Hotline Miami 2 is the next game to be refused classification by the Classification Board in Australia. Hotline Miami 2 was refused classification for a scene that depicts implied fictitious sexual violence. If that sentence sounds off to you I assure you that’s because the scene is part of an exploitation movie that is being filmed in game (as depicted in the video).
It would seem that the Classification Board isn’t taking the context of the scene into account. As you may have also noticed, their is also an alternate sequence in the video for gamers who want to avoid scenes of sexual violence. Devolver Digital and Denton Games have taken issue with the decision, however there are no plans at this time to challenge the board’s decision.
So where does this leave Australian gamers? To piracy of course. An Australian by the name of Max Cartwright emailed Jonatan Söderström of Dennaton Games regarding alternative ways to purchase the game. Despite Cartwright’s eagerness to pay for the game via Paypal or other alternatives, Söderström simply encouraged the Australian to pirate the game, no payment required.
What Does This Mean For Australian Gamers?
One thing is clear, Denton Games is not budging on altering the game in order to appease the Australian Classification board. This means the game can not be sold, demoed, or advertised in public in Australia. Some regions in the country go as far to prohibit the ownership of games that received no classification. Furthermore, individuals who attempt to bring hard copies of prohibited games into the country may receive fines up to A$110,000. Hotline Miami 2, like its predecessor, is only available via digital distribution anyways leaving Australian gamers with the only option of piracy.
I’m sure many of you are aware of how easy it is to pirate media. It would seem pointless for Australian censors to prohibit the sale of Hotline Miami 2 or any other restricted media considering how easy it is to pirate a copy. Of course the argument against censorship in this case isn’t much different than one used against gun control; people will find a way to get their hands on the product one way or another. Considering the popularity of the first game in Australia, you can guarantee that gamers will be looking to pirate Hotline Miami 2. All the the Australian government will be guilty of is preventing Devolver Digital and Denton Games from making money off of Hotline Miami 2.
For the rest of us, however, SJW pundit Brianna Wu has called for the game to be banned in the US. She made the following statement to the Mirror (a UK publication):
“The woman in this scene isn’t a person, she’s just an object to rape so that you feel more powerful,” she told Mirror Online.
“The developers, press and even the players are often white, heterosexual men. And more often than not they argue very strongly for artistic freedom to have rape glorified like this.
“In the games industry, I often run into developers that are stuck in a teenage South Park mentality. They enjoy seeing how far they can push things. They have a position of privilege that they don’t understand, and so rape scenes like this are just delightfully academic.
Yet if you saw the video I posted above you would probably scoff at the remarks made by Briana Wu because he/she is lacking the context of sequence in the game. This is just another example of SJW cherry picking. I would also like to point out that two of the game’s playable characters are women. Heck, I am willing to bet the game might even pass the Bechdel test. There’s some food for thought.
Hotline Miami 2 will be available digitally on PC and PS4 early this year.