Three Australian Classification Board reports recently obtained by Stevivor confirm that Ubisoft’s South Park: The Stick of Truth was refused classification not once, but twice before amendments secured the title an R18+ rating.
The culprit? In true South Park fashion, anal probes.
Submitted under the codename of Codename, the game was first refused classification on 19 September, and again on 7 November after an amendment. The game was then given an R18+ classification on 21 November after a further amendment, and then classified R18+ under its proper title on 12 December.
In its original 19 September report, the Classification Board stressed that “computer games will be refused classification if they contain: Descriptions or depictions of child sexual abuse or any other exploitative or offensive descriptions or depictions involving a person who is, or who appears to be, a child under 18 years.”
“Implied sexual violence that is visually depicted, interactive, not justified by context or related to incentives or rewards is not permitted,” also merits a refusal of classification, according to the Board.
The Board then brought up an interactive animated section involving anal probes – simply titled “Alien Probing” – that “features buttock-nude male characters, captured by aliens, repeatedly having an oversized, phallic probe thrust into their buttocks.”
“The probe is repeatedly thrust in and out, mimicking sexual thrusting and accompanied by squelching sound effects,” the Board continued.
While Mr. Slave (of course) enjoys the experience, the rest of the captured, bound South Park residents do not. “The characters are secured to the tables and comments made by the probed characters include “Not that way!”, “Oh God no! Shut it off!” and “no no no that kills! Switch it back!,” the report continues.
Poking fun at Skyrim, the player character is then tasked to perform a “dragonshout”, which causes flaming farts. The farts cause the probe to break off in the player character’s anus.
In the initial report, the Board said it was aware The Stick of Truth was “satirical in tone and intent”, but said that because the game “features animated sequences depicting sexual violence which also features a child character”, its content surpassed “what can be accommodated within the R18+ guidelines.”
Ubisoft submitted a modified version of the game on 7 November, but this was also deemed too much for the Classification Board.
“Again, while the Board acknowledges that the game is satirical in tone, intent and context, is based on, and true to, the South Park television series, and that limited modifications have been made to the original game, this modified version includes visually depicted, implied sexual violence and, as such, exceeds what can be accommodated within the R18+ classification,” the Board said.
A third attempt on 21 November removed the interactive anal probing content and replaced it with on-screen text.
“At several stages throughout the level which involves the player character being abducted and taken aboard an alien spacecraft text appears on screen which describes instances of sexual violence,” the third report reads. “The text includes “aliens forcibly probe your rectum with a dildo-shaped probe”, “probe his ass with violent force” and “causing his anal probe to penetrate him over and over.”
Best yet? “The references are comedic in intent and are accompanied by a still image of a koala crying and the word “censored” written in large red text,” the Board reported.
Because the on-screen text is “justified by context, not visually depicted, interactive or related to incentives or rewards,” the Board could issue the game with an R18+ rating.
So, there you have it. Much like Saints Row IV before it, an alien dildo means Australians can look forward to a version of a game that’s unlike anything else around the world.
What do you think about the Board’s decisions, and the state of our video games classification system in general?