In another valiant effort to protect us susceptible, easily mislead masses from ourselves, the Australian Classification Board recently refused classification for the upcoming Hotline Miami 2. The grounds of the refusal revolve around the game containing material too offensive for Australian audiences, prominently explicit sexualised violence- which is the biggest deal breaker down here.
Regardless of your stance on the judgements and rigid criteria of our Classification Board– as that’s a Andy Warhol sized can of worms for another time- the reality is the games not coming here, with the developer and publisher both refusing to challenge the board’s decision, claiming they’re “concerned and disappointed”.
Now, if this was the 1980s- where moral panic ruled and we lacked the miracle network of the Internet- this decision might actually amount to something. And the game’s developers are aware of this, supporting Aussies to just straight up pirate it.
The game’s lead designer, Jonatan Söderström, responded to Australian gamers concerns by simply saying:
If it ends up not being release in Australia, just pirate it after release.
No need to send us any money, just enjoy the game!
Now I’ll be the first to decry piracy- oh boy, are we opening all the cans today!- but when there is no alternative way to procure the media AND the content producer gives you their blessing, I empathically say “fuck yes”. Getting to consume media you want and participating in civil disobedience, what could be better, right?! Addressing the inherent and toxic issues that permeate our beloved media? Okay, fine. One step at a time.