Target Australia is wrapping R18+ games in the equivalent of brown paper

Shipped discretely I’m sure

I remember reading once about how retailers voluntarily censored the album cover of hair metal doofuses, Ratt’s, Out of the Cellar. The image of a feline Tawny Kitaen creeping towards a cellar door in black leather was just too much for the big box locations of the day to handle. They slipped in the album in a generic black sleeve before putting it on shelves to prevent the sheer sexual energy of the cover art from burning out the retinas of passing children and elderly bake sale enthusiasts. By contemporary standards the album cover is completely tame, provocative sure, but hardly worth blotting out like a disgraced politician in a Soviet textbook. Looking at it today, I could hardly imagine what kind of pearl-clutching ninnies thought they needed to prevent it from harming the general public.

Apparently, the same people calling the shots in Australian Targets. The retailer has decided to cover up the box art on all of the R18+ games they carry with sterile black and white packaging that contains only the name of the game and an admonishment that it can only be purchased by adults. Presumably, this is done to make the game less appealing to youths and to make it easy for staff to recognize it when little Johnny tries to buy a copy of BloodStorm 3: The Spleen Explosion.

To be clear, Target Australia has every right to decide what it feels comfortable with carrying on its shelves. If they don’t want to carry GTA V, or show the terrifying visage of Watch Dog‘s Aiden Pearce glowering down from the shelves from beneath his ball cap, that’s (literally) their business. Still, I can’t help but chuckle when this kind of thing happens, it seems like such an comical reaction to a non-issue that I’m sure it will be the eye-rolling trivia of the future — just like Ratt.

Target Australia Now Using Plain Packaging For R18+ Video Games [Attack of the Fanboy]

Nic Rowen