Aussie Game Ban Won't Go Away Quietly

Originally posted March 2006

Australian councillors Steve Beardon and Wayne Smith, both cofounders of RAGE- Residents Against Graffiti Everywhere, an anti-graffiti organisation are treating the Australian Office of Film and Literature Classification's refusal of classification to Marc Ecko's Getitng Up: Contents Under Pressure as "a victory for the protection of young people from games glorifying graffiti and anti-social behaviour", as reported by local newspaper Cranbourne News.

Claiming to have international support for their case from the likes of New York Mayor Micheal Bloomberg, Smith said- "I think this win will set a precedent for the banning of other games that promote illegal activities."

Interesting, as when a similar question was asked in a slightly cagey interview with the OLFC conducted by the PAL Gaming Network Australia, they said- "All classification decisions are considered on a case by case basis, following the processes I have explained earlier. As all games and films are different, it would be pre-emptive to make a comment either way. "


The interview also brings up the issue of Australia's capped games rating system- although this aparrently wasn't the reason MEGU:CUP isn't seeing the light of day:

"The Convenor of the Classification Review Board has said that the decision was made on the basis that the game contained “detailed instruction in matters of crime”. That is one of the guidelines for finding a film or game Refused Classification. She has also said that it was not made on the basis that it exceeded the MA 15+ classification. "

Twice Hmm.

Naturally, the ban- and indeed RAGE- isn't without its detractors. As well as Marc stating to a Syndey paper that the OLFC have "too many grey hairs blocking their eyes", the councillors have been attracting the attention of the graffiti community at large-

"I have received plenty of threatening comments ... I certainly won’t be backing down. Why should I? I would be conceding defeat if I stopped campaigning," he said."

COMMENT: Kudos to Mr. Ecko for actually "Getting Up" (ahahaha) and expressing his distaste for the decision so publicly, particuarily considering that quotes like "As this game was modelled on graffiti culture and even designed by ex-graffitists, it was imperative that it be banned so as not to further give street cred to the illegal activity" from Beardon make the entire issue appear to be a culture war. Wouldn't want to turn Australia into a nation of criminals now, would we? Oh.
A great deal was cut out of this by Dennis, notably my opinion bit at the end, and the piece about Australia's ratings system as a whole.

While comment is always expendable on such a site as GP, it struck me as a shame to losse such a major talking point as the system itself.

Anyway, the article, as published on GP, is here.

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