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Finally we can play GTA as god and nature intended. R18+ computer games come to the ACT

By johnboy 23 August 2012 21

Simon Corbell has found his way into the hearts of Australia’s nerds today with the national first introduction of an R18+ classification for computer games:

New laws to allow for the introduction of an R18+ classification for computer games in the ACT have been passed by the Legislative Assembly, Attorney General, Simon Corbell, said today.

“This new legislation for the ACT makes the Territory the first jurisdiction in Australia to introduce such laws to regulate the R18+ classification for computer games, and to boost choice for adults in the gaming media they consume,” Mr Corbell said.

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21 Responses to
Finally we can play GTA as god and nature intended. R18+ computer games come to the ACT
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Gigantor 1:36 pm 24 Aug 12

its about time

Primal 1:27 pm 24 Aug 12

Truthiness said :

So the bottom line for gamers seems to be nothing has really changed, and to keep pirating?

A small number of extra games will become available that would have otherwise not made it to retail here (previously refused titles like Syndicate, Mortal Kombat and the unedited version of Left 4 Dead 2 could also get submitted for re-classification). A smallish number of games that might have snuck into MA will probably get bumped up to R by the Classification Board going forward. Consumers will be better informed and the world will continue turning.

Truthiness 1:18 pm 24 Aug 12

So the bottom line for gamers seems to be nothing has really changed, and to keep pirating?

Primal 11:27 am 24 Aug 12

Mordd said :

So who will be classifying the games 18+ in the ACT, the ACMA? MA games will now be classified as R, but if the ACMA already classifies them as MA doesnt the ACMA have to change the rating, how does the ACT have anything to do with that?

The way I see it this legislation is redundant given we are already adding in an 18+ category for games at a federal level, what does this legislation do that legislation does not?

The previous poster meant that future games that would have otherwise been given an MA may now be bumped into R. Existing classification decisions will not be changed.

ACMA is responsible for the classification system, i.e. the declaration of what gets marked as what. It is then up to each state and territory to determine how products with each type of marking are to be handled. In theory, any state could refuse to allow the sale of R rated games in their jurisdiction – it would be a futile act, but they could nonetheless try it. More practically, a state could require that all R rated games only be sold from behind the counter and not be put on public display.

Mordd 11:19 am 24 Aug 12

johnboy said :

My understanding is Classification is a state power that they’ve bolted commonwealth involvement over the top later. It still needs state legislation.

Which was why the South Australian nutbags held up the process for so long.

Oh this is just essentially ratifying what they already agreed to do on a federal level then basically? Doesn’t change anything, add anything etc… just it has to be codified in each state/territory lawbooks to take effect properly, is that it?

OverLord 11:08 am 24 Aug 12

One of the arguments for the new classification was that companies were able to make tweaks to their games in order to meet a lower classification rating. Potentially releasing some games that should have been rated R18+, as an MA15+ title instead.

A good example being Fallout 3’s in game chem Morphine being renamed to Med-X to avoid kids thinking that taking morphine in the real world will produce a positive effect similar to the in-game increase in strength/stamina etc.

However, running around and exploding people into pieces in super-slo-mo, that’s ok for kiddies. It’s just a little disjointed.

Mordd 11:05 am 24 Aug 12

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

Mordd said :

I’m a bit confused by this, I thought the legal change required was the ACMA adding in an R18+ category for games and then they could legally be imported, reviewed, classified and sold here.

How does the ACT legislation affect things, as in if the ACMA do not yet have an R18+ category (not sure if they implement it yet or its about to be done soon still) then wouldn’t it not matter one bit what the ACT legislation says as its still a classification issue, or does this just mean we could import R18+ games categories as such overseas to the ACT now but they still would not have an australian classification rating?

I thought I understood what was going on with the 19+ category for games fairly well but I must admit I am rather confused by why it was necesary for this ACT specific legislation and what the difference is to the change in federal legislation which is happening atm as well.

