On the Left 4 Dead Ban

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Ah well, shit happens I gues.

A person once sang;
"You can't always get what you want!!"

I feel with you Yatzhee. I'm from Germany and our laws regarding this topic are almost as strict as yours. The German rating board, known as the USK, has a 18+ rating, or "no youth" as it is sometimes called. But there is a "rating" above it. The USK can decide that a game is too violent to be released in stores and then another German institution called the BPjM (yeah, we have a lot of those) will prohibid advertisement and it can't be sold in public because the game is "youth endangering". So to avoid that nail in the financial coffin, the game needs to be cut in certain ways to get the 18+ rating.
We will get L4D2, but with less blood and probably without the chainsaw :P
Fallout 3 for example had no blood at all, and coming with that, no visual represantion of the "bloody mess" perk.

Few games even get banned. Among those are Manhunt and Dead Rising, but that has nothing to do with "protecting the children", but our laws against "glorification of violence".

So yeah, you're not the only one who suffers from crap like that.

Woodsey:
[quote="yourbeliefs" post="6.145717.3304807"]This a game where the world has been infected by zombies though, zombies that attack and can kill you. Shaun of the Dead is more violent then L4D for God sake!

For some strange reason, I was thinking (almost) the same thing.

Somehow it is OK to WATCH someone dismember a zombie, but you can't do it yourself?

And someone else here made a good point, the ACB is only doing its job. The key here is to CHANGE THE ACB'S JOB! Or, at least, the regulations they have to follow.

Don't hate the messenger, but you don't have to invite him in for tea (or "consentual" bending over)....

As for the first step to totalitarian government oversight and regulation? That is a tough one. They seem to be lagging a bit. It would help if people who actually knew what a game was and how to play was in charge of rating its apropriateness for a particular demographic. It would also help if that person realized that games, like toons, aren't just for kids anymore.

But back to censorship.... the danger here is not a progressive one, but more like a tripswitch. With regulations like this still in effect, the ultra-right-wing can use the guise of "god fearing" and "child protecting" to certify everything short of kitten killing in the name of the Child Loving Lord.

It is more reactive and riding the radicals on a wave of current affairs support (OMG Bombs means all muslims are BAD!!! DON'T GO TO THAT COFFEE CART!!!!!!). With outated regulations like this still in effect, they CAN and WILL be used as a tool to get a small sector of the populations wishes and model of a world realized.

Those rules have to be changed before the wrong person goes "Oh! Really? There's a law for THAT?"

I don't think GAME TRADERS ROBINA will be able to help the poor man. Since it's been refused classification, it's illegal to sell it commercially.

However, he could always come over here to New Zealand for a day, pick up a copy of the game and fly back.

Ah well, shit happens I gues.

A person once sang;
"You can't always get what you want!!"

You quoting a 'Mic? ;)

...Did Gears of War/2 get rated? I can't be bothered looking it up, but for crying out loud the games most iconic weapon is a bloody chainsaw, and pretty much every gun leaves an enemy in bloody chunks on the ground that bounce when you run over them. Every other death leaves blood on the screen. If that's acceptible (and I'm not saying it isn't) then I don't see why L4D2 isn't.

We are coming from a time when DOOM's best weapon was a chainsaw.

Go fig.

I need to start a gamers charity.

Help those poor gamers in Australia,give them hope that someone still cares about them, at send games to Australia (S.G.T.A)

Now that's a charity.

Hilarious, what a fucking waste of time these censors have made of their lives. Not like every game that someone really wants cannot be got through illicit means. Basically these jackoffs are fueling the black markets and maybe deep down inside that is their intent. RIP THE SYSTEM, ZERO! Then give us a review of the game! =D

Good... one horrible, boring and mindless game less. Makes room for "real" games which are interesting, challenging and have actual gameplay. Yes I don't feel sorry for this game to fall under the table. In fact I would not feel sorry for most of those "gory" games since they totally lack what makes good games: gameplay. Many game devers forget that a good game and good gameplay does not require massive gore. In fact massive gore is the sign of poor games since devers need to distract players with gore from their flaws in the game. And you are right, your country is a warning... a warning to game developers that crap games don't have a future ;)

...so find someone who agrees with instituting it who has enough influence in the legislature. If it's unanimous except for Mr Atkinson, then it shouldn't be hard to find someone sympathetic to the cause.

