Syndicate Banned in Australia - UPDATED

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I thought we were over this...ironically, banning violent games in Australia WANTS me to commit heinous acts.

Hey fellow Australians, protip:
You can ask the kind people of play-asia to put a game in a different games box to get it through customs, if you have to.

I guess it's ok for me to decapitate foes in games like Skyrim or Bulletstorm, but here oh no it's too much.

The day our government grows up will be a good day. It'd probably be the day I die

Thank god for PlayAsia! :)

Go suck a dick OFLC

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.

Half of the majority agrees with the current policy because they buy into the 'violent games make violent people' crap and the other half just doesn't care. They don't try it with other media because they know people would get angry at it so instead they focus all their censoring onto gaming. And with the way things are going here I wouldn't be surprised if they ended banning games like COD for being too violent, they're getting close to banning smoking and pushing for the driving age to be 18.

I do not understand their thinking. This game is bad for children so no one should play it? Well driving is a bad idea for children so no one should drive and alcohol is bad for children so no one should drink alcohol either. How do idiots who have no idea what they're talking about get into positions of power like this?

Astoria:
Half of the majority agrees with the current policy because they buy into the 'violent games make violent people' crap and the other half just doesn't care. They don't try it with other media because they know people would get angry at it so instead they focus all their censoring onto gaming. And with the way things are going here I wouldn't be surprised if they ended banning games like COD for being too violent, they're getting close to banning smoking and pushing for the driving age to be 18.

I do not understand their thinking. This game is bad for children so no one should play it? Well driving is a bad idea for children so no one should drive and alcohol is bad for children so no one should drink alcohol either. How do idiots who have no idea what they're talking about get into positions of power like this?

Er...if half the majority doesn't care and the other half want these games to be banned, isn't the Australian government supposed to ensure they are banned? They are supposed to represent the people's wishes at best they can.

Anyway, the argument is that games are, or should be, for children, and hence "adult games" shouldn't exist.

Of course, this opinion proves that the majority are incapable of rational, adult, thinking, then they naturally should be protected from video games that will corrupt their feeble minds ;)

Yes, because Australians simply do not have the maturity or constitution of mind to play a game with gritty content. My government suuuure wants to give its people a good wrap there.

thaluikhain:

Astoria:
Half of the majority agrees with the current policy because they buy into the 'violent games make violent people' crap and the other half just doesn't care. They don't try it with other media because they know people would get angry at it so instead they focus all their censoring onto gaming. And with the way things are going here I wouldn't be surprised if they ended banning games like COD for being too violent, they're getting close to banning smoking and pushing for the driving age to be 18.

I do not understand their thinking. This game is bad for children so no one should play it? Well driving is a bad idea for children so no one should drive and alcohol is bad for children so no one should drink alcohol either. How do idiots who have no idea what they're talking about get into positions of power like this?

Er...if half the majority doesn't care and the other half want these games to be banned, isn't the Australian government supposed to ensure they are banned? They are supposed to represent the people's wishes at best they can.

Anyway, the argument is that games are, or should be, for children, and hence "adult games" shouldn't exist.

Of course, this opinion proves that the majority are incapable of rational, adult, thinking, then they naturally should be protected from video games that will corrupt their feeble minds ;)

I would agree with that except that people are being told what they should think. No kidding every news story about games only covers the 'think of the children's side and never actually talks to anyone who really knows about gaming. News here is pretty one sided, not that I'm surprised though. People do seem to be dumbing down these days.

Astoria:
I would agree with that except that people are being told what they should think. No kidding every news story about games only covers the 'think of the children's side and never actually talks to anyone who really knows about gaming. News here is pretty one sided, not that I'm surprised though. People do seem to be dumbing down these days.

If people are dumbing down and thinking what they are told, then the government censoring the hell out of everything doesn't seem like a bad idea, though (once you have a government you can trust).

Personally, I don't believe things are getting worse. It's always popular to want to go back to some golden age or other, but I don't believe it ever existed. People have always thought what they have been told to.

thaluikhain:

Astoria:
I would agree with that except that people are being told what they should think. No kidding every news story about games only covers the 'think of the children's side and never actually talks to anyone who really knows about gaming. News here is pretty one sided, not that I'm surprised though. People do seem to be dumbing down these days.

