No sex as a reward. The Witcher 2 modified for Australian audiences

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings I’ve written a review of The Witcher (the original game), and you might want to check that out.

Now, moving on to The Witcher 2, which is due for release this month.

The lead character, Geralt of Rivia is a genetically-modified monster-hunter. Immune to – and incapable of carrying – disease, as well as being infertile as a result of the modifications he has endured, and with a tendency to wander … well, Witchers like Geralt are understandably somewhat popular among the ladies in a word without birth-control, or any modern medicine.

A Witcher makes for an entirely consequence-free roll in the hay.

This aspect of the characters created by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski is not underplayed. The Witcher traditionally is a warts-and-all fantasy setting and the original game didn’t stint on adult-themes, harsh language, blood, gore and grime.

The Australian Classifications Board has taken exception to exactly one item in the upcoming game, The Witcher 2.

One character asks Geralt to perform a task, and if he undertakes it successfully, offers a jubilant tumble as a reward for services rendered.

This sex-as-a-reward was felt to make the game unsuitable for the MA15+ rating, the most adult content rating currently available for video-games in Australia, due to ongoing disorganisation among the state Attorneys General.

The change made for the game to comply with an MA15+ rating was fairly simple. The offer of sex has been tweaked a little, and the player no longer has a choice of rewards, but is automatically steered to the less controversial option.

[via The Australian Sex Party]

11 thoughts on “No sex as a reward. The Witcher 2 modified for Australian audiences”

  1. Whenever I feel annoyed that the religious right has too much power in America I read an Australian newspaper and I feel better about my country. Not that the US religious nuts are all that great. They are the real reason why the US is in Iraq, but at least we don’t have to put up with a national firewall like Australia, China and Iran.

  2. The religious right in Australia are much more subtle, as Australia doesn’t have the Church/State divide the USA has. We also don’t have the support of well funded secular lobby groups, to keep a watch on the Government anyway.

  3. Being the founder of a family-friendly group, I’ll take the part of Devil’s Advocate here. 😀

    Not going to comment on the right and wrong of Australia’s stance. Will comment on what’s happening to our society, and question the wisdom of our entertainment sources.

    Back in Rome, they thought it was highly entertaining to see people callously butchered in the gladitorial arenas. If someone had stood up back then and said, “THIS IS WRONG!!!”… he likely would have been booed by friends and foes alike (if not placed in the arena himself).

    “Oh but this isn’t real. We can take it. We’re adults.”… is the rationalization of today’s generation.

    “As a man thinketh… so is he.” Khalil Gibran.

    “As we think, so we desire. As we desire, so becomes our character. As is our character, so our reputation. If you wish a good reputation, control your thinking.”

    I imagine those are very unpopular thoughts, that people will laugh at and scorn. So I’ll put it a little differently:

    Your brain is an advanced computer. Garbage in… garbage out.

    A mark of the emotional level and maturity of a society is what it chooses for entertainment.

    Okay, done with soapboxing for now. ; )

  4. I don’t follow any of your reasoning at all, Wayfinder. How is sex garbage? It’s an important, natural, biological process without which neither of us would be here. Aside from that, it’s an important part of day to day life. I know my life would have been a lot more boring without doing stupid things to impress girls in high school because of sex.

    Violence is obviously harmful, but we have no problems depicting that in entertainment, even in entertainment made specifically for children. I don’t understand why we censor sex, which is such a beneficial activity.

  5. Bubble, without getting on the sex soapbox: yes, sex is an important, natural biological process. As an *important* process… to trivialize it, degrade it, misrepresent it and downgrade it is questionable mentality.

    I really shouldn’t have to spell this out. Sex is great. I like sex. Most people do. But it carries with it some serious responsibility. Misuse of sex can result in harm that can damage entire lives. Let’s compare sex to alcoholic beverages. Used judiciously and with common sense, alcohol can be beneficial. It’s proved to reduce heart problems, can relax stress, can make social occasions enjoyable. Used moronically, it can create alcoholism, kill people in car accidents, destroy homes.

    These are basic concepts. Trivializing anything as powerful as sex… is walking the edge of a cliff. Admittedly our entire society today trivializes sex. We also are polluting our environment, have created an early greenhouse effect, burned a hole in the ozone layer and have enough nuclear weapons stockpiled to destroy the entire planet many times over. No one could convince me our society as a whole is even sane, much less healthy.

