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Anthony Capone
25 Sep, 2009

R 18+ Classification Roundtable

PALGN Feature | We give our thoughts on the adult video game debate.
To coincide with the launch of EveryonePlays – our move to rectify the current classification situation in Australia – as well as the recent Left 4 Dead 2 classification refusal, the writing staff at PALGN have taken some time to ponder the ongoing adult video game discussion. Read on to discover our thoughts and opinions on the R 18+ classification debate.


Jeremy Jastrzab – PALGN Executive Editor

Most of what I wanted to say will be covered by my colleagues. So instead, I'm going to cover the more left-field issues at hand. Firstly, not having the R 18+ classification leaves significant flaws in the system. For one, Dark Sector was initially banned due to violent death reactions. However, the problem was a minor flaw in the games programming, not real violence. A more prominent example was the debacle surrounding drugs in Fallout 3. Eventually, the developers compromised and removed the references for all regions. Now, as much as we liked the game, we would have much preferred the developers spent the time refining the game rather than fiddling around with these frivolous issues. For two, when games like Left 4 Dead 2 are banned, it raises questions about the consistency of the system, where many other just as explicit games, including the original Left 4 Dead are let through. In short, not having an R 18+ rating literally costing developers and gamers, and regardless of the magnitude, it's something that can easily be avoided if common sense prevails.

Onto another issue and Atkinson (and his personal agenda) aside, how many times have you heard ‘ignorant’ parents or (supposedly) mature aged adults whinging about the supposedly violent and inappropriate content in video games. Then, video games are the source of blame when something goes astray. One of the more prominent examples is the murder of a British boy, where the accused was apparently played a lot of Manhunt. Any connection between playing the game and the murder was subsequently rejected.

There is yet to be any conclusive evidence that video games, like action movies and gyrating hips before, have the grossly negative impact that they are made out to have on the masses. I'm sure you will find that it's always the most minor of the minority that spoil it for the majority. Take the ‘sport’ of wrestling for example. The WWE and others have massive followings, yet there are a few isolated cases of youths injuring themselves trying to imitate their ‘idols’. Yet, are there calls for bans or questions raised over the legitimacy of the entertainment it provides? Are you prevented from watching it because of someone's misguided personal agenda?

And so, we get to the fundamental source of the issue. In short, there is a wide social misunderstanding surrounding the legitimacy of video games as an entertainment medium, and that games are “meant for kids”. What does this have to do with Australia not have an R18+ classification? Well, having one would be a great step towards legitimising our preferred form of entertainment to the otherwise ignorant social masses. Also, it will protect children by otherwise putting borderline games into the classification that they belong. In my opinion, despite the advances in the casual scene, gaming is still looked down upon.

The second part to this post is something of a call to arms. It's all good and well to have the stats and the articles to back up the fact that the general public approves of an extra classification. However, unless you're actually willing to do something about it, there's not much use to it. See, here is the thing. One problem that we've had in the past is that the gaming public doesn't have the best representation. From my experience in the industry, most gaming journalists are usually more interested in where their next free drink is coming from or flaunting a useless agenda, rather than actively campaigning for a liberal change. Sure, they'll write the articles, they'll post news, but if you want something real to be done, you're going to have to do it yourself.

Secondly, gamers have a nasty reputation of being a lazy, uninspired bunch. While most of us cringe at this blatant stereotype, the question remains, why haven't there been enough talking heads to have already resolved this issue? Well, by supporting initiatives such as Everybody Plays, you now have a chance to dispel the above mentioned notions as well as play an active role in supporting your favoured hobby and bring some common sense back into system.

Anthony Capone – PALGN Writer

The Australian classification system is geared towards ensuring that individuals can only view content appropriate for their age. Unfortunately, this is something that the South Australian Attorney-General does not appear to comprehend.

Michael Atkinson opposes an R classification regime for interactive entertainment software, as he believes children should be protected from violent and inappropriate content. If it were introduced, an R classification would indeed help ensure that young minds are shielded this type of material, despite what politicians would have you believe. In the year 2009, children under the age of 18 can play games which involve shooting infected human beings in the head and plunging chainsaws into aliens – all quite legally.
Indeed, teenagers may even be content with the current Australian classification system. Mr Atkinson's stance on this issue has meant that they can legally purchase and play games such as Grand Theft Auto 4 or Fallout 3. Both titles fell under the censor's axe last year, in order to meet the lower MA 15+ classification. Nonetheless, each game still exhibits high levels of violence. Hence, by opposing an R 18+ classification, Michael Atkinson may be exposed youths to the very material he wishes to keep them away from.

