Saturday, September 19, 2009



Yeah..... that. Sometimes I really don't understand the motives of our government and its associated ratings board. If you ask me, this latest act of stupidity is merely a publicity stunt to make the general public believe that the current system "cares for the children" and that they are doing a fantastic job at not allowing harmful content get into the wrong hands. You know, 'cause little kids go out and buy these sort of things all the time. The parents aren't responsible for what their children are getting in to, oh no! Let's put the blame on the actual content itself, and make the 95% of responsible, correct-aged non-mentally insane people suffer because our ridiculous rating system doesn't have an R18+ rating. Yeah, let's do that!

Seriously, here are the facts. Young kids playing violent video games is a bad idea, I'm sure you couldn't find many reasons to disagree with that. So is young kids watching porn, movies with harsh language, extreme violence and drug use. The difference between movies and games is that despite the obvious realism differences, movies generally get an R18+ rating if they are believed to contain large quantities of any of the previously mentioned themes. Games, at least in Australia, are not. Instead they are banned, or require modification of the content to reduce gore/swearing levels. There is virtually (virtually lol) any porn or any serious drug use in publicly consumed games to pick on, and despite the media's attempts to expose such non-existent undertakings (i.e. the Mass Effect rampage) games are still seen to be pretty docile when compared to the movies of our era. But, when a game is viewed to have equal depictions of any of the previous themes, well then that's a big problem.

Below: Left 4 Dead 2 Survivors

The average age of a gamer is somewhere around 30, at least in this country. That is pretty damn old! Now admittedly, gamers in this country make up for a rather small demographic. In fact I am quite sure that gaming in general is still viewed in that very critical, cynical light by most people who are not involved in it (and don't understand wtf they are talking about). Still, the fact of the matter is that most people who are serious players of games ARE mature individuals. They have the ability to watch movies with violent or adult content and more than likely have in the past. One more product out of the literal hundreds of thousands on the market is not going to make any difference to their mental condition, which is probably more sane and aware of reality than most others.

The game in question, Left 4 Dead 2, is barely any different from its original. That has often been an argument running over various forums and boards about people NOT wanting to buy the game because it doesn't offer anything significantly new. However, the original was let through just fine, and its original is alot like a vast number of other games currently on the market (Killing Floor, CoD5: Nazi Zombies etc...). It is also very similar to zombie movie franchise 28 X later. The rage virus acts almost identically to the rabies infection in the L4D universe, except for the mutated zombies of course. Sure, L4D2 offers some slightly more personal hand-to-hand combat ...... but these are ZOMBIES FFS!!!! They have been eating people for days! If you don't either avoid them or kill them, they WILL kill you. You are not playing Bob the Butcher and going around slaughtering helpless civilians. You are the helpless civilian trying to survive. How can they possibly come to the conclusion that the game's environment and theme is immoral and inhumane?

Finally, and we come back to our original point here, the game is not meant for children. That's it! I don't know why they can't see this, but the game is not supposed to be bought by people 17 and under. Now I have known (and was for my own age) some very mature adolescents who obviously wont take a game like this seriously. But as far as anti-discrimination laws are concerned, its just easier to label an entire group than pick out select individuals, so stuff it. This game and game's like this are not supposed to be played by young people. Banning them is equivalent to banning porn because adolescents 'could' get their hands on it. The rest of the community has to suffer because of this stupid, ridiculous point of view. Either introduce an R18+ rating, or lose the respect and patience of sensible, mature and annoyed gamers in Australia everywhere.

I leave you now with a famous quote for the parents, from the robot Bender from the cartoon series Futurama:

"And so I ask you this one question. Have you ever tried simply turning off the TV, sitting down with your children, and hitting them?"

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