On the Left 4 Dead Ban

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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.

Only if he's still got an active UK card, and likely some sort of crazy VPN access to somewhere outside of Australia for the purchase.

Knight Templar:

Spider Expert:

Knight Templar:

Spider Expert:

Also few? Hardly.

What part of "The average gamer in Australia is about 30 years old" didn't you understand.
The majority has to follow the rules that exsist for the few.

Suddenly the youths appeal of gaming disappears

You'll need to elaborate on what exactly you're saying here.

I'm simply saying nearly every kid is gonna want to play this and they probably will anyway and it will probably have absolutely no negative effect and that the large majority of adults wouldn't care for the game anyway. It's just SILLY banning it.

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.

there's a little catch with that. If you import a steam game, then you can't install it. If you buy a game in the US and then install it on an Australian PC, then it says "invalid regional code" and refuses to accept your CD-key. I speak out of experience here.

L4Y Duke:
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.

Not a chance, We get bundled as Australia. If Its Banned in Aussie, it will probably be rare here too.

"Well, clearly the ACB feels that if a mob of rampaging murderers sprinted towards us roaring their insatiable lust for flesh from their yawning blood-spattered mouths, then we should respond by singing them to sleep or twanging elastic bands at their eyes"-Yahtzee

this part alone made me life its so made of win

Thank you Yahtzee

Wow the Australian gov. should be involved in Africa. "Think of the children!"

I think it's funny that the fuckers at the ACB get to sit there and obviously play the game for ages before deciding that no-one else should.

I can imagine the conversation when they're "rating" the game..

"Whoa! Did you see that? I blew his legs RIGHT off!"
"Awesome!"
"Yeah! Fuck me, willya lookit all the zombies! Blow them up!"
*boooom*
"HAHA that was *sweeeeeet* - look, that ones arm is on that windowledge hahahah"
"You know - this is awesome. Wouldn't it be amazing if we were the only people in the country to play this?"
"Hmmm - yeah - you have a point. This is WAY to good for anyone else"
"Shall we do the old no-rating routine?"
"Fuck yeah, then I can make a fortune selling copies of the game DVD's on the black market"
"Awesome! Fancy a pint?"
"Sweeeet"

*not really an imaginary conversation - that really happened.

Well a few things to say here, firstly this is more of an issue with one guy, as has been said before.

Then ironically, in refusing to create an R-18+ rating the people in charge of these things are actually exposing more violent games to children at a younger age than those in the US and such places.
See aside from the odd refused classification (Which I might add seems to be completely arbitrary and has little to do with actual content) most of the games get through unchanged with an MA-15+ or an M-15+ rating where in america they would have gotten an R-18+ (Or do you guys call it T-18? I forget). So the average australian 15 year old actually has access to more violent content in games than the average american one.

As a whole honestly australia seems to be more laid back when it comes to these things than america, it's just that we have some odd bureaucratic choke points that we can't seem to get rid of.
Another example is the ratings bored continued banning of the odd (again arbitrary) film that contains depictions of nudity despite having absolutely no problem with hardcore X-rated porn movies which in any case have content far more gratuitous than any non-porn movie.

Odjin:

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.

I enjoy the odd bit of gore because it's simple mindless fun, that's it. Nothing more is needed sometimes. I also resent you citing left 4 dead as a game barren of interesting gameplay. Left 4 dead and others like it (Like gears of war) have quite advanced competitive multiplayer in them and are simply topped with a bit of gratuitous fun that happens to come in the form of buckets o' blood.

Granted this isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I can assure you that if they were as lacking in gameplay as you seem to think they are they wouldn't have spawned such successful competitive scenes where so many other games have failed to.

Dear Australia,

you are so damn right! Piles of corpses are totally not suitable for children. I've seen Die Hard when I was seventeen and now look at me. LOOK AT ME! Yeah, the truth hurts. While I totally agree that violence and video games are not cool, I really don't understand why you don't see the other potential origins of danger for society. Isn't it true that children are much more endangered by stupidity and mediocrity nowadays than by violence?
Please, Australia, protect your kids from genociding player substitutes, but while you're at it you should also shut down every single radio and TV station and ban Hollywood films. Oh, and kill all the smokers, not only would you protect the children from the effects of passive smoking, the smokers themselves would be thankful too (if they were still alive, that is) since they won't get lung cancer when they're dead.
One last suggestion: Why don't you build a Hatcheries and Conditioning Centre to make absolutely sure that your kids are safe from bad influences. Ford, would I love to see that!

Well, gotta run now.
Greetings from Germany,
lostbuthappy

PS: Sex is good => don't ban genitals. Thank you.

While old I'll finally get around to commenting. I pretty much said my piece in another "article" about the same thing.

