On the Left 4 Dead Ban

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NewClassic:
I can't help but feel like this entire article is like walking into a park, and screaming bloody murder at the grass and trees for having the audacity for being grass and trees. The simple fact of the matter is the ACB is doing it's job. They're paid to do this, and they are working while they're at it. They have to watch the dirty movies, have to play the violent games, and are paid to do nothing other than give the game a classification. For the American readers in the audience, this article is the equivalent of attacking the ESRB for giving a game an M-rating.

It's not the ACB's fault that they have refuse classification because there's no classification this game falls under. The office in charge of classification, the Attorney-General's Department of Australia, is the body that is almost exclusively at fault here. The irony though, is that the department is primarily for the creation of an R18+ classification. However, since the department requires a unanimous vote, there is a single opponent to the classification. An attorney-general named Michael Atkinson.[1]

So, instead of harboring ill-will toward the ACB, it would work more effective to appeal to Mr. Atkinson to change the ruling. As it stands, he's the only thing between the ACB and a full set of classifications for Video Game media.

And the saddest part is, I severely doubt anyone is going to read this.

Sorry to disagree with you here New Classic, but it seems as if you're doing the very same thing you accuse these people of doing. If something affects a person in a negative fashion, they are going to bitch about it until they die. If a tow truck driver happens to tow your car, are you going to say "That's fair. It is his job after all."? Hell no. You're going to scream at him, even if it isn't his fault for having to tow you.

I believe it is fair that Australians are upset about this, seeing as this does seem a tad unreasonable. There are already safety measures put in to stop these games from "Corrupting the children". This is just overkill.

Emilie Diabolica:

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

You bring the rocket and the fuel. I'll bring the road trip stuff like O2 and terriforming kits.

I wonder if Oz gamers will be able to purchase it from the U.S. and still play it...

Well we don't have a ban in rural texas perse... but there is an old lady that for some reason works in the technology department of walmart and looks at me with disdain every time i buy an M rated game or a R rated movie. Sometimes she sniffs or on the rare occasoin it's something really bad like sin city or assasin's creed she'll say something. usually it's the parent line of "Don't you do anything you see in this." well since zombies don't exsist and i'm not a 11th century assassin i don't think i'll be doing those things. there's also the straight downput of "How can you like something like that?" Well frankly clive owen and bruce willis are wonderful actors and the visual ascetic along with frank miller and robert rodriguez's directing is something that, yeah, i think i like.

but on topic, try canada... even crappier beaches but i imagine it's just like austrialia but colder and if the goverment ever bans games the US is within driving distance.

This caught my eye; http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/94875-Buddhist-Religious-Leader-Says-Games-Satiate-Aggression

Well said Yahtzee, very well said. I would like to add if anything would be likely to incite me to violence, it is not video games, it is ignorant governments imposing their narrow minded views on the populace...

You sure did utilize the whole slippery slope type of argument.

Today they are not releasing a game because there is no mature equivalent rating, tomorrow they are refusing classification to certain humans.

Wyes:

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?).

arghhhhh...
there goes my last scrap of faith in humanity.
psychopathdom here i come!
:D

NewClassic:
I can't help but feel like this entire article is like walking into a park, and screaming bloody murder at the grass and trees for having the audacity for being grass and trees. The simple fact of the matter is the ACB is doing it's job. They're paid to do this, and they are working while they're at it. They have to watch the dirty movies, have to play the violent games, and are paid to do nothing other than give the game a classification. For the American readers in the audience, this article is the equivalent of attacking the ESRB for giving a game an M-rating.

It's not the ACB's fault that they have refuse classification because there's no classification this game falls under. The office in charge of classification, the Attorney-General's Department of Australia, is the body that is almost exclusively at fault here. The irony though, is that the department is primarily for the creation of an R18+ classification. However, since the department requires a unanimous vote, there is a single opponent to the classification. An attorney-general named Michael Atkinson.[1]

So, instead of harboring ill-will toward the ACB, it would work more effective to appeal to Mr. Atkinson to change the ruling. As it stands, he's the only thing between the ACB and a full set of classifications for Video Game media.

And the saddest part is, I severely doubt anyone is going to read this.

Excellent post mate.

It seems to me that there is so much bureaucracy and red tape here in Australia, in comparison with the UK. Things usually take years to change, as it gets caught up in the swamp of different departments, power struggles, conflicting policies & agendas so on an so forth. I guess it's just one of the problems of a Federal system.

Yahtzee, I'd suggest you register a Steam account as an American and run a proxy/IP masking program like Tor to mask your IP as an American one to be able to get the game. It's worked charms for my German friends.

It doesn't solve the problem of the overzealous censorship, but at least we get to play the games we want.

