Games features

"Child Porn" video game rated PG in Australia

Emma Baker
Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A controversial video game for the Nintendo 3DS has been pulled from sale in Sweden, Denmark and Norway due to child pornography concerns, but will continue to be sold in Australia with a PG rating.

The latest instalment in a long-running tactical fighting series, Dead or Alive: Dimensions is famous for its well-endowed, scantily-clad, cartoon warriors. Three of the game's characters — Ayane, Koroke and Kasumi — are described in the game as being under 18 years of age, which resulted in the game's launch in several Nordic countries being cancelled amid claims it may breach Swedish child pornography laws.

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Sexualised depictions of children — even in cartoons — are prohibited by law, and because the in-game photography mode enables players to look up characters' dresses in certain poses, some people have considered the game potential child pornography.

In 2008, a Sydney man was convicted of possessing child pornography over a cartoon showing characters from The Simpsons engaged in sexual acts.

In a landmark finding in the NSW Supreme Court, Justice Michael Adams ruled that a fictional cartoon character could "depict" a "person" under law, and said cartoons could "fuel demand for material that does involve the abuse of children".

He said that had the cartoon depicted real children, the man would have been jailed. Instead, he was fined $3000 and placed on a two-year good behaviour bond.

Nintendo has disputed claims that the scenes in the game constitute child porn and pointed to the Classification Board decision to give the game a PG rating.

"The game contains a wide variety of fictional characters which depict Japanese style cartoon images some of which are female fighters. This is not classified as child porn," a Nintendo Australia spokeswoman said.

The Classification Board gave Dead or Alive: Dimensions a PG rating with consumer advice of "mild violence and sexualised gameplay". It said that in accordance with the Classification Act, it must not reclassify a game within two years and to date, no requests have been made to review the rating of this particular game.

The classification system has received harsh criticism in the past, with former board members claiming that the current system is broken and that the constant stream of new content is overwhelming censors.

Now under review, one option raised to solve the issue of potential misclassification was to allow game publishers to come up with their own ratings, with a board of censors only called upon to resolve disputes.

What do you think? Have you played Dead or Alive: Dimensions? Do you think the PG rating reflects the game's content? Should game publishers to come up with their own ratings?

Have your say below…

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User comments
At the parent from Victoria- This is a game where you have to physically pan the camera to view any sort of "porn". Children have easier access to "porn" just by typing skin into google. None of the other games in the DOA series have copped this much flak, and i reckon the journo has done a really poor job with the article. Please get a clue, Australia is turning into a massive nanny state and im bloody positive many people are beginning to think this once proud country is turning into a overly legislated, overly protected nanny, and its population needs to realize this before we all end up driving bumper cars doing 5KMh.
Over the years we have been subjected to view violence at the movies and in video games. It's concerning that now we experience these events in real life. The more stories that promote illegal behaviour is very concerning for individual communities as it encourages people to act out what they have witness. Some laugh at these events that hurt others, some may learn how to perfect their own sickness to act out violence on others. As we know sex sells for the people whom have a sexual problem. Contented people do not have the need to look for sex in areas of concern. they play sport, they work, they may be helping others, they're happy in their life, they have good morals. Maybe inquiring about the polices opinion on this game will give a clear indication if this game will bring more police intervention into helping those whom can become affected by this game. As they are the ones at the end of the day that will need to visit people's homes to sort out the mess.
I lol'd at the "Child Porn" in the title of this article. It just goes to show that "journalists" can get away with writing "anything" as long as it's in "quotation marks". Putting "child porn" in the title in this instance is just using the phrase as an imflammatory device to get people suckered in. Cartoon cleavage on a cartoon character? So what? They're just pixels. And even if you do find it offensive, it's easy to fix. Just get the developer to change the character's age from 17 to 18 and it's problem sovered. Just like that, the stupid "child porn" argument evaporates.
Never seen it and never want to. Don't see the need for it or anything else of its ilk. Parents who buy this crap or allow their kids access to it are the ones who need a reality check. What ever happened to a parents responsibility to protect and nurture their children.
I thinks this is stupid the game is rated PG and has the content written on it. The following text is taken from the classifcation board PG (Parental guidance recommended) – Contains material which young children may find confusing or upsetting, and may require parental supervision. The content is mild in impact. In films, this is the equivalent to the MPAA's and BBFC's PG rating. In video games, this rating is equivalent to PEGI's 7 (high end) and 12 (low end), ESRB's E10+, and CERO's A (high end). I have seen videogames that are PG 8+ and PG 13+ The parents have been warned. However it seems no-one cares when a MA 15+ game is been played by an 8 year old. I mean pull yourselfs together
I'm not up to date with these video games, but from what I can gather from watching the above portion shown it's just another action game for teens.
So you think the majority on this thread are missing the point,REALLY.I think you're the one missing the point because as a mother in her 20's you feel the need to protect your children through an article which was hyped up by a journalist as (chriso,melbourne) has said.If this had any relevance to child porn do you honestly believe that this would have been allowed into Australia with a PG rating without the OFLC not knowing about it?,not to mention Australia being the nanny state that it is .You say you're "talking about the deliberate sexualisation of minors,children".When was the last time you walked into a toy store and saw those Bratz dolls on the shelf with the skimpy outfits and nobody seems bothered by that.How about those beauty pageants in the United states where mothers dress their daughters up like dolls and glamourize them,wouldn't you call that a deliberate sexualisation of minors?.You're just overreacting and you think were immature. You need a reality check.
Chriso, Melb. I am putting this is perspective. I feel you and others are missing the point. To even compare this to a beach or swimming pool where children are in bathers is absurd. While there may not be sexual penetration of cartoon minors in this games, we are talking about the deliberate sexualisation of minors, children. And it should be banned everywhere, not just in gaming but any where perverts use the 'artistic' argument. Any intelligent game creator would be mindful of other counties laws that they plan to market their games too. I am a mother in my 20's, who grew up with gaming so the generational gap argument is invalid. I'd love to see the opinions of these people if they had a 15 yo who someone wanted to cartoonise in a sexual way, one day these immature children will understand.
Personally, I've never owned a Dead or Alive game and only happened to play a demo or two from some titles in the series. As far as I'm concerned, calling this one 'child pornography' is a laughable and ridiculous claim to make. The simple fact that the legal age to have sex in Australia is 16 should end this argument entirely. Let's simply ignore another fact such as adults also playing the 3DS and look straight at the rating. The game has been given 'PG' for a reason. Now, if there are those out there that think this game is unsuitable for their kids, then it up to them as parents to be involved with their child and provide guidance. That's the whole point of the rating. It's bad enough that Australia has become a total laughing stock of the world because of so many games BANNED entirely or edited because of stupid reasons.
Ok so heres a question, so if this is a PG rating game which apparently linked to child porn in other countries how come the classifiction board won't let mortal kombat vs street fighter into the country? They're basically saying that child porn which leads to pedophiles is better than blood and gore, have we totally become a nanny state? The answer is perfectly simple, wake up get rid of DOA Dimensions and bring in mortal kombat vs street fighter instead and yes we are a nanny state so wake the hell up clasification board also Aust government.

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