Russia hangs adults-only rating on The Sims 4

Sims 4 logoThe Russian Federation has placed an 18+ rating on the upcoming release of The Sims 4, marking the game as "prohibited for children" due to a controversial law restricting the promotion of same-sex relationships to minors.

News of the rating comes via a tweet from the official Sims Russia account, which was later followed up with an explanation to a curious player. "18+ [rating] has been assigned in accordance with the law number 436-FZ 'On the protection of children from information harmful to their health and development,'" the tweet reads (via Google Translate).

That law, passed in September of 2012, has already drawn widespread controversy around the world for seemingly criminalizing the mere mention of a person's own sexual orientation and encouraging violence against Russia's LGBT community. The law drew protests and provoked safety concerns for some athletes during the Sochi Winter Olympics earlier this year.

Sims games routinely get T for Teen (ages 13 and up) ratings in the US, PEGI 12 ratings in the European Union, and M (ages 15 and up) ratings in Australia. In Germany, The Sims 3 was even rated as appropriate for ages 6 and up by the country's USK rating board. The games have included the option of same-sex relationships since the series debuted in 2000.

Sims 4

It's unclear just how much effect the new Russian rating will have on the actual accessibility of the game in the country. Even if shops in Russia are effectively prevented from selling the game, game piracy is rampant in the country, and some young players may be able to purchase a copy from more permissive countries nearby as well.

The news follows a controversy over Nintendo's recent decision not to add an option for same-sex relationships to the pending Western release of wacky simulation game Tomodachi Life.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: computer games, Russia

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