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New Aliens Vs. Predator Game Doesn't Make It Past AU Ratings Board

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the gauntlet-thrown dept.

Australia 277

An anonymous reader writes "Australia refused to give Rebellion's new Aliens Vs. Predator game a rating, effectively banning it in the country. Rebellion says it won't be submitting an edited version for another round of classifications, however. (As Valve did with Left 4 Dead 2.) They said, 'We will not be releasing a sanitized or cut down version for territories where adults are not considered by their governments to be able to make their own entertainment choices.'"

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First Trout! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30333502)

I am a fish ^^

First Reaction (0, Offtopic)

DirtyCanuck (1529753) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333580)

I am so Hyped for this game.

The fact that they are even rating it makes me giddy.

Good to see game developers put their foot down (5, Interesting)

He Who Has No Name (768306) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333526)

Refusal to put up with bullshit like Australia and Germany's ratings boards is the only way to bring them down. Tolerance for censorship only breeds familiarity and further tolerance.

Re:Good to see game developers put their foot down (1, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333592)

How do you refuse when they are backed with the full force of law? You can vote the Government out -- but that would require convincing the sheeple that free speech is worth more than "think of the children!" Good luck with that.

At least here in the US they don't have the power of the state behind them -- yet. Of course it's almost as stupid over here -- there's many games that should be rated 'AO' but such a rating means that most retailers won't stock it and the game isn't commercially viable. The end result is that the boundary of 'M' games (or 'R' movies for that matter) keeps getting pushed further and further and the rating system is rendered useless. This type of self-censorship on the part of major retailers is rather self-defeating in the end, isn't it?

Re:Good to see game developers put their foot down (5, Insightful)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333728)

"How do you refuse when they are backed with the full force of law?"

You do something illegal. Very simple. Armed rebellion IS a legitimate choice.

I'm surprised to hear all of this "I want to change the government because it is poor and doesn't represent my interests.... but I won't do anything illegal". FUCKING PICK ONE. Either put up with the bullshit, or do something about it, don't sit there and bitch like a whiney fuck.

Re:Good to see game developers put their foot down (2, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333738)

Armed rebellion IS a legitimate choice.

Not in Australia. They willingly surrendered most of their firearms quite some time ago as I understand it.

Either put up with the bullshit, or do something about it, don't sit there and bitch like a whiney fuck.

Hey, I'm with you. Now how do you suggest we convince the vast majority of the populace that eats this shit up hook, line and sinker?

Re:Good to see game developers put their foot down (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30333778)

Not in Australia. They willingly surrendered most of their firearms quite some time ago as I understand it.

Wrong. Even though there was stiff resistance by shooters groups initially, most people here supported laws to try and get handguns and full auto rifles and shotguns off the streets.

Contrary to the US, most every other civilised country in the world recognises that the average citizen does NOT have some God given right to own a rocket launcher!

Thus the tiny muder rate involving guns as opposed to the US where it runs into the tens (hundreds) of thousands per year.

Thus the US has the reputation (rightly or wrongly) of a brain dead drone populace being fed guns by the hundreds of millions to fatten the big corporates bottom lines while they gun each other down in the streets at the slightest provocation.

Unfortunately the American gun culture is now being exported (along with rap and like shit) and we're starting to pay the price with a rise in handgun crime.

The average American is a sheep being led to the slaughter so some Ruger guy can afford another corporate jet, and the best part is, they have you loving it!

And before you ask..... I've owned and used firearms since I was about 8, still do. The difference is here you don't mention them in polite society.

Re:Good to see game developers put their foot down (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333806)

Contrary to the US, most every other civilised country in the world recognises that the average citizen does NOT have some God given right to own a rocket launcher!

Hyperbole. No civilian in the US owns a "rocket launcher", unless you are referring to one of these [estesrockets.com] .

Unfortunately the American gun culture is now being exported (along with rap and like shit) and we're starting to pay the price with a rise in handgun crime.

Yes, it's all our fault. Your criminals were honest hard working folk until they caught a glimpse of the American gun culture, upon which they become violent murderers.

The average American is a sheep being led to the slaughter so some Ruger guy can afford another corporate jet, and the best part is, they have you loving it!

Ruger isn't that big of a company. I actually met their CEO once upon a time. Guess what? He was flying commercial.

Re:Good to see game developers put their foot down (1)

maggotbrain_777 (450700) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334102)

Ruger isn't that big of a company. I actually met their CEO once upon a time. Guess what? He was flying commercial.

He has better things to spend his money on?

Re:Good to see game developers put their foot down (2, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334332)

I honestly don't know how much money the guy makes. I met him in a terminal at JFK. Saw him wearing a Ruger shirt and asked him where he got it -- he told me he worked for them. Asked him what his role was and he said he was the CEO. Talked to him for a few minutes about the firearms industry in general and Ruger in particular. He seemed pretty down to earth.

The GP was either trolling or misinformed. The stereotype of the big scary "gun industry" is just that. Most of the American gun companies aren't all that big. Ruger has a market cap of 202 million. Smith & Wesson has a market cap of 264 million. That's peanuts compared to many publicly traded companies.

Re:Good to see game developers put their foot down (1)

maggotbrain_777 (450700) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334352)

Hey, I was just trying to elicit a good story and you gave us one. Sure, the folks in the gun industry are 'just like us'. What's your market cap..?;-)

Re:Good to see game developers put their foot down (-1, Troll)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334418)

Sure, the folks in the gun industry are 'just like us'.

Except for all the blood on their hands.

Re:Good to see game developers put their foot down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30334170)

Unfortunately the American gun culture is now being exported (along with rap and like shit) and we're starting to pay the price with a rise in handgun crime.

Yes, it's all our fault. Your criminals were honest hard working folk until they caught a glimpse of the American gun culture, upon which they become violent murderers.

One of the major sources of unregistered firearms in Australia (notably those that seem to be favoured by members of crime syndicates) is American defence personnle who bring them over and them sell them for to garnish their income and inflict their view of the importance of arming everyone to the teeth on the world.

Re:Good to see game developers put their foot down (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334372)

Citation needed.

