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AVP wins Australian rating appeal

AVP wins Australian rating appeal

Sega's Aliens Versus Predator will see an uncut release in Australia after a successful appeal.

Sega today announced that it had won an appeal against the Australian Classification Board's ban on upcoming shooter Aliens Versus Predator, securing an uncut release of the game in Australia.

We got a chance to look at Aliens Versus Predator earlier this year in GamesCom and it was definitely one of the goriest games on show at the exhibition, with reps from both Rebellion and Sega saying that they did not to expect an Australian or German release and had explicit plans against making a censored version available for those famously strict markets.

Sure enough, the Australian rating body banned the game from sale - until today's appeal. AVP will not see a released under a MA15+ certificate, the highest available in Oz.

The Australian government has long been criticised for it's rating policies by members of the games industry as, with no 18 or AO certificate available, anything unsuitable for 15 year olds is usually banned.

"The game contains first-person perspective, close-up depictions of human characters being subjected to various types of violence, including explicit decapitation and dismemberment as well as locational damage such as stabbing through the chest, mouth, throat or eyes," said the classification board's initial report, according to GI.biz. Like we said; gory.

"We are particularly proud that the game will be released in its original entirety, with no content altered or removed whatsoever," said a Sega spokesperson. "This is a big win for Australian gamers. We applaud the Classification Review Board on making a decision that clearly considers the context of the game, and is in line with the modern expectations of reasonable Australians".

The Australian Attorney General has remained firmly against the game however, claiming that "You don't need to be playing a game in which you impale, decapitate and dismember people."

"I accept that 98 per cent, 99 per cent of gamers will tell the difference between fantasy and reality, but the one per cent to two per cent could go on to be motivated by these games to commit horrible acts of violence," he added.

Let us know your thoughts in the forums and check out our interview with Aliens Versus Predator's art-man Tim Jones for more information on the game.

19 Comments

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Bede 18th December 2009, 13:19 Quote
Let's say the game sells a million units. 1-2% of a million is 10-20 thousand people who will probably go on to commit horrendous murders according the the Australian AG :D
AcidJiles 18th December 2009, 13:55 Quote
As usual they entirely miss the point. The AG should understand that the people who he is concerned about (who are no where near 1-2%) can be affected by any medium. A tv show with a person being hit or a book with some violence or even a documentary about war, or even something happening in their own lives can set them off. Games do not have a monopoly on causing these people to become dangerous and are no more dangerous than anything else in society as long as they are only viewed by the correct age group.

Glad they won the appeal tho. Hope the Aussies enjoy it.
wiak 18th December 2009, 14:05 Quote
"I accept that 98 per cent, 99 per cent of gamers will tell the difference between fantasy and reality, but the one per cent to two per cent could go on to be motivated by these games to commit horrible acts of violence," he added.
hmm cant they just ban movies and tv shows? come on this is nonsense
StephenK 18th December 2009, 14:07 Quote
Yeah. Even if we take his 1-2% figures as real. Of the 10-20 thousand who are 'motivated' how many commit violent crime of any sort? Even if we say, i dunno, 10% of those... and I'm picking a figure I think is wayyyy too high then we have 1-2 thousand people out of a a million people. At that level, we're looking at 0.001% of the million gamers committing a violent act. By those standards we should also ban alcohol, driving, watching sports in stadiums, etc etc etc.

Edit: My fiancé just made a nice point. At those percentage rates, we should be actively encouraging people to play violent video games instead of drinking alcohol. If everyone played violent games instead of drinking, violent crime would drop considerably :D
Bede 18th December 2009, 14:29 Quote
Hehe Friday nights in town centers would be so different :D Massive open-air lan parties instead of massive open-air brawls? :P
scawp 18th December 2009, 14:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenK
Yeah. Even if we take his 1-2% figures as real. Of the 10-20 thousand who are 'motivated' how many commit violent crime of any sort? Even if we say, i dunno, 10% of those... and I'm picking a figure I think is wayyyy too high then we have 1-2 thousand people out of a a million people. At that level, we're looking at 0.001% of the million gamers committing a violent act. By those standards we should also ban alcohol, driving, watching sports in stadiums, etc etc etc.

Edit: My fiancé just made a nice point. At those percentage rates, we should be actively encouraging people to play violent video games instead of drinking alcohol. If everyone played violent games instead of drinking, violent crime would drop considerably :D

I drink beer and play violent games at the same time, and I've only once kick a puppy.
B1GBUD 18th December 2009, 15:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by scawp
I drink beer and play violent games at the same time, and I've only once kick a puppy.

