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Graffiti Game Banned in Australia

samzenpus posted more than 8 years ago | from the think-of-the-children dept.

Censorship 313

afaik_ianal writes "The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that 'Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure' has been banned in Australia. The game involves battling the authorities to overthrow corrupt officials using only street fighting skills and graffiti. From the article, "The decision was endorsed last night by the Federal Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, who had asked the board to review of the game's MA15+ classification after local councils and state governments voiced concerns that the game would promote graffiti.""

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GREAT! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14730854)

"Multimillionaire US fashion designer Marc Ecko has slammed the Federal Government's decision to ban his new video game."

Good - there's too much of a graffiti problem already in Australia - no sense selling it to teens.

Re:GREAT! (2, Insightful)

RumpledElf (663253) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730864)

Australia doesn't like graffiti much ... a while back they started putting spray cans behind locked doors in hardware stores and art supply shops to stop them being stolen - because of course the only tool you can use to graffiti with is a spray can. Might even be an ID age check when you buy them. Not being a graffiti artist myself I don't know the full details.

Re:GREAT! (1)

Crash24 (808326) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730896)

a while back they started putting spray cans behind locked doors in hardware stores and art supply shops to stop them being stolen - because of course the only tool you can use to graffiti with is a spray can.

Don't tell them that I used to doodle stuff on bathroom stalls with a pencil.

Re:GREAT! (1)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730913)

and once they are past banning pencils, they will quickly un-ban them. Otherwise, people will start to doodle stuff on the bathroom walls with the "writing tools" they produce there and which can't be banned in bathrooms. (ick-ick, just hold it through double layer of toilet paper while writing.)

Re:GREAT! (4, Insightful)

strider44 (650833) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730906)

No you don't, at least not in Sydney. Anyway I don't see how something like this *really* actually fuels graffiti. I'm one of those people who thinks that GTA doesn't fuel people going around shooting everybody, and like the designer said, it's not that hard to draw on a wall, and if a kid wants to do it he doesn't need a game to show him how.

Quoth the Simpsons:


Meyers: I did a little research and I discovered a startling thing...
There was violence in the past, long before cartoons were invented.
Kent: I see. Fascinating.
Meyers: Yeah, and know something, Kent? The Crusades, for instance.
Tremendous violence, many people killed, the darned thing went
on for thirty years.
Kent: And this was before cartoons were invented?
Meyers: That's right, Kent.

Re:GREAT! (2, Informative)

flamearrows (821733) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730952)

Yup, you can be carded (16+) before you can buy spray paint. I've been refused in the past when Dad sent me to buy black spraypaint for a building job.

Re:GREAT! (2, Informative)

Xayma (892821) | more than 8 years ago | (#14731242)

Spray paint is 18+, some stores had other codes voluntairly before that however. Knives and knife blades are only 16+ however.

Re:GREAT! (2, Informative)

ben_1432 (871549) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730984)

Wasn't that to stop "chroming"? Kids getting high on the fumes? I seem to recall Extra did a nice big story on it, and then a short while later they put the restrictions in place.

http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2002/10/23/10345 61498638.html [theage.com.au]
http://www.abc.net.au/stateline/qld/content/2005/s 1504831.htm [abc.net.au]

Re:GREAT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14731153)

Have you been huffing paint? [penny-arcade.com]

Re:GREAT! (1)

Zantetsuken (935350) | more than 8 years ago | (#14731036)

Spray cans are locked up in the US too... (just in case you dint know)

Re:GREAT! (2, Funny)

wease21 (647997) | more than 8 years ago | (#14731256)

Really? Where? I was at Home Depot yesterday and walked down an entire aisle of spray paint and didn't see a lock anywhere in sight. The locks were 3 aisles over next to the doors.

Re:GREAT! (1)

RockModeNick (617483) | more than 8 years ago | (#14731258)

Yea, thats why everybody seems to be using canned air now, from office supply stores - some guys in my friends dorm literally had dozens of empty cans laying on their floor all the time.

More Stupid Censorship and Irony (5, Insightful)

ami-in-hamburg (917802) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730859)

Again, another government stepping in where parents and society in general should be the authority.

Isn't it ironic though that the point of the game is to fight government corruption and promote freedom of expression.

