Report: Singapore Bans Mass Effect Over Lesbian Love Scene

BioWare’s Mass Effect has been banned in Singapore, according to GameAxis Online, a site operated on the island nation.

Apparently, the game’s widely-publicized love scene between two women – one of whom is a blue-hued alien – didn’t go down well with government censors. From the GameAxis Online report:

If you were expecting a raunchy Lust Caution movie-inspired sex scene, then you’re going to come away disappointed. Of course, when a video like the one shown in Kotaku makes its round do you really expect our censorship board to let the game pass through its net? Of course they don’t!

So here’s the sad news coming from official sources. Mass Effect, the wonderfully crafted RPG from Bioware is now officially BANNED! The irony though, is that the ban probably only serve to intensify the game’s demand here.

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  1. 0
    Captain Fong the Pirate Ninja says:

    You neglected to indicate that your posted video is the “tame” cut. There have been racier videos from the game posted on other sites.

  2. 0
    KnottyMars says:

    lol, Steamy? Love Scene? Its neither. I was prepping for the “awwww yeah” moment where they were all over each other, but it never came.

    Banning for this is just silly. I think E (Entertainment TV) should be banned for showing Ellen and Porsche together (sarcasm)

  3. 0
    rendell says:

    I am totally surprised by this piece of news.
    This really comes from the little island nation where prostitution is legal, but also cover by insurance and receive health care?!

  4. 0
    GrizzlyAdams says:

    Wait a minute. They banned the game because of this! There is no sex in this scene. All you see are two heads, some kissing and a hand in the last scene. This is just completely idiotic. They rather ban a game over two people in a love scene than aliens and humans killing each other. If that is the case, that is really idiotic.

  5. 0
    Mad_Scientist ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Hmm… there are 4 different versions of the “sex scene” in Mass Effect.


    All 4 contain at least one person who looks female, and according to the BBFC, one of them has breast nudity. Before this video, if I had been forced to guess which one, I would have said it would be the “lesbian” scene, given that it has twice the number of breasts to potentially show. But it doesn’t appear to be in that video. Is that really the full scene?

  6. 0
    ChekhovsGun says:

    No, this isn’t the romance scene. Thie youtube vid is a separate scene as a result of completing a quest. Search on Youtube for the real deal, since it’s been pulled off GameVideos by Microsoft.

  7. 0
    Mad_Scientist ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “[Mass Effect’s] single sex scene is brief and undetailed, although there is breast nudity in one version of the scene,” read the board’s summary. “The sex scene is triggered by the player making a series of choices about becoming more than friends with a colleague. If playing as a male character the scene can take place between him and a human woman or a humanoid female alien. If playing as a female character the scene can take place between her and a male human or a female humanoid alien.” (Emphasis added.)

    Taken from a GS news article.;title;6

    I didn’t see any breast nudity in that scene. Maybe the nudity occurs in the female/male or male/female scenes.

  8. 0
    Mad_Scientist ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ EZK

    Actually, is asexual really the right term? I thought asexual meant that a species reproduces without any sexual contact, and I didn’t think that the species in Mass Effect was like that. Even though they only possess a single gender, I thought they still reproduced through some sort of sexual contact within that gender. Oh well, regardless of the correct term, your point pretty much still stands.

    But I have to wonder, is that REALLY the scene? I was under the impression that the scene showed some actual nudity. The version at Kotaku won’t work for me so I can’t compare and see if it’s any different.

  9. 0

    Comparing Australia to Singapore is like comparing the United States to Nazi Germany in WW2, seriously I know people aren’t that stupid……Or am I wrong?

  10. 0
    nrad99 says:

    The worst thing about this is that bioware is one of the few game companies that cares enough to tell a good story. I’m sure there was quite a buildup to the scene (although I do question why they would choose to show such a scene in isolation). Singapore only harms its domestic and international perception with this action.

  11. 0
    Zerodash ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    No one ever said christianity was the exclusive motivation for media bannings- islam and others are just as bad.

    Singapore, however, just has a stick up their ass. Its kind of common knowledge that they are heavy-handed on lots of things. I fail to see why anyone would be suprised.

  12. 0

    I have to say, that’s the “Gayest” love scene ever.

    I mean seriously, based on the content, the alien may have had a stroke and flopped on her back because of all the hair product the player was using.