In general this isn't really about moral guardianship, it's about power. Free Speech is one of those things that goverments hate. One of the reasons why it was guaranteed in the US Constitution along with things like Freedom Of The Press, and the right to bear arms (in case someone in power tries to remove the other rights). Even in Australia the goverment can't suddenly decide "yes, let's have an Orwellian police state that we will rule" they need to get the support of the people to open those doors, and moral guardianship is a way of drumming up support. Once you have the precedent ball rolling it takes less and less approval from the general populance to extend the law into other things, and even totally unrelated areas. Bureaucracy is the biggest monster created by humanity, and this is why it can do more damage to society than the cumulative effect of a Gojira marathon to the octagon type enviroment that Tokyo provides in those movies.

The thing is though that Valve for example is group of wusses. All video game companies are. "OMG, if we oppose this we might lose money, get in trouble, or actually go to jail waaaah!" which is why they back down. Heck, I haven't even seen a company try perfectly serious political/legal rallying, or organize a non-violent "Rise Of The Nerds" against the goverments that do this kind of thing (Australia being a key example).

Oh sure, us nerds might sit down and make pretensions of caring with internet petitions, but honestly it means nothing, and we know it. It takes leadership and resources to actually DO something, and sadly the only ones who have that abillity are the game companies themselves who are too busy bent over giving rim jobs to the establishment, and trying to find ways to get their consumers to give up the rights they currently have in favor of digital downloads, to really care.

Valve has said their very "sad" about Australia's ruling. Well, rather than worshipping these guys as great designers and such, I think a bunch of nerd rage should be being thrown in their direction for simply grabbing a tissue and then running off to cry someplace.

Not that Valve doesn't sort of deserve this mind you, see I'm not a big shooter fan, I do not play Left 4 Dead, but they DID make some promises to their fan base that seem to be being broken by the release of Left 4 Dead 2. Like many people with an eye on the industry I would love for this product to get a big huge mouthful of fail. However there are bigger issues at stake here now. I think by fighting Valve could regain some of the respect they seem to have lost with this sequel to begin with.

Oh and Yahtzee, you seem to get messages around quite well in the gaming community. It occurs to me that if you believe in all of this, you could probably be doing more down there in Australia. Not like Valve or anything, but I'd imagine if you decided to throw "Yahtzeepalooza" in the middle of some area inconveinent to the goverment, and bad mouth the censorship policies, you could get plenty of aussie game nerds to come down with signs at the very least.

Then again I'm insane. See if I had a bunch of money to spend, I'd probably be trying to develop some of my ideas for games (natch), probably unsuccessfully. However I remember seeing this Tasmanian mercenary on TV they interviewed once that cut both his ears off and claimed he could outbox Mike Tyson or something like that. I'd probably keep a petty cash drawer around to periodically hire him (or others of his ilk) to expand a collection of body parts collected from censors.

We all have our crazy ideas (like mine) but the point is that there ARE still perfectly sane and rational ways people can start addressing this kind of issue. The kinds of things your supposed to exhaust before anyone does anything crazy, but right now I don't think I've ever seen one pro-video game rally.

MorphingDragon:

L4Y Duke:
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.

Not a chance, We get bundled as Australia. If Its Banned in Aussie, it will probably be rare here too.

True, but only because in terms of game releases we're both considered as part of Europe. NZ has only ever banned 3 games, and don't forget that Australia did get a toned down GTA IV, whilst we got the full-blown version.

Every word is true. Was actually wondering if Yahtzee even cared about this game being banned as he didn't mention a word of it in ZP this week. Guess this answers that anyway. Gutted for anyone else living in Austrailia like. Would like Valve to change the content to a way found suitable for the ACB but equally I don't want to miss out on anything!

Oh well, it looks like another Ebay purchase for me.... Helo Michael Atkinson. You sexy beast!

Indeed Yahtzee, you said it quite well.

The sad fact is, this obvious denial of liberty gets completely ignored by the american media. If this was in Canada, or China, or our country it would be all over the news, and yet I've yet to see a single article on it.

All I can say is use your power as a citizen. As gay and ineffective as it can be, it's the only viable tool against oppression and authoritarian rule.

Well, excluding a revolution. *cough cough*

lostbuthappy:
Ford, would I love to see that!

Well, gotta run now.
Greetings from Germany,
lostbuthappy

PS: Sex is good => don't ban genitals. Thank you.

What a brave new world that would be.

Steve Dark:
Why can't the Australian Government just do what most others do when when they don't like something, tax the crap out of it. Government wants people not to smoke, it increases cigarette tax. Government thinks too many people drink? Increase alcohol tax!

Sure it would still be almost as retarded and your games would cost 5 times the price, but at least you'd get to play them right?

Because our games are already marked up 5 times :( it's how the government controls us, by keeping us poor.

