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Australian R18+ Final Guidelines

The final guidelines for Australia's planned R18+ rating are revealed on GameSpot, where they talk with Australia's Federal Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O'Connor about what these entail. The R18+ rating, which is already approved in principle (thanks GamePron), will be voted on by parliament as soon as February, and if enacted, will give the classification board immediate power to approve games with the new rating, as well as to re-rate MA15+ rated games into the new category. There will also still be games which are refused classification, as word is: "Any game with sexual violence will be refused classification. [Smith] need not worry, sexual violence is refused classification now, and it will be refused classification once R18+ passes." Here are the planned guidelines for R18+ games:

Under the final guidelines, the criteria for an R18+ game will now be:

THEMES:
There are virtually no restrictions on the treatment of themes.

VIOLENCE:
Violence is permitted. High impact violence that is, in context, frequently gratuitous, exploitative and offensive to a reasonable adult will not be permitted.
Sexual violence may be implied, if non-interactive and justified by context.

SEX:
Sexual activity may be realistically simulated. The general rule is "simulation, yes—the real thing, no".

LANGUAGE:
There are virtually no restrictions on language.

DRUG USE:
Drug use is permitted
Drug use related to incentives and rewards is not permitted.

NUDITY:
Nudity is permitted.

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40 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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40. Re: Australian R18+ Final Guidelines Nov 6, 2011, 06:35 Jerykk
 
Both wrong, there's at least one AO game for consoles that I know of, and retail stores do carry it.

Remember the fiasco with that one GTA having to be re-rated to AO? You can't tell me stores stopped carrying GTA (except maybe in AU).

When the ESRB changed the rating to AO, Take-Two stopped production of the game and gave retailers the option of returning their copies to be replaced with revised M-rated ones. I'm pretty sure the vast majority of retailers did so. The biggest chains (Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Target, Staples, Toys 'r Us, GameStop, etc) definitely did, as they didn't want to risk any lawsuits resulting from false labeling. Take-Two even settled a lawsuit, allowing consumers to trade in their old copies for the revised M-rated ones.

Nintendo, Sony and MS will not license AO-rated games on their respective platforms. This isn't a theory, it's an established fact. GTA:SA was re-rated AO after it was released, which is why it was the only AO-rated game on consoles and even then, only briefly. The AO rating was never sanctioned by Sony or MS.
 
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39. Re: Australian R18+ Final Guidelines Nov 5, 2011, 19:36 Dev
 
Jerykk wrote on Nov 5, 2011, 02:56:
Obviously there'll never be AO games for the consoles, but does this mean that adults still can't buy truly adult only PC games in Aus?

I don't think any retail stores carry AO games anyway. The few AO games on PC were only available through specific websites, so you'd be able to buy from those regardless of your region.
Both wrong, there's at least one AO game for consoles that I know of, and retail stores do carry it.

Remember the fiasco with that one GTA having to be re-rated to AO? You can't tell me stores stopped carrying GTA (except maybe in AU).

I'm not into consoles enough to know offhand if thats the only example of an AO game that stores carry, or if its the only AO title for consoles.
 
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38. Re: Australian R18+ Final Guidelines Nov 5, 2011, 02:56 Jerykk
 
Obviously there'll never be AO games for the consoles, but does this mean that adults still can't buy truly adult only PC games in Aus?

I don't think any retail stores carry AO games anyway. The few AO games on PC were only available through specific websites, so you'd be able to buy from those regardless of your region.
 
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37. Re: Australian R18+ Final Guidelines Nov 4, 2011, 22:10 Razumen
 
Sleette wrote on Nov 4, 2011, 17:08:
So, here's my question: This is an 18+ rating. That means available to adults only. So does this mean that no sex at all is allowed in any media in Australia? There are no porn movies for sale? All access to explicit websites is blocked? If so, Wow, I had no clue. If not, why unfairly single out the games media for this restriction?

I was wondering when someone would bring this up.. it's the first thing that struck me. I assume 18+ is the least restrictive rating. So these amount to rules about what ADULTS can purchase/be sold.

Drug use for incentives?
Explicit sex?
Explicit violence?

If I, as an adult, want to play a game (or read a book, watch a movie) with this type of content, who is the government to say that I can't. What about freedom of artistic expression?

I'm surprised the comments here seem, in large part, to willingly accept this as ok.
Agreed, this just looks like a slightly upgraded Mature rating to me, especially considering that most games that would be rated M here (Canada) will actually be using this new R18+ rating in Australia.

Obviously there'll never be AO games for the consoles, but does this mean that adults still can't buy truly adult only PC games in Aus?
 
