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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Michael ChandraYou want a debate? Build a wall between you and the poisoned well. Make clear you despise it, despise the behaviour. Then get into the other issues you are troubled with, and don't say a single word again about the poisoned well.09/19/2014 - 3:46am
Michael ChandraAnd someone claiming #notyourshield was to be taken serious, when chatlogs show they wanted it going to hide even more harassment behind? Yeah, not buying a word you're saying. You poisoned your own well.09/19/2014 - 3:45am
Michael Chandraallegedly fired over giving a game a mediocre review and the company threatened to pull ads? Sorry but I ain't buying this.09/19/2014 - 3:45am
Michael ChandraBut people arguing this is horrible and just about ethics, even though there's very little support that journalistic integrity was actually violated here, while they never spoke up when a journalist was09/19/2014 - 3:43am
Michael ChandraIf people start with condemning the way GamersGate was used as a misdirection, then use a better hashtag, that would work in convincing me they mean it.09/19/2014 - 3:43am
Andrew EisenOoo, this one came down to the wire! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/749082525/nefarious09/19/2014 - 1:03am
Andrew EisenI don't doubt that many are truly interested in journalistic integrity. The problem I'm often seeing is they seem to have no idea how or where to talk about it.09/18/2014 - 11:46pm
Andrew EisenDidn't word that well. Busy at work. I've seen people claim that GamerGate is solely about ethics and transparency in games journalism and then go on to show that what they're really after is silencing those who talk about gender issues in games.09/18/2014 - 11:45pm
Kronodebate. Becaus apparently people who only post on Reddit are supposed to police twitter before they're allowed to question anything about the people involved.09/18/2014 - 10:40pm
KronoI highly doubt many, if any are using journalistic integrity as a cover for harassment. The people harassing are essentially trolls. They aren't interested in subtle. More often it's othe other way around. People use "but X is being harassed" to shut down09/18/2014 - 10:38pm
Andrew EisenAnd exacerbating everything is the fact that all the cries of ethics violations have been obnoxious and easily proven false.09/18/2014 - 8:59pm
Andrew EisenProblem is, I would imagine, the sheer number of people who are using journalistic integrity as a cover for their harassing actions or only bringing it up on the false pretense of journalistic integrity.09/18/2014 - 8:47pm
Andrew EisenHaving said that, I can certainly see how one would be frustrated if they truly just wanted to talk about journalistic integrity and someone said they were one of the people harassing Sarkeesian, Quinn and others (though I've seen no examples of that).09/18/2014 - 8:44pm
KronoThat's been the common refrain, that talk of journalism ethics is just an excuse to harass people.09/18/2014 - 8:44pm
KronoLines like "like a partial compromise with the howling trolls who’ve latched onto ‘ethics’ as the latest flag in their onslaught against evolution and inclusion." are taring everyone questioning the ethics as a harasser.09/18/2014 - 8:43pm
Andrew EisenKrono - Except, none of the articles were talking about gamers complaining about journalist ethics, let alone called them white male misogynists. They were talking about the gamers who were harassing others.09/18/2014 - 8:36pm
Kronomakes plenty of sense. It's rather hard to dismiss someone as a white guy running a sock puppet when they've posted proof they're a woman, or black, or another minority.09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Kronothat any critics of journalists were white guys that hated women, and could be dismissed as such. It seems to have helped some. It's kind of difficult to maintain the white guy narrative in the face of a bunch of women and non-white guys. So the tag09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Kronothat, someone vented on a #gamergate 4chan thread about being dismissed like that. The suggestion they got in return was to organize their own hashtag in response, with #NotYourShield being suggested. Thus the tag came into use to combat the undercurrent09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Kronomuch more general problem. And while several of the articles were fairly tame, they spured a bunch of people to dismiss any critics of the journalism involved as misogynistic men. Usually with insults aimed at the geek stereotype. After about a week of09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
 

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