Syndicate Banned in Australia - UPDATED

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Australia to EA: No, not here bro. Games r 4 kidz.
EA to Australia: Go fuck yourself. Games are for everyone.

Everyone has a great hate for EA, but, hey, they issues a good response here.

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.

Have to say i'm not a mainstream/hardcore gamer, in the way that i didn't know about Syndicate reboot until earlier today (and is usually the case with most stuff), and i hate the government (i'm sure 90% of the voters here actually don't vote for who they want in power, but vote against who they don't want in power, i know i do). But public opinion that i hear is, "its a game... who cares" or along those lines.
The past-time called gaming has caught on here, but it isn't widespread enough that people take it seriously, more so with the older generation (40+ years old) thinking its a ridiculous waste of time, and guess who makes up 90% of the political parties.

Also they have done this to movies, just these movies are usually c/d-grade things that are rarely heard of.

So the Aussie government actually does alot of censoring, they just seem to be very sneaky with the majority of it.

Edit: they ruined L4D2 for me, now this.... i think censorship actually may cause more gun-wielding insane people then actually playing said games

bloodrayne626:

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

I fixed your post, man.

I was actually going to purchase it, but whatever.

Xangi:

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.

Arcane as in mysterious, they know what they're saying.

Vault101:
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

Every survey that's been conducted on this issue shows that the vast majority of people (gamers and non-gamers alike) in Australia think videogames should be rated exactly like movies. And by vast majority we're talking above 90%. But gamers are the most vocal, and others probably aren't going to go out of their way to follow the issue. But still, almost anyone you care to ask will tell you banning games is bullshit.

And it's not just games, it's funny that you mentioned Human Centipede because the sequel was refused classification (banned) here a few weeks back.

The vast majority of people here don't give a flying cuss about anything (unless it's boat people, then it's all "Save us from the foreign hordes who'll take our jobs and force us to become Muslim!").

The only people who care about this issue are the gamers on the one hand and the self-righteous do-gooders on the other who think they have a God-given right to lecture everyone else about their morals (usually the same xenophobic fucktards who seem to have a problem with helping others less fortunate than themselves - see rant about boat people above).

Yep. EA would be smart to focus on downloadable games like what CD Projekt did with the witcher 2. "We totally don't want you to mark your country as USA and get the uncensored game for cheaper, so we'll show you how to do that, so you know how to not do it *wink*"

Raiyan 1.0:
Oh maaaaaaaaaaaaaan!

I was waiting for Yahtzee to tear the game apart!

He reviewed Mortal Kombat even though that game was banned in Australia and he's also reviewed Catherine so we can hope.

Raiyan 1.0:
Oh maaaaaaaaaaaaaan!

I was waiting for Yahtzee to tear the game apart!

Yahtzee imports games otherwise unavailable. Remember that whole Gametraders Robina spiel in one video?

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.

Pornography (along with alcohol) has been banned in various Aboriginal communities in the NT under the Federal Intervention thingy, which has yet to solve anything.

Oh my god.... The world is ending.

I'm agreeing with EA.

It's okay.... I'll go quietly.

finally a game with realistic damage - ban.
you Australians are lucky your on the opposite side of the world or someone would get shot tonight.

Well, so EA actually said something good.
Perhaps there is still hope.

What?!? The Australian government is going to make it mildly inconvenient to get the new Syndicate reboot when it comes out?

Oh no!

and what,s going to prevent people from importing it?
y'know Australia this is only going to force people towards piracy or smuggling.

This is the only time I say this, but:

Go EA games! Go, go, go!

Andy Chalk:
EA's "response" to the situation is to more or less tell the Australian government to get bent.

I'll just leave this here...

image

Most of the time I hate EA. But sometimes...

I don't think I shall get this game... it rapes my childhood too much.

As for Australia... hell, we ban more games then CHINA and that should tell you all you need to know about the Australian government and their view on computers.

Am I the only one who thinks that Australia banning violent videogames barely counts as "news" any more? I don't hold it against Australia, it's just what it does. To use a Yahtzee-ism, trying to stop Australia banning videogames is like trying to convince a dog to stop sniffing its own a-se.

Now if Australia banned "Barney's Singalong"... THAT would be news.

