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‘The Last Of Us Part II’ Rating Includes Sexual Themes, Nudity

  • Rating follows a 2019 measure to crack down on sexually explicit content.
  • It begs the question, do the rules apply to some but not all?
  • Be sure to weigh in on your thoughts in the comments.

It’s a little short of a year since Sony’s stricter policies regarding sexual content and themes in video games on the PlayStation 4 platform went into play. Since then we’ve seen several games large and small censored on the platform but not on others. It doesn’t stop at overly sexual content but also includes partial nudity, games with swimsuits, all sorts of themes that Sony had no problem with until early 2019 when the policy change dealt a hard blow to many indie games and has even affected some AAA titles.

However, these censorship policies have only applied to more risque content. Apparently showing skin is frowned upon, but dicing people up with blades or blowing them away in a hail of gunfire is okay. You know my stance is that games are games, and they should remain untouched and appropriately rated by the ESRB, PEGI, or other systems to ensure that it doesn’t end up in the hands of younger players without a parent or guardian purchase.

 

That being said, the only thing that annoys me more than censorship policies in entertainment are ones that appear incredibly selective. This brings us to The Last Of Us Part II, which has just received its official rating. Unsurprisingly, the game is now saddled with an M rating. So what does the mature rating entail? Blood and gore, intense violence, nudity, sexual content, strong language, use of drugs. Let us hone in on the categories that seem like they should be in direct violation of Sony’s censorship policies. 

According to the official ESRB website:

  • Nudity: Graphic or prolonged depictions of nudity.
  • Sexual Content: Non-explicit depictions of sexual behavior, possibly including partial nudity.

On one hand, this is a very good thing. M rated games especially should not be compromised by censorship, considering if they cross a certain thresh hold by the ESRB they’re upgraded to the Adults Only category. Developers know the limits they have to work within to stay out of a category that would limit their sales drastically. However, why have a rating system at all if platform owners are going to decide what games they censor and what they don’t and seem to negate the purpose of ratings boards?

 

I think it’s unfair that the game Sony is banking on to be the photo-finish for the PlayStation 4 lifecycle seems to be getting a free pass when so many other games have been censored for far less than what it sounds like we might be having in The Last of Us Part II. Hopefully, this isn’t an exception to the rule and rather Sony easing up on the reigns a bit but right now time will tell. I suppose we’ll see when games like Cyberpunk 2077 come to the PlayStation 4 later this year as we already know it will have its own share of sexual content.