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Left 4 Dead 2 Banned In Australia

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the scary-zombies dept.

Censorship 215

An anonymous reader writes "According to Australia's Office of Film and Literature Classification, Left 4 Dead 2's content exceeds that allowable for an MA15+ rating. Any such game is rated as Refused Classification, effectively banning it. From the report: 'The game contains realistic, frenetic, and unrelenting violence which is inflicted upon "the Infected" who are living humans infected with a rabies-like virus that causes them to act violently. The player can choose from a variety of weapons including pistols, shotguns, machine guns, and sniper rifles. However, it is the use of the "melee" weapons such as the crowbar, axe, chainsaw and Samurai sword which inflict the most damage. These close-in attacks cause copious amounts of blood spray and splatter, decapitations and limb dismemberment as well as locational damage where contact is made to the enemy which may reveal skeletal bits and gore.'"

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215 comments

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Good advertising (3, Insightful)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462523)

I didn't know valve did such a good job of making a proper gorey zombie game.

Advertisement? (5, Funny)

acid06 (917409) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462525)

The player can choose from a variety of weapons including pistols, shotguns, machine guns, and sniper rifles. However, it is the use of the "melee" weapons such as the crowbar, axe, chainsaw and Samurai sword which inflict the most damage. These close-in attacks cause copious amounts of blood spray and splatter, decapitations and limb dismemberment as well as locational damage where contact is made to the enemy which may reveal skeletal bits and gore.

Seriously. Did they pay the ratings board to write that?

Re:Advertisement? (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462953)

I think that sentence should be Refused Classification and banned.

Re:Advertisement? (3, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#29463005)

Seriously. Did they pay the ratings board to write that?

Probably, so I should fight my newly grown strong will to buy it.

Fortunately I'm at work; at home I'd have bought it already.

Guns vs. melee (5, Funny)

straponego (521991) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462545)

'However, it is the use of the "melee" weapons such as the crowbar, axe, chainsaw and Samurai sword which inflict the most damage.'

That's odd, I think I'd rather be hit by a crowbar than blasted with a shotgun. Oh well, only one way to find out.

Re:Guns vs. melee (3, Funny)

ZiakII (829432) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462687)

'However, it is the use of the "melee" weapons such as the crowbar, axe, chainsaw and Samurai sword which inflict the most damage.'

That's odd, I think I'd rather be hit by a crowbar than blasted with a shotgun. Oh well, only one way to find out.


Do you happen to live in Australia by chance?

Re:Guns vs. melee (1)

imrehg (1187617) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462899)

'That's odd, I think I'd rather be hit by a crowbar than blasted with a shotgun. Oh well, only one way to find out.

Yeah, call the MythBusters! Though, Buster is not much of a zombie, but let's see what they can do about it...

Re:Guns vs. melee (-1, Troll)

larryhaney (1627331) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462959)

That movie Cannibal Holocaust that was banned in many nations because of its graphical violence. It was banned in Australia but I don't know whether that ban is still taking place. Does anyone know for sure? Acai Berry Detox [ezinearticles.com]

yarr (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29462551)

well now i'll have to pirate it, hope whatever legal farm is responsible for game piracy sues the government.

Re:yarr (5, Insightful)

afaik_ianal (918433) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462779)

The silly thing is that when they ban a game, they increase the number of local torrenters, which increases availability to those under 18.

Re:yarr (3, Funny)

rrrhys (1475013) | more than 4 years ago | (#29463107)

Yeah, I was tooootttally going to buy it in the shop before, but now I'll just have to pirate it.

Heh (3, Interesting)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462555)

" These close-in attacks cause copious amounts of blood spray and splatter, decapitations and limb dismemberment as well as locational damage where contact is made to the enemy which may reveal skeletal bits and gore."

Sounds like a pretty convincing advertisement for the game! Darn astroturfers....

Seriously, the game is sold on Steam. Will steam sell you the game and let you play online if you have an australian IP address? Do they have to block you from purchasing it or not?

Re:Heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29462699)

I have an American friend in Japan who couldn't buy some English Games on Steam due to IP address restrictions. A VPN through my home system quickly made that feasible.

Re:Heh (2, Informative)

ScytheBlade1 (772156) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462701)

They sell boxed copies as well. A search on gamestop.com shows this. [gamestop.com]

And as that search shows, they also sell copies for the 360, which is definitely not steam. Plus, something tells me that most game companies don't like pissing off an entire national gov't. Just a thought though.