Re:Good to see game developers put their foot down (-1, Troll)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334408)

No civilian in the US owns a "rocket launcher"

But yet, in Reason magazine's second amendment issue last year, they argued that owning a rocket launcher would be perfectly legal and proper.

Your criminals were honest hard working folk until they caught a glimpse of the American gun culture

No, they were criminals with knives and sticks. Now they're criminals with guns.

Ruger isn't that big of a company. I actually met their CEO once upon a time. Guess what? He was flying commercial.

Did he accept your offer to fellate him?

Re:Good to see game developers put their foot down (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333972)

Considering that the US Government has nukes, and the Australian Government does not, the Australian public is actually well armed WRT their Government. Much better armed than the US public.

Re:Good to see game developers put their foot down (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334012)

So you can't stab, smash or blow up anything once your firearms are gone?

Re:Good to see game developers put their foot down (1)

Dr Damage I (692789) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334250)

Since we're talking about australia, knives are illegal most places without a "reasonable excuse" I remember an article in the local newspaper recently which had lurid descriptions of a "weapons cache" for which a man is facing court containing (gasp) a sword and (horrors) hunting knives. In his own home no less. That evil bastard. Someone needs to shoot people like that. Someone not me, cause, you know, I'm just a citizen... not someone who can be trusted with firearms, swords or knives.

Re:Good to see game developers put their foot down (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334284)

Access to knives, blunt instruments or chemicals that can be used to make explosives is easy and very hard to outlaw. A chef or a butcher owns a nice lethal arsenal as part of their job and even the knives in my kitchen could be used to injure or kill. Lack of guns or swords (which are very conspicuous by the way) hasn't stopped determined people before.

Re:Good to see game developers put their foot down (4, Interesting)

Rennt (582550) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333828)

Armed rebellion IS a legitimate choice

Bullshit. The best one man can do to "rebel" is to assassinate an elected leader. Thus derailing the whole democratic process. If you could convince a group of men to resist they become terrorists. If you could convince a whole county or state to resist THEN you might have a legitimate contention, but the fact of the matter is the idea of armed rebellion is quaint and irrelevant today.

But all that aside, do you REALLY believe violence is an appropriate response to the banning of a video game? And what about when you realize the banning is largely symbolic because the game can easily be ordered online? Put down your guns and gain some perspective you psycho!

Re:Good to see game developers put their foot down (1, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334058)

Thus derailing the whole democratic process.

What if the democratic process has already been derailed? Just because someone was "elected" doesn't mean that democracy matters for spit. As a random example, in the United States, our politicians get to pick their voters [wikipedia.org] . How is that compatible with Democracy?

If you could convince a group of men to resist they become terrorists

One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.

but the fact of the matter is the idea of armed rebellion is quaint and irrelevant today

Why?

But all that aside, do you REALLY believe violence is an appropriate response to the banning of a video game?

No, but it is an appropriate response when the ends of government have been perverted and all other means of redress are ineffectual.

Re:Good to see game developers put their foot down (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334494)

"What if the democratic process has already been derailed?"

Our democratic process may have been derailed in many ways but the fact is the vast majority of Aussies don't want people wandering around with semi-autos and handguns. The NRA did come over here and try to derail that wish after the Tasmaninan massacre. We saw through their insensitive sales pitch and they were visably shaken when angry (unarmed) mobs turned up at their rallies and sent them packing back to the US. Like you they were mystified as to why we would react that way.

The explaination is simple. We aren't that fearfull of our fellow countrymen, our prime minister can go for a jog in the morning without a bullet proof vest and a small army, most of us would like it to stay that way.

TV news has already derailed US democracy (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334316)

Thus derailing the whole democratic process.

It's already derailed, at least in the United States. The general public tend to choose among the top two to four candidates that have been on national TV. The TV news networks (ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox, NBC) control which candidates can be on national TV, and they're all MPAA members. Of course they won't give screen time to any candidate that won't toe the copyright industry's party line.

And what about when you realize the banning is largely symbolic because the game can easily be ordered online?

And have customs stop it at the border.

Re:Good to see game developers put their foot down (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30334366)

The truly sad thing is that all of the attorney generals of each state of australia agreed in principle to having an r rating on video games (R being 18+ in Au, much like other nations), and there was a sole dissenting voice (Michael Atkinson of my home state South Australia - truly shameful).

One man has held up the classification of R18+ games in this country. If the people of SA vote out the rann govt, a classification is more likely. I would never say certain, as the alternative party are rather conservative, however just about everyone with half a brain agrees that its best to have an 18+ classification to keep the games out of the kids hands (guffaw, who am I kidding - they'll just go on bittorrent and download the razor1911 version, crack and everything...)

Kids smarter than politicians. Yeah, nothing new there...

-Dohmar

Re:Good to see game developers put their foot down (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334010)

Or civil disobedience. Setup an otherwise legal shack to resell copies of the game until someone takes you down.

Re:Good to see game developers put their foot down (1)

ct1972 (814272) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334052)

Uh, armed rebellion... is this a computer game we are talking about? You need a trip to the total perspective vortex.

Re:Good to see game developers put their foot down (1)

Knave75 (894961) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334274)

"How do you refuse when they are backed with the full force of law?" You do something illegal. Very simple. Armed rebellion IS a legitimate choice.

While I may want the government to respect my choices when it comes to games I play or movies that I watch (or the type of sexual activity that I have), I am not willing to kill another human to achieve that goal.

Re:Good to see game developers put their foot down (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334334)

Am I the only one here who thinks armed rebellion over a video game is a tad extreme?

Re:Good to see game developers put their foot down (1)

kklein (900361) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334358)

Marry me.

Re:Good to see game developers put their foot down (1)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334392)

Yes, if I can't get a computer game I want I won't break the law by importing it (which probably wouldn't break the law anyway to get a personal copy), I'll grab a rifle and shoot a politician...

Re:Good to see game developers put their foot down (3, Informative)

DiSKiLLeR (17651) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333598)

As an aussie.... /agreed!

And anyway, its not gonna stop jack shit. Everyone will just buy the game off eBay.

Re:Good to see game developers put their foot down (2, Insightful)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334062)

Just wait until some console maker decides that Australia needs to be a separate region-locking region.

