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Cheers - AE

Monday, 21 December 2009

Australia - all grown up now according to the censors.

If only that were true, but there's been one little victory for responsible adults and their freedom to decide things for themselves. The Aliens vs Predator game, which I wrote about here, is going to be available in Australia after all. And without being specially edited or revised for the notoriously over sensitive and sooky Australian gamers who all faint at the sight of virtual blood being spilled.
Sega Australia has confirmed that the Classification Review Board has overturned the original decision to Refuse Classification for Aliens vs Predator and has given it an MA15+ rating.
Sega Australia's Managing Director, Darren Macbeth said, "It is with great pleasure that we announce the success of our appeal. We are particularly proud that the game will be released in its original entirety, with no content altered or removed whatsoever."
"This is a big win for Australian gamers. We applaud the Classification Review Board on making a decision that clearly considers the context of the game, and is in line with the modern expectations of reasonable Australians," added Macbeth.
I wouldn't go that far. It's a small win, but since I don't see what the fuck it has to do with government what games adults choose to play I'm inclined to reserve the phrase 'big win for gamers' for the time when the government gives up the power to ban a game from the entire country because of it's own squeamishness or the moral positions of certain state officials. Look, check the games out if you must, and if you want to insist on slapping a little sign on the spine of the box to indicate the type of content to buyers, okay. But don't extend that to deciding for a nation of 20 million people who can play what and whether some games can be played by anyone at all. We're adults. Fuck off and leave us alone.

However, since we look like being stuck with the present situation for the foreseeable future I have to concede that it is a result, and I can't help but wonder if the companies behind Risen, Fallout 3 and Left For Dead 2 would have gotten a similar result if they'd stood up to the censors by saying something like
“We will not be releasing a sanitized or cut down version for territories where adults are not considered by their governments to be able to make their own entertainment choices.”

Declaration of interest: I don't play computer games much and I'm not hugely interested in shoot-'em-ups when I do. While I'm not really in the market for any of the games I've mentioned here I want to not have them because I chose not to buy them, not because the government made the decision for me. However, I'm half tempted to buy Aliens vs Predator because of the admirable way they stood up to the nanny state here.
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