Can anyone clarify for me please?

no. All this means is that most MA games here will now be classified as R. The same games getting banned now will more than likely be getting banned in the future.
It is still ilegal to try and import a game that has been refused classification, even if it has a uk R rating. Different countrys, different rating systems, different laws.(uk law only applys in uk)

So who will be classifying the games 18+ in the ACT, the ACMA? MA games will now be classified as R, but if the ACMA already classifies them as MA doesnt the ACMA have to change the rating, how does the ACT have anything to do with that?

The way I see it this legislation is redundant given we are already adding in an 18+ category for games at a federal level, what does this legislation do that legislation does not?

    johnboy 11:07 am 24 Aug 12

    My understanding is Classification is a state power that they’ve bolted commonwealth involvement over the top later. It still needs state legislation.

    Which was why the South Australian nutbags held up the process for so long.

Duffbowl 10:39 am 24 Aug 12

Sadly, the only dedicated game console in the Duffbowl household is a Wii… and nothing Mrs and child Duffbowl wish to play is restricted access in Australia.

From a PC point of view, with games released in by a water vapour vendor, it’s apparently fairly trivial to bypass geographic restrictions. One method used is to establish an account that allows you to proxy through a server located, say, in the US, UK or EU. Once the game is installed, said vendor doesn’t record / care where the game is played.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 10:37 am 24 Aug 12

Mordd said :

I’m a bit confused by this, I thought the legal change required was the ACMA adding in an R18+ category for games and then they could legally be imported, reviewed, classified and sold here.

How does the ACT legislation affect things, as in if the ACMA do not yet have an R18+ category (not sure if they implement it yet or its about to be done soon still) then wouldn’t it not matter one bit what the ACT legislation says as its still a classification issue, or does this just mean we could import R18+ games categories as such overseas to the ACT now but they still would not have an australian classification rating?

I thought I understood what was going on with the 19+ category for games fairly well but I must admit I am rather confused by why it was necesary for this ACT specific legislation and what the difference is to the change in federal legislation which is happening atm as well.

Can anyone clarify for me please?

no. All this means is that most MA games here will now be classified as R. The same games getting banned now will more than likely be getting banned in the future.
It is still ilegal to try and import a game that has been refused classification, even if it has a uk R rating. Different countrys, different rating systems, different laws.(uk law only applys in uk)

Myles Peterson 10:29 am 24 Aug 12

And the ACT Porn industry is back in business –

“Sexual activity may be realistically simulated.” R18+ guidelines http://www.acma.gov.au/webwr/aba/contentreg/codes/television/documents/stbannexureclassificationguidelines.pdf

Does AIE offer a boob-rendering course?

SSrb 10:28 am 24 Aug 12

Console games are also half the price (including shipping) when ordered from the UK, so it’s not like bypassing the Australian classification regime is an inconvenience; it’s more a matter of course.

Mordd 10:27 am 24 Aug 12

I’m a bit confused by this, I thought the legal change required was the ACMA adding in an R18+ category for games and then they could legally be imported, reviewed, classified and sold here.

How does the ACT legislation affect things, as in if the ACMA do not yet have an R18+ category (not sure if they implement it yet or its about to be done soon still) then wouldn’t it not matter one bit what the ACT legislation says as its still a classification issue, or does this just mean we could import R18+ games categories as such overseas to the ACT now but they still would not have an australian classification rating?

I thought I understood what was going on with the 19+ category for games fairly well but I must admit I am rather confused by why it was necesary for this ACT specific legislation and what the difference is to the change in federal legislation which is happening atm as well.

Can anyone clarify for me please?

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 10:06 am 24 Aug 12

devils_advocate said :

Duffbowl said :

Given the ease with which someone could circumvent the previous ruling, and not get caught, I’m quite happy they’ve seen sense on this issue.