    When we sexualize our games, present to our children that mindless violence is good (yaaaay Dirty Harry! Woohoo!), show our children that the hero always beds the girl (or girls… go James Bond!)… without that hero ever catching AIDS or the girl getting pregnant or families destroyed by indiscriminate, trivialized sex… we impress our generation with concepts that go against the reality: that sex *is* important (as you say) and it has very serious consequences…. good or bad… depending on how we view it.

    So if you don’t understand why sex is censored (is it really? I’ve seen very little of that lately)… maybe whatever little censoring there is, is because someone is trying to get across the idea that things of such importance need a little COMMON SENSE to go along with them.

    Now I know that people don’t like to be told what to do, that they want to do whatever they want, etc etc blah blah ad rationalization… which is all good and fine until they get in trouble, then they expect our tax money to pay for their mistakes. So maybe, that’s why a certain degree of censorship exists.

    “Sensible censorship is the glue that binds a society together. A society without any censorship whatsoever is anarchic and sociopathic in nature.”

    ; )

  6. BTW Bubblesort, I totally agree with you in one aspect:

    The SyFy channel is notorious for editing out nudity in their movies… but at the same time having no problem with showing someone having the top of their head blown off with a shotgun (or even more bloody acts of unending violence).

    I watched an episode of “V” and they skinned a woman alive– on prime time television (that was the last time I watched V). That of course was okay. But if they’d have shown some boobs… gasp, the FCC would have shut down the network!

    That does seem more than just a little hypocritical and backwards, doesn’t it?

    It’s okay to show two people stabbing each other to death, but whatever you do don’t show them making love. Yeah, that’s twisted.

    Not that we should be showing graphic sexuality in our movies either. But apply the same level of common sense to violence. I don’t think there is any question that we live in a rather violent society. One has to wonder if that just might have something to do with what we feed our brains in our entertainment.

    Again, garbage in, garbage out.

  7. Did you really just compare sex to stockpiles of nuclear weapons? LOL, that’s crazy. I can’t fathom how there could possibly be a relationship between nukes and nookie.

    As far as censorship goes: It’s a tool for the uneducated, weak minded, sociopathic government stooges to flex their muscle. There is no excuse for it.

    What we are talking about here is thought crime. It’s the unexamined, unspoken ideas that cause the most damage in society. Censorship is a ban on free thought and free communication, without which we can not develop our technologies or our understanding of the world and of each other.

  8. Bubblesort: “Did you really just compare sex to stockpiles of nuclear weapons?”

    Don’t be absurd Bubblesort. Trust me in this: I know how biased debate weapons work, and I recognize that one. You’re not gonna get away with that with me. ; )

    “As far as censorship goes: It’s a tool for the uneducated, weak minded, sociopathic government stooges to flex their muscle. There is no excuse for it.”

    Then that says to me you may not be aware of the full meaning and concept of censorship. Likely you’re discussing the propagandized, emotionally-charged, mob-control version of censorship that is always touted on forum posts every time someone brings up the concept. On the other hand, I’m discussing the sensible concept that protects society from folks who are too lacking in common sense to know what lines not to cross. The true meaning of “censoring” is to create guidelines deemed necessary by common sense for the good, safety and welfare of society as a whole. Proper censorship is according to the vast majority view of that society. It is not based on personal interpretation, or the insistence of single individuals, but rather a general consensus of what is best overall.

    As a blatant example: our laws against pedophelia *and any devices related to it* is a form of valid censorship. It is not law against “thought crime” (a widely used propaganda cliche phrase). It does not prohibit “free communication”. It is a protection against what society considers to be an inexcusable act, by no means acceptable under any circumstance or in any form.

    If I may, I think you are parroting propaganda without intending to disseminate it yourself. As an example, you readily link “censorship” as a concept with the concept of “free communication, without which we can not develop our technologies or our understanding of the world and of each other.” Thus of course… unless we allow pedophilia (no censorship, right) why… we’re hampering the technological progress of the human race!

    Sorry again, I’m well acquainted with the tactics of emotional debate. I doubt you formed such statements of your own origin. We’ve heard them used before… widely, by those who are anti-censorship of all kinds, no matter whether beneficial or not. It’s the cry of the shock-jock. However, it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

    By your argument, censoring pedophelia is “uneducated, weak minded, sociopathic” so that “government stooges” can “flex their muscle”. By your argument, “There is no excuse for it”.

    Most people would on the other hand, agree strongly that there most certainly IS a need for it, as has just been demonstrated.

