Mortal Kombat banned Down Under

The latest edition in the Mortal Kombat franchise looks to be the next fatality of the Australian Classification Board. Not surprising the board found the game too violent and therefore unsuitable for persons under the age of 18 to play. As the Australian rating system doesn’t know a “mature” or R18+ rating the game has officially been refused a classification which means it cannot be sold in the land of Oz.

The board seemed to take special objection to some of the fatalities. The board found the following fatalities particularly upsetting: Kung Lao’s “buzz saw” hat manoeuvre, Jade’s fancy fighting stick work, Stryker’s point-blank firing range, Quan Chi’s leg-ripping, Scorpion’s slice and dice, Mileena’s twin-blade action, Kabal’s long hooks, Shao Kahn’s body-tearing skill, Kitana’s folding fan, and Baraka’s wrist blades. According to the rating report these fatalities contain explicit depictions of dismemberment, decapitation, disembowelment and other brutal forms of slaughter and despite the exaggerated conceptual nature of the fatalities and their context within a fighting game set in a fantasy realm, impact is heightened by the use of graphics which are realistically rendered and very detailed.

If we look at some of the descriptions that go with these fatalities it’s not too surprising the board came to this conclusion:

  • Kung Lao throws his metal hat into the ground where it spins like a buzz saw. At which point he grabs his prone opponent by the ankles and drags their bodies through the saw, explicitly slicing them in half.
  • Jade kicks her opponent into the air while she plants her fighting stick into the ground. The opponent falls backwards onto the stick and gets impaled, with the stick protruding from their chest. Jade then tears her opponents head off and plants it on the stick.
  • Stryker’s point-blank firing range, where he tasers his opponent and shoots their head off with his gun.

A Warner Bros spokesman on the other hand said in a statement: “We are extremely disappointed that Mortal Kombat, one of the world’s oldest and most successful video games franchises, will not be available to mature Australian gamers. WBIE would not market mature content where it is not appropriate for the audience. We understand that not all content is for every audience, but there is an audience for mature gaming content and it would make more sense to have the R18+ classification in Australia. As a member of the iGEA, WBIE is reviewing all options available at this time.”

It does seem rather ironic that a former penal colony has such strict rules when it comes of violence in games. On the upside though it seems the rest of the world is in for a treat.

Source: Gamepron

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