Re:Heh (1, Offtopic)

VoltageX (845249) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462743)

As far as I know, they will block the game from Australian accounts. Time to leave.

Re:Heh (0)

TheTurtlesMoves (1442727) | more than 4 years ago | (#29463247)

I don't think they block the torrent version of the game ;)

Re:Heh (0)

GF678 (1453005) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462897)

Do they have to block you from purchasing it or not?

I'm not sure if the law has been ammended in Australia yet regarding digital purchases, but I bet Valve would prefer to err on the side of caution and not sell to us Aussies right now, just in case.

Re:Heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29463355)

Seriously, the game is sold on Steam. Will steam sell you the game and let you play online if you have an australian IP address? Do they have to block you from purchasing it or not?

You'd be surprised. For example as a German (i.e. non-US plus one of the strictest censorship systems for video games) many online shops are essentially banning us from buying there. Doesn't matter that they are in the US or elsewhere, they either only sell to America or explicitely ban Germany. Possibly fearing they might end up in the "search engine black list" which would remove their site from Google, etc. in Germany.

Sounds great (2, Funny)

holophrastic (221104) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462589)

As someone who enjoys the first L4D, this is a really great description of the next one. I'm looking forward to it based on this description alone.

bit torrent much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29462595)

cant wait to bit torrent it

~ An Australian

Working for these companies (1)

suso (153703) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462611)

The game contains realistic, frenetic, and unrelenting violence which is inflicted upon "the Infected" who are living humans infected with a rabies-like virus that causes them to act violently.

It must be interesting to work in HR at this company.

Looks like.... (5, Funny)

Korey Kaczor (1345661) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462629)

Looks like somebody high up in Austrialia is a wee-bit angry about not having any of the promised downloadable content of l4d...

Did I read this wrong? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29462631)

For some reason I thought this was China. I guess I stopped reading after I saw the word Banned.

Re:Did I read this wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29462757)

Australia...China

Tomato...Tomahto

Re:Did I read this wrong? (1)

Hecatonchires (231908) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462865)

I knew Kevin Rudd speaking Mandarin wasn't a good thing!

Re:Did I read this wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29462975)

Yank...Seppo

And... (2, Insightful)

BaronSprite (651436) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462639)

This is different than the evening news? I'm all for sex over violence and a happy world but honestly the stuff that happens in that description is up nightly on TV. My friend down in AU says he watched 28 days/weeks later, so how is this any different?

Re:And... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29462721)

It's different because 28 days/weeks later was a movie...

If it was a game, then possessing it or watching it would be a crime.

Re:And... (4, Insightful)

Quothz (683368) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462737)

This is different than the evening news? I'm all for sex over violence and a happy world but honestly the stuff that happens in that description is up nightly on TV.My friend down in AU says he watched 28 days/weeks later, so how is this any different?

Well, don't take this as support of the ban, but there is a difference between totally passively watching violence (and simulated violence) and actively controlling simulated violence. Different bits of the brain get used, and I believe there's some evidence that both can negatively impact social development in children, with the latter having a measurably stronger impact. I'm not aware of any research showing that either adversely affects adult behavior when viewed as an adult.

Re:And... (2)

BaronSprite (651436) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462805)

Not disagreeing with anything you said but this is clearly not a game for kids, and is not marketed as such.

Re:And... (2, Interesting)

Quothz (683368) | more than 4 years ago | (#29463009)

Not disagreeing with anything you said but this is clearly not a game for kids, and is not marketed as such.

Hm? Of course not. I disagree with the ban. I just object to analogizing the impact of film and video games - they're different media that stimulate different parts of the brain. They are different and should be treated differently: Specifically, age limitations based on content should probably be slightly lower with film than games.

As I said, I'm not aware of any negative impact on adults, and even if there were I dislike the notion that the government should protect us from it. There's a long slippery slope there, and the bottom isn't pretty - it ends with the government criminalizing caffeine, loud voices, and anything colored bright red.

I've no problem with age-restricting the purchase of games, with a reasonable upper limit. But I wouldn't support an outright ban even on a game in which you played a rapist pedophile on an rampage through a nursery school with a rusty letter opener.

