Half-Life 2 AU Woes?

SumeaLaunchpad (thanks Voodoo Extreme) reports that the rating Half-Life 2 has received from The Pan European Games Information system results in the possibility that there is no rating that will allow the game to be sold in Australia. No decision has been made on the game's fate down under, but here's the cause for concern citied in the article:
The Pan European Games Information (PEGI) age rating system has given Half Life 2 an R(18+) rating. This means that minors are unable to purchase the game in numerous countries like Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the UK. What's really interesting about this is how the game fares in Australia. The Australian Office of Film & Literature Classification (OFLC) has yet to classify Half Life 2, but if the board follows suit from their European counterparts, it'll mean that one of this years highly anticipated titles is banned outright from sales here. Currently, Australia has no R rating for games, so game titles need to meet the highest rating available (MA 15+) or they will be refused classification.
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1.
 
This is cruel...
Oct 26, 2004, 09:59
Q
1.
This is cruel... Oct 26, 2004, 09:59
Oct 26, 2004, 09:59
Q
 
denying the Aussies HL2. Simply cruel...

2.
 
No subject
Oct 26, 2004, 10:01
2.
No subject Oct 26, 2004, 10:01
Oct 26, 2004, 10:01
 
There are two ways to look at this:

1) "Who cares?! At least I'm getting it!"
or
2) A lot more people in those countries will be getting HL2 via Steam now.

I'm all for a ratings system, but c'mon, Australia has no R rating for games? Does this mean they aren't getting GTA: SA either? And did the same thing happen with Doom 3?

Alex
-----------
Spatial Fear
Director/Creative Designer
http://www.planetunreal.com/le/sf/
3.
 
?
Oct 26, 2004, 10:07
3.
? Oct 26, 2004, 10:07
Oct 26, 2004, 10:07
 
I can't imagine how HL2 could be any more "mature" than Doom III.

4.
 
Re:
Oct 26, 2004, 10:09
4.
Re: Oct 26, 2004, 10:09
Oct 26, 2004, 10:09
 
It's odd that this can happen. Don't countries like this (I believe it's more than Australia, right? Germany has some pretty messed up censorship issues) give any credit to *adults* to be able to choose what they want? I guess the United States isn't the only censorship-fucked up country, huh? I don't have tits on public TV, but I can buy a game without green blood and robots. Governments need to stop trying to control minds.

5.
 
Re:
Oct 26, 2004, 10:12
5.
Re: Oct 26, 2004, 10:12
Oct 26, 2004, 10:12
 
We got DooM3.... and I already got the gold pack via steam:P This better not delay that unlocking!

6.
 
Re: ?
Oct 26, 2004, 10:12
6.
Re: ? Oct 26, 2004, 10:12
Oct 26, 2004, 10:12
 
Geez, no HL2 boxes? How can gamers survive over there? Hopefully steam won't be blocked for some wacky bureaucratic reason.

7.
 
Re: ?
Oct 26, 2004, 10:14
7.
Re: ? Oct 26, 2004, 10:14
Oct 26, 2004, 10:14
 
meh, seriously forget about this one guys.

There is no chance in hell they wont release hl2.

Besides, just like I said with LSLarry, the game is already buy-able from quite a few shops (despite it's lack of ratings/"ban") in Syd and Canberra.

I don't even think we need to bother with mentioning Steam right?

Now hopefully this and GTA SA will finally make the ratings peeps sit up and smell the 21st century

8.
 
No subject
Oct 26, 2004, 10:18
8.
No subject Oct 26, 2004, 10:18
Oct 26, 2004, 10:18
 
Strikes me as bizarre that the Ozzies can have (presumably) an 18 rating for movies and yet not for games...... of course, people in Oz can alternatively buy games from New Zealand in an uncut version IIRC.....

NB: San Andreas was supposedly being cut for australian release... I'm not 100% sure. The German cuts were (for SA) apparently; no special headshot animation, no reward for killing people (no money left on the ground), and no longer able to kick dead bodies, etc.

IIRC the Oz version of GTA:VC had stuff like killing hookers after sex (er, in the game) cut.

I'm not sure if / how much Doom3 was cut.... albeit Doom3 does have the luxury of being in a 'fantasy' setting fighting zombies/demons/etc, so the violence within might be seen in a lesser light.

9.
 
No subject
Oct 26, 2004, 10:22
9.
No subject Oct 26, 2004, 10:22
Oct 26, 2004, 10:22
 
Well, I guess there's still a long way to go before this medium is taken seriously, at least in the UK. Why are there still different rating systems? UT2004 has a 16+ under PEGI, but Doom3 has an 18 from the BBFC. If a retailer sells a game to someone that is underage on the PEGI scheme, is that illegal? Or is it just a guideline like the old ELSPA system. Why have a pan-European system? There isn't one for movies. Just let the BBFC certify the games here and then we have a scheme that is already widely used and recognised, even if it is more suited for films - IMO, they do a good job.

