ACT to go it alone on R18+ video games?

johnboy 29 April 2011 28

The ABC is carrying the musings of Simon Corbell on making Canberra a haven for R18+ rated games, a bit like our DVD industry with the X rating.

ACT Attorney General Simon Corbell says even if a stalemate situation eventuates, the ACT will move to change its own classification system for adult games.

“Because the ACT has supported the R18+ classification I think it will be incumbent on us to consider the issue of legislating before the sale of that material in the ACT,” Mr Corbell said.

“Regardless of what happens in other places around Australia.”

Mr Corbell says the territory will push to introduce the classification despite the outcome of the final meeting.


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28 Responses to ACT to go it alone on R18+ video games?
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p1 p1 2:22 pm 02 May 11

D2 said :

thatsnotme said :

Huh? When I download a game, I own it just as fully as I do when I buy it from a shop and get discs.

Quite right. And in niether case do you own it. If you read the “license” you’ll see that what you’ve bought, regardless of how you’ve bought it, is a (severely) limited right to use the game under specificly defined circumstances. Unless, of course, it’s FOSS.

I’ve often wondered about the legality of such licensing agreements. If I was to start “selling” cars with such clauses in the small print and court would laugh at me trying to enforce it, on the basis that it is unreasonable, and that no one would suspect such things.

Yet software does, even though I imagine the vast majority of the general public wouldn’t have clue, and shops advertise games “for sale” not for “limited use under certain conditions”.

p1 p1 1:24 pm 02 May 11

New tagline for Riotact?

Mr Waffle said :

I just googled “toilet death”……

D2 D2 12:46 pm 02 May 11

thatsnotme said :

Huh? When I download a game, I own it just as fully as I do when I buy it from a shop and get discs.

Quite right. And in niether case do you own it. If you read the “license” you’ll see that what you’ve bought, regardless of how you’ve bought it, is a (severely) limited right to use the game under specificly defined circumstances. Unless, of course, it’s FOSS.

Mr Waffle Mr Waffle 12:27 pm 02 May 11

Hercsie said :

A search on abc news for “violent video game” usage brought up:

Oh god, what a wank. They probably also used toilets. Maybe that’s what made them murderers. I just googled “toilet death”-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toilet-related_injuries_and_deaths

“Smaller children run the risk of drowning if they fall headfirst into the toilet.”

OUR CHILDREN ARE AT RISK FROM TERROR TOILET MURDEROUS RAMPAGES. WON’T SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?!?!

Keijidosha Keijidosha 11:50 am 02 May 11

thatsnotme said :

The silly thing about the move by SA to drop the MA15+ rating, is that the whole reason that rating is broken, is their refusal to allow an R18+ rating before now. So games that should have been R18+ all along, have been squeezed into the MA15+ rating – where they never belonged.

By introducing the R18+ rating, the problem with MA15+ will largely fix itself.

I agree that the need for an R18+ classification is well overdue, however I don’t believe that it will solve the classifications issue by itself. R18+ is an exclusionary classification level which limits the market available to game developers. The smart developers will always try to squeeze their game content into the MA15+ category to maximise their audience (ergo, sales). Dropping the MA15+ category would make it more difficult for this to occur, and clearly distinguish between content suitable for adults and minors.

Gerry-Built Gerry-Built 11:41 am 02 May 11

Hercsie said :

A search on abc news for “violent video game” usage brought up:(clip)

Neither suggests that the violent games were the reason; though, perhaps a catalyst… People who do these things would more than likely do them anyhow, because of the way their “brain is wired”…

For example, the 20YO “MCG Gunman” was already heavily involved in crime, even being on parole at the time of the MCG events… an the 21YO Girl’s murder was in gaol for other offences when he was arrested for the girl’s murder…

There should be no ban on these games – almost everybody is capable (certainly from 18YO) of separating reality; it is far more likely an already sick mind is attracted to these games, then the games creating the sick mind…

thatsnotme thatsnotme 11:30 am 02 May 11

Keijidosha said :

gooterz said :

SA are going backwards on this, forced to accept the R rating they’re planning on dropping the MA15+ rating.

