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Bloody battle over Mortal Kombat ban as critics decry 'broken' classification system

Earlier this week it was revealed that the Classification Board had given Mortal Kombat a "refused classification" rating due to its violent gameplay, effectively banning it from sale in this country unless the publisher, Warner Bros., submits a more toned-down version.

At the same time, a new risqué title for the Wii, We Dare, is due for release tomorrow and has been given a PG rating despite the game promoting spanking, stripping and sexual partner swapping.

The Australian Christian Lobby said the We Dare decision showed the classification system was "broken".

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Blaine2723d ago

I think this is the first time I ever hear of violence being rated harsher than sexuality. Violence is so common in the media, yet you rarely ever see a nipple at any regular time of day... I guess in Australia it's the opposite from North America.

Pozzle2723d ago (Edited 2723d ago )

Nah, it's pretty much the same here in Australia. Our TV networks hate nudity...except for SBS; there's naked boobs, vaginas and penises everywhere on that channel. XD

The strange thing is, we're pretty lenient when it comes to rating other media. Many movies that are rated 18+ in other countries are rated 15+ here in Australia, even though we have an 18+ rating for movies. I'd have to check my DVDs to make sure, but I think even stuff like the Saw series recieved only a 15+ rating here.

Our ratings system really does make no sense.

Thrillhouse2723d ago

Ah, SBS. Sex with a Bit of Soccer. ;D

REDGUM2723d ago

IT'S NOT FAIR AT ALL. I'M A 34 Y.O GAMER AND ALTHOUGH MORTAL COMBAT IS NOT ON MY MUST HAVE LIST, I'M PISSED. WHY IS IT OK FOR ME TO BE OLD ENOUGH TO GO AND WATCH A 18 RATED MOVIE IN CINEMA, OR HIRE ONE BUT I CAN'T PLAY ONE? THIS IS B*LLSH*T. DAMN RIGHT THE CLASSIFICATION BOARD HAS TO CHANGE. SALES WILL BE DOWN, LESS MONEY WILL STAY HERE IN AUSTRALIA AND BE SPENT OVERSEAS INSTEAD AND IMPORT IT INSTEAD. WHY CAN'T THESE MOTHER'S GROUPS FIND SOMETHING BETTER TO DO THAN TELL ME WHAT I CAN AND CAN'T WATCH & PLAY. LOOK AFTER YOUR OWN LIFE. LET ME LOOK AFTER MINE F*&K oFF.

distorted_reality2723d ago

People like you aren't exactly helping the cause....

distorted_reality2723d ago

I think people are blowing the whole "We Dare" thing way out of proportion though. Yes, the ad is a little risque, but the game itself doesn't seem anywhere near as bad as Ubi would like us to think.

On the MK thing - WB have submitted an appeal, so we'll see what happens, but I won't be surprised if it doesn't get released here at all, as nobody wants a toned down MK, and gamers will just have to import it. Is generally cheaper that way in any case.

N311V2723d ago (Edited 2723d ago )

You're probably right, just have to hope we're not unlucky and the game gets through customs as legally we can't import anything that has been refused classification.

distorted_reality2723d ago

There's a difference between refused classification and being outright banned.

In this case, if it's refused classification, it is still legal to own an unedited imported copy of the game. If it's banned (which won't happen), it's illegal to own any copy of the game.

Unless you live in W.A where it's illegal to own an unedited version of the game if it's refused classification.

But realistically, even if you live in WA, the Federal Police aren't exactly going to be barging down doors looking for copies of a game.

So in essence the ruling doesn't really effect anybody to a great extent - just means we have to import, which, as I said, turns out cheaper a lot of the time anyway.

N311V2722d ago

Just to let you know refused classification is banned. Illegal to import, sell or advertise. I'd find you a link to the act but can't be bothered. I'm still importing though as chances are very slim that customs will bust you.

distorted_reality2722d ago

No, Scottis, you're wrong there mate.

"Before we go any further, let's clear something up. There's a difference between a game being 'banned' and it being 'refused classification'. And it's an important difference to take note of if you plan on playing Mortal Kombat uncensored in the year 2011.

A title which is refused classification cannot be sold, distributed or displayed for public exhibition in Australia - but in every state except Western Australia it is legal to own it. An item which is banned though - you'll get in major trouble just for having one. Automatic firearms are banned in Australia (for example).

So Mortal Kombat is refused classification, meaning that barring some miracle when (or if) Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment decides to resubmit the game to the classification board you'll still be legally allowed to own the game if you purchase it from overseas. "

http://www.gamearena.com.au...

N311V2721d ago (Edited 2721d ago )

Thanks for helping me clear this up, I will know import unworried and enjoy RC games as they're meant to be.

However your link is incorrect, there is no banned category.

"There are six classification categories for films (G, PG, M, MA 15+, R 18+, X 18+) and four classification categories for computer games (G, PG, M and MA 15+). The R 18+ and X 18+ categories do not apply to computer games in Australia. Films and computer games can also be classified RC (refused classification). RC films and computer games cannot be legally sold or distributed in Australia."

http://www.ag.gov.au/www/ag...

It is right about possession only illegal in WA, $10,000 fine!

I was mislead by this part of the R18+ discussion paper "Introducing an R 18+ classification level could reduce illegal importing...".

http://www.ag.gov.au/www/ag...

I don't know where they're getting banned from, RC can be resubmitted for review as many times as will be paid for so something is never outright banned.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 2721d ago
guitar_nerd_232723d ago

Ridiculas! Mortal Kombat should be classed as cartoon violence and be a 15 at most in my opinion.

RedPawn2722d ago

Once again Mortal Kombat has ignited controversy and has become the center of attention.

Can't wait.

koehler832722d ago

It's not hard to spark video game controversy in Australia or Germany.

"Ah! Blood! Violence! Ah! Visions of our terrible past! AH! BAN! BAN! BAN! *plug ears* LA LA LA LA LA LA!"

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