The Reaction to DOA: Dimensions Being Pulled Off Shelves in Australia

Dead or Alive: Dimensions is being pulled off shelves in Australia (and elsewhere) for having the ability to potentially pose 16-year-old female characters in skimpy outfits and then photograph them. Feel free to watch that video with its RealDoll-like images, then perhaps take a shower after to scrub off the dirty feeling.

Some sites are promoting that people should go out and buy DOA: Dimensions to stick it to The Man, but that’s an irresponsible reaction on their side. Seriously, don’t suggest people do things that could be against the law, nor is this action really linked the R18+ games classification in Australia.

The funny thing was Nintendo is the one behind most of DOA: D being withdrawn – they elected not to distribute it in certain countries in Europe and then appear to have supported the decision to withdraw it in Australia as well. (Officials gave Nintendo a week to respond to concerns – that’s a long way from ‘knee-jerk’.)

Helena from Dead or Alive

It's also not like the DoA series isn't full of legal age women to ogle, either. Here's Helena, who is 21. Yes, she is judging you.

And none of it would have happened either Nintendo, Tecmo Koei or Team Ninja had changed the character ages to 18 or over. It slipped past family-friendly Nintendo and now they are trying to sweep the game under the rug as quickly as possible.

If the characters were over 18, this wouldn’t be problem. However, various groups (rightfully) get fairly sensitive around the idea of photographing women aged 17 and under in possibly sexualised situations (like, say, bending over in a bikini). I think that’s fair enough – it’s a line that defines legally responsible adult and one that has been in place for quite a while. As such, I find it a bit disappointing that the gamer reaction is full of, “How dare they ban that game?” and not, “Fair enough – let’s not support the sexualisation of minors”. Particularly when Nintendo themselves supports the removal of the game from shelves.

8 thoughts on “The Reaction to DOA: Dimensions Being Pulled Off Shelves in Australia

  1. Interesting one because it’s such a sensitive topic.

    I don’t know if I quite understand the objection. In many Australian states from what I’ve read 16 is a legal age to consent to sex. (In some states it’s 17). Are you saying that it’s acceptable for a 16 year old to have sex with people but not for her to be photographed in a bikini? Or have I got faulty information about the Australian laws? I certainly find it very strange that it varies from state to state – do people pop over the border for a quickie?

    Here in England age of consent is 16. There’s not really a taboo about a girl that age modeling. I think most people here see it as completely binary where 15 years and 364 days would be a disgusting age for sex or sexually suggestive modelling but it’s completely fine the next day.

    So being English, it looks very odd to me to see you say this. But on the other hand I read about the issue on Wikipedia and most of Europe sets it at 14, Spain at 13 which I’m very uncomfortable with. In Kuwait there’s no minimum age, extra marital sex is always illegal.

    • There’s age of consent, then there is age of majority. I think most countries accept that people have sex starting in their teenage years, but that we don’t consider someone legally adult until they (generally) turn 18. It is when they turn 18 that people can accept the idea of erotic modelling, most likely because they are adults then. Things get iffy when women aged 16 – 18 are put in the same situation, at least partially driven by the idea that society doesn’t want to see teenagers pushed into sexual roles before they are ready.

      Does England have 16-yo lingerie models? 16-yo models are fine, but do they pose in g-strings in front of the camera?

      • Upon investigation it’s rather a creepy subject. I googled for youngest lingerie models and most of the sites seemed to be rather seedy but also I got this link to Victoria’s Secret with bios of their top models.

        Ages mentioned included two at 13 and one at 15. And that’s absolutely mainstream, in fact I expect Australian audiences saw these girls model at that age same as British and American audiences.

        It does seem that like in so many other ways there are double standards applied to games. A game gets banned for permitting a 16 year old to model while fashion magazines and catalogue feature 13 year old lingerie models. Of course the game could be more personal, you wouldn’t be able to contact a Vogue model as easily.

        On balance it’s probably not a bad thing to protect young people until 18, in any culture.

