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.

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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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