Issues surrounding the videogame classification debate go further than the chief legal mind of South Australia. Ultimately, it is the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General who has the power to introduce an R 18+ classification. By law, the Attorney-General of every Australian state must support the scheme. As Australia has a uniform classification scheme, nothing less than a unanimous vote by the Standing Committee will guarantee success. Much like Mr Atkinson, any Attorney-General has the right to veto the proposal. While the Victorian Attorney General Rob Hulls and strongly voice his support, questions marks still hang over other Standing Committee members. So instead of focusing our attention on solely one person, we must ensure that the message is spread as far across the land as possible.

While an overwhelming majority of surveyed Australians support the introduction of R 18+ classification, the message is only starting to get through. In a day and age when interactive entertainment continues to grow and push conceptual boundaries, we should have the same rights as those enjoyed by other developed nations. To ensure Australia keeps up with the rest of the world, nothing less then a nation-wide push will convince the major legal stakeholders that we need to get our act together now.

The Standing Committee of Attorneys-General.

The Standing Committee of Attorneys-General.
Close

Joseph Rositano – PALGN Writer

Before I begin let me make it clear I've always supported the motion for games to have an R 18+ rating, but over time my interest in the topic has slowly diminished. It's not the fault of any one side, but rather the immaturity of politics and gamers as a whole.

When the R 18+ debate initially sparked with Michael Atkinson under the limelight, I always noted the responses from the gaming community. We have every right to oppose Atkinson's stance on the issue, but the way some people reacted was less than impressive. While a majority of comments raised different points as to why we needed the rating, it struck me hard seeing comments threatening the minister. As a gamer, I really don't see how this is supposed to help our cause. There are arguments out there suggesting videogames promote violence and rot away our minds; how is calling Atkinson a “f**king c**t” and sending him death threats opposing this? It isn't, and that's why I get frustrated by it. We should be mature about the issue and show the gaming community is ready for a change. Say how the OFLC is giving MA15+ ratings to games that would have otherwise received an R 18+ rating, argue that parents and retailers are uneducated about the ratings system. DON'T leave a one-liner questioning Atkinson's sexuality.

As for Mr. Atkinson, to be quite frank I'm not a fan of his either. Every time he releases a statement it says the same dribble over and over again. It's almost like a political stunt, he constantly refers to the death threats he's sent. Sir, you're in politics. I understand you're upset and fear the safety of your family, but do you see Kevin Rudd or Mike Rann crying every time someone threatens them? We get the point already, some of us are acting immature and you're trying to link it to the ‘games promote violence’ debate. Another thing, you claim to play videogames with your children and understand the appeal in them yet seemingly have this vendetta against FPS. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of shooting games either, but that doesn't mean I can't see why people like them. Broaden your mind; games are like films. You'll either like a good action or comedy flick, or you'll want a serious drama. This all said, I admire Atkinson for sticking by his words. It shows he's in politics not because he's some bloke who got lucky at the elections, but because he's tough and won't easily change his mind on a subject (this can be both a good and bad thing depending on your perspective).

So what do I exactly want in the immediate future? It's clear an R 18+ classification is a long way off, so I'm just going to conclude by asking the minority group of gamers to grow up. While there are lots of people out there voicing their opinions on the issue and justifying it, that one tiny group stands out for all the wrong reasons. Next time, think before posting. If you aren't adding anything to the conversation, then just leave the message board and go do something constructive with your time. As for Atkinson, again, I admire him for sticking to his guns but I feel he's not necessarily doing it in an effective manner. I honestly hope that both sides can make peace, sit down and have an intelligent debate one day, but until then I'm staying well clear of it.


