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Bill Introduced To Ban Sale of MA15+ Games To Anyone Under 18 in SA

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the did-i-say-fifteen-i-meant-eighteen dept.

Australia 161

dotarray writes "The introduction of an R18+ rating for video games into Australia has been designed to bring game classification in line with the current system in place for films and other media. One state, however, would like to widen that gap." This is being billed (by John Rau's office) as a saner approach than eliminating the MA15+ rating entirely.

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161 comments

Games are an easy political issue (4, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | about 2 years ago | (#39556583)

Why is there still political uproar over games after all these years? It may have been understandable in the mid-1990s when Doom and Mortal Kombat were portraying a level of violence people hadn't seen in games before in such detail, but that time has passed without effect, and the attention given to games today feels disproportionate. It's just an easy, uncontroversial issue for politicians to pick up in order to appeal to family-first voters.

Re:Games are an easy political issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39556619)

You may have missed urinating napalm on cops and marching bands and Gary Coleman in Postal 2, now think of the kids! How dare you subject kids to that perversion!

Re:Games are an easy political issue (1)

crafty.munchkin (1220528) | about 2 years ago | (#39556995)

I don't know how this particular piece of legislation is going to make the slightest bit of difference... since it's usually the parent buying the game for the kid anyway. One of the 9 year old kids at my daughters school brought in his latest game for the xbox the other day - Singularity, rated M. He is 9, and his dad thinks it's ok for him to play.

Re:Games are an easy political issue (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39557533)

The M rating is only advisory.

The MA15+ rating is actually a legal restriction, although a legal guardian is allowed to let a child under 15 view the media.

R18+ is even further restricted. To view the material someone has to be over 18, allowing someone under 18 to watch it is an offence. It makes a big difference.

Re:Games are an easy political issue (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about 2 years ago | (#39557545)

It affects the display of games. The R rated games won't be on display to minors, hence making sales difficult, even commercials for those games will be restricted. In terms of sales, it will still be better to adjust those games so that they can reach a wider audience. International advertising via the internet will confuse that issue.

Some games, those likely to appeal to a reduced audience will retain extremes in order to appeal to that reduced audience, the cheetos, reality TV, loving crowd, where gratuitous violence takes precedence over game play.

Re:Games are an easy political issue (0)

mjwx (966435) | about 2 years ago | (#39556763)

Why is there still political uproar over games after all these years? It may have been understandable in the mid-1990s when Doom and Mortal Kombat were portraying a level of violence people hadn't seen in games before in such detail, but that time has passed without effect.

Because people over 35 haven't played games as a kid. Now the people over 35 are called "parents" and parents are worth 2 votes per policy.

Hand out a $20 note for a vote on election day and they call it corruption. Hand out $100 p/w for having a crotchspawn and they call it a policy.

Re:Games are an easy political issue (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39556859)

Because people over 35 haven't played games as a kid.

Way to over-generalize facts that you pulled out of your ass, kid. I'm 39 and I grew up with videogames. The Atari 2600 was released in October 1977, when I was five years old. The Computer Space arcade game was released in 1971, roughly one year before I was even born.

I can make up facts too, check this out: People over 25 never used compact discs in their life, all they know is MP3 files.

Re:Games are an easy political issue (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 2 years ago | (#39557075)

The Atari 2600 was released in October 1977,

1983 In Australia, how do I know, I was five when it came out. The Atari 2600 sold 30 million units over it's entire life span throughout the entire world, so not that many people. For comparison, Nintendo sold that many Wii's in it's first year and the 2600 was sold from 1977 to 1992.

Further more, on release it cost US$199. Add to that the AUD fetched US$0.70 in 83, that's $260 for the console. That would be if things were actually priced according to the exchange rate. The real cost of an Atari 2600 in Australia was $400 in 1983 dollars (cant be arsed figuring out inflation). Now the average wage in 1983 was around the $350-380 mark.

So armed with those facts, I can say not that many people over 35 grew up with consoles.

Gaming really made it's mark in the 90's with the NES/SNES and their inferior Sega counterparts (punk kids, think their console war is a new thing).

The thing we're facing now, is that gaming has gone from being a new innovation to an accepted part of life and this shows a huge generation gap between the under 35's who grew up with gaming and the over 35's who didn't. There may be some over 35's who gamed but the overwhelming majority didn't. So nice way to over-generalise and pull facts out of your arse (generalise and arse spelled correctly for a discussion about Australia, thank you). You dont even have decent supposition to support your argument and yes, I did register your sample of 1, you are the anomaly, not the norm.