Re:More Stupid Censorship and Irony (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14730900)

Yeah, right, we should let a society regulate itself. America's such a good example. Not at all full of selfish idiots with a chip on their shoulders with regard to authority and definitely not full of people looking out for themselves rather than each other and actually forming a society!

Re:More Stupid Censorship and Irony (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14730946)

America's such a good example.

Actually, America is a perfect example.

The more they regulate and litigate the worse things get here.

There is a correlation, wether the totalitarians want to admit it or not.

Politicians have absolutely NO RIGHT nor should they have the power to tell the population what is right or moral for what sould be completely obvious reasons to anyone smarter than the average barnyard monkey.

Re:More Stupid Censorship and Irony (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 8 years ago | (#14731018)

It's the below averyage barnyard monkeys we have to worry about.
They might pro-create.
Better they should be writing on walls and shooting each other.

Re:More Stupid Censorship and Irony (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14730918)

Oh, so we should allow anything inappropriate like drugs and guns to be freely allowed - like that works! Perhaps we should allow porn of all types to be available in public libraries, because clearly most parents do the "right thing" and educate their kids... what a joke, what world do you live in? Certainly not this world - many parents are fools and are poor role models - good thing the government steps in and trys to regulates things.

Whilst you might like to think this game is about "expression", clearly the real motive in the game is to break the law.

I'm sorry but I can't be supportive of any game that encourages breaking the law.

Now if the game was on a "magical" kingdom where you "colour" the walls, then I suppose I would be for that. If kids can't tell the difference between make-believe and "pretend" then their parents are not doing the right thing. But when we "try" to emulate the real world so that the breaking of the law is very close, as society, we need to step in a stop this. It sends the wrong message.

Re:More Stupid Censorship and Irony (4, Insightful)

Crizp (216129) | more than 8 years ago | (#14731032)

[...] when we "try" to emulate the real world so that the breaking of the law is very close, as society, we need to step in a stop this. It sends the wrong message.

Mr. Thompson? Jack? Is that you?

You can have your cute games with their colored walls. I think what the "realistic" games do is allow an outlet for things that should not be let out in public. Like killing people, or walking around randomly pissing on folks. It's safer to do it in-game, and you also avoid running into petty quarrels with those law enforcement people.

I support the idea that the parents are ultimately responsible for what input their kids recieve in the fragile little minds of theirs. There will always be people doing bad things because - well, they do bad things. The reasons are many and complicated, but games (as TV before them) are not the one and only cause of this. A catalyst, perhaps, not the reason.

Re:More Stupid Censorship and Irony (4, Insightful)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 8 years ago | (#14731062)

Oh, so we should allow anything inappropriate like drugs and guns to be freely allowed - like that works! Perhaps we should allow porn of all types to be available in public libraries, because clearly most parents do the "right thing" and educate their kids... what a joke, what world do you live in?

    Guns and porn are freely allowed, just not to a kid. You need a licence for a gun - you can even carry them arround in the street if you have a permit. Porn is allowed to everyone who's legally old enough.
    I also had this discussion with a friend a while ago about if drugs should be legalized, like alcohol is - i think that marijuana should be legalized, but he made a pretty good case about how every single drug should be legalized, which is a longer story in itself. Even then, alcohol, tobbaco and some medicaments ARE drugs and you can get them, again, if you're old enough.

    Eventually it's up to the parents to decide what's sutiable for their children to see. See, kids are NOT the only one playing games. And we have a rating system already to determine which games can and which ones can't be sold to a kid. Banning it was completely unnecesary. The game doesn't encourage vandalism more than GTA encourages stealing cars, Hollywood action movies encourage shooting people and religious TV shows encourage catholicism.

Re:More Stupid Censorship and Irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14730920)

Well, as I see it Australia is much like US #2.

Re:More Stupid Censorship and Irony (1)

Rinkhals (930763) | more than 8 years ago | (#14731167)

Well, as I see it Australia is much like US #2.

Yes, and isn't that the point?

Don't you feel that the Americans, in particular Multimillionaire US fashion designer Marc Ecko are seeking to export their culture to the rest of the world?

Personally, I'm a bit fed up of teenage hoodies hanging around on street corners saying "Yaah, wa's up bro'" and shaking two fingers of their right hands at me, wrist first.

Is that what US culture is all about?

Still, it does smack of overkill.

Maybe putting "THIS GAME IS PROMOTED BY A PROMINANT US FASHION GURU" on it would do the trick?