Michael Pincott – PALGN News Writer

I propose a simple hypothetical scenario, one that I hope might occur in the future. Let's say that South Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson retires from his position, or is voted out. His replacement, much to Mr Atkinson's horror, supports an R 18+ rating for games. The Attorney-Generals find themselves without a strong opponent to the rating, and wisely decide to put Australia in line with the rest of the world. It is put to Parliament that an R 18+ rating should be introduced for computer games. A bill is submitted and passed. The OFLC announce that their guidelines will be reviewed and restructured to incorporate an R 18+ rating.

And then what? Will the Four Horsemen descend from the heavens (or perhaps rise from the magma crust beneath - I've never quite been clear on where they hang out when not causing the apocalypse) and lay waste upon civilization? Will the Hadron Collider reactivate itself and plunge the Solar System into a black hole, compressing our planet into nothingness? Or will Mr Atkinson's deep fear come true, that the OFLC will suddenly be flooded with the many games that he purports to contain extreme sex and extreme violence. With an R rating at their disposal, Mr Atkinson presumes they will all get through and into the hands of vulnerable children. This, as much as the other two scenarios, is nonsense.

So what will happen? Perhaps some current titles would be deemed worthy of re-evaluation. Titles like Dead Space, Fallout 3 and MadWorld come to mind as titles that the OFLC wouldn't mind taking another look at. Naturally the OFLC would want to give games the maximum appropriate rating. Because they didn't have the R 18+ rating at their disposal they could justify that MA15 was an appropriate maximum rating for those games (and no doubt they all flirt with the line of what would be acceptable within that rating). Provided with an R 18+ rating, they could shift those games from the upper extremities of the MA15 rating to the lower ranges of an R 18+ rating. It would be in all senses a stricter, more conservative system. It's this fact that makes Atkinson's strong opposition to it somewhat baffling.

Gamers will walk into an EB or JB Hi-Fi store and see a few more black stickers and a few less red ones. We won't be met with headlines every few months announcing that a game has been banned or modified. We won't be the subject of derisive laughter from gamers of other countries, who no doubt wonder, as we do, why we haven't caught up with the rest of the world. Gamers will be asked for photo identification when they purchase an R 18+ game in the same way they would be if they were purchasing alcohol or entering a club. Gamers with children who purchase R 18+ games will activate the necessary parental lock on their consoles which will deny them access to those games, despite Atkinson's convenient dismissal of this entirely effective feature. Children may be technologically savvy, but to my knowledge they aren't psychic.

Whether or not Australia should get an R18+ rating is a complicated issue, with many points from both sides worthy of consideration. But approaching the matter armed with facts and logical thinking will always yield the same result: an R 18+ rating for games is the correct course of action. Mr Atkinson's reasons for opposition are either hyperbole, misunderstanding or just plain inaccurate. I have no doubts at all that eventually we will receive an R 18+ classification for games. I'm sure Mr Atkinson understands this as well; he seeks only to delay the inevitable - an entirely pointless process. I appreciate that he believes what he's doing is right. But to attempt to enforce the moral stance of an individual upon an entire country is wrong. It is an abuse of his position to do so.

I would implore Mr Atkinson to consider the legacy he will leave behind. Does he want to be known as somebody who stood in the way of progress, or somebody who helped it advance? He could be the person who brings Australia into line with an internationally accepted stance on games classification, or he could be the person that ensures we remain a backwater of the international gaming community. Unfortunately, Mr Atkinson has already made his choice, and it doesn't seem he will soon change it.

Will the introduction of an R rating change Australia's spending habits?

Will the introduction of an R rating change Australia's spending habits?
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For more information on the R18+ debate visit EveryonePlays. Let us know your thoughts on the classification debate in the comments below.

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38 Comments
4 years ago
Great article.

Though I still cant get past the fact that in this day and age and adult/parent cannot be treated as an adult by our Government.

Make the R rating. Trust in the parents/adults. Its better than them thinking a lot of current MA games are "fine".

To me its so simple. Our Government is backwards and so is the thinking of many conservative Australian parents that would rather pass blame to video games / movies and music than to their own lack of parentking skills.