If people are dumbing down and thinking what they are told, then the government censoring the hell out of everything doesn't seem like a bad idea, though (once you have a government you can trust).

Personally, I don't believe things are getting worse. It's always popular to want to go back to some golden age or other, but I don't believe it ever existed. People have always thought what they have been told to.

True, true but we don't have a government we can trust. They spend more time calling each other names than running the country. I do think that to an extent people need to be told what to do but with things like this they should be able to think for themselves but maybe I've just been playing too much Assassin's Creed.

Mcoffey:
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!

I'm probably going to really regret opening up this can of worms, but here goes: changing gameplay genre does not make it a "bastardization" of the source material. If the reboot turned around and changed the overall message to, "corporations have our best interests at heart," or made the player a force of good, or pulled a Farcry and made it have absolutely nothing to do with the original whatsoever, I would call that bastardization.

Anyways, I'm surprised that the minigun is what earned the ban. What about the part where the player walks in on a man being tortured, then hijacks the mind of one of the torturers, has him brutally gun down his friend as he begs for mercy, before unwillingly shooting himself in the head? That shit was infinitely more disturbing than some ludicrous gibs.

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

You my good sir, have just won the Internet.

I got The Witcher 2 (uncensored version) via import, don't see why I can't do the same with this, if I decide to get it.

thaluikhain:

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.

Please explain what you mean. Freedom means a lack of enforcement, and when freedoms are infringed, the courts handle it. There is no police force for constitutional infringements, just a person and a court and the court must side with the constitution (unless it interprets it to exclude the person's particular issue, but interpretation can only go so far).

Was the Bill of Rights a constitution or a law? In Canada, our Bill of Rights was a law which therefore needed to be enforced and also had no more power than any other law (a law infringing the Bill of Rights would be just as legitimate). Our Constitution was built off of our Bill of Rights, and as constitutional law it is all up to the courts and not government to interpret.

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

Indeed. *Sips wine*

But yeah, the promise of ultra-violence has totally made me forget about this being some outrageous murder of the source material. It's been too long since I've been able to use a minigun and actually have it feel like one...

Xangi:

Woodsey:

Xangi:

In common speech, the word archaic, when referring to a law, means that it is antiquated or a relic of a time which is no longer needed. Arcane, in common speech, means magical.

If they'd meant archaic and antiquated they'd have said it.

Arcane makes sense in the sentence it was used, there's no reason to assume they meant otherwise.

In common speech

Good job "reading" that post, now I have to copy part of my last post again so you can "read" it too.

In common speech, the letters "lol" indicate that a person finds something funny, but I doubt you'd find that defined as a word in any reputable dictionary.

Oh, I'll put one more example, just because that's too easy to refute. The word "Derp", in common speech is usually said to indicate stupidity, either on behalf of the speaker or another person. Is THAT in a dictionary? What is said and what words are defined as are often not the same thing.

Also, just in case you were in the vegetarian thread I posted in earlier, I'll refute that argument right now. "Disingenuous" is not a commonly spoken word, and it does mean what its definition is, there is no alternate interpretation due to context or corruption from usage. Nice try though, if you were going to try to sue that.

Common speech does not mean "now ignore dictionary definitions entirely" for what people think it means. Words can mean different things in different contexts, their use of 'arcane' is in a different context to the example you gave it in.

Woodsey:
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.

Well, by keeping it civil, there's a chance the classification board will do the same bitch-out it did with AVP and just let it through unaltered. I can dream...

maxben:
Please explain what you mean. Freedom means a lack of enforcement, and when freedoms are infringed, the courts handle it. There is no police force for constitutional infringements, just a person and a court and the court must side with the constitution (unless it interprets it to exclude the person's particular issue, but interpretation can only go so far).

Was the Bill of Rights a constitution or a law? In Canada, our Bill of Rights was a law which therefore needed to be enforced and also had no more power than any other law (a law infringing the Bill of Rights would be just as legitimate). Our Constitution was built off of our Bill of Rights, and as constitutional law it is all up to the courts and not government to interpret.

As I understand it (not being a US lawyer or even a US citizen), the first 10 amendments to the US constitution form the "Bill of Rights", guaranteeing various things, except when it didn't.

If someone can just make up a new law that violates something promised in the constitution, what's the point of it? I can see having to jump through a few more hoops as being useful, perhaps, but hardly the massive safeguard it's touted as.