Re:And... (3, Informative)

norpy (1277318) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462819)

By this logic it should be just as illegal to direct a film like 28 days later in Australia

By the way, you should be modded down for the "but its harmful to children" argument you just used. The average age of an australian gamer has been shown to be over 30 [kotaku.com.au]
We are not asking for games like this to be available to children, only that we can have a suitable rating for adults that wish to play games with adult content not intended for sale or consumption by chidren.

Re:And... (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#29463051)

He didn't use an "it's harmful to children" argument. In fact, he specifically stated that he doesn't support the ban. Did you even read his comment, or do you just knee-jerk oppose things whenever an argument involving children is involved? That's almost as bad as invoking the argument in the first place.

The GPs point was that in fact, there is a difference between TV violence which is watched passively, and video game violence where the viewer becomes an active participant. And he is correct.

Re:And... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29462855)

I'm not aware of any research showing that either adversely affects adult behavior when viewed as an adult.

If you ever have any doubt, just look at how radio and TV have affected American politics. Alternatives to the ruling party don't have a chance.

Re:And... (1)

rhook (943951) | more than 4 years ago | (#29463241)

Different bits of the brain get used, and I believe there's some evidence that both can negatively impact social development in children, with the latter having a measurably stronger impact.

And there is zero evidence of this. Well, unless you listen to the people who want to ban all violent games that is.

Not suitable for 15 yr old boys? (4, Informative)

rve (4436) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462663)

Don't they have an 18+ rating for games in Australia?

Polls consistently show that the vast majority of gamers are adults.

Re:Not suitable for 15 yr old boys? (5, Informative)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462715)

No we do not.

Re:Not suitable for 15 yr old boys? (5, Funny)

Pyrus.mg (1152215) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462723)

Few Australians escape the dingos to reach the ripe old age of 18 and those who do have usually lost limbs to crocodiles or tragic boomerang incidents, assuming they haven't been paralyzed by some sort of venomous critter. Not exactly hardcore gamers in other words.

Re:Not suitable for 15 yr old boys? (3, Funny)

jamesh (87723) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462817)

Not exactly hardcore gamers in other words.

Yes. Those of us that survive don't need to play violent games. We've lived it!

Re:Not suitable for 15 yr old boys? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462823)

Hoopsnakes kill more people than dingos.

Re:Not suitable for 15 yr old boys? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29462929)

Hoopsnakes kill more people than dingos.

I thought it was Dropbears.

Re:Not suitable for 15 yr old boys? (1)

Razalhague (1497249) | more than 4 years ago | (#29463149)

Are those some kind of paratrooper bears? Does Australia even have bears? ...though that would explain why they need to be paratrooped down there.

Re:Not suitable for 15 yr old boys? (1)

TheTurtlesMoves (1442727) | more than 4 years ago | (#29463263)

Perhaps you already know this, but anyway. Dropbears is in the book the Last Continent, by Terry Pratchett. Have no idea where he gets the idea however...

Re:Not suitable for 15 yr old boys? (0, Offtopic)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 4 years ago | (#29463173)

No, it was /b/'s favorite Australian, Josef Fritzl.

Re:Not suitable for 15 yr old boys? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29463153)

Hoopsnakes? Rubbish.

No, what you've really got to look out for are the drop bears. Do not walk underneath a gum tree after dark...

Re:Not suitable for 15 yr old boys? (5, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462735)

Sounds like the nanny state is extending across the former empire. We all know the Indians are even more prudish than us Americans, the Aussies appear to be bowing to the idea that a game can be too violent for an ADULT to play, what's next the Canadians deciding drinking is too much fun and that it keeps people from serious work? The Puritans may have died out as an organized religion but the harm they have done to the western world is pretty endemic.

Re:Not suitable for 15 yr old boys? (1)

agnosticnixie (1481609) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462789)

Hopefuly that was sarcastic as Puritans = founders of New England, drinking ban = *cough* that was the US and in some cases still is and "harm done to the western world" = most of Europe disagrees.

Re:Not suitable for 15 yr old boys? (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462973)

Most of Europe is also under an inane set of laws mostly pulled out of thin air. I don't think they have a right to judge on the sane-ness of many laws pertaining to freedoms.

Re:Not suitable for 15 yr old boys? (1)

agnosticnixie (1481609) | more than 4 years ago | (#29463001)

That would be most of the world.