How embaressing to be told what to do as an adult.
4 years ago
Its all a moot point. Until the entire classification system in australia receives a total overhaul (which isn't gonna happen any time soon), the possibility of an R18+ classification for games simply wont be considered.
I`ve been arguing for it in just about every form of consumer media for about 15 years now, and the closest that ever happens is, like, 1 low-level senator promising he/she will consider it.
When you look at Australia's "dedication" to the gaming media (we get consoles and games later than most developed countries, even when they are released in english PAL elsewhere) and even the "dedication" to broadband internet (because oyr internet is so fast and cheap *sarcasm*), its obvious that videogames WILL NEVER be even a 2nd or 3rd tier priority for our legislative government.
TL;DR.. They dont care about games, so they wont change the classifications as such.
4 years ago
I agree with all the points above. I also think the biggest problem is that gamers are lazy and (at this point in time) still an unheard voice. Games are now one of Australia's leading entertainment forms and millions of Australians take part. It's time we get heard.

I have taken the time to write to politicians and Atkinson with little to no response. We need air time. I think everyone should write to Sunrise and other news shows to get this issue raised in the media. It's great for a news article to read "Game X has been banned" but the article never goes into why Australia is the one country to have it banned.

Great article guys. Lets hope something gets done and if there is anything I can do just ask.
4 years ago
piguma wrote
They dont care about games, so they wont change the classifications as such.
If they don't then one day they will be replaced by someone who does. It's just a matter of time. R18+ for games will happen. It's more a question if the government wants to change it now or if it will be the future generations who were bought up with games.
4 years ago
The biggest problem we have had is that nothing really of any importance has been refused classifications until Left 4 Dead 2. hopefully this spurs the gaming public into doing something, not just about games and the ratings but I think the whole ratings system needs to be overhauled at the same time.
4 years ago
As I said in the other thread
the only way that what we say
about implementing an R18
rating will be understood, is if someone would
just not mame a refused game
and would instead use their head
and see that rather they shouldn't bother
and should simply not release the game at all in a country that doesn't contain individuals deemed mature enough by our self-elected government to handle any adult subject matter; regardless of how pervasive such content is in the other various media our society so readily consumes.

PS nice article.
4 years ago
GreyWolfJai wrote
If they don't then one day they will be replaced by someone who does. It's just a matter of time. R18+ for games will happen. It's more a question if the government wants to change it now or if it will be the future generations who were bought up with games.
Dude, if that was the case, it would have happened well and truly by now. Video games have been getting banned in Australia for a fair few years bro. I simply cannot see how anything is gonna change.
4 years ago
Brilliantly written article guys, mirrors my own thoughts/opinions of the issue exactly.

I for one believe that one day the system will be overhauled to include an R rating and this whole issue will finally go away and our country will at last be up to date with the rest of the developed world.

I just hope it happens sooner rather than later, I really don't want to spend several more years putting up with this illogical nonsense and having to defend my country from laughing Americans who by the way think we the gamers are just as 'backwards' thinking as the politicians who are actually responsible for all this.

Australia as far as gaming in general is concerned wont ever be truly respected until like other nations our country realizes how culturally and socially significant games have become and how much more they will be in the future. The lack of an R rating says the complete opposite, it implies we are a nation of violent idiots and bad parents incapable of making decisions for ourselves.
4 years ago
On Atkinson,

Its not like a political stunt with him, it IS a political stunt. He has no reason to do this except gain support from the conservative minority and make them happy.

As for calling Atkinson a f**king c**t. I will defend that, its far from threatening him with physical violence (something I do not support). But opposing something that the people want for no good reason for his own political gain is in every aspect of the words being a f**king c**t.

He knows full well by now that 15 year old kids can legally obtain Fallout 3, Gears of War 2, GTAIV and other games that is questionable of weather they should be playing them depending on the maturity level of that individual (which is where parent discretion should come in).

The R18+ issue is just like the Internet firewall. Conservative politicians want power over the public in a faciast manner, power they cannot be trusted with and the majority do not want them having. Incompatible with a free democracy on every level.

How do they get away with that? By having a support of a very loud minority that thinks their actions are noble. The minority is so loud they get confused as being the majority. This minority is brainwashed into thinking this is all done to protect their children (despite neither Atkinson inaction or Conroy's plans either have any sort of practical way of protecting those children) and are essentially brainwashed sheep shouting at the top of their lungs "4 legs good, 2 legs bad"

As long as those sheep remain convinced, Conroy and Atkinson will continue to make sure the Australian Citizen is as less free as they can get away with and in my view that makes them a pair of f**king c**ts. And yes I will enjoy the freedom of using that language until the language police destroy freedom of speech completely.

