'Child porn' game sells fast under PG rating

By Christopher Chang, NZPA

Nintendo's Dead or Alive: Dimensions video game is banned in Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Photo / Supplied
Nintendo's Dead or Alive: Dimensions video game is banned in Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Photo / Supplied

A video game banned in parts of Europe because of claims it contains child pornography is selling out in New Zealand - with only a PG rating.

The Nintendo 3DS game Dead or Alive: Dimensions went on sale in New Zealand last week. But within days, the chief censor called it in for classification.

The PG rating indicates "mild violence and sexualised gameplay" and the game sells for just under $100.

It is banned in Sweden, Norway and Denmark and is believed to violate child pornography laws with features that enable a player to undress female characters and photograph them from any angle, including under their skirts.

It is also believed that underage girls appear in sexualised situations in the game.

Sexual abuse counsellor advocate Denise McEnteer has worries about the game's availability to young people.

"If it shows young women ... that you can look up their skirts ... that's showing the kids that you are treating woman like objects," Ms McEnteer said.

"It's voyeuristic, that really worries me. What's to stop a young man from then prying into neighbours' windows and trying to do that same kind of thing?"

However, the game is already gaining the attention of customers in New Zealand.

Bond & Bond employee Andrei Dent said his shop received copies of the game last week and all were sold in the first day.

"Nearly every customer who comes to the [gaming section of the store] wants to have a look at it and try it out on the demo," he said.

The Warehouse website indicated yesterday that its online store had sold out of copies.

Speaking from a gaming convention in Los Angeles, The Warehouse buying manager Stuart Yorston said he doubted Nintendo would allow pornography in its games but The Warehouse would act on the chief censor's classification results.

It would continue selling the game for now, he said.

"If the chief censor changes the rating or advises a withdraw from sale we will act upon this immediately."

Mr Yorston said he understood authorities in Sweden, Norway and Denmark were particularly sensitive to anyone who looked under 18 in games.

"It's a fighting game. There are two characters that go up against each other."

The Warehouse did not believe the game was significantly objectionable "at this stage".

The game's website includes a warning that it "may contain content inappropriate for children".

Deputy chief censor Nic McCully said censors had yet to view the game but Department of Internal Affairs inspectors were inspecting it.

Ms McCully said game suppliers were obliged to decide whether the game had "restrictive material".

Until the censors' ruling, expected in a couple of weeks, the game is still available but Ms McCully said suppliers might find themselves in trouble if it was found to contain objectionable material.

- NZ Herald

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