A depraved video game based on the Christchurch mosque slayings has been banned in New Zealand.
Chief Censor David Shanks announced today that the game which puts the player in the role of a killer called "Brenton Torrent", with the game play consisting solely of the murder of defenceless people, has been classified as objectionable under the Films, Videos & Publications Classification Act 1993.
A document said to have been shared by the terrorist who killed two people in Halle, Germany earlier this month, has also been outlawed.
Shanks said the two publications, designed to encourage people to commit terrorist acts against innocent people and minority groups, have no place in New Zealand.
"These publications promote killing and terrorism and serve no positive purpose."
Shanks declared the 35-minute long livestream of the fatal Halle as objectionable on October 10.
Two people were killed in the attacks, one outside a synagogue and the other in a kebab shop, which were livestreamed by the killer on gaming site Twitch. Now, the related documents are also illegal.
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"I used my call-in power in order to classify the instructional documents reportedly shared by the killer before his attacks," said Shanks.
"I have classified these as objectionable as they clearly aim to help teach and encourage others who are willing to commit similar atrocities against innocent people."
The video game that celebrates the livestream of the March 15 terrorist attacks in Christchurch is also classified objectionable.
"The creators of this game set out to produce and sell a game designed to place the player in the role of a white supremacist terrorist killer. In this game, anyone who isn't a white heterosexual male is a target for simply existing," he said.
"This game is cheaply and crudely made, with little or no appeal in terms of the challenge of its gameplay. Everything about this game, from the name of the shooter character down to its purchase price [$14.88 – embodying the "14 Words" white supremacist slogan and '88' the recognised code for 'Heil Hitler'] makes it clear that this is a product created for and marketed to white supremacists who are interested in supporting and celebrating white extremist attacks."
Within days of the March 15 attack, the alleged gunman's manifesto and livestream video of the shootings were classified as objectionable by the Censor's office.
And since then, various games have appeared online. In April, Shanks spoke to media about another "crude and vicious" game that promoted mass murder by the same "Brenton Torrent" character.
"At that time, I said that I did not see any point in giving the producers of this game the attention that they were seeking by classifying it," he said.
"I also explained how we had reached out to the gaming industry to ensure that this toxic product was not given promotion and a platform.
"This has now changed. The game producers appear intent on producing a 'family' of white extremist games, and they have established a revenue stream, with customers from New Zealand and from around the world able to purchase the games from the producer's website.
"I could not ignore this game given the very real concerns around this latest game that were raised with me. Having assessed it now it is clear that this game promotes and celebrates white extremist mass murder. The games producers will try to dress their work up as satire but this game is no joke. It crosses the line."
He said that most New Zealanders would find the game "abhorrent" and would not want to come across it, even accidentally.
The Censor's office has reached out to New Zealand ISP's to notify them of its classification of the game, and asked that they consider what steps they can take to protect their customers from this illegal content.
"For the public, the message is simple. These are illegal, terrorist-promotional products designed to spread hate and encourage killing. Don't support, purchase or distribute this stuff," said Shanks.
"If you come across it, report it to the Internal Affairs Digital Safety team. If you hold copies of them – delete these now."
Internal Affairs' director digital safety, Jolene Armadoros, urged New Zealanders to think about their online safety.
"We are committed to keeping New Zealanders safe from harm through the prevention and detection of objectionable content, and by educating Kiwis on how to keep themselves and their whānau safe online," she said.
Sharing, hosting and downloading objectionable content is an offence under New Zealand law. Anyone who has concerns they have seen something illegal, can email firstname.lastname@example.org.