These politicians exploit children, they use children as canon fodder for their war on freedom.

Remember conservative politics 101: “the state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people, as long as government is perceived as working for the benefit of children, the people happily will endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation"
-- Adolf Hitler
4 years ago
Personally i think that games that get an R rating should be banned.

Watching a movie, and playing a game are two different things. In one you are mearly watching, in the other you are the person holding a weapon, or injecting drugs...etc.

It is because of this that developers should be told there is a line you don't cross and that is it.

The only problem is this sort of argument with mostly gamers will mean that the response (be it form the writers, or other posters) are biased.

And That said our MA+ rating for games allows devleopers to add a whole lot of blood and guts or things like that. So pressing to the next step is not needed.

I mean sex, drugs and overly excessive amounts of blood and gore are not needed to make a great game (nintendo anyone?).

I realise that this will spark flames within the hearts of some on this forum so enjoy ripping my opion to shreads.

And at the end of the day they are just video games and nothing important.
4 years ago
GreyWolfJai wrote
I also think the biggest problem is that gamers are lazy and (at this point in time) still an unheard voice.
We're not lazy, just unheard. What can we do when it's one man on the SCAG who refuses to acknowledge any evidence or arguments put forward to him regardless of how well thought out, intelligent, or relevant they may be?

hello123 wrote
Personally i think that games that get an R rating should be banned.

Watching a movie, and playing a game are two different things. In one you are mearly watching, in the other you are the person holding a weapon, or injecting drugs...etc.
That's like saying actors should be banned from playing parts in graphic or violent films because they have to pretend to do all these gruesome things. Just think of how more damaging it could be to a person's mental state to be pretending to actually perform actions like having sex, taking drugs, or violent actions instead of just pushing buttons to do it in a game. I'm surprised they haven't just banned acting altogether! But really, there's no conclusive evidence to suggest that playing violent or gorey games makes you a violent person.

The point of an R18+ rating is not to be able to have games that are more violent and graphic. It's to ensure that children don't get their hands on content that might not be for them (just looking through my 360 game collection I see my imported copies of UT3, Xmen Origins Wolverine, and RE5 all rated 18 by the BBFC, but are probably only M or MA down-under), and to put game developers on par with film-makers in terms of the content they can show and deal with.

This argument has been going on for so long now and it's sad to see that we've gotten nowhere all this time, but for now I'm content to import any censored or banned games from countries with a bit more sense.
4 years ago
hello123 wrote
Personally i think that games that get an R rating should be banned.
So creative freedom and freedom of expression mean nothing and should exist?

hello123 wrote
Watching a movie, and playing a game are two different things. In one you are mearly [sic] watching, in the other you are the person holding a weapon, or injecting drugs...etc.
See rufati

hello123 wrote
It is because of this that developers should be told there is a line you don't cross and that is it.
See part about creative freedom

hello123 wrote
The only problem is this sort of argument with mostly gamers will mean that the response (be it form the writers, or other posters) are biased.
Ever occur to you that we are adults being treated like children by politicians acting like children? Ever occur to you that banning content from adults is actually called censorship?

hello123 wrote
And That said our MA+ rating for games allows devleopers [sic] to add a whole lot of blood and guts or things like that. So pressing to the next step is not needed.
And this is what morons like Atkinson say, total idiocy. Games like Gears of War and GTAIV just scrape under the radar, and in the latter (and Fallout 3) should have gotten an R18+ rating or at least an MA18+ where its parents discretions as some 17 year olds can handle it and some 15 year olds cannot.

hello123 wrote
I mean sex, drugs and overly excessive amounts of blood and gore are not needed to make a great game (nintendo anyone?).
Again do you want an industry to be all Nintendo knock off products? There's different themes and genres in games just like in movies, TV, books and all other forms of print media. I need to ask you 'hello123' are you a Nintendo fanboy or a Wowser? Your sounding like both. Artists at least should have the freedom to tell their story. Just because you don't like some of the themes doesn't mean nobody should like them. I hate this "if everybody thought like me, the world would be perfect" mentality.