Jinx_Dragon:
I don't think I shall get this game... it rapes my childhood too much.

As for Australia... hell, we ban more games then CHINA and that should tell you all you need to know about the Australian government and their view on computers.

You mean their view on their own citizens, don't you? Computers are just those magical boxes with the flashing lights that make the pretty pictures appear on the screen. Citizens are poor ignorant savages who must be saved from their own poor impulse-control.

Yep. A game that would be rated R (or MA at least) is too violent for kids, so we don't get it. Typical.

only one way to describe my anger at my government... FUCK YOU GUYS!!! I blame this all on Julia Gillard, first she screws the economics, and now delaying R 18+ games to be alowed?!?! now that out of my system, Im so damn sick of the Australian government thinking that parents are irresponsible, so they dont allow any good things in, like Mortal Kombat :( atleast Dead Island got through i guess...

Well, lucky im moving to the UK in 3 months time :D

I mourn for you, citizens of the Great Australian Gaming Ghetto.

Am I the only one who came in here with a sort of sense of understanding from knowing the Aussie government has done this in the past, only to get somewhat pissed off when I discovered that the actual reason the game is being banned is nothing more than 'too much gore'?

I just really think this is a fucking stupid way of judging things. Here we have a game which personally I think is the first game I can think of which I genuinely would feel somewhat uncomfortable playing, due to the way you (as the player) are committing horrific actions in a genuinely evil, fucked up world, and yet this is glorified with a straight face and seen as perfectly okay.

I have no qualms at all about playing as an evil character, doing terrible things, but there's something about this game that I just don't like, and I think it's that there doesn't seem to be any explanation or justification for this evil. It's not darkly cynical like the first Syndicate game (from what I've seen of it). It's not over-the-top, comedic evil, like Evil Genius. It's not evil which is actually treated as evil, like the No Russian level in Modern Warfare 2. It's just... Evil for the sake of evil.

I think it's the bits where you stab a guy in the head and take the chip from his brain while a calm, cheerful voice congratulates you that get me - along with the casual killing of innocents who pose no threat at all to you. I just don't like the way that not only is there no attempt to portray this as a horrific action - either within the game's fiction or outside it, to the player - but that it's almost glorified.

Has anyone else thought anything like this or am I being a baby?

random_bars:
Am I the only one who came in here with a sort of sense of understanding from knowing the Aussie government has done this in the past, only to get somewhat pissed off when I discovered that the actual reason the game is being banned is nothing more than 'too much gore'?

I just really think this is a fucking stupid way of judging things. Here we have a game which personally I think is the first game I can think of which I genuinely would feel somewhat uncomfortable playing, due to the way you (as the player) are committing horrific actions in a genuinely evil, fucked up world, and yet this is glorified with a straight face and seen as perfectly okay.

I have no qualms at all about playing as an evil character, doing terrible things, but there's something about this game that I just don't like, and I think it's that there doesn't seem to be any explanation or justification for this evil. It's not darkly cynical like the first Syndicate game (from what I've seen of it). It's not over-the-top, comedic evil, like Evil Genius. It's not evil which is actually treated as evil, like the No Russian level in Modern Warfare 2. It's just... Evil for the sake of evil.

I think it's the bits where you stab a guy in the head and take the chip from his brain while a calm, cheerful voice congratulates you that get me - along with the casual killing of innocents who pose no threat at all to you. I just don't like the way that not only is there no attempt to portray this as a horrific action - either within the game's fiction or outside it, to the player - but that it's almost glorified.

Has anyone else thought anything like this or am I being a baby?

Well, theoretically this could be symptomatic of the themes of the game's setting. In the original Syndicate, your agents were all brainwashed, usually by your mind-control ray gun or, memorably, by hitting them in a car and carrying them away.

So this could be an attempt to portray the process of that brainwashing, that these insanely violent actions are positively reinforced by the agent's environment, and that their suggestible state leads them to utter obedience to a sinister overlord organisation. In many ways it could cast an intimidating shadow on the player themselves, as they interact with the game through their skinner box.

"This is you." The game says, "This is how easy it is to control you."

...

That or it's a shitty FPS knockoff of a classic game with a terrible departure from the original aesthetic and advertised shock value.

