Monday, February 28, 2011

Mortal Blow

So Mortal Kombat (the new one, the reboot that has the same name as the original in another example of that most infuriating practice) has apparently been refused classification in Australia. As everyone should be aware by now, Australia still lacks an R18+ certificate for games and anything that would require it is refused classification and effectively banned. In the past I have frequently expressed my disappointment at this extremely backward and counter-intuitive practice.

But as of now, I am officially done. I give up. You win, Australian censorship. This is the last thing I will ever write about the R18 issue.

Because it has become abundantly clear to me that discussing it, making official complaints and reasonably explaining the entirely logical reasons why the R18 is necessary and its absence makes Australia a worldwide laughing stock, is completely pointless. I and people like me have explained and campaigned until we're blue in the tits. A recent poll showed that the vast majority of the population are in favour of the R18 and the government flat-out recommended that it be introduced.

The reason why we still don't have it is because the final decision rests with the Attorney Generals, who have very clearly demonstrated that their decision is rooted in ignorant personal bias rather than the desires of the majority. In which case, what is the point of being reasonable to people who take pride in their stubborn, pig-ignorant wilful deafness?

But the other reason I'm not going to talk about it again is because it isn't my problem. It'd only be my problem if it in any way stopped games with adult themes being created, and it doesn't. If a game gets RC'ed I will just import it. This almost always works out cheaper anyway because of the insanely high markups games receive in this country.

The people who should have a problem, besides anyone concerned with Australia being perceived as a backward nation, is the parents. Don't misunderstand the issue, breeders: preventing an R18 certificate from being introduced is not preventing adult games from entering the country and corrupting your precious sexcrement. Rather, it encourages importing and pirating, resulting in the game entering the country unregulated and freely available to children of all ages. It also results in the Aliens Vs Predator scenario in which games that deserve R18 certs are given MA15 for the sake of a quiet life, despite being unequivocally adult games.

Yes, this is the same point that has been made time and time again and which will almost certainly be ignored by policy makers just as it always has been, but let me close my involvement in this issue with the main thrust of the argument as emphatic and capitalised as possible. R18 IS NEEDED TO REGULATE THE SALE OF ADULT GAMES AND PREVENT CHILDREN FROM PLAYING THEM. THE ADULT GAMES THAT ARE ALREADY HERE. NOT HAVING R18 DOES NOT PREVENT ADULT GAMES FROM ENTERING THE COUNTRY. OPPOSING R18 IS LIKE OPPOSING VAMPIRE HUNTING IN VAMPIRE LAND ON THE ASSUMPTION THAT IT WILL ENCOURAGE VAMPIRES TO INVADE VAMPIRE LAND EVEN THOUGH VAMPIRE LAND IS ALREADY FULL OF VAMPIRES.

ZPs: Dead Space 2, DC Universe, Mindjack
XPs: American box art, Dead Space 2 and levelling backwards.

Trivia night: tomorrow! (Tuesday 29th). It's got Bulletstorm prizes and the usual evening of larks. Come along from 6:30 as usual.

23 comments:

  1. My understanding was that mostly Michael Atkinson that was the problem, the other attorneys-general were in favour and he isn't in office anymore... ? So we may well get an R18+ rating but it wont happen until the end of the year at the very earliest, what with bureaucracy being what it is.

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  2. I'm more shocked that the straw that broke the Yahtzee's back was Mortal Kombat being banned, considering it's a pretty horrible fighting game series.

    Because you need more predictable comments.

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  3. "So Mortal Kombat (the new one, the reboot that has the same name as the original in another example of that most infuriating practice)"

    That is a very annoying practice. I do not understand why anyone would want their game/tv/movie series devoid of history and back-story in the first-place.

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  4. 'Sexcrement' is a wonderful word. I'm going to steal it from you.

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  5. I remember thinking this was stupid way back when I heard Rule of Rose was banned for the same reason. I haven't played Rule of Rose and have no idea of its quality (and I can't bring myself to spend upwards of sixty bucks for a game on eBay where the control and combat system was largely crucified) but somehow I doubt not being released for sale in Australia kept anyone who wanted to play it from playing it.