Re:More Stupid Censorship and Irony (5, Insightful)

lxs (131946) | more than 8 years ago | (#14731044)

Isn't it ironic though that the point of the game is to fight government corruption and promote freedom of expression.

No, it's standard practice in political censorship to attack some side issue and not the political message. For instance, Ulysses was written by an Irishman and criticised British rule over Ireland.

Ulysses was banned for obscenity rather than for it's political content even though the so called obscene content was tame even for the time in which it was written. The same case can be made for the film of A Clockwork Orange, which I believe is still banned in the UK.

Re:More Stupid Censorship and Irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14731075)

The same case can be made for the film of A Clockwork Orange, which I believe is still banned in the UK.

A Clockwork Orange is not and never has been banned in Britain. It was withdrawn [wikipedia.org] by Stanley Kubrick on police advice after receiving threats against his family.

Re:More Stupid Censorship and Irony (1)

lxs (131946) | more than 8 years ago | (#14731145)

thanks for clearing that up.

Re:More Stupid Censorship and Irony (3, Informative)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 8 years ago | (#14731188)

In the UK, A Clockwork Orange wasn't banned by any Government agency but by Kubrick himself, "on police advice after threats were made against Kubrick and his family" (link) [wikipedia.org] . It didn't get a video release until after Kubrick's death. But it was never "banned" in the traditional sense. The director refused to permit its release. Now it's been on TV & all sorts, and yes it's tame.

Re:More Stupid Censorship and Irony (2, Informative)

hdparm (575302) | more than 8 years ago | (#14731078)

Indeed. I wonder what are they going to do with AWB and 300 milion handed over to Saddam, with Howard's approval. Fucking hypocrites. Everywhere.

Re:More Stupid Censorship and Irony (0, Troll)

TeraCo (410407) | more than 8 years ago | (#14731252)

What's that got to do with Graffiti, or even Censorship? Grind your political wheel elsewhere monkeyboy.

Re:More Stupid Censorship and Irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14731235)

"Again, another government stepping in where parents and society in general should be the authority."

yeah. key word being should, hmm.

Wow! Such an important country! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14730860)

I know it must be, as every second story on Slashdot is about Australia these days.

Re:Wow! Such an important country! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14731090)

Unless you want to see articles on the latest series of Bush Administration threats and blunders, I suggest you stuff it and go sit in the corner.

Speaking of things "Getting Up" (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14730868)

Game is now $4000 AUD on eBay!

that sucks (5, Funny)

[cx] (181186) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730871)

I guess kids will have to stick to the real thing.

Re:that sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14731013)

aah, the real thing is infinately better than some crappy game could ever emulate. Truly, if you walk around the streets of melbourne, there're beautiful grafs everywhere - it's part of the scenery and its accepted. Just another initiative of the australian government to squash any sense of culture we may potentially have.

Whats Different!?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14731102)

Anyone ever play the Rockstar Game based on the movie "The Warriors" Whats different? I would be interested to see if that game was banned..

The Warriors is based on the movie which features a bunch of rival gangs the subject of which "The Warriors" are trying to make a name for themselves.. by committing crimes, avoiding/attacking police, and spray painting (tagging/bombing) their logo all over the city..

Sounds like the same sort of game. I actually liked it.. and by no means ever had the desire to attack police or even pick up a spray can.

-Riddler

...and so they should !! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14730892)

How is being a fool and wrecking property entertainment? Why would someone need to emulate the idiots in society inorder to "sell" a game title. Clearly the developer lacked the imagination to do anything original and so they decided to make a computer game of something that the majority of society would frown upon.

What is next? Stealing money from old or disadvantaged people? Maybe a game where you are supposed to cheat on exams and steal stuff from stores?

I think this is exactly what should happen - good on the Aussies for doing what is right and correct for the majority.

Re:...and so they should !! (1)

Solra Bizna (716281) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730933)

Clearly the developer lacked the imagination to do anything original...

I dunno, I thought it was pretty original. Name me one other game where graffiti is a major gameplay element.

-:sigma.SB

Re:...and so they should !! (4, Informative)

actor_au (562694) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730976)

Jet Set Radio Future.
And it was done better than this dreck will be.

Re:...and so they should !! (1)

Solra Bizna (716281) | more than 8 years ago | (#14731205)

I must remember to play more games before making blanket statements about gamedom... >_<

-:sigma.SB

Re:...and so they should !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14730988)

Just in case you weren't being horribly facetious..