You know, one or the other.

TL:DR, Don't fuck with Bullfrog classics.

Look, I have no strong feelings about this one way or the other. Australian government doesn't want this product being sold? That's fine. Gamers want it to be sold? I can see the argument there as well. But in the end what I cannot stand is the blatant hypocrisy that's in play here.
Compare what's going on here to the "Bloody Mess" perk in the new Fallout games (at least I assume New Vegas has it as well). I mean, it's in the same category, but Fallout 3 is perfectly acceptable to the Australian government? Come on, now.
I'm not saying that they should now ban Fallout games as well, but it's clear to me that they're now just being nit-picky to make a point. This game isn't even released yet and they're already fine-combing the trailer to see if it has even a glimpse of something they could ban it for. And I would bet my bottom dollar that no-one ever did that for Fallout 3, because there wasn't as much of a big deal about it back then as there is now.
Once again, the Australian government can be agaisnt whatever it wants as far as I'm concerned, but they should stop embarrassing themselves by being so pendantic. It's not just unseemly, but I'm sure it's wasting plenty of government resources doing so.

Xangi:

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.

No, they mean arcane. Archaic wouldn't even make any sense. Games haven't been around for long enough to be archaic, let alone the Australian government's notoriety for banning them.
Either way, I don't mind whether you like EA or not, but don't go knocking them for something as simple as this.
And personally I would never call them stupid. Sure, they've done some dumb things but looking at the over-all record; getting into bed with studios and copyright holders that brought them games like the Happy Potter series, The Sims, Mass Effect (and by extension Dragon Age), Dead Space, just to name a few. I would call that pretty smart business practice.

Raiyan 1.0:
Oh maaaaaaaaaaaaaan!

I was waiting for Yahtzee to tear the game apart!

You think this is going to stop him? He's reviewed 'banned' games before. He just has to have them imported first.

EDIT: I think EA's response is a shame for Australian gamers, but still a necessary move. Australia's censorship laws have held up for this long in part because big publishers were willing to pander to their asinine terms and neuter their games to get access to the Australian market. Gamers might have been annoyed by this, but ultimately, they still got something close to the game they wanted.

Now? EA's actually made a move that can be described as 'ballsy' rather than 'dickish.' They've made a lot of questionable choices, and a good number of unquestionably bad ones, too, but this is actually a move to be admired by them. They're one of the biggest publishers in gaming, and if they're finally going to stop appeasing the Australian censorship board's demands, gamers won't have a censored but still servicable copy of a game to convince them that they can live with such dickish censorship laws.

Farther than stars:

Xangi:

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.

No, they mean arcane. Archaic wouldn't even make any sense. Games haven't been around for long enough to be archaic, let alone the Australian government's notoriety for banning them.

You know that 'arcane' generally just means 'magic,' right? Its literal definition is 'mysterious' and such, but I've never heard it used in any context except magic. So unless EA is deriding Australia for its use of warlocks in enforcing their gaming bans, they were probably shooting for 'archaic.'

Farther than stars:
Either way, I don't mind whether you like EA or not, but don't go knocking them for something as simple as this.

You're assuming that he meant literally archaic. I highly doubt that. If you're referring to a law as 'archaic,' it means the same thing as 'dated': it's a law that isn't up to date with the current era. And frankly, the fact that games are a relatively new industry only lends credit to the idea that Austria's laws are dated. They're knee-jerk responses by self-declared morals 'n values crusaders who are latching on to the latest trend in entertainment because it's not longer accepted to do the same thing with radio, literature, comics, film, etc.

And yes, these are the sort of standards that were forced on other entertainment mediums when they were first conceived. It's just that most of them collapsed at least a few decades ago that makes this sort of thing seem particularly stupid. The US had 'film codes' that forbade (and this is not an exaggeration) criminals from ever being portrayed in a positive light. Like, at all. It was as insane as it was stupid, and it's astonishing that we apparently didn't learn enough the first half-dozen times we went through this cycle.

Char-Nobyl:

Farther than stars:

Xangi:

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.

No, they mean arcane. Archaic wouldn't even make any sense. Games haven't been around for long enough to be archaic, let alone the Australian government's notoriety for banning them.