Re:Not suitable for 15 yr old boys? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29463039)

Most of Europe is also under an inane set of laws mostly pulled out of thin air.

In most European countries you can drink a beer in a public park and not get arrested.

Some European countries don't seem to care a great deal if you like to smoke weed (even decriminalised in a couple of places).

Some European countries don't care so much if you can't get a date and decide to just go buy yourself that blowjob instead.

Yep, sounds pretty fucked up to me. Dangerous, even! You lot should really stay over there on your side of the ocean where it's safe. :P

Re:Not suitable for 15 yr old boys? (1)

maglor_83 (856254) | more than 4 years ago | (#29463415)

Most of everywhere is under an inane set of laws mostly pulled out of thin air.

Re:Not suitable for 15 yr old boys? (-1, Troll)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 4 years ago | (#29463025)

The nanny state is a lie, it is typically used by con artists when they complain about the government preventing other people from 'choosing' to believe the lies of the fraudsters and buying into whatever product or service is being marketed. As for banning 'L4D 2' it really seems rather pointless L4D 1 got pretty boring pretty fast, whilst it's cooperative play was interesting at first, overall the game pretty shallow and re playability is pretty low. Nowadays you are more likely to be killed by a bored player than a zombie, so L4D 2, mhh, banned, who cares, plenty of other games to choose from.

As for only adults playing those games, everyone knows that is just a marketing lie, those games are sold in games stores, right along side games specifically targeted at children and, in multilayer it is pretty obvious that people younger than the legal age are frequently playing the game. As for statistics about the average age of game players, another typically marketing lie in the way it is used, let's try the average age of game players playing first person shooters to the average age of game players playing strategy games.

Re:Not suitable for 15 yr old boys? (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#29463081)

so L4D 2, mhh, banned, who cares, plenty of other games to choose from.

So it's ok as long as they only ban unreasonably games you don't like, right?

"First they came for L4D2..."

Re:Not suitable for 15 yr old boys? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29463109)

So, why are parents letting kids play them? Is australia's collective IQ so low that government must do the parenting while the parents just run around drooling and playing with kangaroos? A least Germany has an excuse for their extreme caution in regards to violent media, but whatever happened to Australia to make you all so wimpy and frightened?

Re:Not suitable for 15 yr old boys? (3, Informative)

grapeape (137008) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462739)

Nope, their rating system goes from G, PG, M, MA15+ (which is a mishmash of what we have as T and M in the ESRB though nearly all end up on the MA15+ side) and then RC games classified as RC are automatically banned from sale and display.

Re:Not suitable for 15 yr old boys? (1)

The Moof (859402) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462761)

Don't they have an 18+ rating for games in Australia?

No, strangely enough, they actually don't [wikipedia.org] . Apparently, they have an 18+ rating, but it's not applicable to video games. Games that would receive such a rating are refused classification and banned from sale in the country. Which I find very stupid, given the number of games that aren't geared for kids and the average age of gamers is, what, 27 now?

Re:Not suitable for 15 yr old boys? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462811)

Part of the reason may be that 18+ movies only get limited release because of the economics of that medium. As you point out most gamers are over 18 so the 18+ rating would not deter game developers and 18+ games would proliferate.

Re:Not suitable for 15 yr old boys? (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#29463099)

. As you point out most gamers are over 18 so the 18+ rating would not deter game developers and 18+ games would proliferate.

...And so, the market would determine what should be produced, instead of an arbitrary governor.

Where's the problem?

Re:Not suitable for 15 yr old boys? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#29463187)

. As you point out most gamers are over 18 so the 18+ rating would not deter game developers and 18+ games would proliferate.

...And so, the market would determine what should be produced, instead of an arbitrary governor.

Where's the problem?

I agree with you.

Re:Not suitable for 15 yr old boys? (1)

norpy (1277318) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462829)

It's 30 [kotaku.com.au]

Re:Not suitable for 15 yr old boys? (1)

another_twilight (585366) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462873)

Introduction of such a rating would require consensus (and possibly unanimity) from the state's Attorney Generals. Atkinson, the AG from South Australia currently opposes this and is also refusing to allow publication of the results of public poinion on the matter.

