Surprise. Shock. Horror. Unapologetic cartoon franchise South Park was the only video game out of 458 titles to fall foul of Australia’s conservative classification board last year.
In fact, South Park: The Stick of Truth, was refused classification twice in the 2013-14 financial year, with a revised version of its longest-running joke failing to meet the review board’s R18+ guidelines.
The main offending scene involved the abduction and then anal probing of a sleeping child character, as well as several adult male characters, by aliens.
The board’s decision attracted 51 complaints from Australian gamers as the scene was released uncensored in North America.
“While the board acknowledged that the game was satirical in tone and intent, the content exceeded what is able to be accommodated within the R18+ guidelines,” the Classification Review Board’s recently released annual report says.
“Implied sexual violence that is visually depicted, interactive, not justified by context or related to incentives or rewards is not permitted.”
A third version of the role-playing game was finally granted a R18+ classification on November 21 after the scene was replaced by a cartoon of a crying koala, along with a “censored” headline and a brief text description.
Probing is a long running joke in the South Park franchise.
The first-ever episode of the satirical cartoon was titled Cartman Gets an Anal Probe, which was shown on SBS in the late 1990s.
Saints Row IV and State of Decay, the only two games refused classification the previous financial year, were also addressed in the annual report after edited versions finally earned them classifications.