Nobody is forcing SA to do anything, and their suggestion of dropping MA15+ is hardly ‘going backwards’. If MA15+ is removed it will create a greater distinction between MA and R18+ games, which will more clearly identify games that are suitable for minors, and games that are suitable for adult audiences.

The silly thing about the move by SA to drop the MA15+ rating, is that the whole reason that rating is broken, is their refusal to allow an R18+ rating before now. So games that should have been R18+ all along, have been squeezed into the MA15+ rating – where they never belonged.

By introducing the R18+ rating, the problem with MA15+ will largely fix itself.

Hercsie Hercsie 10:08 am 02 May 11
Keijidosha Keijidosha 9:59 am 02 May 11

gooterz said :

SA are going backwards on this, forced to accept the R rating they’re planning on dropping the MA15+ rating.

Nobody is forcing SA to do anything, and their suggestion of dropping MA15+ is hardly ‘going backwards’. If MA15+ is removed it will create a greater distinction between MA and R18+ games, which will more clearly identify games that are suitable for minors, and games that are suitable for adult audiences.

qbngeek qbngeek 9:18 am 02 May 11

dvaey said :

A lot of people dont trust the idea that you pay $x to download a game, but you dont actually own the game or own any manuals or anything, youre simply paying to be allowed access to a restricted version of the software, much less than youd get if you went to the store.

Ahhhh the opinion of someone who has never read the EULA of a game. When you buy a game in ANY FORM you don’t actually own the game or the manuals or anything, you are merely paying for the priviledge to play the game. The game developers do this on purpose so that when they stop supporting the game you can’t whinge about it and also to protect the source code and game coding, because if you ‘owned’ you copy then you are free to modify it or change the coding of ‘your copy’.

dvaey said :

Also, buying games on steam is fine if the only thing you use is a PC. As soon as you get into the world of game consoles, the market for R18+ games to be bought locally increases dramatically. Not everyone has a modchipped console and the ability/knowledge to backup/create game discs.

Who needs to create backup discs??? And none of the current generation of consoles need to be chipped to over-ride copy protection. Chipping was something that consoles developers overcame very easily.

All the current consoles have digital stores, although Australia gets a fraction of the content and hardly any new release games on there. My understanding is that there is a legal or contractual reason for this involving the national distribors of the games. From what I know, the contract for Sony distribution ends this year adn Microsoft distribution ends next year. Microsoft have already stated that they intend to turn the Xbox store into a fully fledged online service and most new releases will be available via this channel. Sony has not stated a position but I would expect them to go the same way as they don’t need to hurt PS3 sales anymore then they already have.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 9:32 am 01 May 11

dvaey said :

thatsnotme said :

I haven’t bought a game from a store for a long time – digital delivery through services like Steam is the way games are going (and if that means awful brick and mortar stores like EB Games go out of business then I couldn’t be happier)

Ask the owners of adult world, adam and eve, etc if theyre going out of business since porn has been on the internet. A lot of people dont trust the idea that you pay $x to download a game, but you dont actually own the game or own any manuals or anything, youre simply paying to be allowed access to a restricted version of the software, much less than youd get if you went to the store.

lol what are you talking about?

thatsnotme thatsnotme 10:52 pm 30 Apr 11

A lot of people dont trust the idea that you pay $x to download a game, but you dont actually own the game or own any manuals or anything, youre simply paying to be allowed access to a restricted version of the software, much less than youd get if you went to the store.

Huh? When I download a game, I own it just as fully as I do when I buy it from a shop and get discs. It comes with a digital version of the manual. It also comes with the advantage that I never need to worry about losing my game discs – if I rebuild my PC, or get a new one, everything I’ve ever purchased is listed against my account, and I can just download my game again.

How is what I buy restricted, and less than what I’d get if I went to the store? About the only things I miss out on is having to find a park, having to hope they have a copy of what I want (don’t even get me started on the whole pre-order thing), and having to dispose of the packaging.

Physical media for games (movies and music too) is rapidly going the way of the dodo. Some consoles already support that approach, and I’m betting that any that don’t right now, will in their next generations. It may not be Steam, but it’ll be something very similar – and I can’t see any of them differentiating between ‘Canberra, Australia’, and just ‘Australia’.