I laughed.
This is what hurts the gaming industry right here.
Now Australians will most probably just pirate the game, seeming they cannot purchace it.

Edit: Oh and I forgot to mention that this controversy will cause the game sales/piracy to increase due to publicity.

So what, we ask, does this ruling effectively do? Promote the spread of the game that they want banned, and promote piracy. Well done Australian government.

Farther than stars:
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.

Yeah, but aren't those basically the same thing? If a word is generally used to describe something, isn't that what its accepted meaning is?

Farther than stars:
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.

Thanks...I think? I'm not fully sure how to accept, "Thanks, but I'd have liked to have heard it from OP instead."

Farther than stars:
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?

Fair enough. Ultimately, we both think that it's a stupid point. The literal definition sides with EA, and neither of us actually thinks that single word is a point worth banging on about. Hell, if it's not a recorded interview, it could just be a typo.

Farther than stars:
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.

Yeah. I was always baffled by objections to violent games because, frankly, if someone is going to play a violent game and then go out and murder people, they're not mentally stable. I've never seen a video game in my life that could prompt a mentally-sound person to go into a frenzy of violence.

Australia's got the worst track record imaginable when it comes to understanding why 'bad' things happen. They banned 'A' cup breasts from pornography on the grounds that it 'encouraged pedophilia' or some shit. Now, maybe I'm mistaken, but I always thought that child pornography was illegal because it involved the active, sexual exploitation of children. Trying to attack the concept of pedophilia by forbidding women with small breasts from being in porn is just as useless and insane as trying to attack the concept of drug addiction by banning the use of methadone. Besides, if pedophiles are buying porn of legal-age women with A-cups, great! I encourage that, because it means they're not doing legitimately horrible things instead.

Buggery! I was getting interested in this one and all....

CAPTCHA: chinsers infantry

The Reds are coming!!!

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.

As many have said before, the general public couldn't care less.

Down in South Australia there was a ban on R rated movie covers from being displayed in stores. They had to be in plain packaging. Three guesses who came up with that brilliant idea.

SirDeadly:
Down in South Australia there was a ban on R rated movie covers from being displayed in stores. They had to be in plain packaging. Three guesses who came up with that brilliant idea.

It wasn't Atkinfuckwit, if that's who you're meaning.

It was some knobber from Family First who had a dummyspit because in a store his 2 year old (I think, some sort of young'n) grabbed a R18 DVD case (empty. duh) off a shelf and brought it to him. So because some god bothering fuckstick couldn't control his own fucking crotchspawn in a shop, South Oz ended up with a law that said unless R18 DVDs were kept seperate from other DVDs in an area kids couldn't access they had to be plain packaged.

Atkinfuck was wayyy too busy at the time trying to ban annonymous comments about the South Oz election on the internet and 'getting tough' on bikies with Unconstitutional anti-association laws.

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.

Ok to clarify the questions, first off I need to explain that games etc aren't 'banned' in the sense you may think. Their actually rated as "Refused Classification", in other words they don't fit within one of the ratings we have (and thus no R-18+ for games means RC for any game that requires it for the moment). What this means is that the movie, game, song, book etc cannot be legally sold, rented or broadcasted/publically shown (as in theateres etc). It however does not make having said movie/game etc illegal to own or view yourself.

And as you may have gathered, this goes for ALL media, including movies, music and books. There are movies that receive RC as well as music, however because they have a R-18+ rating their very rare and most would agree its for a good reason (child porn etc).

Here's what the classification website says:
http://www.classification.gov.au/www/cob/classification.nsf/Page/ClassificationinAustralia_Whatwedo_Whatwedo

Programmed_For_Damage:

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.

No their not the only one, as stated above all media follows the same rules, games just receive more due to no R-18+ (yet)

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

Nothing, as it's not illegal to do so. Only to sell it here.

By their logic, booze should be outlawed.

CM156:
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.

Least Australia is not trying to censor our internet with SOPA, PROTECTIP etc.

Australia still follows due process and does not allow the government (ICE) to seize web sites for no reason, with no due process or adversarial hearing.

The bill of rights did not protect Dajaz1 from ICE (a government department that announces policy from Disney HQ!)

I love how Dajaz1's lawyers were not allowed to know when the hearings were taking place and the prosecutor refused to even voice Dajaz1's opposition to the seizure at these secret hearings.