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?

lolll best thing I've seen online today =]

Argh. Sometimes, I hate the fact of how Brazil is socially backwards and only gets into the good stuff when its not cool anymore. Rock and Roll? It started in the late 80s here.

But in this aspect, I'm sorta grateful. Politicians tried to make a fuss about DOOM and Carmageddon in their time, but they noticed that so much people went "huh?" and even fewer cared that they just sort of shrugged and went for RPGs and TV. Still, this means that Gaming policies literally NEVER get anywhere and we are doomed to buy games at roughly 3 times their price in the 1rt world countries.

Today, the biggest branch in gaming here is the PC (because consoles are prohibitively expensive, even handhelds), and this is plagued by rampant piracy of a society that doesn't even care when they can afford it. Still, I'm optimistic for the near future. There are signs of change, and recent reviews of the classification policies point it this way. Every aspect of entertainment is comprehensively classified all the way to adults without a fuss about the content going to children. The fact that Japanese animations here come so badly mutilated is more of a lazy act than outright censorship, as it is easier to just import the mutilated US versions than getting it directly from Japan.

I just hope this trend just FUCKING ends! "For the children" is such a tired and agenda-driven non-sense that people should've catched-on to that. Oh, right. I forget. People are stupid. And the level of stupidity is directly proportional to the size of the groups. Democracy works so fucking well...

EDIT: Yeah, my bad. The government actually banned Counter Strike and Everquest last year. Counter Strike because of the MOD-made map Rio, with a bullshit made up story that in the game "You played as drug dealers who kidnapped UN representatives and gain 1000 points for each PM (Military Police Enforcer) you kill with AKs." Anyone who's ever played the game can tell you the only thing right in this made-up crap is the existence of AKs in the game (That's even worse than the Hot Coffee incident, since it is completely user-made, not a hidden in-game code Easter egg).

Everquest (or maybe it was Guild Wars, too tired to fact check) was supposed to be banned because it gave the player "Moral Choices" and... yes. That's it. Since I never played either, and considering they're MMOs, and that the last "Moral Choice" I had to make in an MMO was to decide if I wanted to make a Goblin or a Dwarf character, I'd still be inclined to call this bullshit on grounds of "WTF!?"

And no, these games aren't anywhere near new here. This just shows how laughingly poor is the efficiency of my country's government.

Void(null):

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.

ok, thats ok i suppose just make a new foreign account and gift it to yourself?

As an Appalachian, I have to pridefully ask... why Appalachian trail?

While I agree that we are a little to sanitized, I don't get why He is so hateful towards America.

Slippery slope fallacy! Woo-hoo!

ToenailCar:
Well a few things to say here, firstly this is more of an issue with one guy, as has been said before.

Then ironically, in refusing to create an R-18+ rating the people in charge of these things are actually exposing more violent games to children at a younger age than those in the US and such places.
See aside from the odd refused classification (Which I might add seems to be completely arbitrary and has little to do with actual content) most of the games get through unchanged with an MA-15+ or an M-15+ rating where in america they would have gotten an R-18+ (Or do you guys call it T-18? I forget). So the average australian 15 year old actually has access to more violent content in games than the average american one.

As a whole honestly australia seems to be more laid back when it comes to these things than america, it's just that we have some odd bureaucratic choke points that we can't seem to get rid of.
Another example is the ratings bored continued banning of the odd (again arbitrary) film that contains depictions of nudity despite having absolutely no problem with hardcore X-rated porn movies which in any case have content far more gratuitous than any non-porn movie.

Odjin:

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.

I enjoy the odd bit of gore because it's simple mindless fun, that's it. Nothing more is needed sometimes. I also resent you citing left 4 dead as a game barren of interesting gameplay. Left 4 dead and others like it (Like gears of war) have quite advanced competitive multiplayer in them and are simply topped with a bit of gratuitous fun that happens to come in the form of buckets o' blood.

Granted this isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I can assure you that if they were as lacking in gameplay as you seem to think they are they wouldn't have spawned such successful competitive scenes where so many other games have failed to.

There had been times where players had been gamers meaning they had a sense of quality and didn't take anything as great. In the mean time the so called "casual gamer" entered on stage. This kind of people ( which by the way have grown larger in numbers than actual gamers ) have to be pleased by watered down games since they don't have the butt to learn a game nor do they care for what is important in a game. This is why FPS games have grown so famous. You need no brain nor being smart just having a spastic pointing finger. And if you have a watered down game mechanics that you can't pimp anymore with more watered down concepts you crank up the gore. This has been done since a couple of years now. The result has been people getting more and more pissed at games ( politicians as well as real gamers ). So this is not about what taste somebody has but a simple observation of a dangerous trend which ( if not stopped ) is going to kill the gaming industries in the long run.

