Banned Games of 1995

Four games were banned in Australia in 1995.

DREAM WEB (1994) and VOYEUR (1994) were both Refused Classification in February. They were followed by STRIP POKER (1993), and in August, PHANTASMAGORIA (1995).

Dream Web

Publisher Empire Interactive Entertainment / 1994 / MobyGames

In February 1995, DREAM WEB was banned because of sexual violence.

Playcorp was the applicant.

Dream Web (1994) - Game Cover 1
PC Cover

August 30, 1995
DREAM WEB is an overhead perspective adventure/shoot-em-up game. One scene depicts male and female animated characters performing simulated sexual intercourse on a bed. A character controlled by the player enters the room and implicitly shoots the male with resulting animated blood splash from the male’s head.

The Board believed this combination of elements produced a scene of sexualized violence which warranted Refusal under the Computer Games Guidelines.

– Office of Film and Literature Classification
– Year in Review 1994-1995

Why was it banned?

Richard C. reports.
The problem scene in DREAM WEB can be found at 07:29 in this YouTube clip.

A couple is shown having sex in the bedroom. The gunman (the player) walks into the room, raises his weapon and aims at them. The woman screams then jumps off the man and crawls under the bed. The man then grabs a pillow to cover his genitals.

The on-screen text reads.
‘The bedroom is a mess. Clothes lie on the furniture and the floor. Loud music blares from the concealed speakers. In the centre of the room is a bed upon which lies David Crane.’

The player then chooses a gun.

The on-screen text reads.
‘A small handgun that fires bolts of high energy plasma. The digital readout on the handle gives an indication of the amount of fuel left.’
‘Your hand shakes as you take aim and pull the trigger…’

The player shoots David Crane and a pool of blood appears on the bed. His stomach explodes and a blue ball of plasma emerges and flies off.

I find it amazing that this one small scene was enough to get DREAM WEB Refused Classification. The graphics are so poor that the sex scene just looks comic!

Censored for an M-rating

A modified version of DREAM WEB was passed with an M (Medium level animated violence) rating in June 1996.

Further reading

For more information about DREAM WEB in Australia, see Dangerous Games.


Publisher Philips P.O.V. Entertainment Group / 1994 / MobyGames

In February 1995, VOYEUR was banned by the OFLC for sexually explicit language and an incest theme.

Sega Ozisoft was the applicant.

Voyeur (1994) - Game Cover 1
PC Cover

August 30, 1995
A CD ROM strategy game called VOYEUR uses full motion video and contains a conversation between two adult actors. They had been identified in an earlier scene as uncle and niece. In the dialogue, the woman recalls the uncle’s sexual abuse of her when she was 14 years old and uses sexually explicit language during the conversation.

The guidelines clearly state that sexually explicit language is to be Refused. The incest context was also taken into consideration by the Board.

– Office of Film and Literature Classification
– Year in Review 1994-1995

Further Reading

For more information on VOYEUR in Australia, see Dangerous Games.

Strip Poker

Publisher CDV Software GmbH / 1993 / MobyGames

In the first half of 1995, STRIP POKER became the third game to be banned in Australia.

August 30, 1995
The third game was the “adult” CD ROM, STRIP POKER, which showed female actors bare breasted. The guidelines state that material depicting “nudity, including genitalia” will be Refused “unless there is a ‘bona fide’ educational, medical or community health purpose”.

– Office of Film and Literature Classification
– Year in Review 1994-1995

Further reading

For more information on the banning of STRIP POKER, see Dangerous Games.


Publisher Sierra On-Line / 1995 / MobyGames

In August 1995, a beta version of PHANTASMAGORIA was banned by the OFLC.

The full commercial version was Refused Classification in September 1995. Nudity and sexual violence was the reason for both decisions.

Sega Ozisoft was the applicant.

Phantasmagoria (1995) - Game Cover 1
PC Cover

PHANTASMAGORIA appeared in Australia just as the new games classification system was being introduced.

However, delays in amending the law in states such as Victoria allowed Sega Ozisoft to import and sell their stock before it could be implemented nationwide.

OFLC report

September 5, 1995
Voting: Unanimous
Decision: Refuse

SYNOPSIS: A complete version of that screened and Refused on the 9th Aug 1995.

COMMENT: In the Board’s opinion, this complete version CD-ROM game warrants a Refuse under the computer games guidelines for one scene of simulated sexual activity between consenting adults and one scene of simulated sexual activity that contains strong overtones of sexual violence.