Re:Good to see game developers put their foot down (1)

the_raptor (652941) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333620)

What are people supposed to do? No politician is going to get elected on the platform of allowing an R18+ category or doing away with censorship. Australian isn't the US, we have a different culture and people in general are quite happy for the government to "protect" us from certain things. There isn't much support for the lack of R18+ category in gaming (or refusing classification for merely having factual information about drugs in a game) but the pollies can stir up enough talk back radio rants to stop anyone who actually tries to rectify it.

And frankly my state and federal governments are so jacked up that lack of an R18+ rating is waaaaaay down my list of priorities.

Re:Good to see game developers put their foot down (4, Informative)

lwoggardner (825111) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333658)

What are people supposed to do? No politician is going to get elected on the platform of allowing an R18+ category or doing away with censorship.

I suspect these guys [pirateparty.org.au] hope you are wrong about that.

Re:Good to see game developers put their foot down (2, Informative)

SilentSandman (1488023) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334286)

These guys [gamers4croydon.org] also...

Re:Good to see game developers put their foot down (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333662)

Australian isn't the US, we have a different culture and people in general are quite happy for the government to "protect" us from certain things.

Unfortunately that attitude isn't unique to your country and there are plenty of people here in the states that would willingly surrender their freedom and liberty in exchange for "protection" from various things.

Re:Good to see game developers put their foot down (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334458)

there are plenty of people here in the states that would willingly surrender their freedom and liberty in exchange for "protection" from various things.

However, this "willingness to give up freedoms for safety" only shows itself statistically when talking about terrorism. Harris Interactive did a poll a few days after 9/11 asking the question and by 80%, Americans were willing to lose some freedoms. A second poll in 2007, halfway through the second GWBush administration, showed similar results.

It's interesting that of all the dangers in the world, the one that turns Americans into quivering masses of fear is something that is so statistically insignificant as to be nearly nonexistent. We hear conservative members of congress, big tough guys who like to swagger and threaten, worry about the 200 Gitmo detainees as if they were James Bond supervillians who could destroy American with their minds. Khalid what's-his-name, the supposed "9/11 mastermind" is actually so dangerous, they say, that he can't even be allowed to be tried in a court of law. Now that's fear.

Seriously, if you listen randomly to a segment of any US "conservative" media, one of the most common expressions you'll hear is "I'm afraid..." or "I fear...".

Re:Good to see game developers put their foot down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30333634)

That's a little overboard and frankly a classically american point of view, when games aren't even region locked and when the only reason this we don't have an R18+ rating yet is because of a single state representative that will not change his mind. I bought the UK version of L4D2, this is not serious censorship, it's just a major inconvenience. And to be honest if you didn't have so few freedoms in America already, you would be less concerned about.

I think that fills my condescending post quota for today...

Re:Good to see game developers put their foot down (1)

u38cg (607297) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333644)

In fairness, the cynical side of me wonders about the calculus of re-tooling the game for an Australian release and the likely profits from doing so; it's just lucky they can present it as standing up to the guv'ment.

Re:Good to see game developers put their foot down (2, Insightful)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334034)

Exactly. Even if retooling a bit to make it past the censors would (after accounting for the cost of having an extra version to support if there are problems that need patching and such) increase the profit a bit, the difference is probably much smaller than that gained from free advertising garnered from "standing up to the censors". Also "banned in X countries!" will increase sales to certain demographics, and coincidentally some of these are demographics that an AvP game is likely targeted at.

Re:Good to see game developers put their foot down (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334410)

Not only that, but there are very few game/book/film bans that have stayed in place forever. The AU will change their mind eventually, at some point in the future; and when they do, the "been banned for x years" tag will ensure it gets a boost in sales.

Just look at the huge commercial success of, for example, the thoroughly mediocre Lady Chatterley's Lover.

Re:Good to see game developers put their foot down (4, Interesting)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333698)

First off, this was hardly a surprise.

Refusal to put up with bullshit like Australia and Germany's ratings boards is the only way to bring them down. Tolerance for censorship only breeds familiarity and further tolerance.

Unfortunately the publishers boycotting nations will do nothing. It's the citizens that need to act. That being said, I agree with the publishers stance.

In case you don't know, the R18+ rating for video games in Australia is being held up by 1 man, South Australian Attorney General Michael Atkinson. There are already several campaigns underway to remove Mr Atkinson from his seat of Croydon. Video games are the only media in Australia that do not use the R18+ rating so the highest rating a game can get is M15 which is why L4D and AVP were rejected (extreme graphic violence), if they had of been books or movies they would have got the R18 rating and been released under our classification guidelines, because there is M15 is the highest rating our classification board can give to a video game they have no choice but to follow their mandate and give an RC rating to the game. It's the law that must be changed, that means changing Atkinson.

Our Parallel import laws are another thing, this way we can get around these stupid RC classifications as we can order games from the US, UK or Asia (Hong Kong being quite popular) so for PC gamers this isn't so much of an issue, for console gamers you still have to contend with the region locks.

Re:Good to see game developers put their foot down (1)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333736)

"Unfortunately the publishers boycotting nations will do nothing."

It sure as hell will have an impact when the government realizes that they've lost all their tax revenue from video games because 80% of them aren't being sold there anymore.

Re:Good to see game developers put their foot down (2)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333774)

It sure as hell will have an impact when the government realizes that they've lost all their tax revenue from video games because 80% of them aren't being sold there any more.

Not big enough to get noticed. Parallel importing was permitted as the tax revenue on movies, music and games sales wasn't worth protecting, it's just not big enough as most of our taxes are on energy (fuels), alcohol, tobacco and primary exports. This is why I can import games, movies and electronics for half the price of buying them locally but not Vodka which sells for 21 SGD a litre in the Singapore Airport but costs A$50 a litre from a store in Perth (1 AUD is about 1.2 SGD at the moment).

However if Atkinson gets voted out, they'll put someone in there who will tow the line on populist policies (which means R18 rating) as Kevin Rudd, the current Prime Minister is running a very populist government.

