Every classification is tailored to remedy the injury that could be caused if a publication were to be made available to the public. The injury that the Office found Postal 2 likely to cause could not be remedied by anything short of a ban. The legal consequences that flow from a ban reflect the gravity of the harm likely to be caused by the game's availability.
In classifying Postal 2, the Office found that:
The game is designed, and has the capacity, to allow the player to test how much violence and humiliation he or she can inflict on human beings and animals in a variety of everyday settings and circumstances.
The player’s ability to elect the amount, type and speed with which the violence is escalated into extreme cruelty requires an antisocial attitudinal shift (and reinforces such attitudes amongst those who already have them) that is likely to be injurious to the public good.
One of the consequences of the ban is that it is now illegal, under the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993, to possess Postal 2 in New Zealand. Anyone who possesses this game is liable to a fine of $2,000 (s131). Anyone who supplies, distributes, exhibits, displays or advertises Postal 2 could be imprisoned for up to a year or fined $20,000. Incorporated distributors and retailers could face a fine of $50,000 (s124). Likewise any person importing Postal 2 risks seizure of the game as well as 6 months in jail or a fine of $10,000 (s209 of the Customs and Excise Act).
The game has not been available through shops in New Zealand but any person in possession of a copy should either destroy it or send it to the Department of Internal Affairs Censorship Compliance Unit (PO Box 805, Wellington).
Bans are not lightly entertained. When they are imposed, it is because there is no other way of mitigating the risk of injury to the public good. In this case, the need to protect the public good from injury outweighed the right of individuals to entertain themselves with the callous and brutal gameplay in Postal 2.
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