Diversity is a good thing, some people like WWII games just like some like WWII movies.

hello123 wrote
I realise that this will spark flames within the hearts of some on this forum so enjoy ripping my opion [sic] to shreads [sic].
Yes, I haven't made my mind up weather or not you are trolling

hello123 wrote
And at the end of the day they are just video games and nothing important.
First sentence I agree with you, however despite games are not important in the grand scheme of things, fighting censorship is very important. If you let government and wowsers get away with censorship sooner or later you wont be free to create or speak what you want in the name of 'bad taste'.

We see this in the gaming industry all the time, we see it in other forms of media too, especially television. Look at what happened to the Chasers this year, and that Kyle shock jock because he was gobsmacked after hearing some horrific news and later using 'concentration camp' when everybody listening knew he meant to say 'fat camp'. Then some attention seeking wowser group started yelling "oh the humanity! antisemitism!"

This is a country where everyone realises there is an obesity problem but not allowed to point out any individual is overweight because that's just politically incorrect.

OK Im done ripping you to shreds, next time think a little.
4 years ago
^ god forbid anyone has a different opinion to you, eh?

tbh, i agree with some of what hello123 said, there are games that deserve to be banned, but furthermore, i believe there are far too many games given an MA when they should be an R. under the current scheme, these should be banned too.

do i agree with the current scheme, and it's missing R rating?
definitely not.
i am most eager for the R-rating for games, i'm just talking about a little consistency amongst rated mediums.
parental discretion is fine, but when the advice given on the box is wrong, or inadequate, then there's something wrong. sure, "over-shoulder" monitoring is the ideal method of parenting, but this is not an ideal world, so parents have to make do with what they can achieve.

i have things to say on The Chaser and Kyle Sandilands too, but this is where it started veering way off-topic, and i'm sure i've said these things before anyway.
4 years ago
To renegadesx, i somehow don't see how i am "trolling" the forum, or how i am a "fanboy", Just informing you that a forum tends to have "multiple different opinions"

I mean saying that a company does not need to have "overly excessive" amounts of criteria (blood,durgs..etc) does not mean i am a Nintendo fanboy. The remark was mearly to signify that games which till this day are considered to be some of the best every made, were made with G and PG ratings (and not with lots of blood or guts).

And saying that an "artist" should be able to express whatever they want it to some extend ridiculous. Yeah you can have creative freedom, but don't expect everything to be allowed to be shown to the masses. A prime example is that sick fucking artist who took pictures or naked teenagers (under the legal age) for "art sake". That is the problem "arty farty wierdos", they think that they should be allowed to do whatever they want, especially things against the norm.

Your argument about "creative freedom" implies that i should be able to do "whatever" i want, because i have creative freedom. Well then why don't games have 10 years old prostitutes, or children taking drugs? Why can't people film statutory ****?

At the end of the day there is a line which people/companies should not cross.

The R+18 rating should only be brought in if it means that games like gears 2, gta are moved to an R18+; not meaning that companies can add more sex, or violence because there is now an R rating.


And you say creative freedom, well Australians do not even have the right to freedom of speech (it is not entrenched into the constitution).
4 years ago
hello123 wrote
And saying that an "artist" should be able to express whatever they want it to some extend ridiculous. Yeah you can have creative freedom, but don't expect everything to be allowed to be shown to the masses. A prime example is that sick **** artist who took pictures or naked teenagers (under the legal age) for "art sake". That is the problem "arty farty wierdos", they think that they should be allowed to do whatever they want, especially things against the norm.
God forbid anyone can look at a naked person without being sexually aroused! I don't know if you are talking about a specific example of a pedo or something, but I get so annoyed every time stories like this make the news every couple of years.

And in a way, the less rules the better. I mean do you really think that the only/main reason that there aren't child prostitutes in games/movies is because there are rules against it? Your morals shouldn't be ruled by laws.
4 years ago
Qbert wrote
I mean do you really think that the only/main reason that there aren't child prostitutes in games/movies is because there are rules against it?
Quite honestly yes. I'm shocked that you don't think this is the case. In the past ten years I've noticed a steady degrade in what's morally acceptable Whether this is because I've transitioned from a child to an adult and that I've suddenly taken note of the world around me or that this truly is the case I cannot be sure. It happens in the real world even though there are laws against it so I'm certain it would be the case for video games and movies (fyi Tank Girl had a child prostitute btw) if there are no laws in place.

