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Thread: ABC apologizes for bad handling of Fallout 3 Q&A

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    ABC apologizes for bad handling of Fallout 3 Q&A

    You might remember this bit from ABC, a short "discussion" on censorship and Fallout 3 that was widely mocked for...er...not being very sensible. ABC has apologizes, Kotaku reports.
    With regard to the background information on the game Fallout 3 provided by presenter Tony Jones, we acknowledge your point that the game was refused classification by the Classification Board because of the intravenous drug use, rather than the violence in the game. While Tony Jones mentioned the issue of drug use and violence in his précis of the game, he offered no specifics on why the game was actually refused classification. From our own understanding of the game of Fallout 3, the ABC believes that it is legitimate to mention the violence in the game. Mr Jones did not state that the main purpose of the game was to kill everyone. For your information Fallout 3 was used as it was a topical example of a game that had been refused classification by the Classification Board.

    The ABC apologises for the information provided by presenter Tony Jones in the middle of the discussion on gaming and agrees that it may have been confusing and misleading. Mr Jones was aware that a rating system exists for games. He had been briefed on concerns that the current system is inadequate because it does not provide an R rating. But regrettably in the pressure of the program and in attempting to summarise and point to the lack of a comprehensive rating system, Mr Jones erred by stating that there was no ratings system for video games.

    As the program is still available online, the program team have put a note on the website at: http://www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/txt/s2318124.htm. This note acknowledges that some of the discussion was confusing, admits Tony Jones's error, explains that a classification system exists and directs readers to the Classification (Publication, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995. In addition, the program team have been reminded of the ABC's commitment to factual accuracy as elucidated in the ABC's Code of Practice. For your reference this may be accessed at: http://abc.net.au/corp/pubs/documents/200806_codeofpractice-revised_2008.pdf.
    Good stuff.

    Thanks Serifan.

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    I should set a custom title So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

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    I don't understand why video games are such a lightning rod for censorship. Novels and comics can be just as graphically violent as any game, and there aren't any warning stickers or age restrictions on them.

    Hell, there's murder and incest in some Shakespeare plays, and we FORCE our high school students to read them! The horror!

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    I should set a custom title Still Mildly Glowing

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    I'm confused. How is the M rating substantially different from an R rating?

    Quote Originally Posted by rcorporon
    Novels and comics can be just as graphically violent as any game, and there aren't any warning stickers or age restrictions on them.
    Comics went through their whole scary censorship phase already. Novels probably did at some point, but it's generally new media that's feared, so it probably would've been 17th century prudes freaking out over books.

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    I should set a custom title Still Mildly Glowing

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    Quote Originally Posted by terebikun
    I'm confused. How is the M rating substantially different from an R rating?
    There isn't a difference. The thing is that australia has an R rating for movies but it goes from Teen to Refused Classification(BANNED) for games.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rcorporon
    I don't understand why video games are such a lightning rod for censorship. Novels and comics can be just as graphically violent as any game, and there aren't any warning stickers or age restrictions on them.

    Hell, there's murder and incest in some Shakespeare plays, and we FORCE our high school students to read them! The horror!

    Because video games are still perceived as being "A Game" rather than an art-form by the general public.

    They see playing a violent video-game the same as burning ants with a magnifying glass, or blowing up frogs with firecrackers, or gutting your neighbors dog with a wooden cooking spoon.

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    Once all the Boomers and Silent Generation and earlier dies things will be ok. They're the ones doing the complaining and legislating. Video games are too new and unfamiliar a medium for them.

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    I should set a custom title First time out of the vault

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dopemine Cleric
    Games are still perceived as being "A Game" rather than an art-form by the general public.

    They see playing a violent video-game the same as burning ants with a magnifying glass, or blowing up frogs with firecrackers, or gutting your neighbors dog with a wooden cooking spoon.
    Arguing that games are art does not help anything. Many game players (including myself) do not consider the majority of the games 'art', and it points the discussion in the wrong direction.

    The debate isn't about art vs. entertainment, it's about children vs. adult. The reason there is no mature rating is because of the preconception that it's 'a game', rather than 'a game for adults', or 'a game for kids'.

    There are kids movies and adult movies, there are kids books and adult books, there is kids music and adult music. All of these forms of entertainment have a defined set of rules about how to categorize them. Games need to be associated with the specific categorization and subgenres of existing entertainment, not the broad and debatable 'is it art' argument.

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    I should set a custom title It Wandered In From the Wastes

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    Quote Originally Posted by rcorporon
    Hell, there's murder and incest in some Shakespeare plays, and we FORCE our high school students to read them! The horror!
    It's nothing compared to one of the favourites books of former minister of education in Poland (who is an enemy of violent computer games) - Fire in the Steppe (pl. Pan Wołodyjowski), where 'good characters' impale the antagonist. And yes, students were forced to go to the cinema when it was adapted (in 1969). It isn't an required reading but it's a part of trilogy and other part is. In Shakespeare's plays at least violence and killing isn't shown as good.

    I don't remember any computer game where cruelty was a part of playing positive character, does anyone?

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    I should set a custom title First time out of the vault

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    Herakles killed his wife and children. Odysseos slept with eighty women. Oedipus...

    We still celebrate these myths in modern culture. Knowledgable people respect these myths, too.

    As far as I know there is no incest, child-killing, or wife beating in modern games...
    Vir sapit qui pauca loquitur

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