Australia is a bit weird in some ways.
For instance, we rant about our right to freedom of speech, but in reality we have no legislated right to freedom of speech. Usually people find this out the hard way.
We take a hard line on government censorship… China you bastards… Your net censorship is piss-weak in comparison to the incoming Australian net censorship!
- Internet censorship plan gets the green light
- Internet uprising overturns Australian censorship law
- Web filters to censor video games
Likewise we don’t mess about rating video games.
Good hunh. No R rating means a 5 year old could buy the most bloodthirsty porn filled game a shop.
It sounds like this is a good thing (ok, maybe not little kids with age inappropriate games). Not rating them has to be good right?
No rating = no limitations, right?
You see (officially) if something isn’t rated, it can’t be sold.
The best known game that is officially illegal to sell in Australia is… WoW!
Yep, it’s not rated, therefore it is officially illegal to sell it in Oz.
Occasionally this hits the news, particularly overseas because “Australia bans WoW” is a great headline.
I remember reading one of these articles and an official admitted they weren’t going to enforce it (in the case of WoW).
It doesn’t matter, until it matters
The problem with laws (and loopholes) like this is they never matter until they matter. It will only take one hardcore conservative (because we all know D&D and WoW are the tools of the devil. You know D&D was banned in some Australian states originally, now it’s banned in prison) to push the case and suddenly it matters.
Anyway, as bad as it sounds, the best way to ensure the availability of games now and in the future is to encourage the government to classify the titles, give them a rating.
One of the chain games stores here is running a petition to get classification introduced.
Until February 14th.
So if you are a game playing Aussie, or know a game playing Aussie, direct them to this website (or their local shop) to sign the petition.
To be honest, I would feel so much better knowing I was playing R-rated WoW than G-rated WoW. At least them I could claim I was playing an adult approved game ;-)
Edit: WoWinanhour pointed out that WoW did finally receive a M rating in October last year. Great news for one game, let’s make sure that other games don’t have to go through the same hoops! Thanks for the update Gaeldar – Go Aussie Bloggers!
Gnomer and Out
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