I'm with hello123 in saying I'd only support an R18+ rating if most of the current crop of MA titles were moved into it.
4 years ago
Personally, i don't see a problem at all with morally reproachable content being included in games, or movies, or any kind of creative medium. Whether it's bad or good, it's a part of real life and you can't make it go away by ignoring it.

let's take a random example, oh say "child prostitution". now, let's say there were such a game where the main character went around killing and banging underage sex slaves like there was no tomorrow. is that really something that should BANNED? Is it horrible? Absolutely. Give it an R rating? Absolutely. But banning, what's the point?

(my example is obviously ridiculous, but i don't see what you accomplish by just banning things outright)
4 years ago
Jellyfish wrote
Qbert wrote
I mean do you really think that the only/main reason that there aren't child prostitutes in games/movies is because there are rules against it?
Quite honestly yes. I'm shocked that you don't think this is the case. In the past ten years I've noticed a steady degrade in what's morally acceptable Whether this is because I've transitioned from a child to an adult and that I've suddenly taken note of the world around me or that this truly is the case I cannot be sure. It happens in the real world even though there are laws against it so I'm certain it would be the case for video games and movies (fyi Tank Girl had a child prostitute btw) if there are no laws in place.
Well I'm shocked that you do think this is the case, so I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.

Jellyfish wrote
I'm with hello123 in saying I'd only support an R18+ rating if most of the current crop of MA titles were moved into it.
I don't quite get the thinking of this. Do you believe that games should never got more violent/adult-themed etc. than they are now? Eg. do you think GTA IV/Dead Space for example are the most adult-themed games should get?

I can understand thinking that some MA games should be R, and I agree that many should be, but not supporting R games unless certain MA games are R? Doesn't that just make the problem worse.

And you are way of the mark (IMO or course) in saying that "most" MA games should be rated R. Way of the mark.
4 years ago
well, to answer those questions from my POV:
no, i don't think that the games that should be an R but are an MA are indicative of the "worst" a game's content can get, i just think that a game like GTA4 or Dead Space should be rated R, instead of MA.

i also don't think that most MAs should be R. there are plenty that are fine as an MA. but having said that, i do think the whole scale is currently rubber-banded too low. there are some games that are rated M that should probably have been bumped to MA.

and for the record, even if an R rating was introduced tomorrow, i seriously doubt that anything already rated would change. mostly because the OFLC take a fee for the privilege of rating an item, but also because there'd be quite a financial backlash against the OFLC from the companies affected.
despite being in a country where retroactive legislation is possible, it'd never be enforced. (re-releases, on the other hand, could possibly be affected.)
4 years ago
I want to ask hello123 why exactly he thinks the following games should be banned, including from adults

GTAIV in its original form
Fallout 3: in its original form
Leisure Suit Larry: Manga Cum Laude
Left 4 Dead 2
DarkSector (US version)
Manhunt (impart from just not being a very good game)

These are the games that HAVE been banned, stick to the facts

Remember, he defended the games being banned, the examples of 10 year old prostitutes is a total strawman. Find me an example of that happening and we will discuss that.

I'm fine with people disagreeing with me, I just want good arguments for those views, not the same old garbage that looked like it was cut and paste out of a Jack Thompson speech.

Oh and on the moral decline thing, only your opinion of morality has declined, you have set a standard of morality in your head and you see society moving away from your opinion of morality. But that's way off track, that's getting into the realm of philosophy.
4 years ago
Games that should be banned under the current rating system (that would be fine with a R18 rating):

GTA4 in original form and current Australian release
Fallout 3
Manhunt

Haven't played the others but LSL has always played on the fact that there is sex in it but never shows anything. I was amazed that GTA4 was allowed in any state to be released in Australia as a MA15+. It has drugs, crazy amounts of killing and really pushes the line on language and sex themes. I wouldn't let a 15 year old play it.

