Australia To Ban Rest Of World, Probably.

By Kieron Gillen on June 25th, 2009 at 9:36 pm.

This is pretty much straight news-blogging. It’d be easy to editorialise on it, but I suspect you know exactly what I’m going to say. Australia is already known for its lack of an actual real 18/R rating, so banning any game that would get over a 15 here. It’s also known for its [forwarding - Ed] net-censoring, with active network-level blocking of sites [being proposed -Ed]. It’s being reported that they’re bringing these wonderful developments together, wanting to block access to sites including any content that doesn’t hit that 15 rating, including everything from shops that will ship real games to Australia to flash games to any other downloadable adult-rated game. Do read the full story, which does explore some of the implications – like, say, World of Warcraft not being rated in Australia due to being an online game. So… is that going to be banned? We’ll follow this one carefully.

Actually, let’s editorialise a bit: Piss Right Off.

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157 Comments »

  1. undead dolphin hacker says:

    Australia lost its last shred of cultural significance with the passing of Steve Irwin.

    Also, what does anyone expect from a former exile/prison country? I mean, aside from the obvious treating its citizens like exiles/prisoners via draconian censorship, of course.

  2. changeling101 says:

    All I can think to say is : Man does it suck to be them.

  3. Tei says:

    On my university we where disallowed to use internet. But with the help of hackers, we breaked the system and get outside anyway. Theres nothing more “pro-hacker” than settings a wall.
    And of course, this don’t stop piracy. So warez can be distributed, but not legal software.
    Maybe once the people has grown with games become old enough and maiority these politicians can change?. Is obvious that are using videogames as a scapegoat. Probably are corrupt politicians, or trollish politicians that want “cheap votes” creating hate against games, because are a easy prey.
    Horrible bad politicians, hope you guys (aus guys) can remove these from power as fast as posible.

  4. Railick says:

    They got them there kanaroos though so it ain’t all bad.

    It is kind of ironic that TF 2 , which contains one of the few Australian characters in any game I can think of (I can’t even think of one other game with an Australian character in fact) is going to get banned if it isn’t already. Or does TF 2 carry a rating in Austarlia ? It is an online game but not quiet like WoW.

  5. Rob says:

    The bureaucrats clearly know what is best for their country.

    /s

  6. Linfosoma says:

    This is so bizarre, aren’t we supposed to evolve as a race an acquire a higher level of tolerance?
    I feel like we are going backwards, I need to check my calendar to make sure this is not the year 1930..

  7. Railick says:

    99 out of 50 of my Australian friends are beach bums (that doesn’t explain how I met them on WoW and I’m just going by their own self description) I learned a great deal from them, for example the meaning of axe wound. (I.E. she was a real axe wound) I dunno if that guy just made it up or if they use that a lot of Australia, I dunno but it was funny because we were all drunk over team speak playing WoW together poorly, getting pwned over and over by a single undead priest who could kill us all in under 30 seconds (we didn’t care we were drunk)

  8. Sarble says:

    @Linfosoma
    “This is so bizarre, aren’t we supposed to evolve as a race an acquire a higher level of tolerance?”

    If only…

  9. Dave says:

    Stay classy, Australia.

    Oh wait.

  10. Junior says:

    Those poor buggers!
    Can’t we invade to liberate them from a corrupt and evil government?

  11. pissrightoff says:

    if you ask me, the world is going to be a controlled enviroment more and more, until we have camera’s in our bedrooms……….

  12. Bhazor says:

    Like Tei said, piracy on all formats is going to sky rocket. But I also feel it is important to enforce age restrictions http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnqLyYeyOCs. Also these guys clearly show the dangerous effect on behaviour games can have http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAT_JNd6UGI. Lets have less rappers and tits and lots more Noby Noby, Space Invaders Xtreme and Katamari. Who doesn’t want a bit more Noby, swollen balls and Minter lead mania in their life?

    This comment thread is gonna get racist I feel, ruddy racism, boo racism.

  13. Joseph says:

    Fuck this.

