Friday, June 28, 2013

Phallic objects, Substances and Australian Ratings - Oh My!

For my first post I wanted to touch on something I feel particularly passionate about - How Adults in Australia are still seen as incapable of making their own decisions when it comes to entertainment and content. 

Lets start from the beginning shall we?

For years Australian gamers have been subjected to inflated retail prices and delayed releases. In more recent years we have been fighting tooth and nail for an R18+ classification on Video Games, giving us our right to purchase any release deemed “Inappropriate” by the Australian Classification Board. 

On the 1st January 2013 our calls were heeded and legislation was passed to allow R18+ classification on video games, allowing Adult gamers nation wide to rejoice and purchase their long awaited copies of Mortal Kombat vs DC and God of War: Ascension. However with the recent banning of not 1, but 2 as yet to be released games, we can't help being left with a sour taste in our mouths when asking what was it really all for?

The first game to receive the ban in 24 hours was 'Saints Row IV'. Reasons stated are "due to interactive, visual depictions of implied sexual violence which are not justified by context and illicit drug use related to incentives or rewards. Such depictions are prohibited under the guidelines". Undead Labs latest open-world zombie survival release 'State of Decay' saw a similar fate with 'the game enables the player’s character to self-administer proscribed drugs which aid in game play progression. This game therefore contains drug use related to incentives or rewards ".

With both games receiving Pegi 18+ ratings in Europe and ESRB M (17+) in the US, one can't help wonder if the Australian classification board considers Australian Adults incapable of making the distinction between Video Game Shenanigans and real life consequences or if its a means of Protecting Unsuspecting parents from purchasing the games for their young impressionable children. Either way, we have to wonder if at this rate has the Legislation infact changed anything at all. 

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