You know that 'arcane' generally just means 'magic,' right? Its literal definition is 'mysterious' and such, but I've never heard it used in any context except magic. So unless EA is deriding Australia for its use of warlocks in enforcing their gaming bans, they were probably shooting for 'archaic.'

Farther than stars:
Either way, I don't mind whether you like EA or not, but don't go knocking them for something as simple as this.

You're assuming that he meant literally archaic. I highly doubt that. If you're referring to a law as 'archaic,' it means the same thing as 'dated': it's a law that isn't up to date with the current era. And frankly, the fact that games are a relatively new industry only lends credit to the idea that Austria's laws are dated. They're knee-jerk responses by self-declared morals 'n values crusaders who are latching on to the latest trend in entertainment because it's not longer accepted to do the same thing with radio, literature, comics, film, etc.

And yes, these are the sort of standards that were forced on other entertainment mediums when they were first conceived. It's just that most of them collapsed at least a few decades ago that makes this sort of thing seem particularly stupid. The US had 'film codes' that forbade (and this is not an exaggeration) criminals from ever being portrayed in a positive light. Like, at all. It was as insane as it was stupid, and it's astonishing that we apparently didn't learn enough the first half-dozen times we went through this cycle.

It doesn't generally mean magic. It's generally used to describe magic, even though it doesn't have to be. But that tangent aside, that's quite a nice bit of reasoning you have there. Although I must say I would have prefered to have heard it from the orginial poster.
Never mind, I can take you on, but saying what you just have, I would argue that either words would be equally valid in that position. And that being the case, shouldn't we just let EA give that sentence the meaning they did, rather than debating what it should mean?
I'm glad you brought up criminals though, because now I get to remind everyone how television and video games are what got kids off the streets and kept them out of gangs. In that light, the Australian government should be thanking the gaming industry on its knees.

Eh...
I'm only mildly considering getting the game, so it really doesn't matter to me.

Props to EA though, finally saying something all gamers want to say to the Australin Governemt/Rating Board.

so after having a wicked awesome trailer, this happens?

Hm...this game is sounding more and more enticing by the minute. will have to watch it closely.

Xangi:
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.

No, our government is literally using black magic to stop people from realising what they're doing. Dead. Serious.

If anyone else can think of a reason how people can't see through all the blatant populism and pandering flying around Canberra at the moment I'd like to hear it :P

Whoa. EA said something awesome? I...I need to lie down.

Sucks for you, Australia. To be fair, it's an EA game, so it'd probably be a huge disappointment anyway.

Australia needs to get out of the 1990's and grow the fuck up...

Games are no longer a childs plaything. In fact, most customers now are full grown adults. If you allow porn, violent movies and rap, then you can allow games.

Farther than stars:

Xangi:

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.

No, they mean arcane. Archaic wouldn't even make any sense. Games haven't been around for long enough to be archaic, let alone the Australian government's notoriety for banning them.
Either way, I don't mind whether you like EA or not, but don't go knocking them for something as simple as this.
And personally I would never call them stupid. Sure, they've done some dumb things but looking at the over-all record; getting into bed with studios and copyright holders that brought them games like the Happy Potter series, The Sims, Mass Effect (and by extension Dragon Age), Dead Space, just to name a few. I would call that pretty smart business practice.

Arcane makes significantly less sense, no matter how you define archaic. Also, if you think telling a government to shove it is smarter than appealing to them to get your product sold (in terms of business), then you clearly should never run a business. The ideal handling of this situation would be to do what smart game companies ALWAYS do when dealing with Australia, make a special censored version. Or, better than that, just give them the German version, since that one is already going to be censored.

Also, EA is not known for smart business practice in the realm of PC gaming. If you had played DS2 or ME2 on PC, you'd realize what a hassle it is to deal with Securom, which they insist on putting in their games. Sure, they do great on 360 and PS3, but soon that console generation will be forced into obsolescence by Nintendo starting a new generation, and then what? What happens when Mass Effect 6: Shepard goes to college doesn't sell? They'll be wishing they didn't alienate the whole PC market.

tl;dr
Archaic makes more sense no matter how you slice it (though if English is not your first language I can see the confusion), and EA is still dumb.

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