The USA’s top game censorship body, the ESRB, has been condemned for publishing a heavily jaundiced rating of PSP micro-bikini simulator Dead or Alive Paradise, accusing the game of being “cheesy,” having “creepy voyeurism” and containing “bizarre, misguided notions of what women really want” by portraying them cavorting in bikinis on the beach.
Some more lewd bikinis to give an idea of what Dead or Alive Paradise is all about:
The Entertainment Software Rating Board’s evaluation roundly condemned the game in terms sure to sell more than a few extra copies:
This is a video game in which users watch grown women dressed in G-string bikinis jiggle their breasts while on a two-week vacation. Women’s breasts and butts will sway while playing volleyball, while hopping across cushions, while pole dancing, while posing on the ground, by the pool, on the beach, in front of the camera.
There are other activities: Users can gamble inside a casino to win credits for shopping; they can purchase bathing suits, sunglasses, hats, clothing at an island shop; they can “gift” these items to eight other women in hopes of winning their friendship, in hopes of playing more volleyball.
And as relationships blossom from the gift-giving and volleyball, users may get closer to the women, having earned their trust and confidence: users will then be prompted to zoom-in on their friends’ nearly-naked bodies, snap dozens of photos, and view them in the hotel later that night.
Parents and consumers should know that the game contains a fair amount of “cheesy,” and at times, creepy voyeurism—especially when users have complete rotate-pan-zoom control; but the game also contains bizarre, misguided notions of what women really want (if given two weeks, paid vacation, island resort)—Paradise cannot mean straddling felled tree trunks in dental-floss thongs.
Readers of such a description could be forgiven for thinking it was written by an outraged feminist…
After some questioned the “objectivity” of this evaluation, the ESRB quickly folded and replaced their description with a less puritanical one, merely saying “we mistakenly posted a rating summary that included what some could rightfully take to be subjective statements.”
The ESRB’s ratings do not carry legal force, but they can nonetheless issue de factor bans on games by issuing ratings “family-friendly” retailers will refuse to stock, ensuring developers must frequently cut content in order to appease them and secure a marketable rating. Unrated games are denied licensing on consoles or access to major retailers.
Incidentally, this is all the body chose to say about the incendiary but unproblematic scene in Modern Warfare 2 in which the player is given the chance to massacre dozens of innocents whilst playing as a terrorist attacking an airport:
The most intense depiction of violence occurs during a “No Russian” mission where players take on the role of an undercover Ranger: Several civilians are gunned down at an airport as players are given a choice to participate in the killings.
At least none of them were wearing skimpy bikinis.