Friday, October 19, 2007

Australia Bans War....Video Game

Australia Now Bans More Video Games Than Any Other Country In The World

You can watch it, but you can't play it.

Australia now leads the world in officially banning video games for having "adult content", even though the average age of gamers in Australia is now 28 years old.

Adult content determined by our enthusiastically draconian censorship board to be unacceptable for adult gamers includes graphic nudity or sex, extreme violence, gore, drug use or imagery depicting prostitution.

Indonesia is a majority Muslim nation, with supposedly restrictive rules on acceptable entertainment, but every single video game banned in Australia in the past three years fill the shelves of gamer shops in Jakarta.

Australia's classification regime has now decided that the forthcoming shooter title, Solider Of Fortune : Pay Back, is too gory and violent for the millions of adult Australians who play video games every evening, instead of tuning into Dancing With The Australia Idols.

The game was refused classification by the Office Of Film and Literature Classification.

The absurdity of the ban is compounded by the fact that the website features a collection of YouTube clips showing exactly the kind of graphic violence that led to the game being banned. There is clearly no age restriction to viewing the game's most violent scenes and action. You just can't participate.

Australia is now, the only country in the world to officially, and regularly, ban video games for violence or "adult content". We now ban more video games, through censorship legislation, than any other country on the planet.

Yet the Australian Defence Force now uses very realistic video games to help recruit teenagers into a militaristic way of thinking. The games are specifically designed to begin training teenagers for war, long before they are old enough to sign up for the real thing. Those games, naturally, are not banned. They are, in fact, free.

So is the problem here that Soldier Of Fortune : Pay Back actually shows the kind of injuries, decapitations, amputations and spouting head wounds that are part of every day life in the war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan where Australia has deployed thousands of troops?

Clearly, it's a dangerous and terrible thing for even adults in Australia to see what happens to the human body when it is hit by high calibre bullets and RPGs. Even in a video game.

Some of the video games now banned in Australia - Blitz: The League, BMX XXX, Manhunt, Reservoir Dogs, 50 Cent: Bullet Proof.

Blitz was banned in January due to the fact it "contains drug use related to incentives or rewards."

More here :

In its board report on Soldier of Fortune: Pay Back, dated October 16, the OFLC said frequent high impact violence made the game unsuitable for those aged under 18 years.

It's animation.

"Successfully shooting an opponent results in the depiction of blood spray," the board said.

It's animation.

"When the enemy is shot from close range, the blood spray is substantial, especially when a high-caliber weapon is used, and blood splatters onto the ground and walls in the environment.

It's animation.

"The player may target various limbs of the opponents and this can result in the limb being dismembered.

It's animation.

"Large amounts of blood spray forth from the stump with the opponent sometimes remaining alive before eventually dying from the wounds."

It's animation.

Australia has no classification to restrict violent video game sales to person over 18 years of age, despite the fact that the average age of players is 28, and the vast majority of all gamers are over legal adults.

You can't legally play the Soldier Of Fortune : Payback video game in Australia. But you can sign up to the Army on your 18th birthday and clock up a tour in Iraq, shooting real guns at real people, by your 20th birthday.

But a video game?

God, no.

Fight in real wars, but ban the fake ones.

You know it makes sense.