    There was some similar shenanigans in the 90s over some Playstation game called... uh... somethin' (it was a fighting game set in a mental institution... I remember one of the playable characters was a set of twins with conjoined torsos who walked on their hands) and I remember we couldn't get that in Canada either. Friend of mine imported it and we played it on her modded Playstation... it was terrible and I think I played all of half an hour, but the point was, we still got a hold of it.

    ... anyway! Hope you're working on another book. My husband and I thought Mogworld was a lot of fun. I thought the ending was perfect.

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  6. I'm still waiting for the day that a game is denied release here in Australia not because of the R18+ restriction but because of it being UTTER CRAP!

    We can only hope and dream....

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  7. Yahtzee, I hope you forward that argument to the state government as the SA government and the internet are not good bed fellows.

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  9. Being an American, I can't say I fully understand your frustration, though I can empathize with it. It also makes you wondeer how much the government thinks parental responsibility should play a role in Australia.
    Anyway, loved your book, love your website, and love your punctuation(s).

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  10. Yow countree yow livin is crazee Yahtzee, thats why I left. >_>

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  11. Holy Jesus Christ! Its you! What a fopping coinsidence! I was just going to check out who made the 5 days a stranger and the others. To see if they had made more games. And lo and behold! Its fucking Zero Punctuation! Ah man i played those games years back and it was one of the best horror games ive played. You should make more of those! Sorry for posting this here, i just dont know where else i should have posted it. Well have a good day and make more of those games! BYE!

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  12. It's "Attorneys General" you fucking moron

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  13. I'm amazed that I never noticed that you had made 5 Days A Stranger.

    Years ago, I used to wade through the AGS forums looking at all the creative fan-made adventure games. I remember stumbling upon 5DAS and playing it with great interest.

    A couple years later on, by then I had lost interest in AGS and had stumbled upon your Zero Punctuation reviews. The reviews made me laugh and I then lost interest in keeping up with them (typical, I know.) I still had never made the connection that Yahtzee and the Fullyramblomatic site were one and the same person.

    Until now, I get it. *chuckle*

    So with all that, I'm impressed with both of your games and the insane quality of your reviews. I hope you will consider to develop other AGS games in the future.

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  14. This is great. I can't say much else other than I hope the right people read this and act on it.

    I loved your summarizing CAPITALIZED bit; it was clear-cut and ended with a joke so silly that reading it in your angry voice in my head made me laugh aloud in class!

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  15. You'd think, if they were really doing this for our protection and not just being sensationilist fear-mongers who were never invited to play awesome games like these, that they'd be banning racing games instead? How many people play Rez Evil and go on a shotgun rampage, and how many people play Grand Theft Auto and think sstealing/racing cars in busy city streets is awesome? We had 287 deaths on the road last year and I can't even FIND the stats for shotgun/chainsaw/sword murders. Which are really more influential and really more of a threat?

    *headdesk*

    ~Princess Sparkles

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  16. Good Lord, be careful who you talk to, Sparkles. You'd be surprised how easily a good reductio ad absurdum can be interpreted as a really good idea by the wrong bureaucrat.

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  17. So apparently not only is Mortal Kombat banned, but you can be fined 100,000 dollars for importing it. http://www.cnet.com.au/aussie-customs-to-seize-mortal-kombat-imports-339311426.htm . I used to want to move to Oz, but I never realised it was run by such cunts.

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  18. Thought you might find this interesting - http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/games/states-have-until-july-on-r18-video-game-rating-minister-20110317-1bxhm.html

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  19. On "leveling backwards," how hard do you think a player would rage to play through the game only to realize later that he threw away one of the abilities most suited to end-game? (I remember as a kid getting chocobo lure in FF7 and thinking "fuck that why would I want to catch birds. *sell*" I basically gave up on my game and loaded from my friend's mem card after realizing what I'd done 60 levels later).

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  20. I yet another one hates the state for being paranoid old farts who makes it easier for boys and girls around the world to get easier access to drugs than violent vdeogames.

    Someone hook up a SNES with some Doom for this ppl, plz!

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  21. Just wanted to pop in and say I read Mogworld the other day. It was the first book in a long while where I decided finding out what happens next was more important than sleep. Can't wait for your next novel "but I'm commited to this idea now so it's probably going to be bad."

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