  2. I think its a good move to remove the game, but its shame, because the game has some great gameplay. why couldnt they include the game without the extra photoshoot crap.

    hopefully they will rework the game with other exciting content and less sexed up imagery and more about cool fighting and gameplay.


  3. [I live in Sweden, and followed the debate. I believe they whole DoA thing began in Sweden when someone in a Swedish forum thought of an idea of exposing the absurd Swedish law on child pornography. He reported DoA in the belief that the case would be dropped immediately. Instead the distribution company, together with Nintendo, got cold feet, and called off the Swedish distribution of the new edition of DoA. It has not been tried in court though, but the Swedish definition of child pornography probably does reach to include the “photo mode” in the game, because it would “put the child (<18yo) in a sexual charged position" (not sure of exact wording)]

    So you share the Swedish law-makers' who put photographs and drawings (both analog and digital) on the same footing. By forbidding fictional drawing, you might have already passed the line of forbidding fiction and thus forbidding the right of expression … which is fundamental to democracy. This is becoming a fact now in Sweden, when a manga translator will probably soon be charged for possessing child pornography (i.e. certain manga) by the Swedish Supreme Court.

    (The Swedish legislation does agree with this description, because it says outright that "child pornography" shall be exempted among things one may have the right to express, even in drawing (art exempted).)

    What I am weary over is that you don't seem to be concerned with this issue. Blinded by moralism, we loose the sight of fundamental rights that former generations have fought for. Some fantasies are bad. But if the Swedish government begins to forbid, not only freedom of expression, but also freedom of thoughts, what will come next? Since, according to a new Swedish law, it's not allowed, not only to possess child pornography, but even to look at it (online). Sounds reasonable … but by forbidding thoughts, the next logically step is forbidding men over the age of 50 to visit beaches with families, who have teenagers running around in bikinis all over the place. No need of DoA's photo mode there! …

    Forbidding freedom of expression and forbidding freedom of thoughts is not an innocent matter.

    If we don't like sexualizing children, we shouldn't have put bras and bikinis on them in the first place, (suggesting the hiding of breasts when there aren't any).

    / Someone living in Sweden

    • There’s a big difference between real life 15 year old girls in bikinis and a game where you can pose representations of them for your own edification.

      The thing is that in a fantasy game, they could have changed the ages of the women to be 18+ and suddenly there isn’t an issue (well, past the usual ones of video games making women pose in tight clothes for the benefit of the male gaze, anyway).

      Bras and bikinis aren’t inherently sexual either. (Flesh tone bras are anti-sexual in my experience.) They serve a purpose beyond the sexualisation of women. But such things depend on the type of bra / bikini being worn and the purpose behind wearing it. A 14-year old wearing sports bra for sports is a very different thing to a 14-year-old model being photoed for a lingerie catalogue.

      • I’m sorry, I was a bit unclear, but what I meant with ”bras and bikinis” was those for pre-pubescent children that do not even have any breasts whatsoever. What did we think when we gave them these to wear? I still remember when you didn’t wear anything on the beach if you didn’t have anything to hide. But now, every other small girl looks like a beach model. Has our society undergone some kind of callotomy?

        Now in Sweden lingerie for small children popped up recently, but after protests, stores drew them from the shelves. I’ve also heard of bras with fake breast fillings, for those girls who have ”too small” breasts compared to their class-mates.

        It’s strange anyway that society sees no problem of sexualizing girls in real life, but tries to stop it in a console game.

  4. Surprisingly, the manga translator Simon Lundström was acquited today in the Swedish Supreme Court. The reasons for this court decision are a bit technical, but one reason was that the manga figures didn’t really represent real children, except in one drawing. But even the ownership was legitimate since he was a expert/artist. A so-called “proportion principle” was also mentioned, that charging him would not proportionally be the intent of the law when it was passed.

    How this will effect the ownership of manga, anime, and games like DoA among regular people, who are not experts/artists is not known. The Swedish headlines are now over-simplifying, saying that “Manga is legal!”

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