Syndicate Banned in Australia - UPDATED

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Syndicate Banned in Australia - UPDATED

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The Syndicate reboot gets the thumbs-down from the Australian Classification Board.

Australia might be slowly working its way toward a functional videogame rating system [or then again, it may not] but until it finally gets there, the old rules still apply. That's bad news for Aussie gamers looking forward to the upcoming Syndicate do-over from Starbreeze, because the Australian Classification Board has determined that, under those old rules, the game is too intensely violent for kids and thus should be played by no-one.

What's the hangup? This description of a sequence involving a "G290 minigun" taken from the Classification Board report on the game sums it up rather nicely. "Combatants take locational damage and can be explicitly dismembered, decapitated or bisected by the force of the gunfire," it says. "The depictions are accompanied by copious bloodspray and injuries are shown realistically and with detail. Flesh and bone are often exposed while arterial sprays of blood continue to spirt from wounds at regular intervals."

Totally awesome! Also, I think most of us would agree, totally not for kids. But Australia's game rating system isn't built to accommodate adults, so if it's not for kids, it's not for anyone.

"In the opinion of the Board, the game contains intense sequences of violence which include detailed depictions of decaptitation and dismemberment that are high in playing impact," the report says. "The game also contains the ability to inflict repeated and realistic post mortem damage which exceeds strong in playing impact. It is therefore unsuitable for a minor to see or play and should be Refused Classification pursuant to item 1(d) of the computer games table of the Code."

Kotaku Australia says EA is "preparing a response" to the effective ban, although it seems unlikely that the game could be toned down enough to get it under the wire, at least in time to make its planned launch in February 2012. And even if it could, who would want to play a neutered, sanitized Syndicate when the rest of the world is wading hip-deep through the blood [and bone, and bits of brain] of its corporate rivals? That's just no fun at all.

UPDATE: EA's "response" to the situation is to more or less tell the Australian government to get bent. "The game will not be available in Australia despite its enthusiastic response from fans. We were encouraged by the government's recent agreement to adopt an 18+ age rating for games. However, delays continue to force an arcane censorship on games - cuts that would never be imposed on books or movies," Tiffany Steckler of EA Corporate Communications told Joystiq. "We urge policy makers to take swift action to implement an updated policy that reflects today's market and gives its millions of adult consumers the right to make their own content choices."

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Sounds great. When can I preorder?

And I really hope that "preparing a response" means EA are planning to have the members of the classification board gunned down by covert operatives. I mean we all know that EA is an Evil Mega-Corporation, so they might as well act like it.

Dismemberment? Locational damage? Tons of gore? An intriguing story that's probably much more relevant than I'm comfortable with? A MINIGUN, you say?

...oh what the hell, take my money. Thanks, Australia! Keep banning stuff, it generates interest in games that might be cool!

Sixcess:
Sounds great. When can I preorder?

And I really hope that "preparing a response" means EA are planning to have the members of the classification board gunned down by covert operatives. I mean we all know that EA is an Evil Mega-Corporation, so they might as well act like it.

Hypothetically speaking, would that really be a bad thing?

I still don't understand this. "Herp derp bad for kids so nobody gets it"
Oh well. I guess lucky old me in England can get this when it's cheap and mini-gun some motherfuckers down.

You know what this just put the game 2 notches up on my priority list ,love a game where the gun play has some weight none of this pea shooter fall down nonsense (even if it is technically more realistic)

Good thing my mate doesn't lived in Australia otherwise he would of been pissed off about this news (he played the old RTS and loved it so this is a instant buy for him).

I bet this whole Machine-gun/dismemberment thing is just a smokescreen for the real issue: The Australian government is taking a stand against reboots bastardizing their source material!

They fight for good under the veil of evil! It's true!

Yes, because we wouldn't want all those poor little kiddies' minds to get warped and turn them into a generation psychotic delinquents. Can you imagine an entire continent inhabited by criminals?

...OH WAIT

hazabaza1:
I still don't understand this. "Herp derp bad for kids so nobody gets it"
Oh well. I guess lucky old me in England can get this when it's cheap and mini-gun some motherfuckers down.

Because everyone knows the only adults in Australia who play videogames are snarky British ex-pat manchildren.

I'm so glad I live in a country that has a Bill of Rights which would not allow this kind of foolery. The 7-2 decision of Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association affirms that. Still, Australians, you have my sympathy.

Oh maaaaaaaaaaaaaan!

I was waiting for Yahtzee to tear the game apart!

FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK. This is REALLY starting to annoy me. Now it's getting to games I might actually be interested in.

DVS BSTrD:
Yes, because we wouldn't want all those poor little kiddies' minds to get warped and turn them into a generation psychotic delinquents. Can you imagine an entire continent inhabited by criminals?