    What most people disagree on… is where that line should be drawn. That’s where they let their personal opinions get in the way of sense and logic and public welfare… as if their own personal experience and the vast number of years they’ve been in this universe is THE rule by which society should be governed. The common view is “I’m an adult. I should be able to do what I want.” Which is fine; that’s true to an extent. But adults are expected to have a lick-o-sense and be self-moderating. Unfortunately a large number of people are not.

    “Freedom is subjective. Freedom without restriction is not true freedom, for it inevitably infringes upon the freedom of others.” (That BTW, is my own quote. It’s on my website.)

    That’s what most youths totally fail to understand, and most people come to understand as they get older. There is no such thing as total freedom and total security. There has to be a balance between the two, or someone else’s freedom and security is going to be compromised.

    That is what “censorship” as a concept is about. LAW itself is a form of censorship (restricting what people are allowed or not allowed to do). The ratings on movies are a form of censorship. Our societal has rules against not only pedophelia, but PHOTOS of pedophelia. That is a form of censorship. I doubt very many would argue that such is wrong or without value.

    Like all things, censorship can be abused (and sometimes is). In many countries, censorship is severely abused (China and Russia come to mind). That does not mean the concept itself is without purpose or value. By your argument (ie censorship is bad), networks could display graphic sex on prime-time television or even during Saturday morning children’s cartoons. With all respect, is that really what you’re promoting? I would find it difficult to believe that is the case.

    I would believe (without knowing you of course) that you have your own opinions on what should be censored… but you simply draw the line in a different place than I do. But I would seriously doubt your personal views allow for no censorship at all. Most people do have a line that they have personally drawn… a line they are even willing to enforce on others. (That’s why we have governments). Once we realize that line is the very description of censorship, we understand that like so many things, the concept itself is not bad. It is mankind’s implementation of it that is often faulty.

    I do believe this: failing to censor where such is required, can be as harmful as censoring too strongly. Both are opposite swings of the pendulum, and can be equally damaging to a healthy society.

  9. For myself, I’d rather have the R18+ category for games, than have a system which requires each and every game sold to be confined to content and themes that are suitable for a 15-year-old audience.

  10. What ammuses me the most about this all is all the crap about morality and whats good for everyone bullshit… This is supposed to be about freedom of choice, we have to be specific ages for more serious things as driving/drinking/smoking what ever.. but we still have laws for these things, why not for this?

    It clearly says R-18+ for adults only.. what am I missing?, its not a crime..

    Yet as many people say you can turn on the tv and see someone get killed in a most gory fasion and no one cares.. see a half a tit or a cock in a game and parents rave.. NO SHIT!

    That is a problem for the parent, seen parents prity much ignore thier kids if it gets them some alone time, only last week i saw a mother buy GTA 4 for a kid no more than.. 11? 12 at best?, for those who dont know what gta is, your in a cave, go back to sleep.

    No one seems to be willing to take the blame if they purchase something for there kids and it turns out to be an adult item… i forgot that MA15+ or R18 was for FRAKING 15 or 18+s only… moms and dads rant and rave at the industries and put those with actual tallent in story telling out of a job because its not good for the children.. dumb uneducated fops..

    All in all its the adult half, the ones who actualy like to see a visual novel come to a end, especialy if it has a romantic sub plot, sex happens… it builds a credible possiblity and makes the game far more relateable than a mechanial black screen and that just wreaks what could have been a enjoyable and satifing end to a very well done story.

    And simply seeing a sexual episode wont make you go out and rape some poor girl/guy or turn them into sexual deviants.. if it does the moral code that person was taught was already well and truely fucked up to begin with and one or even many instances in a game wont do that level of damage to someone, ive been a gamer almost all my life since i was about 6 to 24, played every type of game and i MEAN every type, and im quite embarresed about my australian governments stupidity over this…

    Oh and before I get you poor soul your just brainwashed sort of garbage, I have no criminal record, never attacked someone just for “kicks” have a enjoyable social life and rarely do drugs and only drink social, I was rasied cristian, found faith in people better than my imagination and CHOSE to become a athiest.

    Seriously, you cant stop us… its simply not possible short of setting up camera’s in every room and home, all you do is harm your own gaming industry, we wont buy here we will just get it over seas, or not even pay for it and still get it, i dont get it, i realy just dont…

    Can someone explain? a foot note even? just a simple reason why we are refused the reason to chose?

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