classification regime, check out our Censory Overload feature.