Shellshock 2: Blood Trails, Eidos's follow-up to 2004's Shellshock: Nam '67, has been rejected by the tossers at the OFLC. This means that both kids and adults cannot buy the game in Australia if it does not meet the requirements for any rating, the highest one being MA15+.
According to Eidos, the game centers on the use of psychological horror and fear. It is now a possibility that every country in the world is able to get the hands on a copy of the game, except Australia. If an adults-only rating actually existed in that country, it would become available there.
I wonder what do Australians do when those things happen. I mean, it is not the first time you guys don't get a game, and I'm pretty sure there is plenty of adults wanting those games. Isn't there any pressure for the politics to come up with a law which estabilishes a new adult rating? (I said "politics" and "law" because in Brazil those things are dealt by the Ministry of Justice).
(Edited by Sciere (205121), Jun 27, 2008)Re: Shellshock rejected (again)
Sciere (205121), Jun 27, 2008
In Belgium and The Netherlands it is impossible to ban a game as there are simply no laws to do so. PEGI has no authority in banning a game. The BBFC has been acting tough lately too. The organization is now under review, but instead of just giving up being stubborn and joining PEGI (you too USK!), they are going to implement yet another board in-between meaning that UK games will constantly be released at a later date. Since the UK is somehow considered Europe's outpost for anything that enters the continent, this will affect release dates for the rest of Europe as well.
I really doubt that Germany will ever join PEGI, as this would mean "giving up" the control of whatever it will be rated. In fact, in March 2003 PEGI became active, at the same time Germany was revising its Youth Protection Act. The result? On April 1, 2003, the revised USK became effective.
But the USK isn't really the problem. They just rate it differently and even if it gets rejected, it's not banned (at that point it's treated just like USK 18 or no rating at all).
The problem is this shitty Youth Protection Act, that freaking BPjM and all those crazy paranoid people complaining in politics and media that both are way too weak.
And the fact that video games have the status of "toys" is.. I don't find the right words for this...
And I thought the ESRB was nuts ! I thought the ESRB was being extreme when they pressured a VIDEO of Dark Sector be pulled, but this takes the cake ! How in the world do you put up with it ?
(Edited by Xoleras (66448), Jun 27, 2008)Re: Shellshock rejected (again)
Xoleras (66448), Jun 27, 2008
Just for the amusement: in 2003 (in the transition time), I once saw a Maya the Bee children game sold for adults only because it had no USK rating on it. ;)
I think that the RSAC rating might better be applied than a ESRB style rating system if stuff like that happens.
As I said, just for the amusement.
The situation was that before April 2003, the USK was not law enforced. A 16 year old could usually buy 18+ games without problems (ID checks were seldom). Also, as there was no restriction, no rating was the same as "free for all". So there was no real need for child games to apply for a USK rating anyway.
Since April 2003 USK is law enforced. It's illegal to sell a 18+ game to a minor, and stores actually have to check this. If you think this through, it would be easy to circumvent this. Just don't rate it, so it does not have a 18+ rating on it, so you can sell anything to everybody regardless of the content. (Note, the USK does not decide which games get rated; the publishers apply for the rating; if they don't do, it does not get rated.) To prevent such scenarios, "not rated" automatically means "18+".
And since the law literally became effective overnight, there were still plenty of games in all the stores across Germany which had no USK rating.
Solution in the "transition time": either continue to sell the remaining units for adults only, call them back, or applying for USK and let someone stick then the correct rating on the packages in the stores afterwards.
(Edited by *Katakis* (37458), Jun 27, 2008)Re: Shellshock rejected (again)
*Katakis* (37458), Jun 27, 2008
In order to get an AO rating here, all attorney-generals from each state and territory (about nine of them) must agree to it, and they do all that in a meeting. Unfortunately, only one of them has agreed to a change, so Australians get nothing at the end of the day. Recently, the government will call for public opinion on an AO rating, and the result of that will not be announced until November this year.
Far as I know only one of the attorney-generals has not agreed to the R18+ rating, the South Australian attorney-general (info from GameSpot AU). Anyway it is not the OFLC's fault as they are just following the government's crap rules. If anyone wants to get the full story of censorship in Australia check out Censory Overload at GameSpot
You say that no Australian can buy it. How about importing it? Can you get your copy from, say, New Zealand even if you can't buy it locally?
Importing the game from anywhere overseas is prohibited, but since our rating system is inferior (no AO rating, more games banned), people do it anyway, and although it is illegal, customs do not check if the game is actually illegal or not. Already I had Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude and Narc slip through. The former game my father brought home from the UK, and the latter I got from a US online store, along with Pac-Man World 3. The sneaky way of making sure that Australian customs do not steal your banned game is importing it along with another game that is not banned. If customs had stolen my copy of Narc, they would had to steal PMW3 as well.
As for New Zealand, I believe that most people import the game from there as it is closest and it would not take long for the game to arrive in Australia. The NZ government is well aware of this.
It's a shame this image of videogames being a childrens' hobby still lingers in some parts of the world. By all means stop under-18s from playing games which are not suitable, but allow consenting adults to make their own choices. Anyway, sometimes war is frightening and unjust, and it's better for kids to understand the full horror before they consider signing up. From what you've said, this game sounds equivalent to the training centre in Full Metal Jacket, which was an 18.
I actually meant something different with "toys":
What's the difference, at least here in Germany, between Indiana Jones movies and Indiana Jones video games? The first is considered art, while the second is not. It has the same status as toys.
So, a movie set in World War II European Theater (or in fictional afterwards) can use an authentic setting, while games - even adult-only - cannot (i.e. Return to Castle Wolfenstein, where you fight against "cult members" instead of Nazis). If video games would be art like paintings, music, movies etc., they could.
Computer games based on films rarely qualify as 'art'.... but I take your point in general.
You say that no Australian can buy it. How about importing it?
Toward the end of '07 an Australian man was fined and proclaimed a sex offender when attempting to import H-games unavailable in Australia.
... Isn't "tossers" a really bad insult? In the same level as "F###"?
Why do you always make such a fuss out of not being able to play a game which lacks adult appeal in the first place?
(Edited by St. Martyne (3562), Jul 10, 2008)Re: Shellshock rejected (again)
St. Martyne (3562), Jul 10, 2008
And now it's Fallout 3! Apparently the guys at OFLC didn't enjoyed the graphic and realistic drug use as it is portrayed in the game. Fallout 3 is no Shellshock, so I think this decision will be overruled after some changes are made to the game.
The funny part is that according to this the overwhelming majority of Australian gamers (or game buyers, which is obviously not the same thing) don't have a problem with that, so any change is unlikely.