Hell, if that fails, try and get something else going--a system where only 5/6th of the votes are required to pass legislation, as opposed to unanimous. Total agreement sounds like it wrecks your possibility to pass legislation like an overturned semi on the highway.

Proteus214:
This whole "think of the children" mantra has seriously got to stop. I once had a Political Science professor who thought that a major source of conflict in modern politics are laws, regulations, and restrictions that are in place for the sole purpose of protecting the innocence of children. Ironically, he was also Australian.

Sounds like he had a good idea going there.

randommaster:

oppp7:
Why does everyone hate blood and gore? It's anatomy. And violence is a natural occurrence. Kids are gonna see it in school anyways...

Do you live in Sparta or something, where blood and gore are an everyday part of school?

You clearly haven't been to a decent public school.

If I understand the article right, the game can still be played in Australia, he will just have to import it from another country.

Yeah he had me until the batshit crazy slippery slope argument in the last paragraph.

Also when he says "crumbling, syphilitic hell-hole across the water" does he mean New Zealand? Because the brochures make it look nice...

"Censorship is like saying a man can't eat steak because a baby can't chew it"- Mark Twain.

Oh and I do care Yahtzee, not because it effects you, but because this kind of government censorship angers me to no end.

If people are using "for the children" as their logic, then what they're proposing may be so god-awful that they need you to think of innocent children before you'll even consider it.

You could always move to Canada, Yahtzee. We haven't banned any games here, at least not to my knowledge. And we get games released at the same time as the Americans. WHOOOOOOO!

*Disclaimer: Not actually suggesting Yahtzee move anywhere. "Suggestion" intended for humorous purposes.

Psepha:

Zenode:
Since steam is regionalised if you have an Australian IP it will mean that steam wont give you that game

Oh. Well damn, this really does suck for Australia then. :(

Damn, well it looks like i'm going to have to fire up my vintage WW2 submarine and sneak illegal shipments of Left 4 Dead 2 copies in under the Aussy coast guards noses. Can i get some volunteers for my crew?

Emilie Diabolica:
dear australians,
please. PLEASE could we organise a protest or something?
we can't just sit on our asses watching as they slowly cut off our freedoms...
D:

gah, i'm gonna go live on the moon, dammit.

Can I come?

Obviously Yahtzee you need to move to Canada, it has all the game releases of the US, but universal healthcare AND game consoles at par with the american dollar even though we're about 91-93 cents to the US Dollar. And it's a commonwealth partner so you'll get lots o Brit love for being from the Homeland. Winters are a bitch though.

randommaster:

oppp7:
Why does everyone hate blood and gore? It's anatomy. And violence is a natural occurrence. Kids are gonna see it in school anyways...

Do you live in Sparta or something, where blood and gore are an everyday part of school?

Honestly, have you turned on your tv recently?

The worst thing is, we have some of the most lax classification rules for TV and radio in the world.

hmm well Australia is pretty tough on video games

what about people 18 and over? if it's unsuitable for minors dont sell it to minors. refusing something to an adult because it's inappropriate for a child is like making sex illegal for adults. we all know that kids shouldn't be exposed to sex, so if we ban everyone from having sex then they'll never have to be traumatized by it.