My father showed this to me on the news, and the first thing I thought was
"oh man, Yatzee will not be happy about this"

concerned ausfag reporting in: will the ban affect a steam purchase of the game? because, if not, the ACB can suck it....
EDIT: theres a petition to sign http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/ozgamers and it seems as though it is gaining some traction

4fromK:
concerned ausfag reporting in: will the ban affect a steam purchase of the game? because, if not, the ACB can suck it....
EDIT: theres a petition to sign http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/ozgamers and it seems as though it is gaining some traction

It most likely will mean that you will not directly be able to purchase the game from steam... but someone can buy it for you in their country and then Gift it to you in Australia.

Here's hoping that Valve don't create an "Australasian Version" that gets enforced on New Zealand too. We actually DO have R18 ratings for games here but because the rest of the world seems to think New Zealand exists only as part of Australia we often get the "Australiasian" version.

So yeah, thanks for that Australia.

On a good note it seems like people's patience with the ACB and Michael "head-up-my-arse" Atkinson is wearing incredibly thin, maybe L4D2 will be the game to finally slay the daemon of idiotic Australian censorship.

I am troubled by this. But not so much as to undertake action, no.

I think Once Upon a Time, a Man Thought of this aloud:
"Maybe if we get rid of the fake voilence, the REAL voilence will go away!"
They gave this man a medal and named a country after him, but then another man said:
"Shoulden't we spent more time focusing on actual violence instead of fake violence?"
They gave THIS Man a kick to the ass, and made him live in seclusion.

You may need to note that their attempt at 'protecting the children from being desensitised to violence' is futile because most of them already are.

Argh. Why can't they just recognize games as another medium, like film?Plenty of fucked-up films get released all the time.

He's oh-so very right. If anybody at any time during an argument or any other time for that matter says to me "Well, think of the children", the very first thought to cross my mind and sometimes my lips are, "Okay, what is your point and what the Hell do you want?"

That phrase just makes what the intentions are just WAY too obvious. In fact when that phrase is uttered, it tempts myself to go the opposite direction, even if I would rather choose the same decision, simply because I do not want to have anything to do with the group that has the "think of the children" bandwagon attached.

The logic behind the ban is just ridiculous. I mean, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City was MA15+ when it came out and, me being under that age at the time, I was refused sale until my birthday. Lo and behold, the miracle! People can regulate themselves!

What do people like Michael Atkinson think is going to happen? Do they think there are a bunch of shady video game dealers in trench coats hanging outside kindergartens just waiting to push the heaviest violence and gore they can onto impressionable young schoolchildren?

Honestly, I think this anti-video game crusading comes out of a vein of humanity that still considers electricity witchcraft. <_<

EDIT: As far as the slippery slope argument, there is a lot of truth there with the whole, 'for the good of the children' mantra.

I mean, what if, under a socially-conservative government, people on that board largely had the opinion that homosexuality is immoral? Would that mean they would refuse classification to games with gay characters, because it might corrupt children? Or what if they decided that all these female characters in skimpy clothing bouncing around everywhere are inappropriate for children? Will they start withholding games under that criteria too?

ACB is real twats why the hell would some1 ban fun games it's like a punch in the face and if the games get released than it would end like wolfenstein 3D on SNES they didin't even let hitler have mustage on the pictures and removed other uncensored stuff and that was low... (i'm not a nazi yust thinked wolfenstein 3D was a good example)

Damn it, that's sad... I feel sorry for all of you australians out there. Because this crap is Jack Thompson-level.

Fail!

Was Call of Duty banned in Oz? World at war allowed for dismemberment, burning people to death with flame throwers and molotovs, running them over with tanks, bayonnet kills as well as depicting torture and executions, some of which you could perform.

I guess its only bad when you are mutilating fictional monsters. Germans and Japanese are fair game.

Even CoD 4 had Price torturing then executing a captive.

bjj hero:
Was Call of Duty banned in Oz? World at war allowed for dismemberment, burning people to death with flame throwers and molotovs, running them over with tanks, bayonnet kills as well as depicting torture and executions, some of which you could perform.

I guess its only bad when you are mutilating fictional monsters. Germans and Japanese are fair game.

Even CoD 4 had Price torturing then executing a captive.

It wasn't banned, thankfully.

What I find most frustrating in this situation is that there's very little awareness of this problem in the general public; most gamers don't even really know about it. The problem is right now the issue is taking a backseat to more pressing things, like the internet censor.

Another problem is the immature reactions of gamers to this situation. E-mailing Michael Atkinson with threats is not a solution, all it does is cement his opinion that gamers do not have the maturity to differentiate fiction from reality.

There was real hope when the discussion paper was still going ahead, but then Atkinson withdrew his support from it, again demonstrating his undemocratic veto power.

NewClassic:
I can't help but feel like this entire article is like walking into a park, and screaming bloody murder at the grass and trees for having the audacity for being grass and trees. The simple fact of the matter is the ACB is doing it's job. They're paid to do this, and they are working while they're at it. They have to watch the dirty movies, have to play the violent games, and are paid to do nothing other than give the game a classification. For the American readers in the audience, this article is the equivalent of attacking the ESRB for giving a game an M-rating.