Re:Good to see game developers put their foot down (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333872)

for console gamers you still have to contend with the region locks
Afaict the PS2, gamecube and wii only have one PAL region so you can import from any PAL country (e.g. the uk).

The PS3 seems to have australia in a seperate region BUT afaict most if not all PS3 games aren't actually region locked.

I dunno what the situation is with MS consoles.

Re:Good to see game developers put their foot down (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333884)

I dunno what the situation is with MS consoles.

IIRC the Xbox enforces DVD region codes. I'm a PC gamer so this is 2nd hand info.

Re:Good to see game developers put their foot down (3, Informative)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334280)

IIRC the Xbox enforces DVD region codes.
Afaict every console that can play DVDs enforces DVD region codes for them. This does not imply that they use the DVD region coding system for games.

I've just done some googling and it seems the xbox and xbox 360 use the same PAL/NTSC/NTSC-J region system that most other consoles use.

More banning needed (1)

Mystery00 (1100379) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333544)

I think more games should be banned, especially popular ones, it's the only way something will eventually get done about it. Most people don't do anything until they get a kick in the arse.

And also this will hopefully let more people know about importing and digital distribution.

I'll be importing or buying it from Steam anyway, but I wonder if there will be any official Australian servers, might have to make do with New Zealand ones.

Re:More banning needed (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333602)

I think more games should be banned, especially popular ones

How will a game become popular, if it is banned, and, thus, no one can play it and have an opinion in the first place . . . ?

Re:More banning needed (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333624)

'Cause your cool American friends are playing it, and you're stuck in Australia...

I'm pretty sure Australians will be aware of the game. There isn't a TOTAL information firewall around Australia; they're not China, not yet.

(I think I wrote about five things in this post that are likely to result in troll mods... Ah, well, damn the torpedoes and click the submit button.)

Re:More banning needed (1)

bdraschk (664148) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333988)

I'll be importing or buying it from Steam anyway, but I wonder if there will be any official Australian servers, might have to make do with New Zealand ones.

Good luck with that. When i bought Half-Life 2 Episode 2 last year, i downloaded from Steam and only got the cut German version, where zombified people neither burn nor are cut in half, but disappear as soon as they are eliminated.

Re:More banning needed (1)

Mystery00 (1100379) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334060)

You can fool Steam into thinking you're in America or Britain or even New Zealand pretty easily when you buy the game, and then get the uncensored version.

good news for Amazon, eBay, etc. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30333546)

People who really want the game will just have it shipped in from a sane country.

Good! (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333562)

"We will not be releasing a sanitized or cut down version for territories where adults are not considered by their governments to be able to make their own entertainment choices."

That is the proper response. Good Job, Rebellion. I hope other developers follow your lead. I have a hunch there will be a lot of piracy of the game in Australia... but I guess it really won't be hurting their sales, will it? I wonder if they'll allow online play from Australia?

Re:Good! (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333674)

That is the proper response. Good Job, Rebellion. I hope other developers follow your lead. I have a hunch there will be a lot of piracy of the game in Australia... but I guess it really won't be hurting their sales, will it? I wonder if they'll allow online play from Australia?

For those not inclined towards swashbuckling there is parallel importing from Asia. This co-incidentally is often cheaper then buying games locally and I'm including A$20 shipping from HK.

Good (0, Troll)

LBt1st (709520) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333570)

I'm glad developers are taking a stand and refusing to sugar coat their games.
When Australians decide to start acting like adults they can do something about their government. Meanwhile the rest of the world's people will continue to make make choices for themselves.

Re:Good (3, Informative)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333706)

When Australians decide to start acting like adults they can do something about their government.

Whatever do you mean?

Do you mean that this is something the Australian public wants? That nothing is being done?

Or perhaps you are one of those nuts that believes that if we are not violent nothing will be done. I'd like to remind you that all those guns did not stop an extremely invasive surveillance law being put into place by the previous US government.

Because you are an ignorant troll, you do not actually know what is happening. Right now the R18 rating is being held up by one man, the South Australian Attorney General Michael Atkinson. All the other state Attorney Generals voted yes on R18 for games. Australian law in this case requires a complete consensus, not a majority (this prevents the State AG's from removing or changing existing classifications as well). There are already campaigns to remove Michael Atkinson from his seat of Croydon in the 2010 elections such as the Gamers4Croydon organisation. [gamers4croydon.org]

Please mod the parent troll, if possible ignorant as well.

Re:Good (1)

Lucractius (649116) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333722)

Well said.
There are 2 luddites causing major international damage to australia as a tech using country. And both need to go.

Out with Conroy, and out with Atkinson.

(If only it were legally possible to exploit the fact that bankruptcy forces a federal MP to quit, they are legally unable to hold a seat if bankrupt, then we could get rid of Conroy and be half way to fixing this mess)

Re:Good (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333760)

Unfortunately, it's incredibly difficult to sack a public servant, especially one that high up.

I think that if KRudd wins the next election (quite likely given the disarray the coalition is in at the moment) he'll move Conroy to the backbench or give him a trivial position in the cabinet when Rudd does the next cabinet reshuffle (probably after the next election). Conroy has been an embarrassment for the Rudd government, not just the censorship but the mishandling of the NBN drawing flak from all sides and his comments on the iinet v AFACT case. The minister for Communications, Broadband and the Digital Economy has 80% of the industry against him, I think his days are numbered.

Re:Good (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334014)

Unfortunately, it's incredibly difficult to sack a public servant, especially one that high up.

But he's not. He is a member of the South Australian parliament.

Re:Good (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334064)

But he's not. He is a member of the South Australian parliament.

Same same. Just as hard to sack, except for voting him out.

Apparently there's an I in democracy (5, Informative)

ghmh (73679) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333586)

Quick explanation: Pretty much most of Australia would be happy to have an 'R' rating for computer games.

This guy (Michael Atkinson) [wikipedia.org] , however would not. He has the power to veto it and continues to do so.

Due to his geographical location, there's bugger all the majority of Australia can do about it from a voting perspective.

I don't blame game publishers for not releasing stuff here. Effectively we're all just waiting for 'Nanny' Atkinson to become senile and finally leave his post as South Australia's attorney general.

The thing that really worries me is how come they have this veto power for things like this in the first place....

