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Censorship Entertainment Games News

Graffiti Game Banned in Australia 313

Posted by samzenpus
from the think-of-the-children dept.
afaik_ianal writes "The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that 'Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure' has been banned in Australia. The game involves battling the authorities to overthrow corrupt officials using only street fighting skills and graffiti. From the article, "The decision was endorsed last night by the Federal Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, who had asked the board to review of the game's MA15+ classification after local councils and state governments voiced concerns that the game would promote graffiti.""
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Graffiti Game Banned in Australia

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  • Strange laws (Score:5, Informative)

    by grimdawg (954902) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @04:41AM (#14730902)
    I'm in a bind about this. What most people don't know is that Australia lacks an Adults only game rating, so any game unsuitable for people between 16 and 17 must be banned, as 15+ is the hardest rating. This was the reason for the banning of games such as GTA3 (before changes) and BMX XXX. I'm torn on this issue, because I don't believe these games are suitable for kids under 18, and so by Aussie law, they're banned. Sure, it's up to the parents, but a game can't be rated 18+, so any 16yo would be able to get his hands on any game without parental consent. In summary, the ban is correct under Australian law (we should by no means lower the rating of titles to get them oin shelves), but the OFLC needs an 18+ rating, pronto.
  • by iainl (136759) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @04:43AM (#14730912)
    The real issue, once again, is that Australia don't have the equivalent of the UK's "18" or US "M" for games, so the highest possible rating is the aforementioned MA15+. So games like the GTA series are already banned there.

    Since the game involves just as much violence against policemen as GTA does, and the only non-violent aspect to the game is the vandalism, my only surprise is that they considered it possible for an MA15+ in the first place.
  • Re:Jet Set Radio (Score:2, Informative)

    by flamearrows (821733) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @04:54AM (#14730943)
    No. But Jet Set Radio was far cuter... the action was deliberately cartoonish and hence rather unreal and irrelevant. Thus, there's no "promotion" of graffiti or violence, and the game was classified as M.
  • Re:GREAT! (Score:2, Informative)

    by flamearrows (821733) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @04:56AM (#14730952)
    Yup, you can be carded (16+) before you can buy spray paint. I've been refused in the past when Dad sent me to buy black spraypaint for a building job.
  • Not the issue at all (Score:3, Informative)

    by Chuck Chunder (21021) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @05:05AM (#14730975) Homepage Journal
    The lack of an 18 rating was tangential to the issue at hand. (And GTA is not banned here, we have a modified version, though I got mine from New Zealand :)

    This game was not banned because it featured graffiti in a fashion similar to how GTA features violence. It was because it (apparantly) contains material that is instructional rather than a shallow representation like the violence in GTA (or graffiti in Jet Set Radio Future). It wasn't considered to "promote" illegal behaviour simply because it represented that behaviour, but because it gave realistic instruction. The issue of promoting illegal behaviour is independant of the age rating so to suggest the game wouldn't be banned if there were an 18 rating is not really true.

    All that according to the woman who cast the deciding vote who was on Hack [abc.net.au] today.

    Which isn't to say I agree with the decision. I think it stinks!
  • by actor_au (562694) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @05:05AM (#14730976) Homepage
    Jet Set Radio Future.
    And it was done better than this dreck will be.
  • Re:GREAT! (Score:2, Informative)

    by ben_1432 (871549) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @05:09AM (#14730984)
    Wasn't that to stop "chroming"? Kids getting high on the fumes? I seem to recall Extra did a nice big story on it, and then a short while later they put the restrictions in place.

