the xlog : x-rated weblog

a twisted and humorous look at sex, pornography, and the world in general

December 9, 2007

Alien Lesbians Spook Singapore Censors

Filed under: sex news — Blogs @ 12:49 am

Censors in Singapore have banned the highly-anticipated Microsoft game Mass Effect due to a human-on-alien, girl-on-girl love scene. Mass Effect is the first Microsoft video game to be banned in Singapore by the Media Development Authority.

The scene starts with a conversation between two females, one human and one alien. As the music swells, the human places her hand on the alien’s cheek. There is a close-up of them leaning in towards each other, then a Titanic-style shot of a hand pressing up against a window.

The Australian Classifications Board has already rated Mass Effect MA15+, and the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) rated it for ages 12 and over. The BBFC’s description notes that "the single sex scene is brief and undetailed," and explains that the scene is only triggered by a particular series of choices. A heterosexual version of the scene is shown if the player’s character is male.

Games with stronger heterosexual sex scenes have previously made it past Singapore’s censors. God Of War contains a sex mini-game that depicts the main character in bed with two semi-naked women before the camera pans to a bedside urn shaking in time with the off-screen moans. The sex scene is out of shot, but it contains more soundtrack detail and is interactive. Mass Effect’s lesbian scene is less explicit and is not interactive.

The classifications inconsistency between heterosexual and homosexual content could be due to Singapore’s current political climate surrounding same-sex relationships. In October, Singapore’s parliament decided to keep a ban on sex between men, and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that the city-state should keep its conservative values and not allow special rights for homosexuals.

Prior to the recent political attention, games containing homosexual content had been released in Singapore without incident. The number one best-selling game series The Sims, published by EA Games, introduced a same-sex feature with The Sims 2 in 2004. The Sims 2 players have the option to develop a relationship between two female or two male characters. All couples in the game can flirt, marry, and kiss on screen.

The Media Development Authority has not announced any plans to ban The Sims 2 or God Of War. Singapore is the only country to have banned Mass Effect.

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