Looks like the debate over R18+ games in Australia is about to reignite: Hotline Miami 2 has just been refused classication, largely (but not solely) because of a gory scene described as a "visual depiction of implied sexual violence". Mark over at Kotaku has the details.
Tagged With r18+
You know what? I get it. I understand how frustrating it is, as a gamer, to have titles previously cleared by the Classification Board pulled from shelves for being "inappropriate". That's what happened at Target with Grand Theft Auto V.
As a form of retaliation, though, gamers have started new petitions trying to ban everything from the Bible through to 50 Shades Of Gray. I'm here to ask you to stop that — mostly because you look like idiots.
We can all agree that classification is a complex issue and despite an R18+ rating for video games getting the go-ahead early last year, its existence and application will continue to be discussed (and potentially legislated) for years to come. Western Australia is the latest state to reconsider the ramifications of the rating, with a recent report suggesting games classified as R18+ should be banned outright from sale in the state.
In a bid to cut red tape, the government is having what it calls a "Repeal Day". It's about slashing obsolete legislation to save money and putting on a cute stunt which looks like stuff is being done quickly. The government is slowly revealing what's going to be dumped next week on Repeal Day, and one of the laws being ditched relates to how films are classified.
Back in November, Attorney-General for South Australia, John Rau, called on the Classification Review Board to reassess how the ratings system was being applied to several high-profile video games on Australian shelves. It was criticised as a huge waste of money, but the Classification Board undertook the review anyway, and now the verdict on said games is in.
Remember those South Australian anti-video gaming ads? We all know they're stupid, and now they've rumbled Australia's games industry lobby. So much so that the lobby group is now straight-up demanding that they be pulled down.
You may have seen this ad floating around your social media channels this morning. Just take a second to read it, because if you’re an adult gamer, it will probably see you spit out your corn flakes. What you don’t know about the image is the broader campaign behind it, and the South Australian government appearing to say one thing while doing another, systematically demonising video games and those who play them.
Now that our slightly disappointing R18+ rating for video games is back on the agenda, the Classification Board is looking for people to help out in policy focus groups.
I was surprised when it came out just 24 hours ago that Saints Row IV had been Refused Classification, but now for a double-dose of nostalgia we get to read it again! Microsoft's State Of Decay has been officially Refused Classification by the Classification Board, effectively banning the game in Australia.
The battle for an R18+ rating for games was a long and hard road, and the number of games actually rated R18+ has really only been a trickle. That may well have been down to the speed with which the ratings board can actually classify games, but that could be about to change with proposals to fully automate game classification ratings.
Video games are a funny little thing. From the perspective of an uninformed observer, you'd think that the recent R18+ classification fight was all just a bunch of kids arguing over what to call their toys. From the inside, however, the fight is far more meaningful than that. Kotaku has a great piece right now about the head of the iGEA and his new wall art. It's a framed copy of Australia's first R18+ game and a look into why it means so much. The road to R18+ was a long one, but I'm glad it came out the way it did. Check out the full interview.
After jumping the gun on its own R18+ announcement, we can now safely say with confidence that the Queensland Parliament has officially passed legislation allowing for R18+ video game ratings in the state. Congratulations, Australia, you are now all grown-up!
This week has seen Queensland Parliament try to pass the R18+ legislation it failed to pass in the last Parliamentary sitting year. Today the bill finally hit the floor of the house for discussion. Moments later, a media release was issued saying the law was passed without a vote even taking place. The reason? Somebody pressed send before it was time. Whoops. All the while, gamers are still being told to wander down into New South Wales to pick up copies of R18+ titles to smuggle them back across the border. Read the full facepalm on Kotaku Australia.
Gamers around the country celebrated on December 31, 2012 when the clock struck midnight. It meant that it was not only the new year, but a new era for gaming in Australia: R18+ games were finally a reality. The victory was bittersweet, however, with Queensland unable to enjoy the spoils because of a slow parliament. Now gamers are being told to take matters into their own hands. This is the story of the Queensland gamers who are now being told to cross state lines to import contraband games, and the stores that told them it was a good idea.