The Media Development Authority has reversed its decision to ban the XBox game "Mass Effect" here. Its earlier ban caused a stir amongst gamers here and elsewhere in the world, becoming the first nation to ban a game.

It was said that there was no proper rating system to categorize the games sold in Singapore and hence a ban was necessary to ensure that it will not be made available to unsuitable audience.

Games, unlike movies, cannot be censored before sale and thus would require some form of classification methods before it can be sold. There are however, no avenues to ensure that such games are not resold or lent to younger audiences.

IN a reversal of its earlier decision, the Media Development Authority (MDA) has decided to allow role-playing game Mass Effect to be released here under an M18 rating.

The Board of Film Censors (BFC) said in a statement on Friday evening that it will selectively use games ratings to ‘enable highly anticipated games to be launched in Singapore’ until it puts in place a games classification system in January.

The statement said that ‘this will allow such games to enter the market with immediacy and give the industry and members of the public a better understanding of the benefits of the proposed games classification system’.

Mass Effect was banned earlier for containing a same-sex love scene, making Singapore the only country to disallow its sale. It caused a furore among local and international gamers.

Other games with graphic violence such as popular action game Assassin’s Creed – released this week – was allowed on store shelves after distributors affixed a consumer advisory label declaring the game ‘Not to be sold to young children’.

Article obtained from on 17th November 2007

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