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No R rating for games in Australia

Posted by souri on Tue, 12/11/02 - 12:56 AM

So what does everyone think about the lack of an R rating in Australia? Do you mind that games rated higher than a MA15+ will remain banned here?

Submitted by Daemin on Tue, 12/11/02 - 2:07 AM Permalink

There's always the grey market, and imports.

Well what I mean by that is if the game gets released anywhere at all it will find its way into Australia, either by people buying it overseas, or getting the Warez version, or by importing it in.

IMO refusing the R18 rating is a good idea because it will limit the potential risk of exposure to minors. Plus there's already enough p0rn on the net, and anything is acessible if you try hard enough.

"where there's a will, there's a way"

Submitted by Blitz on Tue, 12/11/02 - 5:27 AM Permalink

I think refusing the R rating is immature and just goes to show the lack of attention that the ministers etc. pay to the gaming industry. It's also a violation of the freedom we should have to view what we want.
It's also interesting to note the reasons why games are given an R rating (or censored/banned). In the case of bmx xxx it was apparently the topless bike riders (and not the stripper cutscenes etc.) that caused the problem. And if i remember, GTA3 was censored because it had prostitutes in the game. So, minimal sex (the sort of thing that would be probably OK in a M or MA rated movie) is considered R material in a game just because it's an interactive medium. On the other hand, games continue to become more violent, and, as graphics technology improves, are able to convey the violence much more realistically, yet these games receive an MA rating with no censorship. This sends either the message that sex is an inherently much worse thing than violence, or, using Daemin's theory "refusing the R18 rating is a good idea because it will limit the potential risk of exposure to minors" that if minors are more likely to be exposed to legal content, it is better for them to be exposed to extreme violence, than to some topless girl riding a bmx bike.

Of course, ultimately it comes down to parenting. If you're worried about your children being exposed to certain games, then simply supervise what games they do play etc.

Finally, i agree with what the game companies have said. The gaming industry has matured, and these ministers (or whatever) that opposed the change to an R rating are behind the times.
CYer, Blitz

Submitted by Daemin on Tue, 12/11/02 - 8:35 AM Permalink

Still as game developers we need to show some respect and restraint, in addition to some common sense. Maybe if we have a game where there's mature R18 content but in a tasteful way, much like some european films, "tasteful artistic" films, then the games industry might get an R18 rating and be even more respected.

Submitted by Gazunta on Tue, 12/11/02 - 9:50 PM Permalink

The reason GTA3 was censored wasn't just that it had prostitutes - it was the fact that you could hit / kill them, too. Sex and violence by themselves are fine, but you can't combine the two in Australia. Hence the "Non-violent erotica" label on Australian porn nowdays (um, apparently).

The OFLC web site has a detailed explaination of why they ruled against GTA 3, and even includes a call for a R18 rating to be established. Very interesting reading.

Submitted by souri on Tue, 12/11/02 - 9:53 PM Permalink

An R classification for games in Australia is never going to happen when you get the people who make the decisions giving out comments like these..

quote:Mr. Williams? spokeswoman continued; ?It?s appropriate to have a stricter regime in relation to this area ? [as] the likelihood of children gaining access to adult computer games increases if the material is legally available.?

I can't begin to tell you how naive and backward a comment like that is. And it's a shame that people will have to resort to importing or piracy, as ultimately, it's the local game stores, and game developers that lose out.

And all this news comes on the heels of a stricter labelling system for music CD's - before hand, anyone could buy music, as long there was warning on the cover if the lyrics were deemed course, or sexually explicit. Now there is an R rated classification, so no under 18s can buy that stuff. Personally, I don't mind that at all, but I fail to see why games are so different. They claim that because it's interactive, it could cause greater harm - but I fail to see any studies or evidence of such.

At this moment, you could say it's not a big deal, but I'm sure when some great new game that DEPENDS on mature content (Duke Nukem Forever?), it'll be more trouble than its worth disabling the offensive material.. The trend seems to be heading towards mature content (although some of these developers tacking on nudy bits to sell more titles like BMX XXX will hopefully be a minority), and it kind of peeves me a bit when something like GTA3, and Vice City have to be changed to suit our crummy laws.