It's not the ACB's fault that they have refuse classification because there's no classification this game falls under. The office in charge of classification, the Attorney-General's Department of Australia, is the body that is almost exclusively at fault here. The irony though, is that the department is primarily for the creation of an R18+ classification. However, since the department requires a unanimous vote, there is a single opponent to the classification. An attorney-general named Michael Atkinson.[1]

So, instead of harboring ill-will toward the ACB, it would work more effective to appeal to Mr. Atkinson to change the ruling. As it stands, he's the only thing between the ACB and a full set of classifications for Video Game media.

And the saddest part is, I severely doubt anyone is going to read this.

While I agree, at this point I think the only way to "appeal" to Mr. Atkinson in a way that he will listen to involves a loaded gun and his head. He's shown himself in interviews to be extremely derisive towards the gaming populace in general and completely obstinate in his view that video games have greater impact than any other medium and must therefore be restricted, even to adults. As near as I can tell, the only compromise he'll listen to is one that says his personal view is completely, objectively and absolutely correct.

Check out the Gamespot interview if you don't believe me.

Seriously, this guy is a nut. He'd have been considered oppressive and dictatorial in the '50s.

I'm sorry for you people (australians) well, at least you've got great beaches and kangaroos.

Skyrider23:

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.

Of course the gameplay is the most important part but if devers would respect this then there would not be such a huge pile of mediocre or bad games. Now to the point of gore as selling point. Just look at recent games on your favorite game news site or whatever place. Many present themselves better or buy-worthy because they have as much gore, violence or sex possible. Why do they need this? Because the game itself is a run-of-the mill mediocre FPS/RPG/whatever. Instead of innovating in gameplay they try to make as much gore/sex/violence as they can. But the truth is that a good game with good gameplay, catchy story and god challenges does not require gore everywhere. In fact the best game I know has little blood or gore but is one of the best selling games every. This is why I say this should be taken by game devers as a sign to rethink this more-gore=better-sales crap they have going on.

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.

Nah, Steam blocks off all games that haven't officially come out in Australia, so banned games would get the same treatment. For example, you can't buy Ghostbusters off Steam; the page doesn't seem to exist, but there's a link to the page in the respective Steam News article.

Hell, I'm just going to buy a copy while I'm in America. They can enforce whether we buy it or not, but they can't enforce whether we play it.

EDIT: Is Atkinson dead yet? He's the real problem.

Ah, yes, I see the problem. You are trying to use *reason* on a problem that was caused by pretty much the opposite... *unreason*.

Good luck!

That's just not right, And if there isn't an R18 rating, why don't they just make one?

Thankfully, i'm sure the lovely people down at GAMETRADERS ROBINA, will be able to hook ol' Yahtzee up.

Aren't the things you inject into yourself, in Fo3, psycho MedX and Stimpacks, a war drug, A stamina booster, and a muscel stimulator? (i don't know what the hell a stimpack is but it's got "Stim" in the name so...)

harhol:
A violent game was refused classification because of outdated legislation, therefore a police state can only be just around the corner.

Interesting logic there.

I like this. As much as I feel that banning a game rather than just giving it a high age rating is ridculous, it's a bit silly to say that this will lead to a facist dictatorahip.

A great read, loved lines just after the quotes. But anyways, The Australlian Government is trying to help low-moraled kids....I can barely say that with a striaght face..
What? do they expect kids to go to school with an axe or chainsaw? No,they have brains! Humans and Zombies cannot be confused with each other, a kid wont hack apart his fellow student. Reason? The kid (first of all) isn't a zombie. Secondly, (as we all know that Video games are the scapegoat of society) People can figure out that there are consiquences, and that people won't respawn. (In this case,reappear in a closet.)

Anyways,to sum my little rant up. Great,thought-provoking work, and the Aussie's are being a bit overprotective. (Wait...couldn't he just get it through Steam?)

I find this stuff really depressing. It just doesn't seem possible that this commission (ACB) has the ability to decide what GROWN people play in the comfort of their own homes.

This is a HUGE violation of free speech, which here in America is taken very seriously....
God...its like 1984 or something...

Velocirapture07:
I find this stuff really depressing. It just doesn't seem possible that this commission (ACB) has the ability to decide what GROWN people play in the comfort of their own homes.

This is a HUGE violation of free speech, which here in America is taken very seriously....
God...its like 1984 or something...

Funny story, we don't actually have the right to free speech in Australia. There's an assumed right to free speech, and assumed right to freedom of expression etc., but the rights themselves are nowhere in writing. While common law tends to favour these rights, they're not always upheld...

Distorted Stu:
Holy batman, i never relised how strict the Ozzy gameboard are! Won't it make sense just to make a strict 18+ certificate?
Or an in-game feature where it would kindly offer a "too much gore and blood for you? Do you want the "infected" to shoot candy from their guts instead? YES - NO"

great, little kids will think that shooting peoples guts produces candy....lol

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