The country of New Zealand has added another ecchi game to their list of objectionable and banned games. This time the victim is the punishment-focused RPG, Criminal Girls: Invite Only.
The New Zealand Office of Film & Literature Classification, also simply known as The Classification Office, is an independent Crown entity established under the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993 and responsible for classifying publications of movies, books or computer programs which may be deemed bannable or in need of restrictions. Earlier this year in January, The Classification Office has deemed the ecchi on-rails shooter Gal*Gun: Double Peace to be objectionable on the grounds of promoting sexual exploitation of children and young people. The game has been promptly banned and deemed illegal. You can read about the whole debacle in one of our previous articles.
The Classification Office struck once again today, revealing that Nippon Ichi Software and Criminal Girls: InviteOnly, a remake of the original Criminal Girls for the PlayStation Portable, has also been classified as objectionable and thus deserving to be banned. Criminal Girls: Invite Only was initially released in the West by NIS America in February of 2015 for the PlayStation Vita with a heavy censorship to the game’s prominent punishment mechanics. The game was later ported over in the same state to the PC in January of 2017, where fan modders quickly went to work in removing all the censorship and bringing the game closer to how it was in its initial Japanese release.
After a short explanation of the premise and mechanics of the title, the official site of The Classification Office cites the following reasons for its decision to make the game illegal to own.
Why was it banned? Firstly, The Office called the game in due to concerns that the sexual content found within the game focuses on young persons and involves elements of sexual violence. However the Motivation sequences themselves do not encourage the player to focus on the girls as ‘young persons’, and instead concentrates on presenting their embarrassment, powerlessness and humiliation in a sexualised manner. The dialogue clearly establishes that the girls are either unwilling to participate, or naïve about the player character’s intentions. Then, once the Motivation is finished, the girls’ reaction is positive. The lack of consent presented here – and the idea that “Even if you have to force her – she’ll end up enjoying it” – is a narrative that justifies rape and is presented solely for titillation.
This game requires players to engage with the female characters in sexualised situations where consent is not only absent, but where the protestations of the female characters are part of the attraction. There is a strong likelihood of injury to the public good, including to adults from the trivialisation and normalisation of such behaviour, so the game is banned.
For the full decision and the legal criteria that Criminal Girls: Invite Only has been assessed against, please contact the Information Unit.
A censored punishment scene from Criminal Girls: Invite Only
One line of the argumentation points out that the game has the potential to harm the public good and negatively impact adults due to the way certain scenes are presented within the title. The Classification Office seems to be under the gross assumption that consumers, adults who are the main target demographic for this type of game, need protection from fiction and could potentially cause harm to themselves and/or others (in this case, children). Using the same kind of logic, a lot of depictions of violence and murder in all fictional media could be held to the same standards of causing potential societal harm, yet two video games that do not even take their own plots and settings all that seriously are singled out, dragged to the chopping block for a swift and merciless execution.
For those of our readers not living New Zealand, we hope you can enjoy your fictional entertainment in the comfort of your homes and that the Thoughtpolice won’t come knocking at your door.
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