    It can’t be an objectionable sex scene if there is no sex in the scene

  13. 0
    Kyle ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    That’s It!!!!!
    geez I was expecting something that would give a preacher an anurism geez thats pretty harsh cencorshipfor them to ban thisohwellI hopepeoplein singapore can watchthis online and realize the sheer stupidity of the ban

  14. 0
    Erik ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Hey Pandralisk. Look at this, a country where the Christian populace ranks in at only 15% of the total population and yet still a game was banned. Gee, kinda deflates your theory.

  15. 0
    Saladin ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    *Sigh* Like it matters. Singapore has so far off the world’s radar that I seriously doubt anyone’s really gonna care. While this scene will probably offend a select few, it’s tame. Nothing is shown. I don’t think there’ll be problems in the States.

  16. 0
    Phil Harris ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    There is no way that JT would go after this for two reasons: One) Mass Effect is not made by Rockstar. And Two) It’s not gay porn, and apparently JT likes that kind of stuff (hey, who am I to judge? to each his own, I say).

  17. 0
    Archgabe says:

    @Eveyone who brought up JT

    He dosen’t care about stuff like this. If you keep mentioning it then when he does the search for his name here (as he always does) he will most likely give the “I don’t care you morons!” line and leave it at that or talk about something that has nothing to do with the article. Don’t jinx it!


    This makes me automaticaly win because that means my pron is better than your pron. What do they have over there? Amish Girls Gone Wild? Look! It’s an ankle! OHH!! A wrist!.

    Ok, I ran out of jokes. But seroiusly, it is absurd enough that I can make fun of it easly.

  18. 0
    GryphonOsiris ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Actually, I doubt JT will pay any attention to this at all because: A) It wasn’t made by Rockstar, B), it wasn’t made by Take-Two, C) It wasn’t made by Microsoft, D) it’s classified as an RPG.

    Yes, he really is THAT petty.

  19. 0
    Icehawk ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Hmm guess they need to do a quick time travel and remove Jade Empire (Baldurs gate and others) which as not has a only a lesbian “scene” but a male gay “scene” (my understanding that is implied since they black out the screen beford they kiss). Still there it is. Then again if Singapore wants to run their country that way that is their business.

  20. 0
    Helpless Kitten says:

    That scene was…surprisingly underplayed. Not offensive at all.

    Oh, and to answer MaskedPixelante’s question, yes there was a lesbian option in Jade Empire. If I remember correctly it ended in a rather passionate kiss.
    Bioware seems to care the most about telling a good story and having solid interactions between the characters. Thus they seem to feel that gender should not be a limit as far as which characters can interact and how.

  21. 0
    Loudspeaker ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    That’s it?

    Maybe Singapore has something against Smurfs…

    Well in any case at least the anti-gamers now have a haven for their cause.

  22. 0
    lumi ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    I find it disturbing that this mode of thinking persists ANYWHERE in this day and age.

    But I guess not everywhere is actually in “this day and age”. Go America…

  23. 0
    WinterNight says:

    Big ‘meh’. I agree with Godkarmachine O Inary; TVs done worse. Let’s just hope no one figures out that it promotes interspecies couples so me and my green girlfriend can continue to live in peace.

    Also if no one’s going to say it… needs more (.)(.)… even if they are virtual.

  24. 0
    power to the players says:

    i love america cause you cant ban games no matter what hillary clinton thinks or what the conservative christan parties want (read: SRN News)


  25. 0
    ApokalypseNow says:

    @Jack Thompson, who will no doubt eventually join this thread with all the grace of a stampeding rhinoceros with hemorrhoids-

    So what is this part of the game then, a “How to score with alien chicks when dialog options are limited multiple-choice” simulator?

  26. 0
    Fat Cat Lim says:


    Earlier this morning I spoke with a Microsoft employee who’s involved in the entertainment and gaming division in Singapore. It’s true: as much as they wanted to bring the game to Singapore, the government banned it. But like I mentioned earlier, it’s not illegal to play or own the game in the country. So Singaporean players are still free to obtain their game from other sources.

  27. 0
    MaskedPixelante ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    saw that coming a MILE away…

    what is it with BioWare and lesbians? First Juhani in KOTOR, now this? Is it because the legal sex age for lesbians in Canada is 12? Were there lesbians in Jade Empire?

  28. 0
    InJM ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    That looks sharp graphically but is less than some of the things you can see on tv, like other people said. But whatever. We’ll see how well government censor can work the internet and mail system to stop people from importing.

  29. 0
    zerodash ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I am very curious to see how the media and the anti-games folk will handle this. The christians in this country (and their republican puppets) have basically made homosexuality the number one worst thing a person can do.