Copies will be downloaded or imported just as they have for previous iterations of 'Refused Classification' games. Sure, kids who rely on their parents buying their games will probably be unable to get a hold of a copy - but that is already true of MA 15+ rated games. Anyone old enough to be able to buy a MA 15+ is perfectly capable of finding a copy and now it has an additional cachet of being 'forbidden'. All this does is inconvenience those adults who might wish to _legally_ obtain a copy and provides justifiaction for modding consoles to play 'backups' or downloading copies.

Re:Not suitable for 15 yr old boys? (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462993)

Wait, so the Attorney Geeral isn't allowing publication of public opinion [polls] on the matter? (I'm assuming you meant to say that; what other public opinions could there be? Editorial-types, which are anecdotal? Nah, polls makes sense; they're the ones that represent more people.)

So, why does the attorney general have any say over what gets published by the Aussie media? What kind of backwards system is that, where the person having a hand making the law can also prevent public opinion from being displayed about the law, while also being the head of an organization that executes the law???

Re:Not suitable for 15 yr old boys? (1)

Cassius Corodes (1084513) | more than 4 years ago | (#29463143)

Presumably he is holding back government analysis of this rather than independent surveys. It was quite a shame - we need all the AGs to agree to make a change to the ratings system and everyone was willing to do it but this retard. As a result no change!

Re:Not suitable for 15 yr old boys? (4, Informative)

adamkennedy (121032) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462861)

R18+ is not applicable to video games, which has been an ongoing complaint of the industry for a LONG time now.

So in the sense this isn't "banned" as such, it's just that the censors are given the game and told to work out the category.

Normally, anything so bad that it doesn't fit into the R18+ classification (which usually means stuff like "realistic depictions of rape" and varying gradients of behaviour heading towards but falling short of "child pornography") are the only things that end up beyond the available ratings and in the "Refused Classification" area.

The problem is just that they WOULD quite happily give it R18+, but they aren't allowed to. Which leaves violent games like this thrown in with rape video and similar stuff, where they don't belong.

Everyone knows it's fucking ridiculous, and as the game-playing public ages I imagine it will get fixed eventually. It just results in stupid edge cases in the short term.

Re:Not suitable for 15 yr old boys? (4, Insightful)

Hecatonchires (231908) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462885)

Adding a new rating requires an all in favour vote by the Attorney Generals of each state. There is a particularly rabid religious AG who always votes no. We're waiting for him to die.

Re:Not suitable for 15 yr old boys? (4, Funny)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462951)

We're waiting for him to die.

Why wait? Get out your crowbars, axes, chainsaws and Samurai swords!

I'm sure you'll doubly enjoy to see his blood spray and splatter! If Martin Bryant was able do it, so can you!

We want to see Atkinson's head. On a platter. Along with his left arm and right leg!

Re:Not suitable for 15 yr old boys? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29463317)

Amen, but hopefully he dies of natural causes and not at the hands of some violent video game playing anarchist otherwise we'll NEVER see R18+ for games!

Re:Not suitable for 15 yr old boys? (1)

AbRASiON (589899) | more than 4 years ago | (#29463417)

We certainly are, I can't wait for his generation (and religion) to die out.

Re:Not suitable for 15 yr old boys? (2, Informative)

imrehg (1187617) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462917)

Don't they have an 18+ rating for games in Australia?

Polls consistently show that the vast majority of gamers are adults.

in connection with this... Just because a kid "shouldn't" play the game, nobody is allowed to? Ratings are for the parents, if i was a parent and wanted to get a 18+ classified game to my kid, who give the right to the government to stop me? No-one. They cannot buy the game themselves, but that's all. So, again, because some board of someones thinks that it is not suitable for children, who the hack are they to tell what is available for sale. Oh, right, the law.... And because it's about "just some game and stuff", people won't go out to protest (though now they would have time, since cannot get the game). But it is just another nanny-state bullshit...

Re:Not suitable for 15 yr old boys? (5, Informative)

Techman83 (949264) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462939)

Unfortunately no we don't, M15+ is the highest. We need to have a unanimous vote by the Attorney Generals to get something like an R18+ for video games and Michael Atkinson voted no to the change (everyone else voted yes).

"He doubts whether any safeguards could be put in place to deter young people, who after all (are) the most computer literate and savvy in our society, from being able to access material."

news.com.au [news.com.au]

Until he is replaced or retires, there will not be any change to the classification system.

Re:Not suitable for 15 yr old boys? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29463027)

Really? I always assumed that the average gamer was between 5 and 15. Can you back up your stats?

