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Author Topic: Australian Game Clasification.  (Read 1308 times)

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Offline SabbyTopic starter

Australian Game Clasification.
« on: November 25, 2009, 09:22:21 AM »
http://www.gamepolitics.com/2009/11/23/atkinson-and-gamers4croydon039s-doe-debate-sort-r18-rating

Okay, a little back tracking for the non Australians... we have no R rating for video games. If its deemed inappropriate for a 15 year old, it gets banned. At least, thats how they say it works... the ratings guys are all over the place, and their decisions can be kind of stupid. It makes the issue worse.

However, a lot of people want the rating introduced... we have it for films, why not games? To pass such a thing, you need a unanimous vote of the Attorny Generals. Only one refuses to vote in favor. An old man stuck in the 60's who simply shoves his head in the sand at the mention of the issue.

Michael Atkinson.

Quote from: Michael Atkinson
The vast majority of Australians have not turned their mind to the question of an R18+ classification for interactive games. Itís just not an issue out there in the electorate. Most Australians donít think about it. Like me, many of them enjoy playing games such as the Wii.

Uhm... what? You honestly believe that? You really, truly think that no one is paying attention to this issue, and that everyone thinks like you do?

I've never been pro-censorship, and I don't like that the steps we need to take as a country to reach the rights we deserve are stone-walled by a man who would rather enforce his antiquated views then learn about the issue.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Australian Game Clasification.
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2009, 09:53:23 AM »
Are the Attorney Generals elected or appointed?  If they are elected, how long until this guy's term comes due?

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Australian Game Clasification.
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2009, 10:38:50 AM »
Elected. Not sure when the next election is, but he only has one potential opponant... not even sure who he is yet, or if he's up at all, as they're only starting this campaign for a new AG in response to the R18+ issue. As much as I support it, I don't like their chances...

So theres every chance the man will remain AG.

Offline Hemingway

Re: Australian Game Clasification.
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2009, 11:29:59 AM »
I watch an Australian guy on YouTube, who occasionally brings up things like these. Isn't porn - or at least certain kinds - technically banned in Australia, or certain states?

Anyway, what can I say? It's disgusting, and people that out-of-touch with reality have no business holding any sort of public office.

Offline Revolverman

Re: Australian Game Clasification.
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2009, 01:39:11 PM »
As someone who watches Zero Punctuation, it seems this no 18+ games ban isn't working at all.

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Australian Game Clasification.
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2009, 11:20:08 PM »
Excatly. He's said it himself, these games will get into the country and no amount of legal intervention will change that... so wouldn't it make sense to regulate it? His statement is one big double standard...

Offline Brandon

Re: Australian Game Clasification.
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2009, 11:40:49 PM »
I would say its less a need for the politician to be removed and more of a need for the law to be changed. People are always going to disagree so why does the law force this to be an unanimous vote? It doesnt make sense to me

When elections come up the idea of Imports vs regulation should be a main point of interest that way he gets voted out and hopefully the other guy will finally change it so that R18+ games are regulated instead of regularily imported by players

Offline Jude

Re: Australian Game Clasification.
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2009, 05:52:23 AM »
Atkinson seems to be concerned with children getting a hold of violent or sexual games, because he believes they're harmful to children.  But there are all sorts of things that could be hazardous in the hands of children that haven't been outlawed; I don't think that's the real issue at play here.

Video games make a convenient target because they're a form of cutting edge media that becomes increasingly sophisticated practically every year.  A Clockwork Orange, for example, contains far worse content than any video game I've played, and yet it was released a long time ago and has essentially been accepted as a classic mainstay of film.

A lot of people would argue it's the interactivity, but the way in which you do interact is so incredibly crude that the argument takes a lot of stretching.  You're pressing circular buttons and moving analog sticks to perform these various tasks;  there might be a case to be made if I was playing a first person shooter with a gun that was very realistic as the controller, was capable of doing horrific things and receiving a lifelike response, and if the graphics were incredibly lifelike.  But even the most bloody interpretations I've seen of real life violence come off as at least slightly comical in the video game medium; especially if you look at them for very long.

That's why people become so desensitized to video game violence; because to the trained eye it's an absolutely preposterous comparison.  So many of the claims people make about games from GTA to MW2 are wholly sensationalized and taken entirely out of context.

People say you get to be a "virtual terrorist" in MW2; no, you actually get to be an undercover agent who is posing as a member of a terrorist group, who does not have to shoot anyone.  The player can get through the whole level dodging any violent encounters if you're playing on a lower difficulty without any problem.  Not to mention you can skip the scene enitrely.

