Uncut! Cheap! On Its Way To Me!
Well, life is sweet. After many wrong turns and false leads, I have one complete copy of Grand Theft Auto IV being sent to me from the merry old isle of England.
PAL region? Check!
Almost $40 cheaper than the Australian version? Check!
The OFLC circumvented and given the big old two-finger salute? Check!
The online store Sendit.com in the UK (recommended by a good friend of mine) has been my saviour. In the end I'm glad I didn't buy it from Ebay - who knows what kind of psycho you could deal with. And if you're getting the real thing.
Now the bad news. Sendit.com are currently out of stock. But I'm not allowing myself to panic. They'll re-stock within the week and then ship my copy to me so everything's fine. It's my fault really, for leaving it this late. Oh well I'm not worried. I'm quite happy with the turnout. I've heard no more talk about Australian customs confiscating the game so as I suspected, that was all scare-mongering bullshit. And according to early reports, GTAIV is the highest selling game of all time already. No real surprise.
On a serious note, I want to talk about the reason I went through this malarkey just for a video game. Well, there's two reasons:
1. The Australian government is embarassing. 95% of the western world are selling this game as it was intended without censorship. Even China, Singapore and United Arab Emirates are more lenient than the outdated laws set by the OFLC. I refuse to bow to this narrow minded view that video games are harmful to anyone. Every time there's a school shooting or a child goes beserk against their parents, video games are inevitably brought into the frame by politicians and attention seekers who believe all people who play these games are ten years old and all games are either Frogger or Barbie Horse Adventures. Australia desperately needs an R18+ classification for video games just like films, books and DVDs. Even just for the simple reason of not being ridiculed by the rest of the world. Easter Island is laughing at our outdated laws!
2. The game itself. The open world gameplay of the Grand Theft Auto series has been unparalled for years. Its fun. Loads of fun. Wanna drive around making money as a cabbie? You can do it. Wanna fly a helicopter around the city and basejump off every tall building? You can do it. Wanna pimp out your car? Speed around on a motorbike? Play basketball? Become a feared crime boss? You can do it all. Whenever you want, however you want. The first time I played GTA3, it wasn't long before I was sitting in an ambulance on a cliff edge watching the sunrise while listening to reggae music after a full night of transporting injured citizens all over the city to the downtown hospital. And the point is, I didn't have to. It wasn't an integral part of the game. I just felt like doing it.
So, I wait. Even though I danced a jig after ordering the game (really, I did), I won't breathe that sigh of relief until I finally fire up the game in my 360 and once again, fall into that wonderful world of Liberty City.
And break into the nearest car, kill the first hooker I see and then mow down a bunch of cops.