Re:Not suitable for 15 yr old boys? (1)

rve (4436) | more than 4 years ago | (#29463167)

Here on Ars Technica: age of the average gamer is 33 [slashdot.org]

It shouldn't surprise you terribly, as it's an expensive hobby

Re:Not suitable for 15 yr old boys? (1)

rve (4436) | more than 4 years ago | (#29463185)

bah, copied the link from the wrong tab. This is the right one:

age of the average gamer is 33 [arstechnica.com]

Re:Not suitable for 15 yr old boys? (1)

maglor_83 (856254) | more than 4 years ago | (#29463381)

No we don't. Thanks to one man by the name of Michael Atkinson. I thought we're supposed to be a democracy, but I guess not.

Re:Not suitable for 15 yr old boys? (1)

Benaiah (851593) | more than 4 years ago | (#29463421)

No we don't.

"We" really want the rating but our fatally flawed democracy wont allow it.

Every now and then we try but it never succeeds [smh.com.au]

In order to get the R rating we require the unanimous decision from our state governor generals, and the SA Governor General is an ultra conservative, and refuses every time. Can't get around it until he dies or they change the bureaucracy .

I can see the headlines now. (4, Interesting)

boxxertrumps (1124859) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462685)

The game that was so good it was banned in Australia.

Wha... (3, Funny)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462727)

Aren't there people over the age of 15 in Australia? If not the level of drinking in that country is really worrying.

Re:Wha... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29463393)

As a German I can tell you how these rating systems work: it's ok to censor and ban stuff because it's FOR TEH CHILDREN!!!11; affected adults are collateral damage. Also the old geezers in governments still think that video games are only for children.

So basically it's election campaigning material where they go as far as they want because they and the mass of their voters (i.e. seniors) are not affected at all.

Great Advertisment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29462747)

Thanks Australia! Now I'm sure to buy it!

Not that bad... (2, Funny)

InfinityWpi (175421) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462749)

Hey, at least there's no nudity!

Re:Not that bad... (3, Funny)

DeadPixels (1391907) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462773)

That, my friend, is where you're unfortunately wrong. You thought you didn't like the Witch before...

Re:Not that bad... (1)

muindaur (925372) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462895)

*looks for the nearest sharp, pointy object and proceeds to gouge eyes out attempting to rid the brain of that image*

Re:Not that bad... (1)

repapetilto (1219852) | more than 4 years ago | (#29463277)

look up left4head theyve got smokers molesting zoey, hunters "raping" her, and defeat of a witch via lesbian acts.

I, for one (1)

djconrad (1413667) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462781)

I for one welcome our undead marsupial overlords!

I'm confused (1)

datazone (5048) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462821)

Would they ban a movie displaying the same content?

Re:I'm confused (1)

Hecatonchires (231908) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462889)

Nope.

Re:I'm confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29462927)

Check to see if 28 Days (or Weeks) Later is banned. Left 4 Dead is pretty much the same content, but in America and with more guns.

Re:I'm confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29463159)

No, but a movie with equivalent content would most likely be R 18+, for which there is no R rating in games. Our politicians are still under the false belief that once you grow up, you don't play video games anymore.

Re: (0, Troll)

hydrolyzer (1637811) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462847)

no, but there is such a thing as an R18+ rating for movies, not so for games.

here's an idea (5, Interesting)

SEAL (88488) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462849)

Valve's Zombie shooter has been refused classification, which means it can't be made commercially available in the country.

Valve should thumb their nose at Australia's rating board and make the game freely available there.

Re:here's an idea (1)

imrehg (1187617) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462935)

Valve's Zombie shooter has been refused classification, which means it can't be made commercially available in the country.

Valve should thumb their nose at Australia's rating board and make the game freely available there.

Or on Steam?

Then there's not much the boards can do, is there?

Re:here's an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29462957)

There is a LOT they can then do about it, Like put their Australian divisions completely out of business through huge fines, not to mention all the legal treaties they have with the US.

Re:here's an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29463055)

Valve should thumb their nose at Australia's rating board and make the game freely available there.

No, they'll just make modifications to tone down the gore so it can get an MA15+ classification, exactly as usually happens with games that are refused a classification in Australia, and exactly as the classification system is intended to work. Nothing to see here.

