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Author Topic: Aliens vs Predator win Australian censor ban appeal  (Read 4339 times)

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Offline kat

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Aliens vs Predator win Australian censor ban appeal
« on: December 18, 2009, 05:57:57 PM »
They've been in the gaming news quite a bit recently the Australian censorship, sorry, I mean "ratings" board. The current kerfuffle is over Aliens vs Predator - apparently a very gory game (as one might expect from the franchise?). Anywho, Sega today announced they 'won' an appeal against the ban put in place by the ACB, it'll now be released in it's full form as an "MA15+" title, unlike the recent release of Left for Dead 2 which was heavily edited and 'ruined' as a result.

A couple of interesting things about this which reveal just how sadly out of touch and wholly misinformed Government officials are in general when making policy on 'new media'; the Australian Attorney General went on record as having said

"I accept that 98 per cent, 99 per cent of gamers will tell the difference between fantasy and reality, but the one per cent to two per cent could go on to be motivated by these games to commit horrible acts of violence"

All fine and dandy, yes we should [sic] "protect wider society etc.. etc.. etc.." But there's something wrong with this as, hyperbole aside, if AvP sold just one million units, his statement would have us expect that it would lead to the creation of ten or twenty thousand (10,000 -> 20,000) new violent acts (undefined and open-ended as that statement is) directly as a result of playing the game; I'd certainly like to see overall crime statistics to see just how many are committed because they played a game.. as opposed to watching a film, or reading a book, or listening to a conversation.

The other thing, which I didn't know, is that the ACB actually has proper adult ratings for entertainment media, "R18+" and "X18+" but for some reason (I've not yet looked in to) they're apparently (currently?) not applicable to games; they're pretty much for film based media only (film, TV, DVD etc) - when you look at the criteria break-down of each categories it's like reading something from the 1950's. I'm not entirely sure how one can watch a horror 'movie' as an 18 but not play a game, [sarcasm]maybe it's the interactivity that makes all the difference?[/sarcasm] Or perhaps they really do just "...have to protect the children" - there has to be some kids around for politicians to kiss during their respective election campaigns, we can't have them all playing games, denying disingenuous press coverage of 'caring' officials.

We're protecting the kids. OK, that's fine. But as always.. how have these wayward kids at the centre of all these issues over ratings and accessibility got hold of "15", "18", "M" rated games? No-one ever seems to ask that. Politicians don't want to blame their voters for doing something, "got to get elected next year" after all (which is why that question is never asked, and fingers are never pointed at parents). If ratings are to work, there has to be a decent amount of parental accountability "I don't understand computers" doesn't cut it any more - film and TV ratings have been round long enough for you to know what that very same red sticker means regardless as to what media it's stuck on to. You can read can't you? Do you mean to say that you think the sticker means the game has only 18 minutes of game-play time available?!

If the industry can spend millions on making sure they're complying with regulations and ratings, surely parents can afford a paltry 5 or 10 minutes educating themselves on the matter... for the sake of the children of course... or are they just too busy?

Offline ratty redemption

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Re: Aliens vs Predator win Australian censor ban appeal
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2009, 10:04:03 PM »
interesting and I agree with all your points kat. iirc the americans did some study when one of the grand theft auto games was released to see if there was an increase in violent crimes and apparently there wasn't, and anyone who can't tell the difference between killing nasty aliens and innocent humans shouldn't be playing any video games, regardless of what age they are intended for ;)

also if you look at games like dante's inferno that might well stir up some concern from the general public and politicians, but what was the games main influence? a poem which is read in various schools around the world, so are they going to put a stop to that or reading passages from the bible which contains graphic descriptions of people being tortured and tormented?

Offline kat

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Re: Aliens vs Predator win Australian censor ban appeal
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2009, 10:25:29 PM »
Exactly, that's always the problem, where do you stop? I've not read Dante's work (I should really) but yes, they can't be that much more 'horrific' than passages of the bible, so why is one permitted and the other not - from a literary point of view, that is. Is the only reason because Dante himself was quite critical of the Church and the Politics of Florence at the time (mid 1200's)?

It just irritates me no end that the rhetoric used in these so-called debates simply gives parents the excuse to be absolved of their accountability towards their off-spring at the expediency of political posturing and vote securing. None of it ever addresses real issues to do with accessibility.. I mean why should this ban be even needed when games consoles have parental locks that prevent unauthorised assess? Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo have spend billions over the years sorting these 'security' systems out, and in the end no-one can be bothered to use them. ::)

I tell ya, it's all moving towards biometrics I'm sure as these old bones are aching!

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