10.
 
No subject
Oct 26, 2004, 10:25
10.
No subject Oct 26, 2004, 10:25
Oct 26, 2004, 10:25
 
I'm glad we haven't stooped to that level yet here in Norway (although some members of the christian party are trying). At least we're still able to choose for ourselves what we want to buy or not. The AU government is basically denying adults to make their own decisions. Pathetic and sad, in my opinion.

11.
 
Re: No subject
Oct 26, 2004, 10:27
11.
Re: No subject Oct 26, 2004, 10:27
Oct 26, 2004, 10:27
 
Well, I guess there's still a long way to go before this medium is taken seriously, at least in the UK. Why are there still different rating systems? UT2004 has a 16+ under PEGI, but Doom3 has an 18 from the BBFC. If a retailer sells a game to someone that is underage on the PEGI scheme, is that illegal? Or is it just a guideline like the old ELSPA system. Why have a pan-European system? There isn't one for movies. Just let the BBFC certify the games here and then we have a scheme that is already widely used and recognised, even if it is more suited for films - IMO, they do a good job.

Fair point

NB: changingman = Paul Weller reference?

12.
 
No subject
Oct 26, 2004, 10:32
12.
No subject Oct 26, 2004, 10:32
Oct 26, 2004, 10:32
 
I can't see how they can ban it when they've let doom3 through with an MA15+ rating. Not to mention GTA, SOF2, et al.

13.
 
Australian Censorship
Oct 26, 2004, 10:40
13.
Australian Censorship Oct 26, 2004, 10:40
Oct 26, 2004, 10:40
 
If you think the censorship down here is bad, get this...

In all of Australia, pot and *hard* porn are illegal, except in... you guessed it, THE NATION'S CAPITAL.

The overpaid, underworked pollies are probably getting their copies of HL2, enjoying a bong and watching smut as we speak... and they wonder why the country is screwed.

14.
 
Re: No subject
Oct 26, 2004, 10:48
14.
Re: No subject Oct 26, 2004, 10:48
Oct 26, 2004, 10:48
 
NB: changingman = Paul Weller reference?

Yep. Stanley Road is the only album I own where I love every single song.

Oh, and although I said the BBFC does a good job, there's one area they fall down - 18 to watch a film where people have sex, yet 16 is the age of consent. So one can have sex at 16, but they are still not old enough to watch it.

15.
 
Re: Australian Censorship
Oct 26, 2004, 10:48
15.
Re: Australian Censorship Oct 26, 2004, 10:48
Oct 26, 2004, 10:48
 
Won't happen. Games are only "banned" here if they have sexual content. As far as I'm aware, no straight-out action game has been banned unless it was fucked up in ways other than just a lot of violence (eg. Manhunter).

16.
 
Re: Australian Censorship
Oct 26, 2004, 10:50
16.
Re: Australian Censorship Oct 26, 2004, 10:50
Oct 26, 2004, 10:50
 
I'm still curious as to how a game cannot meet the the highest rating available if it is an open-ended rating; I mean, 15+ should cover Johnny until the day he dies.

17.
 
Never works
Oct 26, 2004, 10:52
Xii
17.
Never works Oct 26, 2004, 10:52
Oct 26, 2004, 10:52
Xii
 
Someday people will realize that once you ban something everyone is suddenly interested in whatever it is creating a buzz. The thing you wanted to suppress becomes something people who might not have cared before suddenly want and will get anyway possible. You lose tax money on sales because people are buying goods through back channels and other countries, brilliant! Someone should tell them to aim that gun away from their feet.

18.
 
Re: Australian Censorship
Oct 26, 2004, 10:52
nin
18.
Re: Australian Censorship Oct 26, 2004, 10:52
Oct 26, 2004, 10:52
nin
 
Posts below bring up a good point? If it gets banned, is Steam still allowed to be used?

How many AU users are posting here? More than I thought...pretty cool, Blues News being worldwide!

Oh, and curse you (again) Voodoo Extreme, for beating me to the punch to submit this to Blue!

http://www.placeboworld.co.uk
19.
 
Re: Australian Censorship
Oct 26, 2004, 11:03
19.
Re: Australian Censorship Oct 26, 2004, 11:03
Oct 26, 2004, 11:03
 
Pot isn't illegal in Sydney?? Really?

20.
 
Re: Australian Censorship
Oct 26, 2004, 11:06
20.
Re: Australian Censorship Oct 26, 2004, 11:06
Oct 26, 2004, 11:06
 
I don't understand this, what the hell is in HL2 that would put it in a 15+ ratings catagory? If this was America and the game got 17+ I'd expect either a TON of blood or any realistic sexuality (fuckin' puritans). But the Europeans? Either this game has hardcore sex with visible genitals or you kill innocent people or something....Why does every news story about HL2 make me want to see just what's in it? Their PR people are just insanely good.
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