In Australia, GTA IV Censorship May Force Government to Tweak Rating System

May 15, 2008 -

The censorship of Grand Theft Auto IV will likely force the Australian government to add an R18 rating by year's end, according to The Australian.

GamePolitics readers will recall that some of GTA IV's sex scenes had to be cut in order to qualify for the current highest rating, MA15+. Without the edits, the game would have been banned by Australia's Office of Film and Literature Classification.

Greg Bondar, who heads the Game Developers Association of Australia told The Australian:

I think the release of GTAIV is a defining moment; it goes to show how far the games industry has come. The ratings system has not kept up.

The Interactive Entertainment Association of Australia also supports adding a R18. IEA chief executive Ron Curry said:

Anecdotally, there was always a lot of hostility towards the classifications, but that is softening now as people are becoming more comfortable with games as just another form of media.

 

Comments

Re: In Australia, GTA IV Censorship May Force Government to

LOL gotta laugh about the australian national whore association um my opinion is bring r18 there have been some games ive wanted to play but were banned cause of some whining bitches after they approve R18 games all we have to do is wait for the X18 games and then we can go into a porn shop in desguise and say were "buying a game"

Re: In Australia, GTA IV Censorship May Force Government to

Freyar wrote:

"Despite what many people think, there are decensy [sic] levels in video games that even the most hardcore gamer is uncomfortable with."

Firstly, you're contradicting yourself there.  If many people don't think it, then there AREN'T decency levels most hardcore gamer would be uncomfortable with.

As a gamer myself, I doubt very much that there are decency levels that go beyond what my comfort level would permit.  These are games and no matter how excessively violent or obscene, what happens happens to pixels, not people.  In my view videogames have been kept waaay too repressed for waaay too long.  In terms of violence I'm perfectly comfortable with a game like GTA IV which shows multiple homicides and drug use.  In terms of sex, games need to get a whole lot more graphic before I'll be happy with the portrayal of sex in videogames, because I think sex is a fun and harmless activity which needs to be portrayed with some level of maturity in games - i.e. let's see more of it and much more realistically.

In short, games like GTA aren't for kids and it's about time the industry stopped treating us all as if we were 8 year-olds.

I "bought" the leisure suit

I "bought" the leisure suit larry game that was banned, only because I was curious to see how it was going to destroy society, turns out they banned it because the game was total shit...

Re: In Australia, GTA IV Censorship May Force Government

I have already brought a few things from Amazon.com that are banned in Australia.   

I wonder if the massive

I wonder if the massive pre-order cancellations followed by massive importing of the uncut and cheaper version had anything to do with this.

I'm glad to see that

I'm glad to see that Australia is now seriously looking at adding the R18 rating...  However, I think this is all due to those gamers who refused to purchase the censored Australian version.  This decision from my perspective looks like it was made due to pressure by retailers who saw only a small chunk of those GTA sales numbers.  I'd love to know how many people have GTA in Australia and of those how many purchased it from a retailer in the country versus imported it.  The reason I'm making this speculation is simple.  Before GTA IV was released Australian and New Zeland government representatives both condemned the game and added that R18 was a mistake.  Now suddenly they've "seen the light".

...I'm guessing that light was the loss of tax revenue due to the sale of copies of GTA IV and those which the game industry employs in the country.

At any rate, start stocking up on champagne my aussie gaming bretheren!  The day you've all been waiting for is approaching!  Woot for R18!

"Volume helps to get a point across but sharp teeth are better."

I wonder if they'll let us

I wonder if they'll let us do a trade in At least they're starting to come around that people over the age of 15 live in this country. And it's not like retailers lost millions of dollars in pre-orders and now are so overstocked that they have to sell the game near cost in some cases...

Ah, yes.

Censorship will never bring anything good. Hiding something away from someone will create aggression and tension, which could end in them importing it in (and breaking laws) or something even worse, which we can only speculate. The government believe that censorship will create a nice thick layer of ignorance and that people will turn the other cheek.


Allow the individual to make a judgement on it, instead of enforcing one.


I'm not sure if I ever

I'm not sure if I ever posted it but I've done a comparative analysis of the uncensored & Australian versions (err through perfecly legal means, no mention of questionably legal imports) and the differences are negligible and frankly laughable. The lapdances seem to be the same & there's no nudity in the strip club in both versions. The ONE difference that I've seen is the hookers (AGAIN).

In the uncensored version you can select a level of service and there's a degree of animation to accompany them. You get to see a fairly long ranged view of a fully clothed handjob ($20), blowjob ($50) or girl on top in-car shag ($70).

The Australian version has no ability to select the level of service and the camera angle is locked to a ground level shot behind the car. Thats all I've seen thats different.

My suspicion is that the Australian Hookers Union (I'm assuming one exists with absolutely no evidence) would have been up in arms about the idea that they might provide anything less than top quality service. They may be whores but they have professional pride damnit!

Its quite sad that in order

Its quite sad that in order for us to get the R Rating, we need all of the Attorney Generals to agree to it, and there is just one person who objects to it, therefore it cant happen. Even sadder that I'm from the same state as him.

