IGTM, R18+, Social Games, and Game Masters

I’m buried in putting Freeplay together and haven’t really found time to blog, which is a shame because this year has been fascinating for games locally and there’s lots to be said. Luckily, other people have said interesting things which means I can just link to them 🙂

Read moreIGTM, R18+, Social Games, and Game Masters

Sexy Spanking Games and Murder Simulators

From The Age online dated March 11, 2011

Not long before it banned Mortal Kombat, the Board let a sexy spanking game, We Dare, through as PG, despite the game’s own publisher, Ubisoft, recommending it be rated M.

This follows on from Sex game to hit Australian stores and A Wii bit kinky: sexy spanking game rated PG but Mortal Kombat banned.

The decision to ban Mortal Kombat while giving the risqué We Dare a PG rating has revealed some interesting details about the federal government’s morality on censorship. Judging by the decisions, it appears that games promoting spanking, stripping and sexual partner swapping are acceptable for children while hardcore simulated on-screen violence is strictly off-limits.

It also found its way into this rather muddled opinion piece.

We Dare has caused a bit of an uproar generally, but most of it seems to have come from watching the promotional video for the game rather than playing it, a fact that hasn’t been lost on PEGI over in Europe who recently had this to say to eurogamer about the game and its advertising.

“The Committee concludes that the advertisement does NOT accurately reflect the nature and content of the product and it MISLEADS consumers as to its true nature.”

“It was correct to give the game a 12 rating,” PEGI said. “The content of the game and the interaction that the game itself implies do not warrant a higher rating.

“Marketing may have implied something else, but PEGI does not rate advertising, it rates game content. If people play the game, they will see that there is nothing inappropriate for ages 12 and older.”

There’s a conversation to be had about ratings, classification, sexual content, and their place in videogames, but We Dare is no more a ‘sexy spanking game’ than Call of Duty is a ‘murder simulator’ and maybe, just maybe, the classification board are doing their job.

And maybe, just maybe, employing the same sort of moral outrage tactics as critics of videogames do is perhaps not the smartest tack to take.

[Edit- clarified ‘game critics’]

The need for rockstars – Part 3

Maybe rockstars aren’t even rockstars in Australia.

Bernard Zuel asks why Australia hasn’t produced one strutting god since Michael Hutchence.

The English do them regularly, the Americans do them comfortably but where are the Australian rock stars? The classic rock star, that semi-mythical figure born of bedroom fantasies, fed by music-magazine intensity and crowned in tabloid frenzy.

Bernard Fanning from Powderfinger, you say? Nup. Big-selling but self-effacing and deliberately ordinary. Chris Cheney from the Living End? Workmanlike is not exactly what women like. Shannon Noll? Two words: soul patch. John Butler? You can’t be a rock star sitting down. Jimmy Barnes? Too blokey, too matey, too old. Gareth Liddiard from the Drones? Too unknown, too inner-Melbourne.

From The Age.