I hope this was a virtual puppy or I'm gonna call the RSPCA on your ass!
Gunsmith 18th December 2009, 16:10 Quote
compared to the original this is avp for console children, i couldnt care less
SNIPERMikeUK 18th December 2009, 19:20 Quote
A good day for Australian Gamers...
Sebbo 19th December 2009, 03:17 Quote
I don't mean to be politically correct (no pun intended) but this is only the South Australian AG with this view - yeah, there's more than one AG. Each Australian state has an AG and the ratings sytem is govern by all of them reaching unanimous votes. All the other AGs appear to be for an 18+ rating for games (all other media has this rating already) except this single AG of South Australia
Indeed though, this is good news for us Aussies though
Autti 19th December 2009, 06:43 Quote
We are working on an appeal for R18+ and the Australian Attorney General is accepting submissions to the discussion atm.
http://www.ag.gov.au/gamesclassification
BurningFeetMan 20th December 2009, 02:30 Quote
I live in Australia and there is a LOT of hate for this Attorney General, Michael Atkinson. He's basically breaking our democracy. Because he doesn't like violence in video games, we, the entire population of Australia, have to suffer. Absolute joke of a politician.
TWeaK 20th December 2009, 10:40 Quote
So AVP gets the all-clear but L4D2 doesn't?
vdbswong 21st December 2009, 01:29 Quote
TBH I don't really agree with this.

I think if a game deserves an 18 rating, then it should get one. If Australia doesn't have an 18 rating, then the game simply shouldn't be released.

It sounds harsh, but i'm not against the violence in the game, just the fact that if Australia are simply reclassifying the game to a "15+" then there's not really any "true" progress against the system.
Sebbo 21st December 2009, 01:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by vdbswong
TBH I don't really agree with this.

I think if a game deserves an 18 rating, then it should get one. If Australia doesn't have an 18 rating, then the game simply shouldn't be released.

It sounds harsh, but i'm not against the violence in the game, just the fact that if Australia are simply reclassifying the game to a "15+" then there's not really any "true" progress against the system.

that's part of the reasoning by many as to why we should have an 18+ rating here. there are several games with high levels of violence etc that would be put under this new 18+ rating that really shouldn't be fit for 15yo. until then, it's a fight to even have some games released here unedited
bowman 21st December 2009, 08:11 Quote
Quote:
"You don't need to be playing a game in which you impale, decapitate and dismember people."

Well it's good that you know what I need and what I don't and that you're here to control our lives, god knows we can't do that ourselves. ****ing retards.
vdbswong 21st December 2009, 14:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebbo
that's part of the reasoning by many as to why we should have an 18+ rating here. there are several games with high levels of violence etc that would be put under this new 18+ rating that really shouldn't be fit for 15yo. until then, it's a fight to even have some games released here unedited

Yeah, it's not that i'm against an 18 rating, but there's reason why some games are designed to be for mature audiences only.
NaThRo 23rd December 2009, 06:12 Quote
Quote:
TBH I don't really agree with this.

I think if a game deserves an 18 rating, then it should get one. If Australia doesn't have an 18 rating, then the game simply shouldn't be released.

It sounds harsh, but i'm not against the violence in the game, just the fact that if Australia are simply reclassifying the game to a "15+" then there's not really any "true" progress against the system.

They don't under rate games that deserve an R18+ rating to MA15+ just so they can be sold. They classify them unrateable and are therefore banned ('cause they can't be sold without a rating), exactly like you say in the first paragraph.
We were effectively told AVP2 is rated above MA15+, doesn't get a rating and is therefore banned.

The appeal by Sega got it reclassified. The ratings board effectively telling us "woops, we got the rating wrong the first time, it should really be MA15+".

What is it rated elsewhere in the world?

Quote:
So AVP gets the all-clear but L4D2 doesn't?

I've seen L4D2 on the shelves of my local games shop... What you talkin' 'bout?


I can understand the reluctance to create an R18+ rating for games; it's very different to Movies and TV. How? In those media you see it, in games you're in control and do it.
Quote:
You don't need to be playing a game in which you impale, decapitate and dismember people.
See the difference?

I'm not saying it's right to punish those gamers who aren't easily influenced by these things; I can however understand where the AG is coming from.
Sebbo 23rd December 2009, 14:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by NaThRo

I've seen L4D2 on the shelves of my local games shop... What you talkin' 'bout?

The L4D2 you see on shelves in Australia is an edited version. The most noticeable things are that there isn't as much blood splatter, there's no Riot Police uncommon infected, and bodies disappear before they hit the ground. Basically the same version that Germany got.
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