GTA:VC

Re:...and so they should !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14731022)

I think your thinking of GTA:SA

GTA:VC was the one with Vercetti in it. SA was the one where you were a hood-rat.

Just so you know.

Re:...and so they should !! (1)

Mancat (831487) | more than 8 years ago | (#14731157)

Have you ever played a game based around subject matter that was not appropriate or possible to recreate in real life without reprecussion? You know, as in most video games on the market now? I guess not. You must play only sports games.

Re:...and so they should !! (1)

micpp (818596) | more than 8 years ago | (#14731250)

Even sports games do not escape, as if you play professional sports in reality, you face the repercussion of not having a real job.

They have now guaranteed it will be a hit! (4, Insightful)

dustpuppy (5260) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730897)

I think we have long gone past the point were censorship of this nature will have any effect. What with bittorrent and other P2P networks, people will still be able to obtain copies. And by making such a big deal of it, all the authorities have done is made it into the latest 'must have' computer game.

And I would love to read their position paper (which will apparently get relaeased) soon that explains the majority and minority positions. I cannot understand how they feel that they should ban this game and yet allow violent movies to not be banned.

Re:They have now guaranteed it will be a hit! (1)

Mike Connell (81274) | more than 8 years ago | (#14731223)

I cannot understand how they feel that they should ban this game and yet allow violent movies to not be banned.


"Normal" adult voters watch violent movies. Only (non-voting) "kids" play computer games.

Who else feels... (4, Insightful)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730898)

...that they were concerned the game would promote THE OTHER aspect of the gameplay?

Grafitti vs beating people up... (5, Insightful)

supertsaar (540181) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730901)

So Spraying a tag on a wall is worse than the old knee-to-the-solar-plexus move? Chigago-Curb-Job? Columbian Necktie?
That makes me very sad. We teach our kids that violence is cool, acceptable, exciting, fun.
Then we complain about all the violence in the streets.
If you want to ban a game, please ban it for excessive violence, not for some paint sprayed on walls.

Re:Grafitti vs beating people up... (2)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 8 years ago | (#14731050)

I think the only justifiable time to ban a game is when it depicts a real life crime. Sexually explicit pictures of a minor, a murder being performed, and that type of stuff.

What is being done in Australia is blatent censorship. The government needs to realize it's up to the parents to raise their children right. There is no substitute for a parent teaching a child right from wrong.

Re:Grafitti vs beating people up... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14731133)

er...no.

we do not teach our kids anything.

and kids do find it easier to see the negative side of some aspects while not the other...kids have a (limited) sense of discretion too. so even though kids play a game that involves both violence and grafiti , they are most likely to lean towards grafiti because they know (to an extent) the downside of leaning towards the violence.

I am not supporting the ban or anything... but to bemoan it because violence is promoted is not being real.

Re:Grafitti vs beating people up... (1)

supertsaar (540181) | more than 8 years ago | (#14731177)

It is my personal opinion that our society promotes violence as cool, fun, exciting and acceptable.
Just take a look at movies, television shows (even childrens cartoons in some cases) : a majority of them add ' excitement' in the form of violence. Obviously, this is for a reason: we _love_ violence.
So by letting our kids watch all this crap we actually _do_ teach them that violence is cool and Okay.

My post wanted to state that I would have understood it better if the Australians had decided to ban the game for being too violent. Banning it because some people spray paint on a wall in a video game makes very little sense to me. Even though I think most grafitti is crap or just plain old vandalism (mind you, there are some talented people out there..) I do not consider it a bigger problem than the violence in our streets, on the bus, in the train, in the supermarket, in the football stadiums and at schools.

Re:Grafitti vs beating people up... (1)

kingturkey (930819) | more than 8 years ago | (#14731220)

I saw this on a morning news program today and they had the Gold Coast Mayor discussing it. One reason was the grafitti, he mentioned that his city spends $2 - 3 Million a year cleaning up the shit and that he didn't want to encourage more kids to do it. He also mentioned how evil the violence was. Apparently its not just about tagging, it also involves beating up people with wooden planks and baseball bats. He said that this was different to a game involving AK-47s and such because the weapons it depicts are actually readily available to kids. I can see their point of view on this but I am also totally opposed to a total ban. I'm actually considering buying the game from gameplanet.co.nz now, if there was no ban I probably would have never heard of the game so they've really done the opposite of what they intended to do. I'm sure plenty of other people will do the same.