Re:Apparently there's an I in democracy (1)

Vylen (800165) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333636)

To further keep things informative..

The position of Attorney-General is appointed by the leader of the ruling government. Similar to how the leader can shuffle members of his cabinet and make them ministers for different things.

Atkinson is the Minister of Justice, which i suppose makes sense for him to be appointed Attorney-General.

Next year is the South Australian state elections and things can change hands with the current leader of the Labor party being involved in a scandal regarding a supposed affair - which he of course denies and is suing for defamation.

As for having the power to veto things...

Well, it's written in the Classification Act of 1995 which also outlines the "Code" - the Code being the classification rules that dictate how things have to be rated. The Attorney-Generals Department is responsible for the Classification Board and as such, it's written in the Act that any amendments to the Code can only be done if the minister and all participating ministers agree to the amendment.

So if a unanimous vote is not obtained, the amendment is vetoed - as simple as that.

This means that the only way for the R18+ classification to be added in is if:
- Atkinson changes his mind.
- Atkinson loses his position and the new Attorney-General agrees with the other Attorney-Generals
- The Act itself is amended in parliament such that only a majority vote is required.

At current, the 2nd option seems to be the most promising.

Re:Apparently there's an I in democracy (3, Informative)

bmgoau (801508) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333650)

The parent is correct. As a fellow Australian I am just waiting for this guy to move on.

Someone wrote to him a couple of times before getting an extensive reply attempting to justify his position, consider reading it here [PDF]

http://bunnitude.com/misc/files/R18-Michael%20Atkinson.pdf [bunnitude.com]

Quotes
"I think you will find this issue has little traction with my constituents who are more concerned with real life issues than home entertainment in imaginary worlds"
"I am concerned about the impact of this extreme content on children"
"It is true this restricts liberty, however I am prepared to accept this infringement"

It's basically a long winded version of "will someone please think of the children!"

Re:Apparently there's an I in democracy (1)

bertok (226922) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333752)

Quick explanation: Pretty much most of Australia would be happy to have an 'R' rating for computer games.

This guy (Michael Atkinson) [wikipedia.org] , however would not. He has the power to veto it and continues to do so.

Due to his geographical location [emphasis mine], there's bugger all the majority of Australia can do about it from a voting perspective.

I don't blame game publishers for not releasing stuff here. Effectively we're all just waiting for 'Nanny' Atkinson to become senile and finally leave his post as South Australia's attorney general.

The thing that really worries me is how come they have this veto power for things like this in the first place....

I really don't understand why we've hung on to this ridiculously outdated notion of political power being assigned hierarchically by physical location. I have little in common with my neighbors, let alone people a mere suburb away, but I have the same political interests as other people in my field of employment literally thousands of kilometers away in Perth.

Take a look at the insane degree to which Americans have taken Gerrymandering [wikipedia.org] - formerly simple voting territories have been made almost fractal in outline! It's a bad, half-baked solution to concentrating voter power among like-minded people, to get a representative in to government, where otherwise the votes would be too diluted within a territory.

This is like a sick person self-medicating. It's not the proper solution.

I say, eliminate territory based voting, and simply have a fixed number of representatives voted in. Order the politicians by votes received, and the 'top n' get a seat. We can keep all the other elements of voting that have worked so well in Australia, like proper secret paper-based ballots, preferential voting, political parties, etc... but get rid of this insanity that somehow we're all rich landowners holding onto a feudal system of power that has nothing to do with modern life.

Re:Apparently there's an I in democracy (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334200)

I say, eliminate territory based voting

Well, good luck with things like water, sewage, roads, street lights, schools, speed limits...

Government - at least in my view - has only a few legitimate roles. An important one is building and maintaining local infrastructure that is too expensive (or too divisive) for individual or corporate undertakings. If you don't have local voting control, then how will you see to it that your taxes are spent for the benefit of the region? People on the other side of the continent don't share your interests or priorities.

Re:Apparently there's an I in democracy (1)

Jeeeb (1141117) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334414)

I think when they setup the classification system they put in a lot of safeguards to stop it being easily subverted to a tool of political censorship. Which is a smart thing. Problem is when one of the safeguards is a douche and refuses to liberalise the system.

This is an interesting approach (1)

Montezumaa (1674080) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333588)

I am sure that Australians that wanted to purchase and play this game, in Australia, will be disappointed, but I am very interested in seeing where this goes. If I were running a business internationally and a country put up artificial obstacles, I would cut ties immediately. It is issues like this that pushes the prices of all types of good higher and higher. There are too many different requirements from country to country and nanny states like Australia makes it all worse. Hell, I had to purchase a friend a copy of L4D2(I am in the USA, he is in Australia) so that he could play the games as it was meant to be played. Now, he has purchased two copies of the same game, which is beyond ridiculous. Perhaps, if more game studios refuse to playing by Australia's nonsense rules, there will be quick change to their rating standards.

Re:This is an interesting approach (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30333812)

Perhaps, if more game studios refuse to playing by Australia's nonsense rules, there will be quick change to their rating standards.

No, this won't work. This will merely reinforce censors that their work is effective. The only thing that will change things is when the censors finally die and younger generations replace them. As long as these old-timers are alive, they will fight for their delusional views on morality. On top of that, their insider relationships and networks will keep them in power no matter what, because they can support other corrupt and senile politicians.

There will be no change until the current generations of politicians will be gone; unfortunately that will take some time. After we'll finally be rid of them, games can be as violent as books, music and movies. It's nothing but another chapter in the "History Repeating".

The system in Australia is messed up. (1)

qazadex (1378043) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333616)

Despite the fact that many video gamers want a R18+ rating in Australia for video games like there is in movies, and there is near unanimous to implement one, the Attorney General of South Australia (heavy Christian Conservative) doesn't approve, so it cant go through. It should be based on majority, not need for unanimity. Its not a jury, and doesnt require measures from one.

Re:The system in Australia is messed up. (1)

a09bdb811a (1453409) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333692)

Yep, it's just a quirk of the system and it will run its course. I'm an Australian and I find the whole thing mildly amusing and nothing more. Apparently it's cheaper to buy these refused games from Thailand or the US and have them shipped here anyway, rather than pay local retail prices. I suppose it encourages a bit more piracy too. It's just one of those meh issues that's hard for anyone to bother with.

