Wednesday, August 12, 2009

2 quick reasons why Australia is a joke.

Ladies and gents, if you weren't already aware, this great southern land of ours is constantly getting screwed. In the world of video games, it is viewed as a retarded backwater, a behind-the-times place generally regarded as something to scoff at. The world gaming community is laughing at us and for good reason. Who's causing this unjust amusement? Well, there's two culprits. One, an old arch-enemy. And another, which we should have seen coming.


My old nemesis, the Office of Film and Literature Classification, has struck again. A German RPG by the name of Risen has just been banned.

Yeah, I hadn't heard of it either.

Game studio Deep Silver has had their RPG refused classification in Australia by the OFLC (making it the third game for 2009) and the reasons are as follows:

"During the course of the game, players can interact with prostitutes (referredto as "whores" in the game) at a local brothel. Players can trigger a lengthy dialogue to engage in their services; sexual activity is strongly implied, but never depicted on screen. Many of the characters in the game smoke a fictional drug called "brugleweed." The "wood reefer" plant is described as having a mild relaxing effect on users, and can be bought, sold, and used by players."

Implied sexuality and fictional drugs? Look at these titles above. You let these two games pass in the last 12 months and they have both those things in them. I mean, Jesus Christ, look at this...

...GTA Chinatown Wars had a drug-dealing mini-game in it for fuck's sake! With real names for the drugs!

Head of the Games Developers Association of Australia Tom Crago had a few choice words...

Well it’s a joke isn’t it?  We are once again caught in this awful, ridiculous web of the antiquated classification system...  Here in Australia the sooner that changes, the better; it is obviously a battle to ensure common sense prevails.  We will get there eventually, but in the meantime as gamers in Australia we suffer, and to be honest we are embarrassed at how backward our government is...

The biggest problem we have here in Australia is that we don’t have an R classification for video games...  It’s ridiculous because it assumes that games are fundamentally different to film and outrageous in that it assumes that adults shouldn’t be allowed to access adult content in video games...  

We are the butt of a lot of jokes; I travel, obviously a lot, talking to other developers and publishers and people cannot believe it that we still have this ridiculous system here in Australia, designed twenty or thirty years ago, and hasn’t changed since... [South Australian Attorney General Michael Atkinson] is of course the problem... clearly this is a guy that doesn’t get it, and to be honest, I don’t think, ever will get it...


Last night, the new update to the Xbox 360 dashboard launched and added a few new features. In addition to the ability to now spend actual hard earned money on avatar clothing (both Adidas and Quiksilver have got their claws in already), one of the new features was Games On Demand. A service allowing you to purchase and download full Xbox 360 games straight onto your hard drive. Cool right? Well, hold onto your hats...

Bioshock - $49.95
Call Of Duty 2 - $49.95
Kameo - $29.95
Mass Effect - $99.95 <---RIGHT HERE! LOOK AT THIS SHIT HERE!
Oblivion - $49.95
Perfect Dark Zero - $29.95
Prey - $29.95
Rockstar Table Tennis - $69.95 
SEGA Rally - $49.95
Viva Pinata - $29.95
Viva Pinata:Trouble In Paradise - $69.95

All these are in Australian prices. Harrowing Australian prices. Mass Effect in the US is listed $20 which is $24 Australian. Which is pretty close to what you can actually buy the full retail game for now in Australia anyway if you look hard enough.

Xbox Australia has responded with some non-committal tripe...

"No one retailer has the lowest pricing for every product, and our program is about giving people 24 x 7 convenience and selection when shopping for Xbox 360 games. We’re incredibly excited about what Games on Demand means for digital distribution, and will continue to evaluate and evolve the service to meet market and consumer demands."

So there you go kids. Enjoy your day. Try not to kill anything.


  1. Can't fathom the banning of Risen, but then, what do you expect.

    As for the price of the games...shouldn't you compare it to Australian Retail prices, rather than American prices, which are, presumably, comparable to American retail prices?

    I'm pretty certain that Mass Effect's RRP is still $99.99...Game prices are ridiculous full stop. This is no surprise and not really unexpected.

  2. Mass Effect - $29 Australian dollars

    $30 Australian dollars

  3. Also, the game is nearly two years old. Charging a launch price for it is really fucked.

  4. In my geek worlds, we have a saying...

    "Sometimes, you just have to accept that the Doctor is straight" or...
    "Sometimes, you just have to accept that James Bond is blonde"

    Deal with the have it, doesn't effect you...move on :)

  5. Oh, and the launch price was $110 RRP

  6. So basically...

    "As expected..."

    "as expected.."

    "doesn't affect you..."

    'move on..."

    I'll have to find something that DOES bother you...

  7. Nothing bothers me :) I am unflappable :D