Concerns lead to rating change from M to R13.
This game originally came into New Zealand with an M rating. The 'M' was assigned through the cross-rating process and was based on the Australian M classification.
The M rating seemed out of sync with classifications given by other countries.
The Inspectors of Publications at the Censorship Compliance Unit of the Department of Internal Affairs felt that this M rating was inconsistent with the classifications assigned to the game in other parts of the world and decided to submit it to the Classification Office.
The game is rated 'C' (ages 15 and up) by CERO, the Japanese video game ratings authority and 16+ (ages 16 and up) by PEGI, the European game rating system.
The game player must survive natural disasters and battle soldiers.
In Disaster: Day Of Crisis the player controls Ray, an emergency rescuer who must survive natural disasters such as volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, save civilians, and engage in armed shootouts with a rogue special forces unit (SURGE) who have taken two people hostage. One of the hostages, Lisa, is the sister of Ray's emergency rescue colleague, Steve.
From this point on the gameplay involves two distinct objectives. First, the player must save civilians from natural disasters by giving them first aid or helping them back to safety from perilous situations. Second, the player must engage in regular gun battles with the SURGE soldiers. The player is rewarded with points for saving civilians during natural disasters and by shooting SURGE soldiers. The accumulated points allow for better weapons and health at the end of each completed level.
The game has a restricted classification in various other countries.
In the letter submitting the game to the Classification Office, the Inspector from the Censorship Compliance Unit noted that:
The game has received a higher age restriction, for example the game was assigned 16+ for all the nations covered by the PEGI guidelines. I believe there may be grounds to have the game classified at a higher rating than the current M.
The game was submitted for classification on the Nintendo Wii format.
It is important to note the classification on a video game applies across platforms if the game content is the same. For example, if a game is classified on PS3, the classification will also apply to the Xbox 360 version. Disaster: Day of Crisis was submitted and classified on the Nintendo Wii format. Part of the classification process involved considering the impact of the medium of the publication - in this case thinking about how the physical nature of playing the game on the Wii might impact upon the people playing it. The decision said:
The Wii gaming platform is highly interactive giving the player complete control, including when and how to inflict violence. The Wii console senses the position of the controller and direction in which it is pointed. This enables the player to aim and fire guns by pointing the controller directly at the screen, and inflict violence with weapons by making corresponding arm movements... The game lacks strategy or skill to play, giving way to repetitive attacks on human opponents... This effect is exacerbated given the interactive role that users of the Nintendo Wii console have on gameplay.
The R13 classification was given due to the violent content in the game.
In deciding to classify the game R13 with the descriptive note 'violence', it was noted that:
The emphasis on killing, as well as being acknowledged and rewarded for such success, is likely to desensitise children to violence in general... Teenagers and adults are more able to put this kind of material in the context of a fantastical console game. Likelihood of injury to the public good is avoided by restricting this publication to those audiences that have attained the age of 13 years.
R13: contains violence.
Prior to its official release there was discussion in the media over its content. Community interest groups and parents expressed concerns about the game that they believed would promote physical violence and bullying. Find out more about Canis Canem Edit: Bully
M: contains violence and nudity.
In June 2011 there were a number of stories in the New Zealand media about the release of Dead or Alive: Dimensions, detailing concerns that it contained pornographic material unsuitable for a PG rating. Articles appeared with headings such as "'Child porn' game sells fast under PG rating". Find out more about Dead or Alive: Dimensions
The Inspectors of Publications in the Department of Internal Affairs felt that the game's M rating was inconsistent with ratings from other parts of the world and submitted it to the Classification Office for review. Find out more about Disaster: Day of Crisis
R13: contains violence.
Originally cross-rated M, the way the game deals with cruelty and violence led to the restricted re-classification. In its decision, the Classification Office pointed out that the game rewards the player for being more and more violent. Find out more about Naughty Bear
From its hackneyed dialogue and B-movie story trappings to its incessant set-pieces and near nonsensical mish-mash of game mechanics, Day of Crisis really shouldn't be anything more than phenomenally rubbish. Yet, against all odds, it's one of the most entertainingly daft games we've played this year.Matt Wales, IGN.com