Ubisoft have cancelled the UK release of controversial Wii and PlayStation 3 game ‘We Dare: Flirty Fun For All’. A trailer for the game featured (this is the important bit) grown adults playing saucy parlour games that include girl on girl spanking and striptease.
Gaming sites across the globe raised an eyebrow or two but were mature enough to understand this game was a bit of silly fun aimed at adults. Shortly after the release of the trailer PEGI (Pan European Game Information) viewed the game and decided to give at ‘12’ rating.
You can guess what happened next.
The tabloids seized upon the game rating and declared ‘We Dare’ to be a sign of the impending apocalypse. ‘Outraged parents say it promotes orgies and lesbian sex to kids as young as 12.’ screamed The Sun, ‘Suggestive of orgies, pole-dancing and wife-swapping’ lambasted The Daily Mail.
Joining the furore was Mathew Wright on his ‘The Wright Stuff’ television show, his expert panel including Greg Wallace, host of BBCs Masterchef. Greg said (quite rightly) that he would not let his children play the game . ‘Spanking and stripping – there’s no way that’s for 12-year-olds… it’s most certainly an adult thing’, said Greg
Ubisoft and PEGI have both responded, clearly stating the game is for adults and the age rating is a guide.
“It was correct to give the game a 12 rating,” PEGI said. “The content of the game and the interaction that the game itself implies do not warrant a higher rating.
“Marketing may have implied something else, but PEGI does not rate advertising, it rates game content. If people play the game, they will see that there is nothing inappropriate for ages 12 and older.”
Unsurprisingly the mainstream media has neglected to report the comments from PEGI, and as a result of a wave of negative publicity Ubisoft have pulled ‘We Dare’ from the UK release schedule.
In a further twist, PEGI has now asked Ubisoft to remove the original ‘We Dare’ advert from the web. Eurogamer received the following statement:
The Committee concludes that the advertisement does NOT accurately reflect the nature and content of the product and it MISLEADS consumers as to its true nature.
Consequently, the Committee considers imperative as a first measure that the advertisement for the game which was made available online should be taken down immediately. If this is not done within three working days of this decision this Committee will consider further immediate sanctions against the publisher.
It seems like Ubisoft shot themselves in the foot. The saucy advert baited the tabloids so much that Ubisoft had to pull the title and now PEGI demands the removal of the very same advert that caused the controversy because it does not represent the game.
The whole incident has raised a worrying concern; the tabloid media caused so much fuss that an adult party game is pulled from the shelves. I’m actually very annoyed at Ubisoft for caving in; the Daily Mail has dictated which games I, as a mature adult, can play. It’s a disturbing precedent, the mainstream media’s rational of ‘video games are for children’ is fully evident and someone needs to stand up for the adult gamers and defend our rights to play any game we wish.
The tabloids (and the Telegraph – shame on you) are already crowing about getting the game removed. No matter what you think of the game itself the knee jerk, ill informed reaction from the mainstream media has resulted in the censoring of a game. This is a very bad day for gamers.
Ubisoft may have pulled the game’s release but they may be closing the stable doors after the horse has bolted. Whilst browsing the ‘RePlay’ section in HMV Oxford street I have seem two copies of the PS3 version of ‘We Dare’ for sale.
Check out the the original trailer for the game and then some actual game play footage in the two videos below and make your own decision on how sexy the game is.
Note: Originally this article had a link to the ‘Demand Five’ catch up TV service on YouTube for the episode of ‘The Wright Stuff’ that featured a debate on We Dare. Strangely that episode – and only that episode – has been marked as ‘private’ by Five and can no longer be viewed.