    http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2002/10/23/10345 61498638.html [theage.com.au]
    http://www.abc.net.au/stateline/qld/content/2005/s 1504831.htm [abc.net.au]
  • by BlackMesaLabs (893043) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @05:36AM (#14731052)
    From someone who lives here, here's the deal with what gets banned (as in games), and the GTA oddities: GTA 3 was released here, uncut. Then they found out about the prostitutes, and revoked classification- forcing a recall
    After this, the game was edited to remove the prostitute functionality and re-released, conforming to Aus standards. The reason the prostitutes were removed was NOT because of the sexual content, rather, it was because of the very strict rules we have here about sex and violence. It was the fact you could kill hookers after sex that had the game censored.
    Vice city was pre-edited by the developers and had NO sex (the Candy Suxx FMV's were fucked up) Pardon the pun.
    GTA:SA came out WITH hookers, unedited. I have no idea how/why this happened.
    Generally games are censored here when sex and violence is mixed, IN ANY WAY. Duke Nukem 3D was censored because you could shoot the strippers.
    I dont understand the logic of this banning though
  • Re:Philip Ruddock (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 16, 2006 @05:40AM (#14731066)
    The reason this is an important issue now is because the the city of Melbourne and Victoria police is cracking down hard on graffiti gangs becuase of the upcoming Commenwealth Games (or Empire games if you so wish) being hosted here in March. Also the goverment is blaming gangs for causing public transport services to be disrupted (trains being cancelled mostly by people tagging trains) which could also be a problem for the games. So I would suggest that if this game would have been released about 6 months earlier it might have got through not a problem.
  • by hdparm (575302) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @05:47AM (#14731078) Homepage
    Indeed. I wonder what are they going to do with AWB and 300 milion handed over to Saddam, with Howard's approval. Fucking hypocrites. Everywhere.
  • Re:umm (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 16, 2006 @05:53AM (#14731091)
    R & X cannot be used to classify games - MA is the maximum. From your link (emphasis mine): "Films and computer games are now classified G, PG, M or MA 15+. Films can also be classified R 18+ or X 18+. R 18+ and X 18+ are not classifications for computer games."
  • Re:yes, we do (Score:3, Informative)

    by Howzer (580315) * <grabshot.hotmail@com> on Thursday February 16, 2006 @05:53AM (#14731094) Homepage Journal
    No, we don't.

    From the FIRST PARAGRAPH of the link you so helpfully supplied:

    "R 18+ and X 18+ are not classifications for computer games."

    Forget RTFA -- this is more RYOFL.
  • by LordSnooty (853791) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @06:23AM (#14731188)
    In the UK, A Clockwork Orange wasn't banned by any Government agency but by Kubrick himself, "on police advice after threats were made against Kubrick and his family" (link) [wikipedia.org]. It didn't get a video release until after Kubrick's death. But it was never "banned" in the traditional sense. The director refused to permit its release. Now it's been on TV & all sorts, and yes it's tame.
  • Re:GREAT! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Xayma (892821) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @06:44AM (#14731242)
    Spray paint is 18+, some stores had other codes voluntairly before that however. Knives and knife blades are only 16+ however.
  • by Firethorn (177587) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @08:12AM (#14731487) Homepage Journal
    You dont need a license to carry a gun in public, you only need alicense for certain kinds of guns.

    People, this is VERY country and state specific.

    For example, in my state of ND, the ultra-short list:
    1. Open carry of unloaded firearms is legal, except for prohibited areas. No permit needed. Once you're out of the city/large town or on a firing range it can be loaded.
    2. Possession of firearms: The only firearms that you need a 'license' for is fully automatic ones. They must be federally legal, which means you pay a $200 tax, submit a huge load of paperwork and wait months. Oh, and the machinegun has to have been in the registry system before 1986, which is when they closed the registry to new personal entries.
    3. Concealed Carry of firearms: Permit needed. If you can buy a gun and pass a fairly easy written & shooting test you got it. This allows you to carry a loaded firearm however you like. Still can't carry in prohibited areas.
    4. Prohibited areas: Government buildings, schools, school events, concerts, sporting events, political events.

    To make a point, open carry is illegal in Texas, California has banned a number of firearms, in New Jersey possession of Hollow Point bullets are illegal for non-cops.
  • by Turn-X Alphonse (789240) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @01:31PM (#14734400) Journal
    Try the original on the dreamcast... Maybe you should point out it was the first cell shading game and had one of the best sound tracks of any game ever made.

    To graffiti you had to do simple chains on the joystick and to finish a level you'd have to graffiti over another gangs or all the propaganda by the cops/secret organisations etc. It was fun and didn't encourage me to go spray paint walls, just gave me a lot of cool songs to hum to myself and a newart style to play with.

    It's a game that hasn't aged a day since it came out.. yet you credit the sequal on the Xbox because..?

No amount of careful planning will ever replace dumb luck.

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