Re:The system in Australia is messed up. (1)

SilentSandman (1488023) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334324)

These [gamers4croydon.org] two [pirateparty.org.au] groups may have differing opinions on this matter. There are enough people both unhappy -and- willing to bother with this issue. It's simply a matter of time before they get their chance.

As an Australian Resident,,, (-1, Troll)

SexyKellyOsbourne (606860) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333688)

As an American who moved to Australia a few years ago and married into citizenship, I actually support Australia's strong stance against violent video games and a violent society. The contrast is especially strong when you return to the states for a month or two.

What people generally don't seem to get is that violence is promoted by the mass media to make a quick buck. People here who want to get this game will, just as they will anything else out there -- but there's a difference between getting that in the underground and mass marketing it to society in a race to the bottom for a quarterly profit.

While AvP might not be the most violent video game out there, at least we have a line drawn in the sand. People even in their 20's and 30's grew up playing "games" of execution (Mortal Kombat) and mass murder simulators (Doom), alienating us from society.

But since then, we've had children, and we don't want our children to grow up with the wrongs we grew up with, especially since they get worse as time goes on.

What Australia is doing is really no different of a public safety measure than requiring seat belts in cars and enforcing people wearing it. Call that "Nanny State" all you want, and dream of days without it, but it saved and still saves lives.

It's not a popular opinion, so rate me down, do what you want, but I'm speaking how I and most other Australians I know feel.

Re:As an Australian Resident,,, (3, Informative)

icsx (1107185) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333730)

You are now mixing kids with adults and this game is not made for kids, it's for adults so your argument goes out of the window right now. Besides, how are the games as you listed wrong? I had tons of fun playing DOOM and Mortal Kombat. Not kids games, but i did play them as a kid, so did you propably but that doesn't mean that every violent game should be banned.

I love violent games. That doesn't mean that i go postal and kill everyone for real. It's entertaining to have some alien go up on a human, smack brains on the wall and go for next victim. It's fun. It's not real. It's a GAME.

Sure, i wouldn't want my kids to see that stuff, when they are kids but there are age ratings for a games for a reason. Why the hell Australia doesn't allow some games for anyone, not even over 18 years old?

Why some games are completely banned? Who are they protecting?

Re:As an Australian Resident,,, (2, Interesting)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333732)

Yeah, because places like Canada and Norway, and most other countries where these games are also legally purchased are having those problems as well.

Oh. Wait.

I've heard of people making the mistake of assuming correlation to mean a possible causal link, but this doesn't even correlate in most countries that have no problem allowing these games. Your reasoning is the same as Homer wanting Lisa's tiger repelling rock.

The problems you describe have to do with much larger underlying problems than anything video games of any sort bring to the table.

Exactly, the US is violent for a whole other reaso (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334460)

The extreme violence the US suffers is the result of NOT having the nanny-state. Except it has NOTHING to do with censorship on its own, but rather the "I want to do everything I want to do and nobody can stop me or expect anything from me" attitude. It is the attitude where the Simpsons are not seen as a parody but as a role model.

Since the 19th century we have moved slowly to a society where parents want things to be different from how things were for them. And I am NOT talking about improved living standards, schooling etc etc. Rather, more and more parents want fewer rules for their kids, to be more friendly with them and even, remain kids themselves. In previous times, kids were mini-adults, dressing the same as their elders as soon as possible and giving gradually the some responsibilities and chores. A kid was an adult to be. Now remaining a child has become an option.

On its own, there seems little wrong with this, until you realize what being a teenage rebel is all about. A teenager must rebel against the rules of his society. What people then get wrong is that they think it matters what those rules are. It does not. You can give a teenager a curfew of 21:00, 23:00 or even 3:00. A teen WILL attempt to push beyond it. Give the teen no curfew whatsoever and what must they then break? Stay out for several days?

It is in a way like the speed limit. It doesn't really matter how high you set it, people will still speed. You can of course argue to remove the speed limit altogether, but then people will just drive on the wrong side of the road. Remove all road rules? We introduced them for a reason. Ain't very handy to drive 120km/h and not be certain others will NOT be coming your way at the same speed.

When you see stories like "kid kills brother for x-box", this has NOTHING to do with gaming. You just have a kid who has never learned restraint. That you can't always get what you want when you want it. Censorship of games doesn't work, after all the same things happen over shoes and how violent can shoes be?

Violence doesn't teach kids to be violent, it is parents who are still acting as children themselves who haven't taught their kids ANYTHING, that causes violence. And this is not an instant process, it has been going on for many generations.

To those who applaud the increased rebellion and lack of rules, you forget, you can't rebel against no rules whatsoever. Society needs people who defy the rules but it also needs people to create new rules to keep society working.

"If I have furthest, it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants". Nice quote, but most people then think those giants are other great visionaries, leaders, rebels. Nope. Einstein stood on the shoulders of the baker who baked his bread. His mother, who breastfed him. His teacher who changed his pants when he peed himself on his first day in school. The cop that kept him from being killed by highwaymen (what highwaymen you ask? Exactly) long before he even started thinking.

Society needs a core that works well. On it, a small group of people can rebel, push the limits etc etc. Hippies need the protection of the soldiers willing to die to defend them. Those soldiers of course also need someone to speak out against their lives being used for political gaines. It is how society works, or rather worked.

Or maybe it still works and we just pay more attention to the rumblings of the machinery these days. Extreme violence has gone on since the dawn of humanity, even chimps hunt and slaughter not for food but for the thrill of it.

But knee-jerk reactions by blaming something for all societies wrongs are as old as time as well. Society is collapsing, kill some christians!

Re:As an Australian Resident,,, (1)

irockash (1265506) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333744)

Curious, how is violence shown in the media over there? I know in the states it's watered down compared to some international news I've watched (where you see actual bodies and not just a map of the general area). If anything, I think that helps people accept it and not feed into the hype around it. That said, this game would get an M rating over here, or from what I've read in the other comments, they need some sort of 18+ in Austrailia. As in, you won't be able to purchase the game unless you're 18, there's no valid "think of the children" excuse when you're old enough to buy cigarettes. Sure some kids will have their parents buy the game, but that's who should be putting the foot down. From your comment, it seems like you would decide not to purchase the game for your kids. Which is fine, as long as it's your decision and not the governments.