Strange laws (5, Informative)

grimdawg (954902) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730902)

I'm in a bind about this. What most people don't know is that Australia lacks an Adults only game rating, so any game unsuitable for people between 16 and 17 must be banned, as 15+ is the hardest rating. This was the reason for the banning of games such as GTA3 (before changes) and BMX XXX. I'm torn on this issue, because I don't believe these games are suitable for kids under 18, and so by Aussie law, they're banned. Sure, it's up to the parents, but a game can't be rated 18+, so any 16yo would be able to get his hands on any game without parental consent. In summary, the ban is correct under Australian law (we should by no means lower the rating of titles to get them oin shelves), but the OFLC needs an 18+ rating, pronto.

Re:Strange laws (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730960)

but a game can't be rated 18+, so any 16yo would be able to get his hands on any game without parental consent.

I don't think there is that much of a difference between 16 and 18. Kids who are going to be influenced by a game to go out and spray paint stuff would have to be much younger than 16.

umm (1)

xmodem_and_rommon (884879) | more than 8 years ago | (#14731069)

ummmm...where are you from exactly? What's the R rating for? (I'm from Brisbane, Australia)

http://www.oflc.gov.au/special.html?n=291&p=134#1 [oflc.gov.au]

Re:umm (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14731091)

R & X cannot be used to classify games - MA is the maximum. From your link (emphasis mine): "Films and computer games are now classified G, PG, M or MA 15+. Films can also be classified R 18+ or X 18+. R 18+ and X 18+ are not classifications for computer games."

d'oh (1)

xmodem_and_rommon (884879) | more than 8 years ago | (#14731127)

d'oh, ok you're right, my bad. I thought cause i have a couple of ma15+ games...

Philip Ruddock (4, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730903)

the game features a world where freedom of expression is suppressed by a tyrannical city government.

I've got an idea for a character in the next version of the game.

But seriously, most of the games out there promote violence, road rage, all kinds of stuff, and they can still be sold. What makes graffiti so important?

You Fuckstick! (2, Funny)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730922)

Sorry, the form heading said "Reply to: Philip Ruddock" and I got carried away by the moment....

Re:You Fuckstick! (1, Funny)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730977)

I got carried away by the moment

We need to be carefull. His media manager's assistants are going to have to print out 50 pages of /. on friday morning. Phil is not going to be a happy chap after spending friday reading at -1.

Better carry my passport around for a while, just in case.

LoL (1)

ynotds (318243) | more than 8 years ago | (#14731070)

You certainly got me with that heading.

I've been having this night^H^H^H^H^Hday-mare for some time that I was driving down the road and Phil and Johnny were crossing in front of me but so far apart that I could only choose one.

Now I just need to find somewhere to show the contrasting pics of graffiti and authorised murals I took at the weekend.

Maybe a carrot for the kids in terms of something interesting to do might achieve a lot more than forever telling them what not to do.

Re:Philip Ruddock (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14731066)

The reason this is an important issue now is because the the city of Melbourne and Victoria police is cracking down hard on graffiti gangs becuase of the upcoming Commenwealth Games (or Empire games if you so wish) being hosted here in March. Also the goverment is blaming gangs for causing public transport services to be disrupted (trains being cancelled mostly by people tagging trains) which could also be a problem for the games. So I would suggest that if this game would have been released about 6 months earlier it might have got through not a problem.

It used to be Music (5, Insightful)

CB-in-Tokyo (692617) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730909)

It used to be music that everyone said was a bad influence, now it is Video games.

I love the following Frank Zappa quotation.

"There are more love songs than anything else. If songs could make you do
something we'd all love one another."
-- Frank Zappa

Not exactly the same, but close enough if we replace love songs with first person shooters and....

Nevermind

Re:It used to be Music (3, Insightful)

Prune (557140) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730958)

I call bullshit. Love songs are usually about lust and romantic love, not loving your fellow human beings in general.

A bit of context, please. (5, Informative)

iainl (136759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730912)

The real issue, once again, is that Australia don't have the equivalent of the UK's "18" or US "M" for games, so the highest possible rating is the aforementioned MA15+. So games like the GTA series are already banned there.