Under the Computer Games Classification Guidelines;

“simulated or explicit depictions of sexual acts between consenting adults” and,

“any depiction of sexual violence or sexual activity involving non-consent of any kind” warrants Refuse.

Chapter one of the seven disc game shows a male and a female, earlier identified as man and wife, in bed after the woman awakes from a nightmare. The husband consoles her; this subsequently develops into a short scene of simulated waist up thrusting intercourse, revealing a side view of the woman’s bare breast as she lays atop her partner.

In chapter four, a bathroom scene shows the woman in a negligee at a mirror combing her hair. The husband walks up behind her, strokes her hair, and runs his hand over her clothed breast. Angry from a prior scene argument, she brushes his hand away. He continues his advances until they both willingly embrace and kiss. This is shown with soft background music.

The husband lifts her under her armpits, carries her to the bathroom wall, continues kissing her and the camera closes in on his hand lifting her clothes. At this point, the music changes tempo and tone, becoming darker and thumping. The man’s face is shown with an evil expression, eyes glaring wide as he holds the woman’s hands up above her head on the wall behind her. He is shown to begin a vigorous thrusting motion, simulating intercourse. The woman’s face is seen in close up, crying and scared, shaking her head from side to side during what, at that point, begins to look like a sexual attack.

While the narrative structure has by this stage clearly indicated that evil forces are influencing the husband’s actions and, that the game play is such that the player’s role as the wife is to prevent this from happening to herself and her husband, the above guidelines do not contain anything that allows contextual justification considerations by the Board.

Thus, the unanimous decision of the Board is that the game warrants Refuse under the Computer Games Classification Guidelines.

– Classification Board report

September 19, 1996
One commercial game, PHANTASMAGORIA, was Refused Classification during the last year. In this game one played from the perspective of a wife who had recently moved into an old house possessed by evil spirits.

This seven CD game using actors in full-motion video contained a visual of breast nudity within an implied love-making scene between the wife and her husband and a scene in which the ‘possessed’ husband’s sexual advances turned into a violent sexual attack.

According to the computer games guidelines, nudity in a sexual context, unless there is a bona fide educational, medical or community health purpose, requires refusal, as does any depiction of sexual violence.

– Classification Board, Annual Report 1995-1996

The controversial content

Richard C. reports.
In their report, the OFLC identify two scenes as being responsible for the RC-rating.

Scene 1: Nudity
Intercourse and side-view of the woman’s bare breast are in this YouTube clip.

Scene 2: Sexual Violence
The possessed husband seducing then attacking his wife can be found in this YouTube clip.

RC-rating for Anthology

In April 1997, THE ROBERTA WILLIAMS ANTHOLOGY (1997) was banned by the OFLC. This was presumably done because of the inclusion of the first chapter of PHANTASMAGORIA.

See the separate entry for this title in our Game Censorship Database for more information.

Comments from the creator

Anthony Larme’s PHANTASMAGORIA memorial contains everything you could want to know about the game. The controversial scenes are documented and a censorship timeline takes an in-depth look at the ban.

He and Andy Bellatti interviewed Roberta Williams and asked her about the scene of sexual violence that helped get the game banned in Australia.

November 1997
Question: The opening scene of chapter four, where Adrienne is sexually assaulted by her demon possessed husband after an initially amorous encounter, shocked many people. In Australia, the game was banned to everyone because of that scene. In the USA, several retail chains refused to carry the game and some reviewers accused PHANTASMAGORIA of “making a game of sexual violence”.

In what ways is that contentious scene essential for furthering the plot and character development within PHANTASMAGORIA? Did you intend it to be a counterpoint to the love making in the game’s Introduction?

Roberta: That scene is very essential to the plot. I knew it would be controversial and could have taken it out at any time. I kept it in because it was the pivotal point in the plot where Adrienne suddenly realises that something is terribly wrong with Don. Up to that point, she knows that Don isn’t feeling well, but she attributes that to the bump on his head or to stress from moving or with his work.

We know that he’s possessed by some sort of demon, but she doesn’t. This is the way I wanted to let Adrienne know that something is very wrong with Don, and that he’s capable of hurting her. I wanted her to start being afraid of him and to abruptly kick her out of her comfortable world and into a world of horror. That scene does that.

Without that scene, the rest of the story would make no sense. And yes, it was a sort of counterpoint to the lovemaking at the beginning of the game where Don is normal and we see that he loves her and is really a gentle person.

– Roberta Williams interview
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Further reading

See the PHANTASMAGORIA: A PUZZLE OF FLESH (1996) entry in the Game Censorship Database for more information about the censored sequel.