Re:Games are an easy political issue (3, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about 2 years ago | (#39557185)

The Atari 2600 was released in October 1977,

1983 In Australia, how do I know, I was five when it came out.

The Atari 2600 sold 30 million units over it's entire life span throughout the entire world, so not that many people. For comparison, Nintendo sold that many Wii's in it's first year and the 2600 was sold from 1977 to 1992.

Further more, on release it cost US$199. Add to that the AUD fetched US$0.70 in 83, that's $260 for the console. That would be if things were actually priced according to the exchange rate. The real cost of an Atari 2600 in Australia was $400 in 1983 dollars (cant be arsed figuring out inflation). Now the average wage in 1983 was around the $350-380 mark.

So armed with those facts, I can say not that many people over 35 grew up with consoles.

Gaming really made it's mark in the 90's with the NES/SNES and their inferior Sega counterparts (punk kids, think their console war is a new thing).

The thing we're facing now, is that gaming has gone from being a new innovation to an accepted part of life and this shows a huge generation gap between the under 35's who grew up with gaming and the over 35's who didn't. There may be some over 35's who gamed but the overwhelming majority didn't.

So nice way to over-generalise and pull facts out of your arse (generalise and arse spelled correctly for a discussion about Australia, thank you). You dont even have decent supposition to support your argument and yes, I did register your sample of 1, you are the anomaly, not the norm.

I'm 36. Most of the people I knew had Atari's when I was a child. Myself, I was programming on a VIC 20 in grade school. Both were available at Canadian Tire for a pretty reasonable price. Commodore 64's were so inexpensive I was able to pay for mine with my paper route. I spent junior high school swapping C64 games on 5 1/2 inch floppy disks. One of my favorites was the barbarian sword fighting game, where if you got just the right finishing move, you'd decapitate your opponent and the little green goblin that drags the body away kicks his head like a soccer ball. Great fun.

Hell, we even had portable versions of Pac Man, Donkey Kong and Q~bert for long car trips.

And, of course, if you were really too poor to own any of the above, there were arcade machines EVERYWHERE.

Maybe you just need to recognize that, inane sarcasm about sample sizes aside, you don't have the slightest clue what you're fucking talking about. Of course, you're quite free to continue believing fiction if you like.

Re:Games are an easy political issue (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | about 2 years ago | (#39557393)

As someone that was 10 when the atari came out in Australia, I had one, many of my friends at School had one (and we lived in a country town) as we traded games regularly at school. So I can say you are full of shit, not to mention atari was hardly the first or only videogaming experience of the time. if you want to target an age group that grew up without videogames you most definitely need to add at least 5 years to your demographic, most probably more.

Re:Games are an easy political issue (2)

sg_oneill (159032) | about 2 years ago | (#39557409)

Well I'm about 2 years shy of 40, and I can say pretty much every kid my age had commodore 64s, amstrads, sinclairs, Apple II, Pets, Ataris, Dick smitch wizzards (remember those?), and so on.

So from one australian to another, your either full of shit, or grew up sheltered.

Don't speak for me thanks.

Re:Games are an easy political issue (1)

Fri13 (963421) | about 2 years ago | (#39557559)

Well, so did my friends have those but I were only one who had girlfriends (not just one) and we were having fun together. Yes, we played, sometimes even with those home computers as well, but usually we "socialized". And there were no facebook or any other shit to ruin our lives. Everyone know everyone and where people was.

Re:Games are an easy political issue (1)

Cylix (55374) | about 2 years ago | (#39557511)

I grew up on Atari (at leas somewhat young) and I never paid near those costs.

At a yard sale I could pick up a cart for a dollar. I remember scouting many many of those venues to scavenge some pretty awful games.

The one title I had purchased retail was E.T. This is rated as the worst game ever by Angry Video Game Nerd. (He was right too).

Colleco Vision, Pong, Commodore 64 (with tape drive) and many many other toys were all purchased through my yard sale rummaging. I wish I kept them, but being somewhat adventurous I always took things apart. (Usually, they did not back together.)

Re:Games are an easy political issue (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39557103)

Way to be a generalization Nazi. How many people your age have played video games as kids? Less than 1%.
Stop getting so butthurt, grandpa.

Re:Games are an easy political issue (1)

jhoegl (638955) | about 2 years ago | (#39556871)

Actually, it is more of a "wag the dog" type thing they are pulling.
Look at this hand trying to protect your family while the other hand takes away your right to competition, privacy, and underhandedness.

Re:Games are an easy political issue (2)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 2 years ago | (#39557223)

Look at this hand trying to protect your family while the other hand takes away your right to competition, privacy, and underhandedness.