And they loved to make a big deal out of the having sex with prostitutes in GTA3; but there was no real incentive or point to doing this, it was quite honestly boring and a waste of time.  The Hot Coffee mod in San Andreas (I think it was...) required you to "hack the game" in order to access it, and many people made it sound like it was shipped with the game and intended as content.  It was simply an artifact, inaccessible unless the user violated the way it was supposed to be played and quite possibly the EULA.

The Media's coverage of gaming controversies is notoriously unfair, much of the populace has no respect for the truth when it comes to this hobby, and this isn't going to change unless the demographics of who plays games starts to shift and said gamers get more politically active.  The first is happening; we'll see about the second.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2009, 05:57:29 AM by Jude »

Offline Revolverman

Re: Australian Game Clasification.
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2009, 01:36:35 PM »
Sex with hookers could buff your health to 125 (at least, in the NA version, don't know if it was like that for anywhere else)

Offline Oniya

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Re: Australian Game Clasification.
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2009, 01:41:02 PM »
Anyone remember a game called Gogol XIII?  You got health back by sex and smoking.

Offline MercyfulFate

Re: Australian Game Clasification.
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2009, 02:29:00 PM »
Anyone remember a game called Gogol XIII?  You got health back by sex and smoking.

That is truly awesome.

I'm not a fan of ratings systems at all, because they're subjective. For example, in Guitar Hero 5 the phrase "To Kill the Unborn in the Womb" in Iron Maiden's 2 Minutes 2 Midnight is blanked out, despite the game being rated Teen. The ratings say nothing about abortion references being a problem.

Band Hero blanks out "Whiskey" in American Pie by Don McLean, but not "Rye" despite it saying nothing about alcohol references. "Gun" is also blanked out in one song, but not in others. It makes no sense because it's not consistent in the least.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Australian Game Clasification.
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2009, 02:45:31 PM »
Band Hero blanks out "Whiskey" in American Pie by Don McLean, but not "Rye" despite it saying nothing about alcohol references. "Gun" is also blanked out in one song, but not in others. It makes no sense because it's not consistent in the least.

The Don McLean bit is even less consistent, because 'rye' refers to rye whiskey (distilled from a mash at least 51% rye, as opposed to the barley and/or corn used in other whiskeys.)

Offline Celestial Goblin

Re: Australian Game Clasification.
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2009, 02:52:46 PM »
Censoring 'whiskey' and 'gun' is suprising.
Is that only Australia or in other places?

Offline Brandon

Re: Australian Game Clasification.
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2009, 08:04:37 PM »
I think one of the things overlooked most in current generation consoles is the age settings. you can make it so your PS3 blocks out games rated with mature content and Im pretty sure you can do the same for the Xbox. The games industry overall has gone to heavy lengths to make it so kids cant get their hands on Mature rated titles. Now the problem more or less relies on the parents who really just dont (or wont) do their research.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Australian Game Clasification.
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2009, 08:36:57 PM »
you can make it so your PS3 blocks out games rated with mature content and Im pretty sure you can do the same for the Xbox.

Didn't know this!  Of course, I'm the type of parent that reads the box before buying something, and enjoys engaging in a little 'play-testing' of my own, so rather than blanket-banning 'Rated M' games, I'd be running through a couple of levels and reading the reviews on anything brought in.

Family gaming is a mainstay of cheap entertainment in our house ;D

Offline Raveled

Re: Australian Game Clasification.
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2009, 08:52:04 PM »
Censoring 'whiskey' and 'gun' is suprising.
Is that only Australia or in other places?

There's a Carlos Santara song that plays on the radio in my area every so often that contains the line, "Pulled out his Colt .45, talking some shit, and wound up dead."  The censored lines?  "Shit," and "Colt."

There are problems with review agencies, such as America's ESRB and MPAA.  One of the big ones is that they tend to be black boxes; put the content in and get the rating out, without any indication of what caused the game to receive such a rating.  It can result in some truly screwy situations, like what arose with L4D2's advertising.

To get back to the original point, I agree that there should be an adult rating for games in Australia.  At the very least, it's an entire segment of gaming that Australian retailers cannot legally sell, and so gamers go overseas and deprive the local retailers of income.  At the outermost... Well, look at my previous statement.  This is not going to keep bloody, violent, sex-fueled games out of Australian hands anymore than banning pornography would keep Playboy out.  If you're worried that kids are going to play the games, then talk to the parents.  Tell them about the ratings system, encourage them to pay attention.  Ultimately, this is all a help for parents and stores.