- Tim Kowalenko

- Tim Kowalenko

Maybe you could vote him

Maybe you could vote him out. You know with a 5.56mm "vote"? (JOKE)

The situation with state attorneys general is really annoying, especially when they need a unanimous agreement to change something so simple as a media rating rather than a simple majority vote. Why can't we just say "Stiff shit South Australia, we're having it and thats that, grow up." (it is the SA AG that's the source of the problem isn't it?)

Yeah, its the South

Yeah, its the South Australian AG who is causing all the trouble. I may even write a few letters to the local members of parliament and the AG, though i doubt that would have any effect...

It happened before with all

It happened before with all other forms of art. I wonder what the next generations will invent that will make us want to censor them :)

Nueral based video games

Nueral based video games that result in someone actually being present in the virtual reality to the point where smell, touch, taste, sight, and sound can be transferred through. I don't know about you, but I can't see myself wanting to ban that.

That's a good step forward

But why has it taken this long to get a R18 rating?

"as people are becoming more comfortable with games as just another form of media. "

Our generation is slowly taking over.

This is pretty much the

This is pretty much the truth. Despite what many people think, there are decensy levels in video games that even the most hardcore gamer is uncomfortable with. Besides, if a majority of people prefer to have the material available, then it should be. (Those that disagree can start a debate about The Virginia Plan versus  The New Jersey Plan elsewhere.)


---- There is a limit for both politicians against video games, and video games against politicians.

Banning the content from

Banning the content from rational reasonable adults is something that should never have happened in the first place. I hope they do allow for a method for any legal adult to have the freedom to view and consume whatever media they wish.

---- There is a limit for both politicians against video games, and video games against politicians.

 
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Mattsworknameof players, over and over for the last seveal years. Among non RPG games, which make up the vast majority of current games, I think that you still see a large scale disparity between male and female in the AAA industry.07/01/2015 - 1:36am
Mattsworknamewilson. Out of RPG players yes, thats true, and in pc ciricles im not suprised, but RPGS make a small fraction of Console games these days and while pc gaming is seeing a resurgance, MMOs are actually retracting in size , as shown by WOW losing millions07/01/2015 - 1:33am
Matthew Wilsonhere is the study to prove it. http://www.pcgamer.com/researchers-find-that-female-pc-gamers-outnumber-males/07/01/2015 - 1:17am
Matthew Wilson@matt wrong over half of rpg players, both singleplayer and mmos, are female.07/01/2015 - 1:15am
MechaCrashRight, women don't usually play AAA games because none are aimed at them because they don't play them because none are aimed at them because okay you see where I'm going with this.07/01/2015 - 1:11am
MattsworknameI think the better path is this, more games built to give you the Choice of playing as male or female, and give the females good voice actors07/01/2015 - 1:08am
Mattsworknameup more then a fraction of the AAA games industry, but they make up a much larger part of the moble market.07/01/2015 - 1:04am
Mattsworknameandrew is right, to a point, as you are seeing a slow increase of women in games, but the sales shows that the lions share of gaming money comes from a male demo, and while andrew is right that it is changing, it's gonna be a LONG time before women make07/01/2015 - 1:04am
Andrew EisenI think more professional gamblers should get into games publishing. They'll play the odds but they'll also take risks to maximize profits.06/30/2015 - 11:57pm
Andrew EisenAt the end of the day, the ball is rolling and it's rolling in the right direction. Maybe not as fast as we'd like, but it is moving. All we can do is play the games that interest us and make our thoughts known.06/30/2015 - 11:55pm
Matthew Wilsonits unfortunate that the dataset is so tiny for female leads, and is a mixed bag, so money people get the wrong idea.06/30/2015 - 11:54pm
Andrew Eisen"Duke Nukem Forever sold poorly. See? Games staring white guys don't sell!" Pretty silly thing to say.06/30/2015 - 11:50pm
Andrew EisenOr, at the very least, that gamers aren't turned off by female leads.06/30/2015 - 11:49pm
Matthew Wilsonyou would think games like metriod, portal and tomb raider would show that it work, but hopefuly those knew ones will.06/30/2015 - 11:47pm
Andrew EisenBut, luckily strides are being made and the money peoples are slowly learning that diversity -> larger targeted audience -> more potential dollars.06/30/2015 - 11:43pm
Andrew EisenSure does. That's why there should be more than just one or two attempts. (7 games at E3 with female leads and 35 with a gender option. I think it's safe to say that not all of these will fail!)06/30/2015 - 11:42pm
Matthew Wilsonthat puts alot of presure on the early stuff to do well. lets hope games like recode and harizon are good, and sell well.06/30/2015 - 11:38pm
Andrew EisenLuckily, money people also like to follow trends. So, it's a "simple" matter of making proper representation a trend. And wouldn't you know it, we're seeing the beginnings of exactly that!06/30/2015 - 11:34pm
Andrew EisenBut yeah, money people are risk averse. That's why we see so many sequels, reboots, and adaptations. To a lot of money people, "there's no evidence this works because it's rarely ever been tried" is the same as "this doesn't work."06/30/2015 - 11:33pm
Andrew EisenThat's why I think it's worth convincing the money peoples that proper representation (in any of its forms) isn't a financial risk, it's the path to expanding your audience and making even MORE money!06/30/2015 - 11:32pm
 

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