    Yes, sucks to be us.

  14. joe says:

    I think somebody put a monkey in a suit and told them to make up a law at random.

  15. sebmojo says:

    Rallick: Halo had some Australian space marines. And as to the ‘axe wound’ – that sounds authentically Ocker. I was staying in a hostel in Stockwell a few years back and some ozzie was leaning out the window and yelled ‘suck my sweaty danglers!’ at passers by. They’re a strange and crude people to their southern neighbours.

  16. Novotny says:

    Are these twats elected? If so, get rid of them at the next election.

  17. Gap Gen says:

    So Yahtzee turns into a ball of rage and engulfs the south pacific?

  18. Jeremy says:

    @Linfosoma

    Kind of an interesting way to say it, because if we’re so evolved why are we intolerant of Australia’s stance that is obviously so very different from the rest of the worlds?

    Regardless of your take on the matter, tolerance isn’t a one way road.

  19. Clockwork Harlequin says:

    @Tei: They don’t have to be corrupt. In modern democracies we have system that punishes ‘honourable’ politicians (if your party doesn’t hit the news at least once a week, people forget you, your ratings drop, etc). And also a situation where if you don’t use games as a scapegoat, the opposition probably will. And blame you.

    I don’t blame politicians, I blame voters. Attention span of a gnat.

  20. stormbringer951 says:

    Racism time. Sigh.

  21. Pidesco says:

    This is just moronic.

    And that’s proper editorialising, by the way.

  22. Zaphid says:

    The should move Max Payne 3 from Brazil to Australia.

    You know Rockstar are dicks enough to do that.

  23. Railick says:

    GTA 5 could be in there :P or they could change Postal 3 to being in there at the last second and give you a special weapon where you use a Tasmanian devil as a weapon and use a platypus to stab people with it’s poison claws :P piss of a roo and have it kick people in the stomach.

  24. Carra says:

    It’s time Saxton Hale kicks some sense in his fellow Australians.

    Luckily blocking never has worked before. Remember the drought. And with the internet it’s just too easy to buy your games at an online shop. Or pass any proxies. Or…

  25. Kadayi says:

    Isn’t all this shit down to just one politician who hates computer games?

  26. Mil says:

    If they do ban WoW (although I can’t really see it happening), the situation will be ripe for the rise to prominence of the Australian Pirate Party.

  27. Ashurbanipal says:

    Axe wound: I’m Australian and I’ve never heard of it. Might be a regional thing.

    As far as this story goes, it’s depressing and I feel incredibly helpless. In any case, I strongly doubt the internet filter thing is going to go through, since it’s been marked by controversy from the start. Not only outrage from the web plebs, but I understand also from ISPs and businesses themselves, since the more “accurate” filter would impact on our already woeful speeds.

    And it’s not so draconian as you lot seem to think. The only games I can think of that Australia has banned outright are Manhunt and Dark Sector. I’m actually a bit surprised to find myself cheerfully playing the ultra-violent Prototype.

    I’m definitely not happy about the classification debacle or the web filter thing. It makes me a little uncomfortable to see how that sort of thing is perceived abroad as well.

  28. Railick says:

    Postal 2 was banned in Australia too, don’t forget :P

  29. Railick says:

    List of games banned in Australia – 7 Sins, 50 Cent:Bulletproof, Blitz: The Leage, BMX XXX, Dark Sector, Dreamweb, Fallout 3 ( didn’t know that!) FEAR 2, The Geataway, GTA 3 , GTA SA, GTA VC, GTA IV, Leisure Suit Larry Magna Cum Laude, Marc Ecko’s Getting Up:Contents Under Pressure , Manhunt 1 and 2. Narc , Posatl 2, Phantasmagoria, Reservoir Dogs, Sexy Poker (lol), Shellshock : Nam 67 , Silent Hill Homecoming , Singles :Flirt up your life (that game is like Nasty sex Sims) Solider of Fortune : Payback (awesome game) Tender Loving Care, The Punisher, Voyeur.