Since the game involves just as much violence against policemen as GTA does, and the only non-violent aspect to the game is the vandalism, my only surprise is that they considered it possible for an MA15+ in the first place.

Re:A bit of context, please. (1)

grimdawg (954902) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730923)

The reason it was considered for MA15 here is that they were trying to get around the lack of an R18 for videogames.

Few games are banned here, despite being totally unsuitable for minors.

Not the issue at all (2, Informative)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730975)

The lack of an 18 rating was tangential to the issue at hand. (And GTA is not banned here, we have a modified version, though I got mine from New Zealand :)

This game was not banned because it featured graffiti in a fashion similar to how GTA features violence. It was because it (apparantly) contains material that is instructional rather than a shallow representation like the violence in GTA (or graffiti in Jet Set Radio Future). It wasn't considered to "promote" illegal behaviour simply because it represented that behaviour, but because it gave realistic instruction. The issue of promoting illegal behaviour is independant of the age rating so to suggest the game wouldn't be banned if there were an 18 rating is not really true.

All that according to the woman who cast the deciding vote who was on Hack [abc.net.au] today.

Which isn't to say I agree with the decision. I think it stinks!

Re:Not the issue at all (1)

micpp (818596) | more than 8 years ago | (#14731228)

I wonder how much "realistic instruction" that the game contains isn't obvious to anyone with an IQ above 50? Aim can at walls, spray paint.

yes, we do (1)

xmodem_and_rommon (884879) | more than 8 years ago | (#14731080)

umm, yes we do. would you please stop commenting on something you know nothing about

http://www.oflc.gov.au/special.html?n=291&p=134#1 [oflc.gov.au]

Re:yes, we do (2, Informative)

Howzer (580315) | more than 8 years ago | (#14731094)

No, we don't.

From the FIRST PARAGRAPH of the link you so helpfully supplied:

"R 18+ and X 18+ are not classifications for computer games."

Forget RTFA -- this is more RYOFL.

d'oh (1)

xmodem_and_rommon (884879) | more than 8 years ago | (#14731141)

d'oh, ok you're right...I thought, cause i have a couple of ma15+ games..

So what? (0, Offtopic)

sumi-manga (948999) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730915)

You gotta start practicing at an early age to get any good [flickr.com] ...
And anyway, I always thought spraying some nice paint on a condemned crackhouse was a lot more productive than stealing cars, uziing authorities, and raping prostitutes... but that's just me :)

Jet Set Radio (3, Insightful)

nkh (750837) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730916)

Was Jet Set Radio [wikipedia.org] banned in Australia?

Re:Jet Set Radio (2, Informative)

flamearrows (821733) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730943)

No. But Jet Set Radio was far cuter... the action was deliberately cartoonish and hence rather unreal and irrelevant. Thus, there's no "promotion" of graffiti or violence, and the game was classified as M.

Not surprising - the games are coming up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14730917)

I live in Melbourne and recently there has been alot of media hysteria regarding grafitti and the impression it will make on our upcoming Commonwealth Games guests.

They are currently working very hard to clean up the train lines and they would not be impressed if a game like this made it's way to our impressionable young at the moment. Welcome to the nanny state.

Re:Not surprising - the games are coming up! (4, Interesting)

Gleng (537516) | more than 8 years ago | (#14731049)

I lived in Melbourne for nearly five years, and I used to really enjoy looking at the graffiti whilst on boring train journeys. I'd MUCH rather look at the graffiti - some of which is absolutely amazing - than a plain, blank grey wall for an hour, but that's just me I suppose.

It would be a much better use of time if they could stop the trains on the Frankston line smelling like stale piss.

Re:Not surprising - the games are coming up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14731089)

That will probably happen after they stop Frankston itself from smelling like stale piss.

Re:Not surprising - the games are coming up! (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 8 years ago | (#14731111)

I lived in Melbourne for nearly five years, and I used to really enjoy looking at the graffiti whilst on boring train journeys

I wonder if anybody figured out what MAX+GJE was all about?

Re:Not surprising - the games are coming up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14731234)

Try catching the trains on a weekend - that stale smell becomes renewed thanks to some cooperative passengers ;)

Don't you think... (1)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730919)

Don't you think that Federal Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, the board and other authorities should be banned in Australia because they promote software piracy?