More interested in the naked Zoey model for L4D (0)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 4 years ago | (#29462955)

The European version of L4D really ought to replace all of the violence with sex. It would take surprisingly little coding... you and your fellow vacationers are traipsing through streets filled with sex-crazed ravers who throw themselves at you and pile onto you in an orgy of lust, and only your fellow friends can rescue you by pleasing them with a variety of sex toys you have at your disposal.

Sound effects and animations can pretty much stay as-is, all they'd have to do is replace the weapons with dildos and vibrators.

Cranky - look at this one over here! (1)

nellim (1535815) | more than 4 years ago | (#29463003)

Bloody hell, look at this zombie over here! As you can see, because of his huge stomach and sweatpants, we call this one the BOOMER. Now if it gets ticked off it just throws up all over ya causin' the other littler ones to come racin'. We think its like the mother group, tellin' the others where the food is.

Now this Big guy is called the TANK. Cranky, he IS big! Now this guys is like the protector of the group. He's not afraid of anything. But notice how small his head is compared to the rest of his body. This means he maybe strong, but his defiantly defiantly not smart - like jock from you local high school. This also means he's attached to fire. CRANKY, he saw is! RUN! RUN! THROW THE BLOODY MOLLY!

Okay, we got away. Now will we were running, and our sound guy was getting eatin', we manged to see this guy right over there. That's the SMOKER. We don't know why it coughs or why he's so tall, but we do know that he has a very very very long tongue. Cranky do you see him grab that guy from way over there. Hey he just got me mate!

Finally, we see this guy over here is the Hunter. He kind of looks like a rapist with that hoody on, but don't worry. He's not going to be rapin' no one, he'll just tear them to shreds and then eat'em. Well cranky, this raps up another great show. Catch us next week when we get to see the zombies from Valves Left 4 Dead 2. *A tech whispers in his ear* Well cranky, it looks like L4D 2 has been banned by me mates in the Government, but it's okay cause...we are totally f*cked over!

Re:Cranky - look at this one over here! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29463135)

"Crikey", doofus.

FAIL! (1)

Explodingchopsticks (1387803) | more than 4 years ago | (#29463077)

Seriously, I'm getting this game whether they ban the sale here or not! It's my bloody* diplomatic right to play this :D @Idiomatic - An english friend of mine was once asked: What's the legal drinking age over there. he replied saying "11" "Oh wait do you mean legally?" :D *hehe, get it? :P

Hmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29463151)

Well, I was upset about them not just making it an expansion to L4D_1. But from this Ratings Board-vertisement, it sounds like they gave it an overhaul. The description has me won, I give in.
(I'm surprised no one has brought it up yet, considering the fuss made [slashdot.org] before [slashdot.org] .)

L4D2... (2, Funny)

pookemon (909195) | more than 4 years ago | (#29463267)

Where the bloody hell are you?

You do have to admit... (2, Interesting)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 4 years ago | (#29463389)

...that the first L4D was rather gory and that L4D2 is doubtless gorier still. Even so, I have difficulty understanding the "gore is gore, regardless of the context" type of thinking that seems to be going on here. Just as the treatment of gore in Saving Private Ryan is vastly different than the treatment of gore in <insert the latest rated R, B-quality film here>, I'd hold that some games treat gore very differently than others. Some games are simply designed to glorify gore and the act of murdering. Others have gore, but it isn't the point.

I mean, take Manhunt 2. From what I saw of it, it was basically built from the ground up to glorify murdering people in order to create controversy so that it could sell a few more copies. Regardless of whether it actually crossed lines, I think the point was that they were trying to get as close to the line as possible. I don't see worth in that.

But if you look at the treatment of gore in L4D, it's obvious that while it definitely contributes to the gameplay (i.e. the game would feel very different without the gore), it isn't the point of the game. You wouldn't stop in the middle of a zombie swarm to call a friend over so that you could show him how blowing off a zombie's leg might have X effect. What you would show someone is the strategy for surviving that swarm though. I mean, sure, occasionally something particularly gory and satisfying happens, and everyone goes, "whoa, did you see that?" (at least, when you first start playing), but that's not really the point of the game; people don't go seeking out those moments. Instead, they just happen incidentally, which is in stark contrast to the earlier-mentioned game.

Anyway, I've rambled enough. Long story short, Australia is really backwards in some things, and I feel sorry for the friends I have from down under, and not just for this stupidity.
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