They may take away my right to competition.
They may take away my right to privacy.
But they will NEVER take away my right to underhandedness!

Re:Games are an easy political issue (0)

bug1 (96678) | about 2 years ago | (#39556965)

Because people over 35 haven't played games as a kid.

So hundreds of thousand of years ago, children didnt play hide and seek ?

Oh wait, you meant computer game, like PONG, or galaga, or asteroids, pacman, frogger, yea, nobody of 35 ever played them...

You younglings dont understand, you havent played a computer game unless youve played it standing up with crowds of strangers looking over your shoulder.

GeT OfF My LaWn

Re:Games are an easy political issue (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 2 years ago | (#39557015)

Oh wait, you meant computer game

Glad you were able to figure that out.

And I'm not on your lawn, you're on my lawn you senile twat, now get off it.

Re:Games are an easy political issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39557095)

Oh wait, you meant computer game

Glad you were able to figure that out.

And I'm not on your lawn, you're on my lawn you senile twat, now get off it.

Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son.

Oh, wait, from .au, so that's situation normal.

Re:Games are an easy political issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39557737)

Oh, wait, from the USA, so that's situation normal.

There, fixed that for you.

Re:Games are an easy political issue (1)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about 2 years ago | (#39557111)

I'm 31, and your response honestly reminded me of this [wikimedia.org].

Re:Games are an easy political issue (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 2 years ago | (#39557145)

I'm 31, and your response honestly reminded me of this [wikimedia.org].

OK, that gave me a laugh.

BTW, I'm 30 so I'm not that young. I just realise that games haven't reached the level of acceptance that TV has. Go back 20-30 years and TV had the same arguments rallied against it. They were without merit then and are just as merit-less now. Give it another 5-10 years when the median age of gamers is approaching 40 and games will be as accepted as TV.

Re:Games are an easy political issue (1)

bug1 (96678) | about 2 years ago | (#39556987)

Because people over 35 haven't played games as a kid.

People like you are the cause of the problem, politicians generalise like you and think only kids play computer games so there is no need for 18+ computer game rating.

Get off my nature strip as well.

Re:Games are an easy political issue (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 2 years ago | (#39557115)

Because people over 35 haven't played games as a kid.

People like you are the cause of the problem, politicians generalise like you and think only kids play computer games so there is no need for 18+ computer game rating.

Get off my nature strip as well.

People like you are the problem.

People who need to make up things to support a flawed conclusion.

Where did I say gaming was for kids?
Where did I say I was against the 18+ rating?

Nowhere, that's where.

What I said was that they didn't grow up with that technology in their lives. I know better then most the median age of a gamer in Australia is 30-32.

The problem is that games are going through an age old cycle, the older generation does not attach any significance to the culture the younger generation grew up with. For fucks sake the same thing happened with comics, rock music, television, et al... All of these went through periods of rejection until the generation who grew up with them gets old enough and they go through a period of acceptance. That is exactly what is happening with games.

So in future, kindly quote what I said, not what you would have liked me to say so you could attack me thank you very much.

Now kindly get off my 8 bit lawn.

Re:Games are an easy political issue (1)

Psychotria (953670) | about 2 years ago | (#39557487)

Why is there still political uproar over games after all these years? It may have been understandable in the mid-1990s when Doom and Mortal Kombat were portraying a level of violence people hadn't seen in games before in such detail, but that time has passed without effect.

Because people over 35 haven't played games as a kid. Now the people over 35 are called "parents" and parents are worth 2 votes per policy.

Hand out a $20 note for a vote on election day and they call it corruption. Hand out $100 p/w for having a crotchspawn and they call it a policy.

Wow. Just wow. I am over 35 (39 actually) and I played games all the time as a kid and into my teens and ever since. Those games I played included Doom (over LAN). Are you that dumb? Heck, my generation and the one before me and my peers CREATED VIDEO GAMES.

Thanks.

Re:Games are an easy political issue (1)

Psychotria (953670) | about 2 years ago | (#39557521)

I'll try to lighten the tone of my response (sorry mjwx, but you must have hit a nerve). What I was trying to say was that my generation and the generation before me actually created the whole genre of "video games". We played them (and I still play them) and we made them. We created tools to make more advanced games easier. For a bit of Monty Python comic relief, I would say that you kids these days have it easy. In my day we used to program in assembly, create our own wireframe models (on paper!), program our own shaders, etc, etc, etc, etc because there was no fancy hardware to do it for us. Oh, and I love gaming... these days it's better though because I have enough loose change to buy as much hardware and games as I want :-)

Re:Games are an easy political issue (1)

stms (1132653) | about 2 years ago | (#39557087)

I'm not saying I believe this, correlation is not causation. But, you could argue that spikes in school shootings are caused by violent video games. Columbine the first highly publicized school shooting happend in 1999 shortly after violent video games became main stream. That could easily be cited as the effect you claim non-existant.