    I personally can’t wait for Mass Effect for this very reason- I want to see if a game can tackle a sexual/romantic situation in a serious manner. Given Bioware’s track record, I believe this could be a significant evolution in videogames as a storytelling artform.

  30. 0
    HandofCrom ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    I love countries like this, involved in slavery and child prostitution and all forms of government corruption that would make us sick, but they get on a moral high horse over some video game. Maybe they should focus on the reality of their country.

  31. 0
    Twin-Skies ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Don’t they also arrest you for chewing gum in public over in Singapore?

    It’s a nice place to visit, but I sure as hell don’t wanna live there. Even their guided tours felt like subliminal propaganda.

  32. 0
    Fat Cat Lim says:

    It may be banned for sale in the country, but it’s not illegal to play it. Only local retailers won’t be able to stock it. But if Singaporean gamers want to play it, they could just order from an online store or parallel import it from elsewhere. The government can’t do anything to players who already own it.

  33. 0

    Now you know what a truly fascist state is like. Never pick of Australia again…..Ever. You cannot compare the two countries. Singapore is a superficial, ultra-conservative, repressive dictatorship. That country is no democracy, I don’t care what you try to tell me. In Singapore, same sex intercourse is illegal, oral sex is illegal, chewing gum is illegal, Cosmo & Cleo magazines are restricted to adults, porn is entirely illegal, movies like SAW and Borat are banned from being released on DVD, the list goes on and on.

    Singapore is the new Nazi Germany.

  34. 0
    video game time ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Kharnivore

    Get it through your thick skull, I was just leaving a little teaser that Jack Thompson would not mind seeing the game banned just for that little scene.

    It seems like you are not smart enough to understand that so back off me.

  35. 0
    Volcanman says:

    I’m not surprised. Over there, an anime known as “Mon Cole Knights” was banned simply because one of the characters was homosexual in the original (heck, there really wasn’t anything else BESIDES the fact he was gay, no “secret lover or relationship”, no actual sex or innuendo, nothing.)

  36. 0
    Kharnivore. says:

    @ Video game time

    Doubt it, most people like that only outcry against homosexuality because it makes them uncomfortable and threatens their perceptions of sexuality.

    Girl/girl action however dosen’t present the same problems to a patriarchal morality system that the boy/boy scene does.

    To sum up, in their twisted minds;
    boy/boy = gross
    girl/girl = hawt

    Besides! The blue lass is obviously an alien – perhaps it has an x and y chromosome and only looks female by our perceptions? When you get right down to it gender isn’t nearly as set in stone as current western thinking would portray.

  37. 0
    Gabriel Celesta ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    You’re shitting me, right?

    Singapore bans Mass Effect for THAT!? The scene was weak, those characters were (in my opinion, at least) somewhat ugly, and Singapore bans the game because of THAT?!

    I don’t know what to say about it… (*walks off, while shaking his head in disbelief*)

  38. 0
    Yuki says:

    I’ve said it before, and I”ll say it again.

    As bad as we think it is here, in other countries, it’s freaking worse.

    Pathetic! A semi lewd scene that shows nothing more then normal tv can, and they get pissy about it.

    To all those that bitch about american ratings, myself included, be grateful.

    Least we don’t live there.

  39. 0
    Funky J ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    OK, here is the official response from the MDA…

    ‘Mass Effect’ was disallowed as it had content which featured lesbian intimacy which is unsuitable for the young. Under the current system where there is no age ratings, games allowed for distribution have to be suitable for a general audience, including children. There is currently no videogame classification system, as such our website has no listing of age ratings for games.

  40. 0
    jadedcritic ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Not really too surprised. Singapore has their eccentricities. A few years back I was working a job that got outsourced to singapore, a couple of us ended up going over there to train them, and they came back with some stories allright. Apparently you have to be real careful over there. Seems they still have public canings for law violations. Not sorry I didn’t go, but not because of the laws or for want to see a new country. (My employer at the time was telling people to pay the costs up front and they’d reimburse. Cheap sons of a $$%%^.)

  41. 0
    Burke ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Erm… As far as I can tell, I doubt that we have any forms of child prostitution here at all. Its very much illegal and the police seem stomp on those kinda fellas with glee… And no, we do not have slavery here in Singapore.. (‘cept Wage Slavery…. but that’s pretty much everywhere, no?)

    But yeah, our board of censors here are pretty anal about stuff like this….

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