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Cheshire1996 04-28-2011 02:42 AM

Video Games: Bans, Ratings and Violence
I know in Australia over the past few months, even years, there's been a lot of controversy over banning R rated video games with a few games actually being taken out of stores and being completely banned due to violence and graphic gore. The issue popped up again with the new Mortal Kombat game coming out which we will not be able to access at all over here. Selling these games is illegal and believe there is a pretty big fine if you're caught bringing them in from other countries.

A great many of the hard-core gamers are pretty upset because of course, they won't be able to get their hands on the games. Personally I can see both points of view, while if classifications are obeyed then I can see no problem with R rated games, however I can see how we don't want little kids to be exposed to this stuff either.

This has been one of the main issues and one of the original reasons Australia doesn't allow or even officially have R rated games. Although they have classifications and you have to be a certain age to buy games with higher levels of violence it's impossible to monitor who lays what once the games are bought. The risk that we'd end up with millions of four and five year olds playing games designed specifically for adults was obviously too great.

Another issue is that of games being banned by the government and then later being placed back in stores. Surely if the government wants their decision to be respected, whether R rated games are allowed or not, they need to stick with their decisions. Like I said I can understand why they don't want these games allowed but to be fair they need to make the boundaries clear. Otherwise they're walking on a very thin borderline. Of course another part of me is slightly disappointed I won't get to see what the game itself is like XD

Have a statement from Warner Bros on the issue...

'The highly anticipated video game Mortal Kombat, published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (WBIE) in Australia, has been refused classification by the Australian Classification Board and will not release in Australia. We are extremely disappointed that Mortal Kombat, one of the world’s oldest and most successful video games franchises, will not be available to mature Australian gamers. WBIE would not market mature content where it is not appropriate for the audience. We understand that not all content is for every audience, but there is an audience for mature gaming content and it would make more sense to have the R18+ classification in Australia. As a member of the iGEA, WBIE is reviewing all options available at this time.'

Anyways, out of interest, what do you all think? Is the Australian Government making a bad move by disallowing games that are R rated into the country and from being sold in stores or should such games be available to buy?

Daenelia 04-28-2011 02:48 PM

In Holland the debate comes up now and again, but banning is not something that I see happening here.

it is quite simple: shops that sell to underage kids get fined, heavily. That goes for rated games, alcohol and ****. Oh, and cigarettes. Banning never helps anyway. People want things that are banned even more, and they will then stop at little to get what they want.

How is Australia stoping things like Steam btw? Is that just blocked?

Miranda_ 04-28-2011 03:04 PM

If parents don't want their kids exposed to such games, then perhaps they ought to try a little thing called "parenting" rather than blaming the manufacturers. I've talked to people who work in game shops, and several times a parent has actually berated them for refusing to sell a violent game to an underage child, or has bought a game for a child and then returned it saying that it was violent and they should have warned them, despite the warnings and age limits plastered all over.

The shop staff are not mind readers; if an adult is buying Mortal Kombat, unless they actually say "It's for my twelve year old son", there's no way of knowing that they're going to take it home and give it to their child. It's true that in some cases, staff are being negligent in selling violent games to children, but just as often it's the parents' fault for giving into pester power without doing any research on the game and then blaming the retailer rather than take responsibility for their own mistakes.

Elanorea 04-28-2011 04:15 PM

I find such bans to be completely unnecessary and probably also inefficient, since there are easy enough ways to get around it *cough*piracy*cough*. I can understand wanting to protect children from violent content, but that should be the job of the parents, not the government. Saying "I don't want my 7-year-old playing Manhunt so nobody should have access to mature games ever!" is just stupid.

Cheshire1996 04-28-2011 04:43 PM

That's what I find irritating, parents complaining about the bans and then letting their children play the game the very next week. I think so far lots of people have managed to get it via the Internet and in the end if you really want to play it I have no doubt it'll be available somewhere, legal or not.

It think a few people I know have...investigated these options o.o

Silver_Wolf_Kitty 05-01-2011 10:52 PM

I think its completely unreasonable to ban them outright. While the rating system and age-specific buying requirements don't work, its a cop-out to simply declare no one should buy a game because of continued fears that violent games leads to violence(which is what drives these bans), even though the connection is tenuous at best. Its about as silly as banning "obscene materials" here in the US back in the day or books or movies. Its up to a parent to be responsible enough to research what their children are buying and planning, its not the government's job. Anyways, adults should be allowed to access the material regardless, its a huge insult to basically say they aren't responsible enough to even access it.

Also, who is to say what content is worse than the rest? How much blood is too much? How many curse words, sex scenes, murder makes it rated R? That's my issue, because if it is damaging, why even risk a little? Why not ban it all outright and make everyone play happy fun time games? Silly, there is no way to know how little or how much an individual can take. I freak anytime enemies jump out in a game, should we ban all games like that? You know, to prevent me from being traumatised? Maybe I'm just highly critical because even though we have ratings and specific ages to buy games, most stores just don't care and I don't care either. I played M or your R-rated games as a kid. I'm not damaged, I'm not killing anyone, I don't think whatever we are being protected from is anything worse than what you can see on tv and in movies everyday.

I watch a video game review out of Australia that has them imported I believe, though I had no idea that was illegal. Somewhat makes it more interesting just because of that fact.

scn71402 01-27-2012 11:02 AM

I think that you should be careful while putting an R rating to any games. For example, I don't see anything violent or too explicit in Sims 2, it is rated T but actually E10+ will fit perfectly. Then, I don't see anything good for children in Bratz and other Disney shows for girls: Girls buy only stuff that is styled by that cartoons, they wear only styled clothes etc, they turn into a walking ad. So, people, be careful!!!
Also, I played Grand Theft Auto when I was 10, and I don't steal cars, use drugs, smoke, drink, kill or harm others, and so on.

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