Steam, the leading digital distribution platform on PCs, has recently made the game "Postal 2" available for sale to New Zealanders, after it was approved for release by the community through the Steam Greenlight program.
Postal 2, which originally released in 2003, is a first-person shooter game that lampoons social convention. In it, players are able to perform violent and denigrating actions on "innocent" members of the public and even animals, including burning them alive and urinating on them. The game was also accused of being racist, homophobic, and otherwise generally offensive.
Postal 2 was classified as objectionable by the Office of Film & Literature Classification in New Zealand in 2004, making it illegal to supply, distribute, or possess the game in this country. This includes digital copies of the game, and digital distribution - even by organizations that are not based in New Zealand - is similarly against the law.
Distributing the game in New Zealand means that Valve, who own the Steam platform, could face fines of up to $200,000 if they know it's illegal to sell the game here or up to $30,000 if they don't. People in New Zealand who possess the game, meanwhile, could face fines of up to $50,000 or 5 years imprisonment if they're aware of its objectionable classification, or a fine of up to $2,000 if they're not.
The Steam software, including the website for the service, supports regional restrictions on software availability; Manhunt, for example, which is similarly banned in New Zealand, cannot be purchased by gamers in this country - despite the fact that Steam users in other countries are able to buy the game.
Valve could not be reached for comment at the time of writing; we'll update this story should they respond or take any action regarding the game's availability.