Re:Games are an easy political issue (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 2 years ago | (#39557207)

An average politician is still of an age where they have no first-hand experience with games.
Art, music, film and now games; it has always been this way and, regretably, will probably continue to be so in the future.
The unenlightened masses of our generation will blame future media for whatever bad happens to the youth then.
A society rarely learns from it's mistakes. As they say; individuals are smart, people are stupid.
Thanks $deity I'm not cynical ;)

So? Movies, comics etc had the same response (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 2 years ago | (#39557435)

Why shouldn't games have this uproar? Movies, music, books and comics/strips/manga have had and often continue to have the same response. Rap anyone? Strips (European comics) were considered to rot the minds of youths (only the good ones) before they became accepted as an art in their own right (only the boring ones).

Doom and Mortal combat had their opposition but that doesn't mean that was done and over with. By that logic, after people stopped having a heart attack of Elvis Presley's hip movements, all other music forms should have come and gone without a problem.

And all of this is part of democracy, the rule of the majority, whether you like what the majority votes for or not. To often people think that because they approve of something that should end the public debate. And then those same people are outraged others think EXACTLY the same but with an opposing view.

Democracy is a constantly moving, never finished project where people who really don't like each other very much try to figure out how to get the other to live by their standards.

Don't forget, if you want games to go unrated, you are just as much forcing YOUR view on others, as those who want to rate games. And unless you are sure you have an easy majority, you better be a little bit more mature about it then calling the other side a bunch of booger heads.

How to beat the system? (4, Informative)

Mattygfunk1 (596840) | about 2 years ago | (#39556595)

So most of us realize prohibition doesn't work, so as a non-gamer, I'm curious as top how the l33t get around the ban.

Is there a black market for R18+ games? Can you just torrent them?

Surely Aussies don't just accept that the games are censored.

Re:How to beat the system? (5, Informative)

UgLyPuNk (1166251) | about 2 years ago | (#39556609)

you hop on the Internet and order them from another State, South Australia is like, California or Colorado. That or we order them from another Asian nation, where we pay half the price for them. as In Australia game prices are stupid high.

Re:How to beat the system? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39556655)

Like California? No, South Australia is like America's bible belt; chafing under the influence of self-righteous puritans.

Re:How to beat the system? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39556959)

That comparison is acutely relative only. When you compare South Australia to America's bible belt, SA comes off almost as hippy and liberal as California.

Re:How to beat the system? (2)

Falconhell (1289630) | about 2 years ago | (#39557009)

Best place in the world to live SA! The most progressive state in OZ. First state to give women the vote and first to legalize homosexuality. We're always ahead of the game!

Re:How to beat the system? (2)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 2 years ago | (#39556711)

If you want to, say, play left 4 dead 2 online on xbox, can you just buy a copy from one of those asian nations and go online with them? Australia having it's own region codes, you couldn't play it on an australian xbox, and couldn't play an asian version on an asian console in australia?

Re:How to beat the system? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39556747)

I'm sure they hack the game. We are talking Asia here. There isn't anything legit or of quality coming out of that area of the world.

Re:How to beat the system? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39556947)

>playing valve games on a console
I found a mistake you're making, bro.

Re:How to beat the system? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 2 years ago | (#39557309)

Well, yeah, but that's not the point, the point is that this "work around" is making some kids out there miss out in some way, so the law should be changed.

Anyway, maybe they want to play with their friends who don't have halfway decent PCs. Happened to me. The mouse and keyboard combination, along with much better graphics and better prices is great, but playing with friends you know trumps all that.

Re:How to beat the system? (2)

bloodhawk (813939) | about 2 years ago | (#39557425)

Most xbox games aren't actually region locked. For instance I buy many of my games from the US/Asia and sometimes the UK and I play them all happily on my Xbox in Australia. Some of the online content for games though is locked to specific regions (well at least they don't publish the content into regions where the game is supposedly not available).

Re:How to beat the system? (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 years ago | (#39556731)

Wouldn't that mean you're illegally importing classified material? I'm not sure exactly how it works in Aussie, it may just be illegal to sell it...

Re:How to beat the system? (2)

Rebelgecko (893016) | about 2 years ago | (#39556789)

Importing classified material? What games are you playing?!?

Re:How to beat the system? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39556839)

War Games probably.

