Thursday, 16 April 2009

Australia Censorship of Necrovision

Recently the issue of Australian censorship of a violet game Necrovision has continues to

What is most perplexing is that fact that the board can not give a R18 rating as the rating goes only as high as M15 in Australia. It seems simple enough to treat games as the same as movies and TV but apparently not. To me it is clear that in Australian law games are not considered a media form like TV or film but rather considered a form of 'childish toy'. 'Toys' that only children and teenagers (15 years of age and below) can play.

But why should this concern us in New Zealand? Games are subject to the same classification as films and TV shows here so we shouldn't be too worried right? Well, the reason for concern is that Australia and New Zealand gaming markets are very closely intertwined. New Zealand itself is considered too small a market. and many of our retailers here stock Australian versions of games. In New Zealand for example our release of Grand Theft Auto IV was the censored Australian version. Although New Zealand law is different economies of scale dictate we get whatever the Australians get.

From my perspective this is clearly a 'freedom of speech' problem which the Australians need to address. Treating video games as merely a 'childish toy' does not serve society. Many gamers are now adults and it is important for us to start treating a video game console as a medium like film or TV.

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