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36. Re: Australian R18+ Final Guidelines Nov 4, 2011, 21:33 Dev
 
So, games like fallout not permitted because the drugs boost your stats?

Edit: I see someone already brought this up
 
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35. Re: Australian R18+ Final Guidelines Nov 4, 2011, 19:13 Bhruic
 
Wouldn't want adults making decisions for themselves. Oh, no siree. Good thing the Aussie government will protect everyone.

When you consider that .au went straight from M15 to No One Can Buy This, having an R18+ rating is definitely a step up.
 
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34. Re: Australian R18+ Final Guidelines Nov 4, 2011, 18:38 Creston
 
Sleette wrote on Nov 4, 2011, 17:08:
jdreyer wrote on Nov 4, 2011, 16:09:
SEX:
Sexual activity may be realistically simulated. The general rule is "simulation, yes—the real thing, no".

So, here's my question: This is an 18+ rating. That means available to adults only. So does this mean that no sex at all is allowed in any media in Australia? There are no porn movies for sale? All access to explicit websites is blocked? If so, Wow, I had no clue. If not, why unfairly single out the games media for this restriction?

I was wondering when someone would bring this up.. it's the first thing that struck me. I assume 18+ is the least restrictive rating. So these amount to rules about what ADULTS can purchase/be sold.

Drug use for incentives?
Explicit sex?
Explicit violence?

If I, as an adult, want to play a game (or read a book, watch a movie) with this type of content, who is the government to say that I can't. What about freedom of artistic expression?

I'm surprised the comments here seem, in large part, to willingly accept this as ok.

I actually did bring it up, but why the surprise that the comments here seem to accept this as ok? I think we have maybe a total of four or five commenters from Australia. This isn't talking about the US, where fortunately an adult can do watch whatever he wants to as long as it's rated AO. (and not illegal like child porn, obviously.)

Creston
 
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33. Re: Australian R18+ Final Guidelines Nov 4, 2011, 17:35 Prez
 
Wouldn't want adults making decisions for themselves. Oh, no siree. Good thing the Aussie government will protect everyone. Rolleyes  
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“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
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32. Re: Australian R18+ Final Guidelines Nov 4, 2011, 17:08 Sleette
 
jdreyer wrote on Nov 4, 2011, 16:09:
SEX:
Sexual activity may be realistically simulated. The general rule is "simulation, yes—the real thing, no".

So, here's my question: This is an 18+ rating. That means available to adults only. So does this mean that no sex at all is allowed in any media in Australia? There are no porn movies for sale? All access to explicit websites is blocked? If so, Wow, I had no clue. If not, why unfairly single out the games media for this restriction?

I was wondering when someone would bring this up.. it's the first thing that struck me. I assume 18+ is the least restrictive rating. So these amount to rules about what ADULTS can purchase/be sold.

Drug use for incentives?
Explicit sex?
Explicit violence?

If I, as an adult, want to play a game (or read a book, watch a movie) with this type of content, who is the government to say that I can't. What about freedom of artistic expression?

I'm surprised the comments here seem, in large part, to willingly accept this as ok.
 
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31. Re: Australian R18+ Final Guidelines Nov 4, 2011, 16:31 Beamer
 
jdreyer wrote on Nov 4, 2011, 16:20:
Cutter wrote on Nov 4, 2011, 14:08:
And what the hell is a "reasonable adult"?

I agree, it's extremely vague. This kind of language could be used to ban almost anything, since the vast majority of people are opposed to violence. Just look at the outcry against the judge who beat his daughter with a belt, an act which would be fairly minor in most video games.

It's intentionally vague. It's a subjective thing.
 
-------------
Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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30. Re: Australian R18+ Final Guidelines Nov 4, 2011, 16:20 jdreyer
 
Cutter wrote on Nov 4, 2011, 14:08:
And what the hell is a "reasonable adult"?

I agree, it's extremely vague. This kind of language could be used to ban almost anything, since the vast majority of people are opposed to violence. Just look at the outcry against the judge who beat his daughter with a belt, an act which would be fairly minor in most video games.
 
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"It's just a bunch of mystic bovine scatology to me." - 1badmf
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29. Re: Australian R18+ Final Guidelines Nov 4, 2011, 16:18 Mashiki Amiketo
 
Beamer wrote on Nov 4, 2011, 15:52:
You have plenty of "reasonable" which I was getting at.
Even 'reasonable' has very strict definitions in Canadian law, covering no less than 5 pages in an annotated criminal code. A reasonable person knows that the sky is blue. That 1+1=2, that if you use a knife to stab someone, your intention was to cause grievous harm. That if you don't feed a baby you can kill it. But if you leave your 15yr old kid at home for the evening, they have enough sense to feed themselves.
 