    So yah, they’ve banned a lot.

  30. AlpineViper says:

    Um… theres no filtering of sites in Australia… yet. It’s still in a trial. And given more independent senators keep jumping the filtering ship it’s fortunately starting to look like there never will be.

    Axe wound: I’ve heard of this term, but can’t be used in the context mentioned above.

  31. Blast Hardcheese says:

    Ashurbanipal: “As far as this story goes, it’s depressing and I feel incredibly helpless. In any case, I strongly doubt the internet filter thing is going to go through, since it’s been marked by controversy from the start.”

    Sir you do realize that it’s basically already underway?

  32. Railick says:

    The only country that comes close is Brazil (and not very close at all) most of the games they banned are ancient. It says they banned Ever Quest for high impact violence O.O !??!?!?!?!?! You can’t even see the weapos hit the enemies and the only way you know is by watching their health drop wtf.

    Germany has a few banned but only because the reference the N word so that is totally legit ot me. Then China has banned a few games because they make the army look bad or make Taiwan and other conquered countries look like they’re free and their own country (Like Hearts of Iron of all games which is set in WW2)

  33. Jason says:

    I just moved to oz from dear old blighty, say what you like about casual rascism and it being 5 years in the past but its a lovely place. and there isn’t technically a recession here. now the more they talk about the ISP filter the more ridiculous it sounds and the less workable it sounds. In recent new china is having to insist that new pcs are sold with built in hardware to enforce its filter. I don’t think rudd has got the balls on this one.

    also when Senator Nick “crazy” Xenophon is against it, its not gonna pass easily

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/02/27/2503830.htm

  34. AlpineViper says:

    I can’t comment on that whole list, Railick, or where you got it from, but I’ve seen a fair number of them in stores here. Fallout 3 was banned until morphene got renamed med-x (or whatever) which was never because they changed it before actually releasing the game. Phantasmagoria my friend and I played when we were about 14 (whoops…) before downlaoding games was ever heard of. All the GTAs have been on sale in stores here, FEAR 2, that list looks far, far too large.

  35. Bhazor says:

    Reply to Railick
    Blitz? That was a sports game right?

    Also I feel the need to point out, how many of those games would actually be missed? Also the bans seem to relate to drug use such as in Fallout or GTA rather than violence. That stuff can be neatly side stepped by renaming drugs or referring to them as magic or a secret serum.

  36. Railick says:

    That is just wikipedia, so take it for what it is ;) I tried to find an offical list on some Australian government website but my work computer doesn’t allow connections to other contries and many of these games may have just been banned until they changed X or Y like Fallout 3

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_banned_video_games#Australia

  37. Wooly says:

    Australia’s government is trolling the world.

  38. Jpipesup says:

    @ AlpineViper: Apparently there is already filtering of our sites in Australia, the liberals did it when they were in power, but I believe it is Opt-In and ISP level. Or something like that…

    Honestly the whole situation is a bit ridiculous. We have to get rid of this government… I don’t know where these policies are coming from!

    And I’d say that was a use of the AW phrase… Though we should probably stop throwing those words around like that here, or Mr Conroy might decide rockpapershotgun.com is too much for him… I enjoy the reads too much to risk it

  39. MrBejeebus says:

    RIDE THE KANGAROOS TO REVOLOUTION

    FLING THE KOALA’S OF FREEDOM AT THEM

    sorry this is the last web page im looking at before i go to bed, i wanted to make my contribution noticeable

    BYE

  40. Railick says:

    Sound the Didgeridoos of FREEDOM!

    THEY CAN TAKE YOUR VEGIMITE, BUT THEY CAN’T TAKE YOUR FREEDOM!!! rawrl

  41. PJ says:

    I was in Australia for a couple of months last year, and was really shocked by how incredibly right-wing their goverment and media appeared, especially since this is in total contrast with every Australian I’ve ever met ever.

    Still, censorship of this kind seems like it would actually be fairly hard to pull off in practice so hopefully this will fizzle out.