...OH WAIT

You sir made me laugh my ass off from that bravo

A game banned in australia is a sad day because gamers dont get to have there games because of stupid people D:

I was ambivalent toward Syndicate, being a big fan of original, but I was still going to give it a go. Not according to my government I'm not! I'm getting sick of this shit.

I do applaud EA for not watering it down for the Australian censors; L4D2 was so neutered that it really detracted from the game.

I wish they'd have literally told them to go fuck themselves. Its not like that'd make the retarded situation any worse.

If its any consolation guys, the game doesn't look any good.

jesus hank christ... EA actaully did something i can applaud!

Veldie:

DVS BSTrD:
Yes, because we wouldn't want all those poor little kiddies' minds to get warped and turn them into a generation psychotic delinquents. Can you imagine an entire continent inhabited by criminals?

...OH WAIT

You sir made me laugh my ass off from that bravo

A game banned in australia is a sad day because gamers dont get to have there games because of stupid people D:

Same here, then I thought "Now that wasn't very nice."

I then proceeded to laugh more. I guess EA can do something half right, I'm going to assume putting it down to kiddy age would completely ruin it.

The Australian restrictions on what would be deemed "free speech" in the US and most other democracies are insane.

Cases like these, which have only increased in recent years, simply demonstrate the necessity of mentioning free speech in a democracy's constitution. One would think that the constitution of a true democracy would contain some mention -- ANY mention -- about free speech, but most are surprised to find out that it is not the case. The lack of such a clause is dangerous. If they can go this far, how much farther can they go before the restrictions would be deemed unacceptable?

Also, could someone who lives in Australia please comment on how the general public there views what's going on with videogames? I don't want any biased answers. I just want the truth about public opinion. Anyone know?

Oh and if there is someone out there who can offer such insight, could you please also tell us whether Australia has done this with other mediums (e.g. film, television, literature, etc.)? From what I've gathered through my limited research, it appears that videogames have been the only target.

Dr. Witticism:

Also, could someone who lives in Australia please comment on how the general public there views what's going on with videogames? I don't want any biased answers. I just want the truth about public opinion. Anyone know?

Oh and if there is someone out there who can offer such insight, could you please also tell us whether Australia has done this with other mediums (e.g. film, television, literature, etc.)? From what I've gathered through my limited research, it appears that videogames have been the only target.

The majority don't care, I can tell you for a fact. It's only gamers that are up in arms over it, hence the reason the government is stalling for as long as possible. Hell, due to the strength of our dollar, game developing/publishing companies are folding quicker than a cheap suit and they seem to give even less of a fuck.

And you are correct, video games are the only thing this applies to because it is an "interactive" medium. I've gone onto the OLFC website to see what the classifications board is letting in and the titles to some of the porn movies that they've given the green light to sound infinitely more nasty than anything Syndicate will dish up. But the pollies do love their porn.

Programmed_For_Damage:

Dr. Witticism:

Also, could someone who lives in Australia please comment on how the general public there views what's going on with videogames? I don't want any biased answers. I just want the truth about public opinion. Anyone know?

Oh and if there is someone out there who can offer such insight, could you please also tell us whether Australia has done this with other mediums (e.g. film, television, literature, etc.)? From what I've gathered through my limited research, it appears that videogames have been the only target.

The majority don't care, I can tell you for a fact. It's only gamers that are up in arms over it, hence the reason the government is stalling for as long as possible. Hell, due to the strength of our dollar, game developing/publishing companies are folding quicker than a cheap suit and they seem to give even less of a fuck.

And you are correct, video games are the only thing this applies to because it is an "interactive" medium. I've gone onto the OLFC website to see what the classifications board is letting in and the titles to some of the porn movies that they've given the green light to sound infinitely more nasty than anything Syndicate will dish up. But the pollies do love their porn.

That's such a shame. I guess the public at large doesn't realize that the censorship of one medium is important to everyone because the more encroachment is allowed, the more likely it is to be extended to other mediums and even to speech from the people themselves. People should really be more sensitive to such issues, rather than taking the "as long as it doesn't affect me" approach to any one policy/law.

I guess video of, say, triple penetration is more suitable to children than violent videogames, simply because the video isn't "interactive." Although, let's be honest: porn is very often, er..."interactive."

P.S. Programmed_For_Damage: LOVE your avatar! Hysterical!

Welp, I guess I'll just have to order it from the internet.

Syndicate as a FPS was a bad idea to begin with I believe but I still wanted to give it a shot. Suppose I'll have to get it by some other means (american steam store for solid copy from overseas)

Dr. Witticism:
The Australian restrictions on what would be deemed "free speech" in the US and most other democracies are insane.