Manhunt in my opinion should never have been MA15+ even after the changes (I played the original). A game that made you a psychopath and were rewarded you for better execution with more gruesome executions. This game really wasn't made for anyone below 18. (Not to mention it was a bad game)
4 years ago
renegadesx wrote
I want to ask hello123 why exactly he thinks the following games should be banned, including from adults

GTAIV in its original form
Fallout 3: in its original form
Leisure Suit Larry: Manga Cum Laude
Left 4 Dead 2
DarkSector (US version)
Manhunt (impart from just not being a very good game)

These are the games that HAVE been banned, stick to the facts

Remember, he defended the games being banned, the examples of 10 year old prostitutes is a total strawman. Find me an example of that happening and we will discuss that.

I'm fine with people disagreeing with me, I just want good arguments for those views, not the same old garbage that looked like it was cut and paste out of a Jack Thompson speech.

Oh and on the moral decline thing, only your opinion of morality has declined, you have set a standard of morality in your head and you see society moving away from your opinion of morality. But that's way off track, that's getting into the realm of philosophy.
THe argument about the 10yr old was mearly an example as like you said before people should be able to basically express whatever "CREATIVE FREEDOM" they want

Fallout was censored because the characters were using morphine

Manhunt was banned because: the killing had a sense of realism, and was brutally inhumane (killing with plastic bag, needles...etc

GTA IV: Same argument killing has a sense of realism and is not done in a comic sense.

Leisure Suit Larry: Manga Cum Laude: Was a game filed with sex and sexual reference and is not needed in the gaming industry (mearly a game for perverted people)

DarkSector: Banned because to much violence done to humans

Left 4 Dead 2: Banned because once again to much violence done to humans.

I don't think you understand the MOST people in australia (gamers are a very small market) would agree with the banning of these games. There are valid points to why they have been banned. And like i have said before watching a movie is different to playing a game. And you said something about actors.....well i don't know if you know but a lot of actors suffer severe mental problems

The reason as to why games like gears of war are let as MA15+ is because you are not killing human beings. If you notice pretty much all games which are banned for violence are those in which enemies are fellow humans. If for example a child plays a game where they shoot aliens or monsters, children think yeah..fun..it is cool to kill aliens. Replace that with humans and some (maybe very small...but some) think it is ok to do those acts against humans. Because regardless of Ratings somehow children or teenagers will still obtain games like gta or gears to play.

But that said children should not be playing games like killzone or gears of war lol, and i would blame parents mostly for that.

Unlike you my friend i am guessing most people do not need to "express" there intend to kill humans in a realist violent game.
4 years ago
But, if we don't kill people in games we'd have to do it in real life ;_;

The "human factor" reminds me of the Carmageddon series in the UK being released with Zombies instead of humans, because it was refused classification when you were able to run over people... and the German version being released with robots instead...

Maybe if we asked nicely all the publishers could release the games with robots instead, so we could have sex with, torture, behead and get our money back from robotic ingame hookers. Left4Dead 2: Rise of the Robots!
4 years ago
renegadesx wrote
GTAIV in its original form
...
These are the games that HAVE been banned, stick to the facts
ok - then GTA4 was never banned in it's original form, it was simply never submitted. there's a difference.

however it should have been an R Rated game, even in the edited form we got it. banned from adults? no. but it should've been better restricted to kids.

the others on your list:
Fallout 3 - i disagreed with morphine being the reason FO3 was banned initially, but since that was the only change made to the game for release, i can't help thinking "good" since it brought the drug names back inline with FO1 and FO2 names.
Leisure Suit Larry - haven't played LSL:MCL, but i have played the old-school DOS games, and if they're remotely similar, then they should also be an R, which under the current scheme means a ban.
Left 4 Dead 2 - well, can't really comment since none of us have played it. who knows, maybe there is some legitimate reason we don't know about. given it's violence on humans, perhaps there's some death animations now when the survivors die. maybe there are NPC survivors that die onscreen. if it's purely the same as L4D1, then while it should've been an R already (and hence, banned under the current scheme) but it does bring back the consistency issue. i guess we have to wait and see what happens to Dead Rising 2.
Dark Sector - have played it in either form, so can't comment.
Manhunt - i can't believe i'm even having to justify this one. definitely should've been an R from the start, and therefore, banned under our current scheme. was it too strong even under R? probably not.

that said, i don't agree with all bannings.
the Marc Ecko game should not have been banned, and i'm sure there are others.
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