Re:Don't you think... (1)

lordperditor (648289) | more than 8 years ago | (#14731051)

They are a bunch of dicks (oh we know what is best for you grown adults!!!) and should be the first against the wall when the revolution comes!

Re:Don't you think... (1)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14731142)

Don't you believe the acronym for Federal Attorney General is an accident?

Wow (2, Interesting)

squoozer (730327) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730921)

So it's ok to "promote" shooting people, running people down and using / abusing prostitutes (GTA and plenty of others) but it's not ok to "promote" tagging a wall. Hmmmm we have a very weird society.

Re:Wow (4, Insightful)

tpgp (48001) | more than 8 years ago | (#14731037)

So it's ok to "promote" shooting people, running people down and using / abusing prostitutes (GTA and plenty of others)but it's not ok to "promote" tagging a wall.

GTA was banned in Australia too [zdnet.com.au]

Hmmmm we have a very weird society.

I'm not sure whether you're talking about the USA or Australia - you seem a little confused. (but yes, they're both quite weird)

Re:Wow (1)

squoozer (730327) | more than 8 years ago | (#14731191)

Either US or Oz or anywhere else for that matter (I'm from the UK) I meant society globally or certainly at least the westernized bits of it seem to have some strange values. It doesn't surprise me that GTA was banned in Australia but I'll bet there are a lot of similar games that aren't. I'm against censorship in general but I think it's about time we had some official sanctioned game ratings with more teeth. When the graphics were poor it was fair enough to have no ratings or industry imposed rates but modern games are getting to the point where some of the content is quite disturbing.

Re:Wow (1)

disntrstd (705189) | more than 8 years ago | (#14731116)

"So it's ok to "promote" shooting people, running people down and using / abusing prostitutes (GTA and plenty of others) but it's not ok to "promote" tagging a wall. Hmmmm we have a very weird society."

It's probably because kids are more likely to imitate a petty crime they see in a video game versus something more heinous like murdering a hooker. Kids are always looking for ways to push the limits of right and wrong, and grafitti is smack dab on the borderline. Frankly, I would be concerned if graffiti was a problem in my area.

What are you talking about? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14731174)

GTA is banned in Australia too. RTFC!

So they're not being inconsistent, just dumb.

Even if this wasn't true, you're the third commenter to make this point. Again, RTFC!

shouldn't somebody resign ? (2, Funny)

richlv (778496) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730924)

"The game [that] involves battling the authorities to overthrow corrupt officials..." "...has been banned by authorities"

Re:shouldn't somebody resign ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14731028)

On Fark, that would warrant an [IRONY] tag. On Slashdot, it's just another comment.

Re:shouldn't somebody resign ? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 8 years ago | (#14731123)

The Attorney-General mentioned in the article has been involved in deporting and detaining sick Australian citizens and he still has his job.

Why is doing right wrong? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14730959)

Why is doing the "right thing" always viewed as doing the wrong thing. If we, as society, allowed everyone freedom to do anything they liked, wouldn't we live in a messed up world where killing and destroying is acceptable in your own home?

I certainly would vote for a better balanced world where good and bad are controlled. I think we need to "shield" our younger generation from as many bad things as possible. There is nothing wrong with stopping this kind of game, and of course there are others that are worse, but what is wrong with stopping this game? Will anyone be worse off by not feeling the enjoyment of wrecking other peoples property?

Is it so bad that the government wants to reduce the damage and cost to their and others property?

Riiight ..... (3, Insightful)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730983)

What they have basically done, then, is turned this game into an instant automatic hit. Everybody in Australia will want a copy of this game now, because it's illegal. And they will get copies of it. Either paid-up ones, sent in an innocuous music CD box by friends or relatives abroad; or, much more likely, pirated copies. {Does anybody actually pay for games? I suppose there must be one or two.} Everybody outside Australia will want a copy because it's been banned in Australia.

All things considered, this is a fantastic marketing stunt.

My proposed solution, by the way, is to ban all sales of video games to {but not possession by} minors. That way, parents and guardians get to decide what is and isn't appropriate.

Re:Riiight ..... (-1, Flamebait)

Shag (3737) | more than 8 years ago | (#14731042)


Everybody outside Australia will want a copy because it's been banned in Australia.


"Oooh! Look at me! I'm doing something that would be illegal in Australia!"