But I suppose it is OK, now that the US government has returned Dajaz1.com 12 months later, with no charges filed.

And under SOPA / PROTECTIP even less evidence or 'process' will be required and penalties will be harsher.

Just as District of Columbia v. Heller found that the 2nd Amendment right was not unlimited, the right to free speech is already limited via commercial censorship (ie UMG's effective 'censorship' of the MegaUpload commercial).

So don't count on the Bill of Rights for much longer...

[before you mention the Aussie filter, do some research, it will never be spoken of again in our parliament...]

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111208/08225217010/breaking-news-feds-falsely-censor-popular-blog-over-year-deny-all-due-process-hide-all-details.shtml

So, in recap:

Australian Gov: "Save the Childrens! And we consider ALL OF YOU childrens! NO GAME FOR YOU!"
EA: "Your policy is stupid, and we aren't changing the game to fit it. Fuck you Australian gamers!"

...What? Uh, k?

And people say there is not one excuse for piracy....

Although this is one of three situations in which I clearly advocate piracy. If an adult cannot play a game because the Government won't allow it, and the developer doesn't want to put a little bit of effort to hide some violence (For fucks sake, is that the driving point of the game?), why actively NOT download it?

I honestly don't know why they bother. I rarely buy games retail anymore, Play-Asia will come through for me like it does for every nice thing.

Looks like I'm importing it, like the uncensored version of GTA IV. Woo.

Double A:
By their logic, booze should be outlawed.

and it should be. i worked as a security officer in pubs etc. and sure enough, they really cant drink and behave or even handle it. never saw this kind of behavior in europe like in down under.

but also doesnt change the fact that these politicians cant think outside of the box and thinks that games are for children only. im actually glad that EA said what they think of it. still doesnt change my mind about €A what i think of them. :P

Metalrocks:

Double A:
By their logic, booze should be outlawed.

and it should be. i worked as a security officer in pubs etc. and sure enough, they really cant drink and behave or even handle it. never saw this kind of behavior in europe like in down under.

but also doesnt change the fact that these politicians cant think outside of the box and thinks that games are for children only. im actually glad that EA said what they think of it. still doesnt change my mind about €A what i think of them. :P

If someone wants to drink themselves into oblivion, that's their problem. Besides, if you outlaw booze, the only thing that will happen is that the mafia will get ludicrously rich (instead of just considerably well-off). When it's legal, it's taxable and more easily regulated.

EA is just protecting its interests, chief among which is the short-term gain of money. Banning Syndicate hurts them. It's more like pricking your finger on a thorn, sure, but the pain is still there. They don't care about why someone buys their game as long as they do.

Double A:

If someone wants to drink themselves into oblivion, that's their problem. Besides, if you outlaw booze, the only thing that will happen is that the mafia will get ludicrously rich (instead of just considerably well-off). When it's legal, it's taxable and more easily regulated.

EA is just protecting its interests, chief among which is the short-term gain of money. Banning Syndicate hurts them. It's more like pricking your finger on a thorn, sure, but the pain is still there. They don't care about why someone buys their game as long as they do.

dont get me wrong there, im aware that banning alcohol will not achieve much and that the mafia (like al capone back in the 30s) will find a way but the people really cant handle it when they drink and wonder why they wake up in a hospital or jail.
easier to regulate... not from what i've saw. the government doesnt do anything about this matter, besides few adds telling people how dangerous it is to drink and drive. but well, thats a different matter.

to topic.
yes, €A surely will lose money and they dont want that, but i still find it good of them to stand up and say what they think of it.
because it also hurts the stores of australia if they cant sell a product which people want. this means that the stores will complain about it because of the loss of money.

Having read in PCPowerPlay that the reviewer found the core mechanic in the game underwhelming rose an eyebrow and concern.

Having read how it works and thinking "Gee, this is like Lucas' genius idea to explain how Jedi (Light, Dark and Grey) can use the force." I am actually happy about Australia's ironically conservative views on gaming (for this one).

The mechanics worked in an underwhelming way and if I wanted to play a game with a storyline I'd enjoy, I'll play Bulletstorm. It's mindless fun, but it is that. Fun.

kiri2tsubasa:

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?

It would certainly prove the government's point.

Australia can always use the smartass approach of UK Jedis & put down "gamer" as their religion on the next census.

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