Office to re-classify GTA: San Andreas
Classification Office to re-classify Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Following recent reports that the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas contains hidden sex scenes, Chief Censor Bill Hastings has decided to call in the game for re-classification.
In New Zealand Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was classified R18 in 2004. The classification was given because of the game’s depiction of crime and violence. The sexual content can be activated by downloading additional software to unlock codes already existing in the game.
“The sexual content was not known to be part of the game when we classified it in 2004. I have decided to use my power to call in the game for classification now that these hidden scenes have come to light” said Mr Hastings.
The modified version of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas will be classified afresh. Staff of the Classification Office will play the game and consider its classification in light of the new content. If the classification changes, distributors will be required to re-label the game.
“R18 is the highest age restriction that the Classification Office can make. The game’s classification will not necessarily change because of the sex scenes. However, we need to be sure that the current classification is still appropriate given that the game can be changed by activating new content” said Mr Hastings.
The power to call in publications is conferred on the Chief Censor by section 13(3) of the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993. It has been used, infrequently, to call in films but this is the first time a game has been called in. In exercising the power the Chief Censor directs the Secretary for Internal Affairs to obtain a copy of the publication and submit it for classification.
It will take the Office approximately two weeks to classify Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas once it is received from Internal Affairs.