--
"For every human problem,
there is a neat, simple solution;
and it is always wrong."
--H.L. Mencken
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28. Re: Australian R18+ Final Guidelines Nov 4, 2011, 16:09 jdreyer
 
SEX:
Sexual activity may be realistically simulated. The general rule is "simulation, yes—the real thing, no".

So, here's my question: This is an 18+ rating. That means available to adults only. So does this mean that no sex at all is allowed in any media in Australia? There are no porn movies for sale? All access to explicit websites is blocked? If so, Wow, I had no clue. If not, why unfairly single out the games media for this restriction?
 
Avatar 22024
 
"It's just a bunch of mystic bovine scatology to me." - 1badmf
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27. Re: Australian R18+ Final Guidelines Nov 4, 2011, 16:07 jdreyer
 
necrosis wrote on Nov 4, 2011, 14:36:
Simulation = GTA3. Guy and hooker get in car. All you see is the car bouncing up and down and the windows fogging up. You know whats happening it is just not outright shown.

Real Thing = Outright showing two people fucking.

In the movie industry "simulated" means anything that doesn't include any parts explicitly in contact with any other parts. So the Hot Coffee mod would be simulated.
 
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"It's just a bunch of mystic bovine scatology to me." - 1badmf
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26. Re: Australian R18+ Final Guidelines Nov 4, 2011, 15:52 Beamer
 
Mashiki Amiketo wrote on Nov 4, 2011, 15:31:
Beamer wrote on Nov 4, 2011, 14:58:
Half of the western world's laws involve similar terminology.
We don't have that in our criminal code here in Canada. An 'adult' is a person who is neither a 'young person' nor a 'child'. Basically someone who isn't under 12(no mens rea - mental ability to commit a crime/reasoning), and the YCJA doesn't apply to 13-18(exception at 18 on act).

You have plenty of "reasonable" which I was getting at.
 
-------------
Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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25. Re: Australian R18+ Final Guidelines Nov 4, 2011, 15:34 Talisorn
 
El Pit wrote on Nov 4, 2011, 11:07:
Rattlehead wrote on Nov 4, 2011, 11:00:
Also how is sexual violence ever justified?

Exactly. That made me scratch my head, too.

The only thing I can think of is that it's part of the story where the villain is being portrayed as being particularly villainous ... like the protagonist has to takedown a bunch of rapists? In this case sexual violence is being portrayed, but not carried out.

EDIT: To be frank, this is streets ahead of what we currently have here in Australia. I am so glad that finally we will have pretty much no more bannings and that adult gamers are finally being treated as adults. Rather than picking holes, I would have thought you'd be cheering. :p

This comment was edited on Nov 4, 2011, 15:44.
 
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24. Re: Australian R18+ Final Guidelines Nov 4, 2011, 15:31 Mashiki Amiketo
 
Beamer wrote on Nov 4, 2011, 14:58:
Half of the western world's laws involve similar terminology.
We don't have that in our criminal code here in Canada. An 'adult' is a person who is neither a 'young person' nor a 'child'. Basically someone who isn't under 12(no mens rea - mental ability to commit a crime/reasoning), and the YCJA doesn't apply to 13-18(exception at 18 on act).
 
--
"For every human problem,
there is a neat, simple solution;
and it is always wrong."
--H.L. Mencken
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23. Re: Australian R18+ Final Guidelines Nov 4, 2011, 15:17 Lobster
 
How exactly do you have REAL sex in a video game? People still making FMV games?

Anyway, once they say this:

a reasonable adult

Forget it, the guidelines are useless, unless they're going to come up with a legal definition for "reasonable adulthood."

And hey, if they do they can REALLY simplify their legal system. Just one law: Be a reasonable adult.

Beamer wrote on Nov 4, 2011, 14:58:
Mostly because of the vague as shit "offensive to a reasonable adult".

Half of the western world's laws involve similar terminology.

Ever notice how dysfunctional our judicial system is?
 
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22. Re: Australian R18+ Final Guidelines Nov 4, 2011, 14:58 Beamer
 
Mostly because of the vague as shit "offensive to a reasonable adult".

Half of the western world's laws involve similar terminology.
 
-------------
Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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21. Re: Australian R18+ Final Guidelines Nov 4, 2011, 14:46 Mashiki Amiketo
 
Cutter wrote on Nov 4, 2011, 14:08:
And what the hell is a "reasonable adult"?
What the guv'nr tells you it is.
 
--
"For every human problem,
there is a neat, simple solution;
and it is always wrong."
--H.L. Mencken
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