Odjin:
Good... one horrible, boring and mindless game less. Makes room for "real" games which are interesting, challenging and have actual gameplay. Yes I don't feel sorry for this game to fall under the table. In fact I would not feel sorry for most of those "gory" games since they totally lack what makes good games: gameplay. Many game devers forget that a good game and good gameplay does not require massive gore. In fact massive gore is the sign of poor games since devers need to distract players with gore from their flaws in the game. And you are right, your country is a warning... a warning to game developers that crap games don't have a future ;)

OK I can spot several flaws with that argument. First I fail to see the logic of how having gore in a game is an automatic predicate for bad gameplay. Take L4D. L4D has gore so purely on that basis it must be bad to play? L4D has great gameplay in my book- immersive, atmospheric and all the makings of a good FPS- plus the great co-op design of it all. The gore adds to the aforementioned atmosphere. Secondly- "need to distract players with gore from their flaws in the game"? I REALLY fail to see how that logic follows- I know of no games (and to my knowledge there are indeed few, if any that exist) that have "gore" as a redeeming factor: i.e. Oh the level design is awful- but I don't notice that because of all the BLOOD ^^ If level design is crap then level design is crap- the average gamer is not going to be placated by excessive gibs if the game in which they're in is awful, developers simply don't think like that about the vast, overwhelming majority of their markets. I agree with your point about gore not being a necessity in a game but to argue that gore is a bad thing regardless of situation seems somewhat illogical.Gameplay IS one of the most (if not THE most) important factor in a game- but gore, to my knowledge doesn't REALLY have a VAST effect on gameplay. And for another thing- I LOVE the fact that you're slagging off L4D2- calling it a "horrible, boring and mindless game" before even having played it properly :D And I agree that L4D clearly isn't a "real" game because of its blood and gore. I mean- because it has blood and gore it can't really be thought of as a real...oh wait.

On a less long and rambling note- I agree with the above quote from Mark Twain- and as has been said many times before ACB and other censorship bodies: Children=protected if nasty, evil video game is not played by children- ergo stop children from buying said game and stop parents letting them play said game= problem solved.

Wow, the comments by ACB almost seem like advertisement.s Put that on the back of the box or in a commercial and crowds should be yelling "Hell yeah!"

Well, I posted this in response to Shamus' article, but I think it's more relevant here, so I just crtl+v it here:

Playbahnosh:
When gaming became mainstream (and it's not an "if" anymore), all the games became increasingly easy and benign. Where are the hard games? I mean, trying to shield kids from the world around them doesn't do any good. When I was a kid, I watched bloody action movies, horror and gore flicks with my friends, "family" movies that had real violence and real nudity (bordering on porn) in them. We played games that had a lot of pixelated blood, guts and a lot of heavy cursing, and, again, nudity. Did we grow up to be mentally damaged psychopaths? No. We had the most cruel and explicit games, movies and music, and yet no one went on a killing spree in a high-school because of video games when I was a kid. Most of us have families and respectable jobs, and turned out to be nice people. And what did the overzealous censorship do the youth nowadays? They made them oversensitive, illiterate and emotionally unstable brats. Great job ESRB and MPAA!

It's rated M for a reason which means it's already not for kids and there is a warning on the FUCKING BOX! If kids want the game, they will get it. They can make their own decisions in life.

Feeling a little bitter, Yahtzee?

Guess I am a little lucky, living in the US, where the censors stopped caring what got through the gates. Yeah, we have the whole government outcry against game violence on occasion, but it's finally sinking that the gamers they uniformly pissed off as children are now of voting age.

Still. That kind of thing is just stupid. Why would they let, say, No More Heroes through, but not L4D2? There's a hole in that logic somewhere....

IceStar100:

Emilie Diabolica:
dear australians,
please. PLEASE could we organise a protest or something?
we can't just sit on our asses watching as they slowly cut off our freedoms...
D:

gah, i'm gonna go live on the moon, dammit.

Can I come?

woot!
that makes two people :D

YAY!!! censorship....

DRADIS C0ntact:

ssgt splatter:
I'm saddened that the game was banned there. How will he review L4D2 if he can't get it? Oh wait...GAME TRADERS ROBINA. Good luck Yahtzee, hope you get it.