Submitted by Blitz on Wed, 13/11/02 - 10:23 AM Permalink

If they censor or anything DOAXBV at all, theres gonna be hell to pay!
CYer, Blitz

Submitted by Daemin on Wed, 13/11/02 - 11:41 AM Permalink

I don't think there's any sex in that, only implied nudity. So it'll pass, M15+.

Submitted by Meatex Salami on Wed, 13/11/02 - 11:50 PM Permalink

Well games are the current scape-goat for everything thats wrong with young kids so obviously they are going to be overly stict with cencorship.
It doesn't really matter that much cause like Daemin says, ppl will get it off the net.
Either an R rating or rating guys who aren't as closed minded about video games. We need ppl who understand games to rate them.

Bloody hell its a giant harmonica!

Submitted by souri on Thu, 14/11/02 - 3:01 PM Permalink

It's strange that violence isn't as censored as much.. you can see gibs and people writhing in agony in games like Soldier of Fortune in stores, but the minute some game shows topless nudity, it's an instant ban. That's all BMX XXX had, right? Topless nudity, and course language. I guess we're lucky somewhat that violent games aren't censored as much - I'd hate to play a modified game where the blood had to be changed to green and enemies were referred to as cyborgs. I think this happens in Germany with certain titles ?

Submitted by Blitz on Thu, 14/11/02 - 11:36 PM Permalink

BMX XXX features female bike riders with no tops, dogs having sex, and cut scenes featuring strippers, as well as the coarse language, but apparently it was the topless bike riders that caused them to ban it...which is just insane.
Germany also has the unfortunate problem of banning/censoring any game with any nazi related stuff in it. So they don't get RTCW, or a lot of WW2 based games.
CYer, Blitz

Submitted by Daemin on Fri, 15/11/02 - 8:28 AM Permalink

And they had the wolfenstein logos instead of swastikas if I read correctly.

Submitted by Fluffy CatFood on Mon, 18/11/02 - 9:45 AM Permalink

I dont necessarily mind the "no sexual violence" rule, the minute that gets lifted somones going to make a game with rape in it that would be done for the sake of violence, not as say part of character development and story. Since a moronic friend of mine said that redfaction needs a rape button when you come across a cowering nurse it makes me worry that somone would actually try somthing pathetic like that. An R rating should have been out years ago though. Adults should be allowed to make their own decisions on what they want not what somone else thinks is best for the majority. I think a reason that this rating hasnt been made is because video games are still considered childish. People who dont play them assume that only kids and teenagers are into gaming, Which is miles from the truth.
I also believe bringing in an R rating will allow the developers a bit more room for creativity, it must be annoying to have to alter the project you worked so hard on just to meet some stupid guide line.

Lead paint: delicious but deadly!

Submitted by souri on Wed, 27/11/02 - 11:16 AM Permalink

quote:If they censor or anything DOAXBV at all, theres gonna be hell to pay!
CYer, Blitz

That game's just had a R18+ rating in Japan.. they don't show nudity in it at all, but I've read some of the posings may be a little too much. It would be a shame if a game like that is banned, as a few of the reviews I've read have given it a favourable thumbs up.

Submitted by Blitz on Sun, 01/12/02 - 10:00 AM Permalink

If they ban it they're gonna have a revolution on their hands!!!! :)
CYer, Blitz

Submitted by DG Music on Sun, 22/12/02 - 6:24 AM Permalink

*sigh* and i thought that i might actually get to buy postal 2 at a store next year, not gonna happen now. I guess i'll have to break the law and get it imported, the upside of that is more of my money goes right to the developer.

As an adult, i refuse to be told by the government what videogames i can and cannot play. I'm all for the R rating. Had there been an R rating when GTA3 was brought out it wouldn't have been nuetered, it would have been given an R rating and the 15 and over who are able to purchase and play it now wouldn't be able to.