Re:As an Australian Resident,,, (1)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333746)

People even in their 20's and 30's grew up playing "games" of execution (Mortal Kombat) and mass murder simulators (Doom), alienating us from society.

How and why were you alienated from society?

Re:As an Australian Resident,,, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30333754)

Because of course, as the level of detail in violent games has gone up, so has the rate of violent crimes.

Because of course, all those people who played "execution" games like mortal kombat (as an aside, are you bloody serious?) go around karate-chopping and executing people.

Because of course, all those people who played mass murder simulators like Doom (as another aside, REALLY? Have you actually PLAYED Doom?) go around... mass murdering people.

Because of course, there's a proven link between violent videogames and violent behaviour.

Because of course, having an R rating means children will buy R games.

Because of course, it's up to the state to decide what children play, not their parents.

Because of course, adults can't tell the difference between a game where you're an alien, or killing aliens, and reality.

What your post basically demonstrates to me is that you don't really get it. We don't want an R rating so KIDS can play R rated games, you tool, it's so ADULTS can play them. Also, before you go equating YOUR opinion to that of the majority of Australians, why don't you try MAYBE checking the statistics on that particular claim.

Finally - HOW DOES IT SAVE LIVES!? You can run over pedestrians in GTA and yet banning Left4Dead2 and AVP saves lives? Are you a troll or are you really that ConservAmerican?

Re:As an Australian Resident,,, (1)

statusbar (314703) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333764)

Does Australia have a military where people are trained in various ways to kill other people?

And those same people who are allowed to kill people during conflicts in places like Iraq or Afghanistan are not allowed to play a video game where they could kill space aliens?

Is adult virtual violence against aliens worse than real violence against real people?

--jeffk++

Re:As an Australian Resident,,, (1)

Vylen (800165) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333862)

actually, if you read the reason as to why AvP was banned, its because of the highly realistic depiction of humans being killed... specifically by predators who can gouge people's eyes outs, tear off their heads and pocket them as a trophy.

Re:As an Australian Resident,,, (4, Funny)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333770)

Jack Thompson, you've moved to slashdot. Your so called "public safety measure" is really censorship.
Normally I'd tell you to get the hell out of my country but, well, you already did. So, good job. I commend you. Most people who live in the US throw away their freedom and ruin it for the rest of us. You actually did the proper thing and moved to a country where you don't have that freedom in the first place.

Thank you, really, thank you.

Re:As an Australian Resident,,, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30333800)

censoring games doesn't save lives. Comparing it to seat belts is idiotic. I have played violent games my whole life. I actually lean towards them. The more realistic it is when i hit the guy in the head with the hammer the better. That said i am known around my job and friends as the pacifist. Mind you i will fight when necissary but i would rather not go through the hassel.
      Violence in society is not propagated by violence in games(or movies for that matter). The state of the youth of your country is directly related to how your children are raised by parents. People blame videogame violence to cover the fact that they suck at parenthood.
        Here is they key. Make sure to teach children the line between fantasy and reality. Then they can play GTA and Postal 2 all they want and never have the urge to kill anyone.

and to Sexykellyosbourne(cant read that without laughing) My children, i hope, will enjoy Mortal Kombat and Doom as much as i did. I definately dont consider them wrongs, those are fond childhood memories.

"People here who want to get this game will, just as they will anything else out there -- but there's a difference between getting that in the underground and mass marketing it to society in a race to the bottom for a quarterly profit." yes people will get it but they shouldnt have to go to the underground to get it. If anything this hurts more than helps. Because now u took someone who might have never broken any laws and made them a criminal. As with many things it could serve as a gateway to other illegal activities.

The banning of violent video games has nothing to do with protecting anyone or lower the violence rate. IT is about forcing one groups morality(which is completely Subjective) on everyone. Just because your pathetic mind can't seperate the game from the real world doesn't mean i shouldn't get to enjoy my favorite passtime.

Bad Parenting (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333874)

Violent games don't turn kids into violent criminal. But bad parenting (or no parenting at all!) sure can.

Every time I hear: "Oh, my Johnny was such a nice boy, until he played those violent games. They turned him into a violent rapist and killer!"

I would like to respond: "No, lady, you did a crap job as a parent. He would have ended up that way anyway, without violent games."

People don't like to accept that fact that it is their own fault for how their kids grow up.

For politicians, it is easier to point a finger at the games companies. They don't have the courage to tell the general public: "Look, please spend more time with your children." That would be political suicide.

Re:Bad Parenting (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334236)

Violent games don't turn kids into violent criminal. But bad parenting (or no parenting at all!) sure can.

Every time I hear: "Oh, my Johnny was such a nice boy, until he played those violent games. They turned him into a violent rapist and killer!"

Of course, even good parenting can't help with some individuals. This is often seen in families where they are bringing up multiple children and one of them turns into a drug addict, alcoholic, various crime things - even though all the other kids turned out to be upstanding citizens. I don't think video games make children into violent criminals, but I don't think all of this is a result of bad parenting either.

They don't have the courage to tell the general public: "Look, please spend more time with your children."

I don't think spending more time with your kids is necessarily healthy or a good idea either.

Re:Bad Parenting (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334450)

People don't like to accept that fact that it is their own fault for how their kids grow up.

Libertarians like to think this "fact" is true, since it fits in neatly in their world view. Why have censorship, when we can blame everything on the parents? It's certainly better than admitting even the slightest positive effect of censorship in certain situations. It's also convenient to defend because, no matter how well a parent can parent, there will always be some way that, in hindsight, their parenting could be improved.

It's one of those facts of life that kids get out and about, and there will be (many) facets of a child's life that a parent can neither monitor nor control. Of course, this is the parent's fault, for not trying hard enough to be involved in the kid's life. Or, if the kid is rebelling against the parent's overbearing nature, then it's the parent's fault for overdoing it.