  42. Live-Dimension says:

    @AlpineViper, Railick
    That ‘ban’ game list must of included a list of games that got edits.

    @Kadayi
    Yes. Twice now, the move to create a R18 classification has been stopped by one State Attourndy General.
    http://games.on.net/article/4378/Atkinson_squashes_plans_for_R18_games_in_Australia

    The ‘net censoring’ aka firewall hasn’t started yet. The trial which several ISP’s took ends this/next month? There is so little support for it, so I can’t really see it passing. They can’t block the sites without this firewall, so I don’t see this happening either.

  43. Railick says:

    Michael Jackson died! I blame the right wing Aussie government for this!

  44. SirKicksalot says:

    I can’t believe there’s no news about the Trine demo, hours after it was launched.

  45. drewski says:

    Australia’s current government is actually “left wing”…

    All Australian politicians are nanny state interventionists though. The only real difference is that one cuts taxes and the other goes into deficit.

    As for Australia currently having internet censorship – nope. You could download home software filtering for free from the government if you so desired (which nobody did) but the current government, in their desire to micromanage every aspect of life, binned that for compulsory filtering at an ISP level.

    Fortunately they have to get it through our upper house of Parliament and it looks like there’s enough opposition that it’s going to get killed. The government is basically trying any angle they can to get the votes in the Senate, hence offering to ban anything and everything regardless of whether or not anybody actually wants it banned.

  46. Luther Blissett says:

    @ Railick & sebmojo

    Axe Wound i’ve never heard but sweaty danglers I have… basically like any place there are jerks who get tanked and throw up vulgarities…

    @ all y’all
    Howard got voted out because he sold every public service to private businesses (which in cases like public transport has made them shit and expensive) and Rudd seemed a charismatic guy more interested in fellating China than America.
    For the rest of us intelligent mammals we sit slackjawed at this ridiculous ISP filtering farce that Conroy keeps blathering on about despite the fact that it never gets good press; has less support than either “One Nation” and “Australia: The Republic” and would seem to have no chance of passing the senate… we do have a fairly common aussie phrase for Conroy:
    “Go and Get Fucked Mate!”

  47. Real Horrorshow says:

    I hate to sound kind of like a redneck, but after the Germany stuff and now this, I’m all the more comfortable knowing that I’m in a country where anything remotely like this could never be legal.

  48. Leelad says:

    Surely the reason that MMO’s like WoW can’t be rated is that they’re essencially a chatroom with a game slapped on.

    The actual content of the game CAN be rated i’m sure none of the quest givers i’ve met in WoW ask me to go fetch 10 shitting hides from cunty twatting kodos.

    So why not patch that version of the game so that the parental filter can’t be turned off and strict it up some, sexual terms as well as swearing……or is it not that simple?

    There is nothing else I can think of that could make a game like that un-rateable

  49. Railick says:

    Personally I think this sort of thing should be left up to the parents of the children and more laws should be changed/put into place to allow parents to abuse their children in public and at home again in the name of controlling them. This may sound harsh but I’m serious. We need to be able to spank our children or swat them on the hand or punish them by taking away everything they hold dear and crushing their souls in order to teach them important lessons in life. The way kids are now in the US is HORRIBLE, 12 -13 year olds trading sex for everything from money to potato chips.

    Secondly I think there needs to be some sort of test you have to take and pass with an A to become a parent and up until you pass it you’re forced to take drugs that keep you from having children. The world would be a much better place for it as extreme as it sounds. Not everyone is cut out to be a parent and most of the people that become parents young never actaully wanted it to happen they were just to lazy to do anything about it. Further they shouldn’t have been having sex in the first place with is THEIR parents fault. IT’s a vicious cycle and in a few more decades these jack ass kids are going to be taking over for us!!

  50. drewski says:

    I think Rudd got in because everyone was sick to the teeh of Howard, not the privatisation thing. Australians are broadly in favour of most former public utilities being privatised.

    I’m looking into emigrating to the US.