Re:How to beat the system? (1)

gmhowell (26755) | about 2 years ago | (#39557133)

War Games probably.

AU$80 for tic tac toe (crosses and naughts)? No wonder Austrailian gamers are pissed.

Re:How to beat the system? (1)

Aaron B Lingwood (1288412) | about 2 years ago | (#39557817)

Wouldn't that mean you're illegally importing classified material? I'm not sure exactly how it works in Aussie, it may just be illegal to sell it...

It is only illegal to sell, or carry for sale, unclassified media.
Importing for personal use is completely ok.
There are other laws dealing with certain materials (i.e. goat porn, incest, sex involving minors).
A game that has been refused classification (not suitable for persons under 18) would be perfectly fine to import as long as it did not contain any of the aforementioned.

Re:How to beat the system? (1)

humanrev (2606607) | about 2 years ago | (#39557119)

You're the former head admin of games.on.net net, aren't you? Just noticed your username... /kneels before Zod

Re:How to beat the system? (1)

tbird81 (946205) | about 2 years ago | (#39556611)

Bill Introduced To Ban Sale of MA15+ Games To Anyone Under 18 in SA

"15 plus" games can't be used by 15, 16 and 17 year olds? Fuck Aussie, most of you (who aren't on slashdot) lose your virginity age 14. What's with the think of the children brigade?

Your virginity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39557195)

most of you ... lose your virginity age 14

That's for female 14 year-olds. (You're a Man when you can pay the rent and drive a car. You're a Woman when you're a good fuck, or lie about it.) Aussie males (who choose football over Slashdot) have to wait a year or two.

I like the Aussie movie "Puberty blues" (1981) which is a docu-drama of how 14 year-old schoolgirls ('Salami sisters') used sex in the 1970s. There is also a suggestion of young schoolgirls fucking in "Hey, hey, it's Esther Blueburger".

I like that Nepalese city which doesn't have marriage. A man pays child support for his nieces and nephews, meaning there is no need for virgin schoolgirls or naming the father of those children.

Re:Your virginity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39557501)

What the triple glazed fuck are you talking about?

Re:How to beat the system? (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 years ago | (#39556725)

If there is no legal avenue to buy something, people will end up obtaining it without buying it. The industry tends to refer to it as pirating.

Re:How to beat the system? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39556845)

0. Increase piracy of MA15+ games
1. Publisher makes less money
2. Publisher decides it is not worth publishing MA15+ games
3. Victory

Re:How to beat the system? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39556741)

It's harder than that. It depends on where you are and what risks you want to take.

For example here in WA since we don't have and R18 rating for games, the games are refused classification. Simple possession of RC material is a criminal offense with maximum penalties including jail time, yes even for something like the last mortal kombat game.

It's thornier for movies such pornography though, for example anything with actual penetration is X18, but that classification only exists in Canberra. So its legal to walk into an adult shop and purchase a video there, you are allowed to own in in most states, but drive across the border to WA or NT and you can end up in jail.

Re:How to beat the system? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39556817)

You can end up in jail for that ? I don't think that's possible in Europe.

Re:How to beat the system? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39556865)

Words fail me...

Re:How to beat the system? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39556813)

I don't think this is prohibition. The games will still be sold, just not sold to those under 18 which is significantly saner than not selling them period.

I still find it odd that they'd say some games are 15+ and yet can't be bought until you're 18, though.

And to get around it, I'd imagine it would be based on the wording. If you can't "sell" it, can you perhaps buy a piece of candy in the store for $60 and in return be allowed to get a free bonus gift? Or more simply and with less onus on the merchant, can you just have someone else buy it like they do in the USA?

Re:How to beat the system? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39556977)

Only in Western Australia is it illegal to own material that has been Refused Classification.

In the other states, its just illegal to sell products that have been Refused Classification. As there is currently no R18+ classification for video games (unlike movies) any game that is considered inappropriate for MA15+ (only for sale to 15 year olds and over, people under 15 are allowed to view/play under supervision of a guardian aged 18 and above) is thus Refused Classification.

The vast majority of games that get a R rating in the US or UK manage to get in under MA15+ here. Its only recently that big titles that people actually care about have been badly affected, ie L4D2, the latest Mortal Kombat, Syndicate, Fallout 3 and Morphine. And some of these RC titles just get modified for Australian release (L4D2 dead zombies disappear, modified hookers in GTA) rather than outright banned.

Then it hasn't really affected a lot of Australians because the games are just imported anyway from South East Asia, the UK or New Zealand. Region locking wise we're all the same so thats not a problem and Custom's really don't give a shit. They're more interested in things capable of causing more harm than Mortal Kombat.