I just don’t think that if the ACT were to do this, it’d suddenly mean we could get everything we wanted straight away. X rated movies is an industry in the ACT – but there’s no indication that the other states are suddenly going to allow them, so that industry continues. Until digital delivery makes it irrelivent – and it will happen eventually. R rated games though…the change to ratings will happen, probably sooner rather than later. Even if it didn’t get up this time around, it’s not an issue that’s going to just go away. Turning Canberra into some type of R rated game distribution hub, a-la X rated movies, is just not going to happen.

As I said before – I agree with the sentiment, but I don’t think it’ll serve to actually change anything.

malbert malbert 2:18 pm 30 Apr 11

dvaey said :

Also, buying games on steam is fine if the only thing you use is a PC. As soon as you get into the world of game consoles, the market for R18+ games to be bought locally increases dramatically. Not everyone has a modchipped console and the ability/knowledge to backup/create game discs.

Steam is localised. While the prices for Australians appear in USD, a quick check of steamprices.com shows the publisher set pricing disparity between countries. Furthermore, games that are RC in Australia are not available to purchase in Steam anyway (A few titles like GTA 2), or are heavily modified (ala L4D2). They even run credit card location checks to ensure you haven’t just logged onto the US instance of the store or use a proxy service.

Point being cloud services don’t typically bypass classification mechanisms. Oh and I read something about Steam being available on PS3 these days?

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 11:27 am 30 Apr 11

Commonwealth Heads?
COAG, even.

</brainfade>

dvaey dvaey 11:01 am 30 Apr 11

thatsnotme said :

I haven’t bought a game from a store for a long time – digital delivery through services like Steam is the way games are going (and if that means awful brick and mortar stores like EB Games go out of business then I couldn’t be happier)

Ask the owners of adult world, adam and eve, etc if theyre going out of business since porn has been on the internet. A lot of people dont trust the idea that you pay $x to download a game, but you dont actually own the game or own any manuals or anything, youre simply paying to be allowed access to a restricted version of the software, much less than youd get if you went to the store.

Also, buying games on steam is fine if the only thing you use is a PC. As soon as you get into the world of game consoles, the market for R18+ games to be bought locally increases dramatically. Not everyone has a modchipped console and the ability/knowledge to backup/create game discs.

Aeek Aeek 10:49 am 30 Apr 11

Doubt the Feds would block it, they want it; they’re more likely to assist in getting them into the country

vauxhall vauxhall 10:33 am 30 Apr 11

Actually the Commonwealth stated a few months ago that if states can’t agree to bring in a R18 classification by July it will look at other options to bring it in, so unlikely it would overturn ACT law if they did this

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 10:21 am 30 Apr 11

Multiple Attorneys-General talking R18+ prior top Commonwealth Heads, but only one from a State which has been traditionally opposed?

Simon isn’t leading anyone anywhere, he’s just decided to take credit.
http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/games/sa-supports-r18-games-but-only-if-ma15-is-scrapped-20110429-1dzcj.htm

TheSilver TheSilver 10:12 am 30 Apr 11

The ACT can’t go it alone, at least not without the Federal Government’s support. One of the powers that the Federal Government deliberately didn’t grant the ACT for self government is the power of classification. Actually, the constitution has been interpreted to say that the Commonwealth itself doesn’t have this power either. The National Classification Scheme works as a national scheme because it, as written, only applies to the ACT, and every other State and Territory have laws that say that the National scheme is also their scheme. South Australis still has its own Classification Board, for instance, while most other states defer completely to the National scheme. Even if the ACT government wanted to eliminate the X rating, it can’t, it’s a Federal law. Same is true for an R18+ rating for games. Simon Corbell should know this.

It would be interesting to see the Federal government change the National Classification Scheme legislation without state support. In principle, this would make an R18+ rating for games national, as all states defer to the national legislation. There is also precedence for this, as the 2007 anti-terrorism laws changed this legislation without state agreement. It could, however, really piss off the states and if any feel strongly enough about it, fracture the national scheme.

AKT AKT 8:56 am 30 Apr 11

Correct me if I am wrong….but does not the Fed Government still have the option to “torpedoes” any ACT legislation that it does not like?

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