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Wednesday, 28 May 2008 06:09

Prostitute animation missing from Au GTA IV

Australian and New Zealand Grand Theft Auto IV owners have a cut down version of the game.  RockStar have insisted all along that the product is not compromised in the game play experience whilst not being forthcoming in the actual edits made.  It was only a matter of time before an eagle eyed player catalogued the cuts however.

Over at the excellent PALGN website Luke Van Leuveren has reported a website reader’s dissection of GTA IV regional differences.

According to ‘Mick’; “, when players pick up a prostitute in the Australian version, there is no way to select a 'service' from the prostitute. The sexual intercourse sex animation has also been completely removed, so players will only see the car bounce from a locked rear-view. In the uncut version, after selecting a service from the prostitute, players can rotate the camera to see the prostitute's actions.”

There were also reported differences in the blood depictions within the game, but these are possibly incorrect. 

No cut-scene changes have been made it seems.

All in all, the furore caused by reporting of the cut version of GTA IV does seem ludicrous.  If indeed, the prostitution animation is the extent of the cuts made; this doesn’t seem to be a big deal.

On the other hand, the fact that the cuts were needed at all highlights the need to overhaul local video game classification laws in Australia.

With the misunderstood MA15+ rating being the ‘top’ level of video game classification, it is easy to see why publishers quail at releasing content intended for a mature market. 

The threat of the title destroying ban hangs over any attempt to target the older demographic in Australia and New Zealand.  So games destined for this market are often – inappropriately – shoe horned into the MA 15+ classification by making cuts such as the reported GTA IV modifications.

RockStar are used to knowing what cuts are needed to get classification.  Plenty of practice with GTA’s of the past, as well as Manhunt and even Bully has helped refine their edits.

But even after the cuts, GTA IV is a provocative title aimed at an adult audience.  There is still time, and plenty of scope for a wowser based public to come out and condemn RockStar (and their like minded peers) for pedalling filth to children.

Hopefully, with the public consultation currently underway, the Attorney Generals of this country can realise the value in aligning interactive entertainment classification with the well known and established film classification system.  It just makes sense.

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Mike Bantick

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Having failed to grow up Bantick continues to pursue his childish passions for creative writing, interactive entertainment and showing-off through adulthood. In 1994 Bantick began doing radio at Melbourne’s 102.7 3RRRFM, in 1997 transferring to become a core member of the technology show Byte Into It. In 2003 he wrote briefly for the The Age newspaper’s Green Guide, providing video game reviews. In 2004 Bantick wrote the news section of PC GameZone magazine. Since 2006 Bantick has provided gaming and tech lifestyle stories for, including interviews and opinion in the RadioactivIT section.

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