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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Andrew EisenIf you missed the HuffPost segment I guested on, the replay is now embedded in the story.11/21/2014 - 6:05pm
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Wonderkarpthank you for that line, Andrew. alot of great films fail the bechdel test. Gravity fails it and it has a female lead.11/21/2014 - 4:48pm
Andrew EisenAw, thanks James! Well, now I have to drive back to work!11/21/2014 - 4:45pm
Andrew EisenDidn't have a chance to say this on the HuffPost segment but while the Bechdel test is useful as a broad examination of gender representation in media, it's not at all appropriate as a judgement of quality.11/21/2014 - 4:45pm
james_fudgeAndrew you killed it!11/21/2014 - 4:44pm
WonderkarpMadeline Bergman. second female, they never speak of men, just a computer program. it passes the test11/21/2014 - 4:34pm
E. Zachary KnightDoes Other M have more than one woman in it?11/21/2014 - 4:31pm
Wonderkarpyet Metroid Other M, a game where people cried sexist due to the commanding officers restricting Samus, passes the test....11/21/2014 - 4:21pm
Wonderkarpwait...they are using the bechdel test to determine which games are sexist?.....how does that work with a game like Super Mario Bros when there is no Dialogue? test itself is BS. Alien doesn't pass it11/21/2014 - 4:20pm
james_fudgeAndrew Eisen on Ice! Please join in at 4:23 pm et and support our bestie! http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/segment/sweden-sexism-video-game/546d41cffe344486d400023711/21/2014 - 4:05pm
Matthew Wilsonthose are the same people that said google should pay to list news sites in their news reader, and than accused google of blackmail when google said no and delisted them.11/21/2014 - 4:03pm
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Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/11/europes-parliament-poised-to-call-for-a-break-up-of-google/ what is with Europe? good think they dont have the power to do it. worse comes to worse google can block any European country that tries.11/21/2014 - 3:49pm
Andrew EisenFun Fact: Back when it was new, I was linked to that docket by three separate people in the same day. It was submitted as proof of their claim. In all three cases, the docket didn't even address what they were talking about. Did any of them read it?11/21/2014 - 3:00pm
Wonderkarpits not a piece. its just a press docket. its like a wiki11/21/2014 - 2:52pm
NeenekoAnd for not being about feminism, the piece spends a lot of focus talking about it....11/21/2014 - 2:44pm
 

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