Re:How to beat the system? (1)

gmhowell (26755) | about 2 years ago | (#39557137)

Who does the classification, the government or a group like the MPAA or ESRB? Are the guidelines for either games or movies clear and easily discernible or is it a case where the reviewers "know a MA15+ when they see it"?

Re:How to beat the system? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39557263)

It's a government-run body that operates similarly to the MPAA. Their guidelines are just as vague, too.

Re:How to beat the system? (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | about 2 years ago | (#39557601)

You don't even need to be l33t, you just buy from another jurisdiction (whether interstate or overseas) that doesn't 'ban' them.

I put the word 'ban' in quotes because, in all Australian States except WA and NT, it is NOT illegal to own/watch/play RC (refused classification) material. It is merely illegal to be a business ~selling~ that material. It is the act of "selling unclassified material" that is illegal rather than anything about the content per se. For instance, even if it's an episode of a completely inoffensive kids show or something, it's still illegal to sell it if it hasn't actually ~been~ rated. Doesn't matter what the content is.

Re:How to beat the system? (2)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 2 years ago | (#39557723)

Is there a black market for R18+ games?

There's no black market because the ruling only applies to games sold in Australia and really only affect brick and mortar stores. Where do I get my banned / uncensored versions of games?

Well aside from torrenting as the obvious place there's no reason you can't get them from ebay, or any online store which doesn't follow censorship rulings. Steam is a classically weird case. They're not an Australian company and they have no presence here so theoretically there's no reason for them to ban / censor games. However in cases where they do the censorship only applies to that version of the game. i.e. I can't buy a copy of Left4Dead2 with full blood and gore as it is not available in the store. However someone from any other country can buy it in the store and then gift it to us.

We had a little ring going on a while ago. I wonder if Steam ever caught on to the fact that one American gamer bought 16 copies of Left4Dead2 and gifted 15 of them away.

15 year olds can't buy games rated for 15 years+ (1)

Quick Reply (688867) | about 2 years ago | (#39556621)

OK so they are going to ban the sale of games rated as suitable for 15 year olds to anyone who is under 18... wait... WHAT? So a 15 16 or 17 year old can't buy a game rated for 15 years or older????

Re:15 year olds can't buy games rated for 15 years (2)

game kid (805301) | about 2 years ago | (#39556641)

Governments aren't exactly renowned for their counting and accounting skills. It's like they try to look stupid to win the "I don't care 'bout that 'math[s]' shit" vote.

Re:15 year olds can't buy games rated for 15 years (1)

GuldKalle (1065310) | about 2 years ago | (#39556675)

You are correct, sir. However, it's not like there is any hard science behind choosing 15 instead of 18 (or 16, 17 or 78).

Re:15 year olds can't buy games rated for 15 years (5, Informative)

matthobbs05 (987562) | about 2 years ago | (#39556681)

[From TFA]

Therefore, my intention is that the South Australian legislation will prevent the sale of MA15+ games to minors. This move will give parents greater certainty about the appropriateness of games for their children.

From what I gather, the aim is to make parents/guardians responsible for the content they are viewing/playing, and forcing them (or anyone over 18) to be there at the time of purchase.

However, this goes against the description of the MA15+ rating...

[From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Classification_Board [wikipedia.org] ]

MA15+ (Mature Accompanied for those under 15) - Persons under said age may only legally purchase, rent, exhibit or view MA15+ rated content under the supervision of an adult guardian. The exhibition of these films to people under the age of 15 years who are not supervised by an adult guardian is a criminal offence. Recommended for 14-15+.

Re:15 year olds can't buy games rated for 15 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39557007)

My understanding was that the introduction of R18+ for video games was removing the MA15+ rating altogether. It would be G, PG, M (all just advisory) then R18+ (legally restricted to 18+).

Therefore, the legislation being introduced would just be shifting existing MA15+ material (a rating that no longer exists) to be under the same restrictions as R18.

Re:15 year olds can't buy games rated for 15 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39557449)

MA15+ is a rating that should not exist. It is basically a rebadging of M with enforcement behind it. Seriously if M is not a good enough rating for the game then it probably should have been under R18+ anyway. MA15+ has always been a cludge and a blocker for content that can't be squeezed into that rating.

Re:15 year olds can't buy games rated for 15 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39557587)

Personally I feel that M should disappear, rather than MA15+.

The actual enforcement is more a slap to lazy parents that the material is inappropriate for their 10 year old.

