3DS Dead or Alive “Banned as Child Porn in Sweden”

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Nintendo has cancelled the Scandinavian release of Dead or Alive over concerns that it may fall foul of Sweden’s absurd child pornography laws.

Upcoming 3DS fighting game Dead or Alive: Dimensions features three sexy female characters under the age of 18, all of whom can be inspected from any angle in the game’s “figure mode.”

These also happen to quite scantily clad, in outfits featuring thongs and plenty of cleavage in a variety of interesting poses.

However, Swedish “child” pornography laws prohibit any depiction, real or drawn, of an under-18 in a “pornographic situation,” in practice vaguely defined as any situation prosecutors can convince a court is pornographic.

After the game was reported to police, who did nothing and said evidence for prosecution was “lacking,” Nintendo and the Scandinavian regional distributor promptly cancelled the game’s Nordic release anyway, for not only Sweden, but also Denmark and Norway.

The initial reporting of the game to police is understood to be the work of a Swede who wanted to prove a point – that ever vaguer laws against fictional depictions of underage sexuality are rapidly encroaching upon freedom of expression, as evidenced by the recent arrest of a Swedish manga translator for possessing “child pornography” in the form of young-looking drawn girls.

The protest certainly seems to have demonstrated just that – publishers have been scared into cancelling a game for an entire region, on the basis of a single complaint to police.

Nintendo and its regional distributor refuse to offer any clarification of just why the game was pulled:

“Nintendo of Europe have decided not to release the game in Sweden, for various reasons. However, they do not want to list any details regarding their decision.”

Whether reporting the rest of their games to feature scantily clad 16-year-olds (a fairly high proportion of games developed in Japan) will scare them into pulling those as well is an interesting question.

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