Postal 2 banned in New Zealand
After a yearlong investigation, the New Zealand government deems possession of Running With Scissors' shooter a crime punishable by up to $1,400 in fines.
New Zealand's Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC), a government body "responsible for classifying publications that may need to be restricted or banned," today concluded a one-year investigation into developer Running With Scissors' 2003 action shooter, Postal 2.
In a statement, the OFLC said, "The game is designed, and has the capacity, to allow the player to test how much violence and humiliation he or she can inflict on human beings." For that and other reasons, the government body slapped a ban on the game. Now, a fine of NZ$2,000 ($1,400) can be imposed on anyone caught with a copy, and anyone who "supplies, distributes, exhibits, displays, or advertises Postal 2 could be imprisoned for up to a year or fined NZ$20,000 ($14,000)." Larger, "incorporated distributors and retailers" could be fined NZ$50,000 ($38,000).
In response, RWS founder Vince Desi told GameSpot, "I'm glad that PeeTER [sic] Jackson can hack and slash up orcs, elves, and pseudo-humans in Lord of the Rings, but a video game like Postal, that lets you piss on yourself, is somehow evil."
The full report on the game describes it the following terms: "The game has a crass sense of racist, sexist, and homophobic humor in its treatment of homosexuals, Asians, militant Islamists, conservatives, and others. The game could be said to make coarse political observations with its depictions of suicidal Arab terrorists engaged in warfare against 'infidel' Catholics, and its treatment of armed conservatives against video game violence. ... The publication promotes and supports the use of urine in association with degrading and dehumanizing conduct because the player is able to employ the urine function at will."