Singapore bans Mass Effect

Alleged girl-on-girl action causes government to put a stop to the title's release in the region.

Microsoft and BioWare's sci-fi action role-playing game Mass Effect is due to be released on November 20 in North America and November 23 in Europe. There will be one country that won't be playing the highly anticipated title, though--Singapore.

Reuters is reporting that the Microsoft game has been banned by Singapore's Media Development Authority, according to local paper The Straits Times. The ban is due to a love scene that can occur between a female human--if the player has chosen a female main character--and an alien "woman." The gender of the alien in question is actually not quite that simple; while female in appearance, the designation has little significance for the species in question--the Asari--as it has only one gender.

Other recent games have also been banned in the country, including God of War 2 (for nudity) and The Darkness (for excessive violence and religiously offensive expletives).

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Did you enjoy this article?

Sign In to Upvote

455 comments
jasonlks
jasonlks

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

mikeydumbo
mikeydumbo

ok i think its time for some general clarification. singapore is not third world. singapore doesn't ban chewing gum. it bans selling gum. singapore doesn't jail you for spitting. it fines you for spitting. singapore's "legal prostitutes"? to "isolate the damage". before you talk about singapore's prostitutes, maybe count the number in your country too. during that time, there was no rating system for games. now there is. mass effect is not banned anymore and is under M18. mass effect was not banned because we're afraid of lesbians. it cos we're afraid of people being offended by it(personally, i think government is too paranoid). and well, it was unbanned. michael fay spray painted other people's cars, who probably wouldn't want their cars spray painted (its fine if you spray paint your own car, as long as you don't insult anyone). long hair was unbanned over 30 years ago. singapore is not in china. how far away? further than from one end of canada to the other. singapore is not a muslim country. singapore is not communist. we're the REPUBLIC of singapore hung people don't suffocate to death. they die instantly cos their neck is broken. its far less inhumane than being stabbed to death by a random guy. after you've been raped. repeatedly. in prison. singaporeans are not oblivious to the strict laws. we prefer it to the fear of being [insert any crime you see everyday in your country that involves a gun] everytime we leave the home after 6pm. technically its girl on girl. asexuals are considered female. this problem is over. please stop. its been months after it was corrected. PS. i'm not sure which is worse. implementing caning to reduce crime (which i think is more inhumane, IMHO), or sit there and watch someone getting [whatever crime you can think off], knowing that can happen to you anytime in the future.

izzy_stradlin
izzy_stradlin

For those of you that comment without actually understanding, singapore is not a communist country, singapore is not poor(one of the richest countries in the world), it is the government not the people (its just like stay at home moms who think they speak for everyone, even though no one supports there oppinions), and even though the game is banned it is still in all the stores. And as a final note it is actually easier to get games here than in the states cause no store ask for i.d.

MobstarRaven
MobstarRaven

Lived there for a few years. Blame the singapore government not the country or the people. Democracy is a facade over there, the government practices totalitarianism and doesn't respect civil liberty. It's just sad to see that singaporans are not doing anything about it with their subservience. Heck majority don't even realize. HATE that singapore government.

grouse4641
grouse4641

That does not surprise me... like cabooservb117 said they are a communist country.

cabooservb117
cabooservb117

Well u gotta admit they are a communist country

pigsybum
pigsybum

singaporean here, banned games doesn't stops us, we can always import them. ^^ same goes for titles like GTA for ps3.

The_Gump
The_Gump

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

trystkl1826
trystkl1826

Wow. So there are no lesbians in Singapore. LOL

ChaotikZero1
ChaotikZero1

Singapore is actually a variety of different races and cultures put into one country... So I dont think religion and culture is to blame...

danthegamer32
danthegamer32

Damn, sucks to be Singaporian, or whatever they're called. Missin out on a huge game like that just because of ONE sex scene that even the BBFC has let pass as '12' material. Lol!

Fender_splinter
Fender_splinter

damn rascists! ban the game 'cause of her skin color!

sickside6
sickside6

Well they are going to miss out on a really good game

Chief_Kuuni
Chief_Kuuni

well that's too bad for them, should be a great game

chickenoverlord
chickenoverlord

I'm sure i heard something about some1 complaining about alien-human girl on girl ages ago... oh well whatever.... "The Straits Times"... of course they'd object ;)

7guns
7guns

The decession was stupid and it does nothing other than humiliating themselves, and just so u know know - things like these are just for show, I mean that they want to show that they care about their culture and religeon.They also know this never works and one way or another the game will make its way into the market. So u see , they have no strong ground to hold. But we can give it a rest now since the ban is lifted. PS:-http://www.gameaxis.com/home/?blog=1887

Iffy350
Iffy350

Its not fair. Gamespot deleted my post! How come someone can post "Bewbs" and waste a post where as someone with a real opinion gets there post bumped onto the nonexistent page 10.

berkner_ram77
berkner_ram77

If people want the game let them have, Singapore shouldn't be able to tell their people what THEY want.