Apparently the ACB isn't smart enough to realize that 'B' comes before 'C'.

Yes, the OFLC are cunts for not realizing the market in over 18 gaming. Sure, its perfectly fine to sell pornography in DVD form, but as soon as you add interactability then its a big no-no.

Also i enjoyed the dystopic novel references. XD

"The game contains violence that is high in impact and is therefore unsuitable for persons aged under 18 years to play."
- those selfless protectors of the innocent from the Australian Classifications Board

So.... why dont you(ACB) make a rating for 18+ I mean... here in America (hurr hurr) M is 18+. PROBLEM SOLVED. NEW RATING DURR HURR.

Mercsenary:
"The game contains violence that is high in impact and is therefore unsuitable for persons aged under 18 years to play."
- those selfless protectors of the innocent from the Australian Classifications Board

So.... why dont you(ACB) make a rating for 18+ I mean... here in America (hurr hurr) M is 18+. PROBLEM SOLVED. NEW RATING DURR HURR.

Dunno, our M seems to be your PG-13, so i guess they sorta need that to stay there.

There would be no problem if there was an R18 rating. Would be simple. We have it for Violent movies and Porno, now we need it for games.

We should so lock Atkinson in a room with Yahtze and let our favourite Trilby-wearing Brit give him a piece of his mind.

Then let him run the ABC for a day, see what happens.

Well.......Yahtzee how is GAMETRADERS ROBINA sounding now?

Well, Silent Hill Homecoming was also refused classification in Oz (IIRC), but that didn't stop Yahtzee from acquiring an import copy for review.

I weep for Australian gamers and all the bullshit they have to put up with.

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?

Lets all move there, no not Australia, silly, lets go to the place with the Spartan school.
I want my kids to grow big and strong ... or die trying

Failing that lets all put our monies together in one of these
(flicks through to evergrowing list of Nigerian bank accounts requiring my deposit to claim my prize) bank accounts* and buy ourselves a goverment.
... we may need to sell alot of drugs.

iBroham:

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?

Lets all move there, no not Australia, silly, lets go to the place with the Spartan school.
I want my kids to grow big and strong ... or die trying

Failing that lets all put our monies together in one of these
(flicks through to ever growing list of Nigerian bank accounts requiring my deposit to claim my prize) bank accounts* and buy ourselves a government.
... we may need to sell a lot of drugs.

I would just like to say thanks for being the first person to get that this comment was a joke and not explain what you did in 7th grade biology.

Also, page 37 has some good bank accounts to check out.

I would just like to point out that violent video games don't lead to real life violence. Fucking with the people who play violent video games, may have undesirable effects. I think we should to go and, I dunno, egg the ACB HQ or something? Tip a few cars? or something.

Odjin:

There had been times where players had been gamers meaning they had a sense of quality and didn't take anything as great. In the mean time the so called "casual gamer" entered on stage. This kind of people ( which by the way have grown larger in numbers than actual gamers ) have to be pleased by watered down games since they don't have the butt to learn a game nor do they care for what is important in a game. This is why FPS games have grown so famous. You need no brain nor being smart just having a spastic pointing finger. And if you have a watered down game mechanics that you can't pimp anymore with more watered down concepts you crank up the gore. This has been done since a couple of years now. The result has been people getting more and more pissed at games ( politicians as well as real gamers ). So this is not about what taste somebody has but a simple observation of a dangerous trend which ( if not stopped ) is going to kill the gaming industries in the long run.

There are still plenty of other types of games around here, Limbo (thegame) and Machinarium are the ones I'm looking forward to at the moment. They may not be heavily advertised but they do still exist.

Aside from that, for me at least, it's the 'good' games not being good enough that keeps me mostly with the shooters. As I grew up I found that even the most praised games are nothing compared to even simple kids books like Alice in Wonderland or Of Mice and Men. Why play a game for anything other than mindless fun when you can find far more substance in other mediums. I'm not going to settle with banality just because it's in a different package.'
Not that games couldn't rise to the standard of any other medium, it's just that, at the moment at least, they don't.

Shanecooper:
I would just like to point out that violent video games don't lead to real life violence. Fucking with the people who play violent video games, may have undesirable effects. I think we should to go and, I dunno, egg the ACB HQ or something? Tip a few cars? or something.

Sign me up, I can bring along my cluster grenade launcher too.

Deep down, there is some logic to their argument. But it's the small amount of healthy in a whole truck load of Twinkies. Even in the USA, there is the whole "don't sell M rated games to children," but it happens all the time, because the child asked his mom or dad to buy it for him. What better way to stop teh evil, polluting, murderer creating games out of the hands of the innocent children? Now, I do not believe that games create murderers, or that children are innocent, but I do believe in keeping children safe... from pedophiles and murders. Really, that's what the Australian government should be putting tax money towards.

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