Baby steps (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39556645)

Yes, please create more state specific legislation in a country with 25 million people. *sigh*

Stop wasting my tax money, you bunch of a-holes. We have an 18+ rating. Baby steps.

typical australian way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39556649)

ye we just import the games from elsewhere lol or pirate them should that be too hard *insert comment about industry helping us get R18 so we dont pirate*

this is so typical of the aus government, it shouldn't be a hard process to get an extra rating for adults only and put the hard core games into it , literally just say this rating exists and its illegal to sell em to under 18s and these types of games go here, literally everyone remotely interested in games wants this but because our ridiculous government and its habit of listening to religious morons, its taken years to get the R18 rating to this stage and now after its been accepted they are still gonna let them try and ruin it after the fact no doubt delaying everything again,

note SA previously tried to amend the new rating system to remove the MA15 rating it was shot down by ALL others and then a decision was reached on the R18 rating fuuuu

Re:typical australian way (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 2 years ago | (#39556843)

this is so typical of the aus government

Wrong government. The reason it's taken over a decade to sort out ratings on games one way or another is due to State governments playing petty politics to get a cheap "for the children" vote. If the games were grouped with films and handled at a Federal level this would have been over one way or another well over a decade ago. Idiots have jumped in to try to prove they are relevant and can "protect the kiddies" even though all they can really do is gum up the works to the detriment of anyone involved with computer games. Almost immediately after each state election some idiot from the new bunch decides to get some cheap points media coverage by ranting about video games and how he's going to save the kiddies. Give it a month or two and we'll hear similar rubbish from Queensland.
Consider that it's taken over a decade to do no more than rubber stamp the film classifications with a search and replace between "film" and "game" and you'll see what I mean. A trivial issue has turned into a little bit of an international embarrassment.

South Australia? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39556729)

Yes, I am a typical American and all I know about Australia I learned from the Simpsons and Crocodile Dundee... what is South Australia?

Is Australia two continents? I am pretty sure it isn't, but the public school system is so bad here, I wouldn't be surprised if I never learned about that.

Re:South Australia? (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 2 years ago | (#39556765)

It's a state. They have six of them [wikipedia.org].

Re:South Australia? (2)

Cimexus (1355033) | about 2 years ago | (#39557623)

Six States ... and two Territories (ACT and NT). While they are constitutionally treated a bit differently than the states (e.g. less representatives in the Federal Senate), they both also have their own legislatures/governments.

So for most intents and purposes, Australia has 8 separate 'subdivisions' that are analogous to States in the USA (even if two of them are not technically States).

Simple map showing location of the 8 States/Territories here [state.gov]

Re:South Australia? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39556791)

It's a state within Australia. We have several, including one which looks like a hairy vagina that we all forget about when we draw a map.

South Australia's capital is called Adelaide. It's nickname is the City of Churches because it has a crapload of churches and a proportionate number of wacko religious fucknuts to go with it. Sunday trading is still an issue and newcomers to the state are hazed by being murdered and dissolve in acid in a barrel and left in a bank vault. Their courts are full of lesbian vampire murderers. Weirdly enough they have a relaxed attitude towards dope and you can have a certain number of plants for "personal use". I call it a place to retire.

Ben Folds lives there.

All of the above is true. I swear it's too good to make up.

Re:South Australia? (2)

dbIII (701233) | about 2 years ago | (#39556881)

Their courts are full of lesbian vampire murderers.

That was Brisbane (and across the street from where I lived once) unless Adelaide had that as well. The bodies in barrels in a bank vault (Snowtown) was definitely in South Australia though. They grow strange people in politics and good bands there.

Re:South Australia? (1)

UgLyPuNk (1166251) | about 2 years ago | (#39557039)

Ben Folds no longer lives in SA, but the rest is mostly true :), although I'm not sure we have more wacko religious fucknut then other places

Article is misleading (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39556753)

Actual South Australian here - This is actually A Good Thing.

For about 15-20 years our ratings have been E - Exempt, G - for general exhibition, PG - Parental guidance, M15+, MA15+ and R18+ and X18+.

This removes the bullshit rating of ma15 plus, basically it's an M with 'a bit more but not quite an R'.

There hasn't been an R18 for games, so this is where they were all shoehorned, into this ma15+ category.

More info - see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Classification_Board#Film_and_video_game_classifications

I can't be the only one.... (4, Funny)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | about 2 years ago | (#39556757)

...that thinks we shouldn't be asking the state with the City of Churches how to protect children.

It's a bit like putting Hunter S. Thompson in charge of the uppers.

Re:I can't be the only one.... (1)

Evil Pete (73279) | about 2 years ago | (#39557351)

But surely everyone in SA likes a bit of mayhem ... isn't serial murder a state sport?

maybe I have my math upside down but, (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39556785)

Does that mean Austrailians are all 3 years younger than the rest of us?

