Okay, maybe I was a bit quick to jump the gun with slamming the Australian Classification Board earlier today. After it came to light that Outlast 2 was refused classification, my Jimmies were well and truly rustled.
But, maybe in this instance, they were onto something. As reported by Alex Walker over at Kotaku Australia, who received a detailed explanation of the scene that triggered the refusal, the offending material sounds fucking horrible. I’ll describe what they were told by the Board below, but be warned, it’s pretty heavy.
Warning: spoilers and graphic content below
In one cut-scene in the game … a female creature prepares Blake for a ritual. She says, “I want to see your true face. Your seed will burn this world.” Shortly afterwards, he objects to having psycho-active dust blown into his face, yelling, “Nope! Nope!” before he stumbles into a forest clearing.
His vision blurring, he witnesses what appears to a ritualistic orgy. His wife, Lynn, calls out for his help, saying, “It hurts! Oh god!,” as she hangs from chains on a raised platform at the front of the clearing. Humanoid creatures, their skin grey, spattered with blood and scarred, implicity have sex as others pray, or chant, or gesticulate.
One creature has another bent over a rock, thrusting as they implicitly have rear-entry sex, another sits astride the pelvic region of a creature prone on the ground, moving their hips rhythmically as they too implicitly have sex. Two other pairs of creatures in the clearing are also implicitly having sex.
As Blake yells for the creatures to “Get away from her!” a female creature, her greyish breasts bared, pushes him onto his back, holds his arms to the ground and repeatedly thrusts her crotch against him. As Blake protests, saying “No! Stop that!” the creature thrusts again, before placing its face over his midsection and then sitting up and wiping its mouth.
Although much of the contact between the creature and Blake is obscurred, by it taking place below screen, the sexualised surroundings and aggressive behaviour of the creature suggest that it is an assault which is sexual in nature. The Board is of the opinion that this, combined with Blake’s objections and distress, constitutes a depiction of implied sexual violence.
In the Board’s opinion, the above example constitutes a depiction of implied sexual violence and therefore cannot be accommodated within the R18+ classification category and the game is therefore Refused Classification.
According to Kotaku’s piece, other than what’s described in the offending material, the board would have issued a classification.
I’m sure a lot of people will still be upset with the decision, but considering I’m squeamish with horror and opposed to graphic depiction of sexual violence, I think this makes sense within the current system we have (not that I agree with the system). Let us know what you think on our social media channels!