Vyce3
Vyce3

How can you ''do it'' with a race that has only one gender anyway?!?

thekey
thekey

Singapore is one strange country.

cdodder
cdodder

Considering that an alien is NOT human, there is a strong possibility that it would not be male OR female at all. So what is wrong with human on alien.So typical of humans to think they are the only things in this universe.

oli_kester
oli_kester

this isn't 50 years ago, Singapore

prioritymail
prioritymail

geez, Singapore, get over it, Im sure there are plenty of non-virtual obscenity that can keep you busy.

ZJohnnyZ
ZJohnnyZ

My three cents: I found out today that the KKK also bans the game for girl on girl action. News is pouring in from all other ignorant and intolerable organizations including the Islamic extremist in the Middle East! In my own home personally I would love to see some girl on girl action, surprised they don’t ban the internet on which I view this type of material all the time! Don’t you just hate it when they make a game for us adults that we can play instead of more Tella Tubbies Love Island - I love those games they are so fun to play at my age. ---- War, war never changes...(Fallout)

weow
weow

My two cents: I'm a singaporean, and yes, to ban the game for having some same-gender action may seem a bit hard-handed. However, there has been a lot of hoo-ha going on lately about the law against gays. Specifically, there has been *strong* support both for and against the repealing of the law, so I'm guessing that this ban is a knee-jerk reaction. Besides, knowing the resourcefulness of the gaming community here, some people would be playing it no matter what happens when it is available. Also, please note that Singapore isn't like a third-world country. We're Asian, so we do have a convervative attitude. I'll say it's quite highly developed; after all, we did host the Grand Finals of the World Cyber Games in 2005. And chewing gum is actually not illegal, but importing it is.

GeneralEz
GeneralEz

..god of war and the darkness too!..that's too bad for singaporean..

nemes1s3000
nemes1s3000

Wait.. how does Singapore know those aliens are females.. I mean.. did they ask the developers to send in a naked sketch of em or somethin..?

Azhar85
Azhar85

nahh...i'll sure gamers will buy an import game even they are banned in their country....

gandalf_storm
gandalf_storm

for goodness sake, in a 12 rated game, how bad can the content be for a love scene. It`s friday, and im waiting on assasins creed, im bored, im sorry :)

MMGrail
MMGrail

What a bunch of n00 bs! Come on.. I mean can't a guy have a little fun with his games?

REflexHalo3
REflexHalo3

that sucks!!!!!!!!!!!! i effing live in Singapore:(

McH0TTY
McH0TTY

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

Holopaw
Holopaw

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

fr33_loader
fr33_loader

YukoAsho fr33_loader - Yes, let's crush all ideas of civil liberty and become savages. That'll show 'em. Need I remind you that America has the largest prison population (a full 1% of the total population is in prison), and that America is the only civilized nation that practices the death penalty. Our problems run much deeper than our punishments, and behaving like animals the way Singapore does is unlikely to solve them. ============================= And whose liberty are we crushing, mine or the criminals? I dont know how true your insinuation that 1% of total population is incarcerated but that means our crime rate is way high. If this would help make it a safer country, I'm up for it. There is another world outside US and too bad you dont know anything about it. How can you say US civilized especially with people like you calling other people "behaving like animals" just because they are culturally different from you. You are a disgrace to our "civilized" country.

Merl57
Merl57

ironic how a government values population control and manipulation and values that as less of a threat than simulated naked people via a digital representation in a video game. Very upside down. Looks like the US is heading in this direction too, what can you do, Look at Take Two's games, and the Witcher senorship.

hackR2
hackR2

Well i have to say that is quite strange, what is even stranger I stil find that governments are looking at such non-impotrnat issues, take for example abortion, now do you really care if somebody gets an abortion, i think it is sick, but I still think it should be used on extreme cases. But while we are arguing about conservative issues which have ntohing to do with the important issues of today, like global warming, starvation and hunger, torture, trafficking, and etc.. We forget what's important, maybe Plato was right in his idea of the Republic. I have to say that this world is just quite sad.

eric1320
eric1320

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

phazer
phazer

@YukoAsho: I fail to see how my "civil liberties" are being compromised by such laws, unless I'm a drug trafficker or murderer. As gfunk01 mentioned, capital punishment is hardly considered savage.

ocdog45
ocdog45

i herd there is some weird stuff in this game

gfunk01
gfunk01

that is the biggest load of drek I have heard. you are propagating an ideal that is very ignorant and even ethnocentric with false information. calling people savages because of different laws serves no purpose other than to demonstrate a lack of intellect. It is the equivalent of calling people "fascists" these days. Also, other countries, like Japan, use the death penalty. Your idea of civil liberties is very biased and skewed.