Time for more limits (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39556825)

We need an MA65 law in the US for all romantic comedies. By banning everyone under the age of 65 from seeing romantic comedies much suffering by men would be avoided on date night across the country.

It's time to countries to ask.. (1)

White Flame (1074973) | about 2 years ago | (#39556895)

What exactly are the rights of a minor? Both relative to their parent/guardian, and to what the state can authorize/restrict?

This whole issue is completely retarded.

Burning plastic is toxic... (2)

RandomStr (2116782) | about 2 years ago | (#39556899)

Just politicians demonstrating how irrelevant and out-of-touch with they are with society in general...

Imagine if they where trying to ban sales of a board game, or books? Talk about inappropriate usage of public funds!

Also, how ironic that they would target an age group of people who are just about to make the first political decision/vote in there life; Which way do you think they'll vote. First impression count much for you?

And who is this supposed to be scoring points for? Could it be that there is an ulterior motive; history has showed us that's a slippery and dangerous path...

Re:Burning plastic is toxic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39556939)

Are you suggesting the burning of videogames? This is either A) Blasphemy or B) Illegal to "burn" copies of the game.

Pedant alert. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39556957)

Internationally, "SA" usually refers to South Africa, not South Australia.

Re:Pedant alert. (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 2 years ago | (#39557141)

Internationally, "SA" usually refers to South Africa, not South Australia.

I thought it usually referred to South America.

Re:Pedant alert. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39557597)

Can we just stick to "SA refers to a group of right wings"?

Re:Pedant alert. (2)

Cimexus (1355033) | about 2 years ago | (#39557655)

Only if you live in a place where you need to actually refer to South Africa often enough to need an acronym for it. That'd be like complaining that WA refers to Washington state in America instead of Western Australia. Or that CA can be California (state code), or Canada (country code). All depends on where you are.

But if you really want to get pedantic, SA (or technically, AU-SA) is the official state code for South Australia under ISO 3166-2. South Africa is ZA.

irrelevant / good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39557011)

As long as they have the games, the fact they ban the sale to a minor is almost irrelevant. Most kids parents still buy them the games or the stores don't bother checking ages. Seems like half the people playing GTA in the USA are under 18. I work at a retailer that sales games, while it is store policy not to sell games to minors I typically do anyway, there is no law against it. I use my own judgment. I won't sell GTA to a 12 year old kid, mainly because I don't want their parents coming up to the store bitching. But 16 year old, yeah no problem.

They can have their law & say they are protecting the children and everyone can go back to playing GTA and other games. Have your cake and eat it too. :)

I dont see anything wrong with that (2)

issicus (2031176) | about 2 years ago | (#39557059)

kids should not be able to buy content that is violent, graphic, has sex (not often) and mature themes. Theaters have been doing it for years. the target market for video games is kids, I am sure that had nothing to do with a lax rating system.

lol aussies (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39557233)

good thing they are taking care of the important things in life!!!! Hahaha idiots..

I have a better idea... (1)

Genda (560240) | about 2 years ago | (#39557295)

Let's rate sociopoltical issues by IQ/Intellectual Age, thereby preventing politicians at large from voicing any opinions/legislation about topics for which they are ignorant, ill informed or simply pandering for votes.

Typical Adelaide. The retirement village of AU (1)

Macfox (50100) | about 2 years ago | (#39557317)

This might look like a good thing, but they're basically trying to undo the R18+ reforms, by making MA15+ the same as R18+. As many have pointed out, it will achieve nothing and add complication for retailers and buyers. Why can't we just accept the classifications boards definitions, like the rest of the states.

Under the legislation, movies like the Saw franchise can be seen by minors, but games like GTA and Mortal combat can't be played.

This is just typical Adelaide politics. We endured the idiot Michael Atkinson with his overly conservative views, holding Australian to ransom over game classification reform. He made us look like a joke for too many years. Now we have to suffer another idiot trying to do the same, pandering to a fringe group of religious do-gooders/ nuts-cases, that are hell bent on making this state a retirement village. We all bitch about Adelaide getting a bad rap, but it's this kind of crap that instils SA's backwater reputation.

Idiotic rules (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39557585)

As if parents aren't the ones buying the games for their children anyway.
Australia is really messed up if the people over don't buy their children games which are rated above their age.
The only reason to use those ratings is for not buying a too difficult game for a child too young.
If he wants to play it the parent should get it. The rest is BS.

Hehehe (Offtopic) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39557741)

Australia just keeps on sucking.

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