Hey I’m a noob and don’t actually play video games, but I have an interest in the way the industry works. In terms of circumventing the effective ban on R18 games, I thought people couldn’t order the discs from overseas because of region coding (i.e. the game wouldn’t work in an Australian console). Or is there a crack for this, or they stopped region coding the consoles at some point? I thought there was a limited number of resets for the console before it was locked to a single region.

Alternatively I knew there was some way of hardwiring a “chip” into the console to play pirated discs, but I heard that this can compromise the integrity of the machine, and of course would not be covered by warranty.

Or is there some other way I’m missing?

uk and australia have the same region lock on xbox
99.9% of ps3 games are region free disks

Order from a england store or get a mate to send them over. It even saves you money. Thats what i do.

If customs find the game(unlikely), they send you a letter saying you are a bad person and not to do it again or go to prison and they keep the game for themselves or kids.

Primal 10:01 am 24 Aug 12

devils_advocate said :

Hey I’m a noob and don’t actually play video games, but I have an interest in the way the industry works. In terms of circumventing the effective ban on R18 games, I thought people couldn’t order the discs from overseas because of region coding (i.e. the game wouldn’t work in an Australian console).

PS3s only have region-encoding for DVDs, not games. I also believe there may be options based on where you bought the console from and/or where you claim your location to be when you sign up for e.g. XBox Live or the Playstation Network. And of course chipping, modding, etc.

PCs are even better for taking advantage of overseas benefits.

Bluey 9:57 am 24 Aug 12

devils_advocate said :

Duffbowl said :

Given the ease with which someone could circumvent the previous ruling, and not get caught, I’m quite happy they’ve seen sense on this issue.

Hey I’m a noob and don’t actually play video games, but I have an interest in the way the industry works. In terms of circumventing the effective ban on R18 games, I thought people couldn’t order the discs from overseas because of region coding (i.e. the game wouldn’t work in an Australian console). Or is there a crack for this, or they stopped region coding the consoles at some point? I thought there was a limited number of resets for the console before it was locked to a single region.

Alternatively I knew there was some way of hardwiring a “chip” into the console to play pirated discs, but I heard that this can compromise the integrity of the machine, and of course would not be covered by warranty.

Or is there some other way I’m missing?

Play on PC dude. No issues whatsoever with Oseas discs or downloaded legally or otherwise.

Unsure how the distribution is going to work? When I buy online from steam is it going to ask ACT or Anywhere else in Aus? EB going to import 500000 copies of MA version and 20000 R18 version?

devils_advocate 9:33 am 24 Aug 12

Duffbowl said :

Given the ease with which someone could circumvent the previous ruling, and not get caught, I’m quite happy they’ve seen sense on this issue.

Hey I’m a noob and don’t actually play video games, but I have an interest in the way the industry works. In terms of circumventing the effective ban on R18 games, I thought people couldn’t order the discs from overseas because of region coding (i.e. the game wouldn’t work in an Australian console). Or is there a crack for this, or they stopped region coding the consoles at some point? I thought there was a limited number of resets for the console before it was locked to a single region.

Alternatively I knew there was some way of hardwiring a “chip” into the console to play pirated discs, but I heard that this can compromise the integrity of the machine, and of course would not be covered by warranty.

Or is there some other way I’m missing?

Duffbowl 7:53 am 24 Aug 12

Given the ease with which someone could circumvent the previous ruling, and not get caught, I’m quite happy they’ve seen sense on this issue.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 8:48 pm 23 Aug 12

It’s great that MA games will now be R rated and kids won’t be playing inappropriate games as easily, but our Christian run classification boards will still ban games like syndicate or l4d2(luckily I still have good mates in England)

Muttsybignuts 8:28 pm 23 Aug 12

So, does this mean shops in the ACT will be able to sell the games via post like the good old days of porn? Or, do we have exclusive access to L4D2 etc?

Pork Hunt 5:39 pm 23 Aug 12

I don’t personally partake in this type of thing but well done to the government for ticking another “live and let live” box so that others can enjoy…

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