Um... no. It doesn't quite work that way. Apologies to any Aussies, but aside from having cute koalas, funny bouncy kangaroos, Crocodile Dundee, and Nemo, and a whole lot of things that sort of emulate UK things (what with the whole Commonwealth thing, and the UK actually being a powerful nation and all that, and thus worth emulating if you're into that sort of thing) which in turn sort of emulate American things (reiterate powerful-nation bit), Australia just doesn't figure into the cultural zeitgeist of the northern hemisphere that strongly. And it rather specifically doesn't figure into that zeitgeist within the US, where people may remember Men At Work and Midnight Oil, but are less likely than their European counterparts to remain unconfused at the mention of either Minogue sister or Yahoo Serious. ;)

Also, we've got plenty of laws of our own to violate. I should've honeymooned in South Carolina, where antimiscegenation laws were still on the books for 2 years after my wedding. :)

Just seems like senseless paranoia to me. (3, Interesting)

Jessrond (954908) | more than 8 years ago | (#14731003)

I've never understood the whole idea behind banning video games and trying to blame them for various social problems. That's giving games much more influential power than they, or any form of media, ever has had. Really, if someone decides to spray paint just because they've been playing this game, they have other problems unrelated to video games. Parents should be regulating the games that come into their home, because they are the only ones who know if THEIR child is mature enough to understand them. It's not up to the government... And plus, the people in power today see video games as "new" and "confusing." Maybe when people raised on Atari, Nintendo, etc gain political power, we won't see such a witch-hunt on games.

Yup the regulators... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14731009)

...are working to control the world... oh no, soon you won't be able to sledge off against less fortunate or force your children to slave labor.

Hang on? You can't do those things !!

Maybe 50 years ago we had it all wrong? Maybe those who think games about graffti or "breaking the law" are all ok also have it wrong?

Mmmm I wonder what those 50 years from now will think of the acceptable rules we have to day?

Game banning in Australia (5, Informative)

BlackMesaLabs (893043) | more than 8 years ago | (#14731052)

From someone who lives here, here's the deal with what gets banned (as in games), and the GTA oddities: GTA 3 was released here, uncut. Then they found out about the prostitutes, and revoked classification- forcing a recall
After this, the game was edited to remove the prostitute functionality and re-released, conforming to Aus standards. The reason the prostitutes were removed was NOT because of the sexual content, rather, it was because of the very strict rules we have here about sex and violence. It was the fact you could kill hookers after sex that had the game censored.
Vice city was pre-edited by the developers and had NO sex (the Candy Suxx FMV's were fucked up) Pardon the pun.
GTA:SA came out WITH hookers, unedited. I have no idea how/why this happened.
Generally games are censored here when sex and violence is mixed, IN ANY WAY. Duke Nukem 3D was censored because you could shoot the strippers.
I dont understand the logic of this banning though

A cure for grafitti (0, Flamebait)

DrXym (126579) | more than 8 years ago | (#14731110)

Any tagger who is caught should have all of their property defaced with gloss paint - their shoes, clothes, music, everything. Just empty a tin of the stuff all over their property and see how they like it.

Re:A cure for grafitti (1)

Jessrond (954908) | more than 8 years ago | (#14731119)

Since most of them live at home, I assume their parents would find even more ways to punish their kids after their property got tagged!

Its a vicious circle (2, Funny)

fatted (777789) | more than 8 years ago | (#14731170)

...It looks like the only way to beat these corrupt officials is with street fighting skills and graffiti! Everybody was kung foo fighting WHAH! HOO HAH!

(I don't know any lyrics for spray painting).

Stupid logic (4, Insightful)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | more than 8 years ago | (#14731187)

In Japan, no game really gets publically banned for being violent or degrading (other than the pubes-mosiac thing), but then there is little violence in society and next to no graffiti. There is no fear of violence ever influencing anybody.

The logic goes that maybe if there was less graffiti and less violence in Australia, then we could have violent games and nobody would care about any influence.

Seems to me that the outside world influences video games more than the other way around.

In Singapore, however (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14731244)

Chewing gum can land you in jail.

More stupid laws, anyone?

Don't Panic (3, Funny)

craznar (710808) | more than 8 years ago | (#14731253)

The only differences this decision will have on the game in Australia are:

1. Increased popularity of the game
2. Lower profits to the manufacturer
3. Larger US/AU bandwidth usage for a few weeks.

That's about it really.
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