Now, there's no excuse to ban a game, when you can just relegate it to adults, but this scapegoating of parents really sickens me. If a legitimate cause for censorship upsets your ideal world, well, that's too fucking bad.

Re:As an Australian Resident,,, (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333886)

Would not a better way be to allow the 18+ designation but say, increase the fines for game stores selling high rated games to those too young to play them, hrmm, about 2000% higher?

This would help curb the flagrant disregard most games stores have for such ratings at least (particularly if the new funds were used to cover more under-cover checks.

Re:As an Australian Resident,,, (1)

therealmorris (1366945) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334134)

But then, as it seems to be in America now, shops will just not stock games with these high ratings to avoid any risk of incurring the fine, effectively the same fate as if it had been banned anyway.

For the record, I and all of my friends (we're 17) play violent video games, but we are capable of distinguishing between real life and the games ourselves.

Re:As an Australian Resident,,, (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334220)

For the record, I and all of my friends (we're 17) play violent video games, but we are capable of distinguishing between real life and the games ourselves.

Non-sense! Only 18 year olds truely understand.

You should be playing games like Pokemon and battling out horribly drawn creatures till they 'faint' instead of 'die'.

Re:As an Australian Resident,,, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30334132)

As an American who moved to Australia a few years ago and married into citizenship, I actually support Australia's strong stance against violent video games and a violent society. The contrast is especially strong when you return to the states for a month or two.

...

It's not a popular opinion, so rate me down, do what you want, but I'm speaking how I and most other Australians I know feel.

Do you consider yourself Australian now? If so, please, please, please renounce your American citizenship.

Thank you.

Re:As an Australian Resident,,, (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334214)

As an American who moved to Australia a few years ago and married into citizenship, I actually support Australia's strong stance against violent video games and a violent society. The contrast is especially strong when you return to the states for a month or two.

And yet the rest of the world has these 'violent video games' and the contrast varies greatly from country to country. Hell, just try to tell me that these violent video games are making people in Switzerland more violent than those in Australia. Seriously...

Re:As an Australian Resident,,, (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334350)

And if you think it makes any difference to an otherwise-normal teenager or adult if they play violent games, or view porn, or not, you're sadly mistaken. A survey by a UK university recently wanted to analyse the difference between people who did view violent / pornographic material and those who did not. They could not find a single suitable person to analyse, who'd never been exposed to either. This is pretty much the same throughout human history once a person hits a certain age.

Humans are animals, we are built by nature to compete, be strong, even fight among each other, and to have sex. Like every other animal on the planet. And if you think that *viewing* such actions makes any difference to an otherwise-normal person, you're wrong. I can watch someone smoke on television (or in the case of one parent, every single day at home) and not want to fill my lungs with poisonous gases, even when I was a teenager and had my schoolmates encouraging me (never even tried it, never want to try it) - it's called a conscience and it's also called educating your children properly.

Unfortunately the exact actions you support (banning material of that nature) makes it impossible for people to adjust to and determine the proper place of such material. Nobody wants 11-year-olds playing Grand Theft Auto or psychotics playing Doom - that's what ratings are designed to prevent but require a *sensible* adult the other end to enforce, otherwise known as a parent/guardian - but ordinary, everyday, human beings should become acclimatised to such material - or you know what happens? The same as when you withhold a substance and then only introduce it later in life - over-reaction to that substance (e.g. allergies, intolerances, obsessive behaviour etc.).

When governments babysit, you end up with babies. When parents parent, you end up with human children and adults.

My kingdom for some proof! (1)

sifRAWR (1544341) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333748)

Any evidence that this ban on games has had any effect on crime rates in Austalia? Compared with a similar sized country with no strict censorship? Just interested actually, as I have no idea if there is any evidence.

If I worked on AvP, I'd be partying over this. (5, Insightful)

zullnero (833754) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333750)

If a ratings board bans their game, even if it's a derivative piece of movie-spawned crap, it's pure gold for marketing. There's no way that the Australian government is going to block kids from getting the game...they will find a way one way or the other. But they're definitely doing yeoman's work in promoting the game everywhere by giving it a big "bad" rating. All the ratings system does is provide a free benchmark for a particular genre to strive for because they know that's what will turn heads and sell their product.

I know that if I were representing the company for this product, I'd be scheduling a big party to celebrate the rating and ban, not trying to make a political/free speech point out of it. The ratings system is an amazing helping hand to this particular venue.

Re:If I worked on AvP, I'd be partying over this. (1)

Etherized (1038092) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334496)

Good point. Not only is the actual banning free publicity, but they now have the opportunity to look like the 'good guys' by refusing to cave to the nanny state.

Most game companies simply release sanitized versions of their games for such territories, but I wonder if the free press (and general positive vibe for standing up to the 'man') will more than counteract any sales lost in countries like Australia.

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30333804)

I would expect a headline when something does make it past the ratings board, not when it's rejected - much too common now.

Mass shootings and attitude on war tell the story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30333824)

I know it might come as shock to some here but Australia doesn't want to be like America!. Most Australians dont see being able to own a gun as "freedom" and despite participating in Iraq Australians generally have a different attitude to war. I dont completely agree with the game censorship, but we need to draw the line somewhere.

Marketing. (1)

NoPantsJim (1149003) | more than 4 years ago | (#30333902)

I'm sure this will get played up eventually. Remember when that crappy game Bully was pulled from certain shelves? Banning stuff seems to make it more desirable to complete dimwits.

Even stuff that has never been banned from anything ever, but has implications of being banned is somehow more desirable. Consider that Affliction MMA special "Banned" from a few years back. I was in college at the time, and it seemed every cement head obsessed with mixed martial arts was going on and on about wanting to buy new special that had been "banned just about everywhere, bro" (or sometimes, "brah").

I sincerely doubt the devs are worried. In fact, they're probably pray for some retail chain in the states to "ban" selling the title.

Of course... (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334130)

... the honest, hard-working pirates of Australia (and maybe the world) will dutifully punish them for not properly distributing their game.

Support this (1)

Servaas (1050156) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334188)

Ill be picking up a copy just for support. Its about time childish governments were treated like children.
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