He can still review it. He should be able to download it on Steam.

Unfortunately, Steam tracks IP addresses and since certain ones are assigned to each country they can restrict access of games to those who live in countries that have banned them. Just take a look the next time that stupid Clear Wire add plays (I dislike Clear Wire immensely). On the little add popup it will suggest a city closest to where you live that already has the service, all based on your IP. Creepy and annoying at once. These types of banning actions turn even more people into pirates attempting to get a game that they, as adults, should be allowed to play if they want.

The other unfortunate thing about this is the servers. If the Aussie government has decided to not rate the game then there will be no dedicated servers for them. While they should be able to join other servers, you're looking at a lot of lag time and poor game play because of this. Depending on Valve's technology and how bad this gets, it could even get to the point that servers will start locking out IP's coming from countries that have banned, or effectively banned, the game.

Personally I think the whole "think of the children" line is inherently flawed. It is not up to the government to think of the children, it is up to the parents to do their jobs, something that they have been failing at more and more. Yes, in modren times, parents demand others to care for and teach their children. If parents started doing their jobs and starting saying no and actually paying attention to what their little brats where doing then this whole "think of the children" line would fade away. But, if we look at it in an even broader sense, it all goes back to the fact that no one wants to take responsibility for their actions. If a teen shots up a school, everything is blamed - especially violent games, movies, TV and internet sites - instead saying "this person knew the difference and choose to ignore it and hurt others simply because he thought it would make him feel better." You see it all the time, the ones that really get me are the ones who claim abuse and bad childhoods are the responsible factors as to why they are violent etc. today. I was abused in my childhood for years and I am neither an abuser or violent. While not the best example in some ways, Jade Goody had a hell hole of a childhood (read her story - it's a nightmare) but she just kept going and didn't feel the need to shoot people etc.

And I'll stop my rant now [get's off soapbox]

The Great JT:
Further proof old people have no place in any sort of position of power.

That is so wrong it's almost sickening, although I suppose the young always feel that they can do better if given the chance. The unfortunate thing is that regardless of age people do stupid things and get stuck in a rut of thinking. Being open minded and considering all facts etc before coming to a decision that will affect millions is the only way to go - but it's not going to happen in my lifetime.

As others have said, this all falls at the feet of one man- Michael Atkinson. The important thing to remember is that he is a politician- in other words, a servant of the people. The only way this stupidity is going to stop is for voting-age Austrailians to either get him voted out of office, or push for legislation to make his stonewalling meaningless.

The funny thing about this Internet doohickey is that it allows for people to organize and plan so very easily....

Emilie Diabolica:
dear australians,
please. PLEASE could we organise a protest or something?
we can't just sit on our asses watching as they slowly cut off our freedoms...
D:

gah, i'm gonna go live on the moon, dammit.

The problem is there has already been extensive efforts made to sway the opinion of Michael Atkinson, but he is stubbornly refusing to change his position, and all his counter-arguments are utterly moronic (apparently, it's harder to monitor games in the home than it is to monitor movies. Do you see the flaw in his logic here?).

Wow, those are lame reasons that the ACB put forward, and they seem a lot like reaching for excuses. Like someone ordered the whole board to find reasons because of their personal prejudices.

If the government keeps moving in this direction, Yahzee you should just take it down. Destroy it.
I know you can do it, you once got two supervillans to dress up in women's clothes for your entertainment.

the1ultimate:
Wow, those are lame reasons that the ACB put forward, and they seem a lot like reaching for excuses. Like someone ordered the whole board to find reasons because of their personal prejudices.

If the government keeps moving in this direction, Yahzee you should just take it down. Destroy it.
I know you can do it, you once got two supervillans to dress up in women's clothes for your entertainment.

As someone already pointed out, the ACB isn't at fault, it's the one guy... which now that I think about it, probably makes Yahtzee's job even easier.

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