Cases like these, which have only increased in recent years, simply demonstrate the necessity of mentioning free speech in a democracy's constitution. One would think that the constitution of a true democracy would contain some mention -- ANY mention -- about free speech, but most are surprised to find out that it is not the case. The lack of such a clause is dangerous. If they can go this far, how much farther can they go before the restrictions would be deemed unacceptable?

Also, could someone who lives in Australia please comment on how the general public there views what's going on with videogames? I don't want any biased answers. I just want the truth about public opinion. Anyone know?

Oh and if there is someone out there who can offer such insight, could you please also tell us whether Australia has done this with other mediums (e.g. film, television, literature, etc.)? From what I've gathered through my limited research, it appears that videogames have been the only target.

the "general public" dont care except for the gamers among them

and yeah, as far as I can tell its only the games, I was actually surprised to find a copy of "the human centepede" in a DVD store

and to be honest it doesnt happen all that often (this is the only notable example other than left 4 dead) but I still think its an issue that needs adressing

Urgh, I know I'm not gonna pirate this (I respect games too much) but I don't exactly want to import it either. Goddamn lazy government.

DVS BSTrD:

Because everyone knows the only adults in Australia who play videogames are snarky British ex-pat manchildren.

With cool hats!

You mustn't forget the hat!

It's ok, i'll just watch a Let's Play of it...won't be missing out on any "intense sequences of violence" here! Thanks Australian Government!

small bet that they put a dismembering minigun specifically to offend them to get free press

Dr. Witticism:
The Australian restrictions on what would be deemed "free speech" in the US and most other democracies are insane.

Cases like these, which have only increased in recent years, simply demonstrate the necessity of mentioning free speech in a democracy's constitution. One would think that the constitution of a true democracy would contain some mention -- ANY mention -- about free speech, but most are surprised to find out that it is not the case. The lack of such a clause is dangerous. If they can go this far, how much farther can they go before the restrictions would be deemed unacceptable?

I'd disagree. It's all very well to have such things in your constitution, but it doesn't mean anything unless people want to enforce it. And in that case, they'd do it anyway.

The US Bill of Rights, for example, promises all sorts of things that are quietly overlooked when necessary.

Dr. Witticism:
Also, could someone who lives in Australia please comment on how the general public there views what's going on with videogames? I don't want any biased answers. I just want the truth about public opinion. Anyone know?

Nobody much seems to care. Oh, if you ask, people would likely say that it's silly, but it's not a pressing concern in the scheme of things.

I am happy EA told them essentially "get bent". Parents are to blame for children who go bad due to video games, not video games them selves. Old white boys gonna hate I guess.

Now I don't have to worry about my son going out and using his minigun to dismember, decapitate, or bisect my fellow countrymen!

I really don't care. All this means is I order it from America for half the price. I'll probably get it quicker than if I ordered it from an Australian website too because our postal service tends to work at a snail's pace unless you're in the eastern states. All this successfully does is loses potential sales to Australian retailers so good work, government.

Dr. Witticism:
The Australian restrictions on what would be deemed "free speech" in the US and most other democracies are insane.

Cases like these, which have only increased in recent years, simply demonstrate the necessity of mentioning free speech in a democracy's constitution. One would think that the constitution of a true democracy would contain some mention -- ANY mention -- about free speech, but most are surprised to find out that it is not the case. The lack of such a clause is dangerous. If they can go this far, how much farther can they go before the restrictions would be deemed unacceptable?

Also, could someone who lives in Australia please comment on how the general public there views what's going on with videogames? I don't want any biased answers. I just want the truth about public opinion. Anyone know?

Oh and if there is someone out there who can offer such insight, could you please also tell us whether Australia has done this with other mediums (e.g. film, television, literature, etc.)? From what I've gathered through my limited research, it appears that videogames have been the only target.

I think the sale of porn is banned everywhere except the ACT and NT, but other than that it's just video games.

Sexy Devil:
I think the sale of porn is banned everywhere except the ACT and NT, but other than that it's just video games.

What? No. I've got two porn stores on the same street near where I live and I'm in NSW.

hurr do how do i properly quote someone that has already quoted someone without having the fuckhuge quote to a quote bullshit I hate this

SL33TBL1ND:
Welp, I guess I'll just have to pirate it from the internet.

I fixed your post, man.

bloodrayne626:

SL33TBL1ND:
Welp, I guess I'll just have to pirate it from the internet.

I fixed your post, man.

Hey, if it's banned it's justifiable right ;)?

Andy Chalk:

"The game will not be available in Australia despite its enthusiastic response from fans. We were encouraged by the government's recent agreement to adopt an 18+ age rating for games. However, delays continue to force an arcane censorship on games - cuts that would never be imposed on books or movies,"

Surely they mean "archaic"?

Oh wait, this is EA, they're not famous for their brains, and in fact are famous for their LACK of brains.

Silly me.

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