Monday, April 18, 2011

Why it sucks to be an Aussie gamer

Every time I see video games being advertised, or discussed online, or in a news story I cringe a little. Why? Because gamers in Australia are discriminated against. 


I have played video games for over 20 years (and I'm younger than 30) but the problems have only started to show themselves in recent years.


You might have guessed it...CLASSIFICATION. That's right, the stereotype of the Australian Government ruling a nanny state proves true yet again (in addition to gun laws, web filtering, and too many taxes).


It seems if a game contains adult material fitting to an R18+ (e.g. violence, sex, drugs) it has to be exempted from classification because we don't have an R18+ rating, the exemption is basically a banning as it is a refusal to classify the game adequately, because the rating simply does not exist - I know, it's stupid and makes no sense.


The counter argument is that 8 year olds will be enabled to play games unsuitable for them and they will go out on a crime spree...


The following link provides details on video games banned (not classified) in Australia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banned_video_game#Australia


The thing is about this rule is that developers are forced to censor their creation (like telling Picasso to redo his art so it fits in better with traditional works) or loss out on the entire Australia market. 


I don't know about other people but these "forbidden" games just want me to check them out to see what the fuss is all about (and usually be totally disappointed).


Another thing about gaming in Australia is the major differences in cost between us and other nations. To illustrate this post I am providing information about the release date and price of the new Nintendo device, the 3DS (figures provided by Wikipedia)


--Nintendo 3DS release DATES--

Japan February 26, 2011
Europe March 25, 2011
North America March 27, 2011

AUSTRALIA March 31, 2011



--Nintendo 3DS release PRICES--

¥25,000 (Approx $287 AU$)
US$249.99 (Approx $237 AU$ currently)
£/€ - Set by individual retailers

A$349.95





...As you can see Australia got the device after Japan, Europe and North American gamers did and if that wasn't bad enough we are forced to pay between $60-112 extra for it. Why?!?


I have an old magazine from the early 90's that states that, even back then, that this problem existed, that they were aware of it, and that it was going to change. Well it hasn't.




In early 2011 major Australian retailers pressured the government to impose charges on overseas online retailers that offered cheaper products than major "bricks and mortar" (physical) stores.


Gerry Harvey (of Harvey Norman) was subjected to public criticism...to which Mr. Harvey responded by suggesting everyone misunderstood what he was saying which only upset the public more with his arrogant suggestions that people didn't understand his motives.


Joining in on bringing big greedy business down to size was a memorable moment for me. I even came up with the following graphic which was received well by the twitter community. 






The "Dear Gerry" campaign lasted for days and lives on at http://www.deargerryharvey.com.au/


Thanks for visiting and reading, you are welcome to follow and comment as you please :)

9 comments:

  1. Wow that does suck, insane prices man.

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  2. Holy crap!! That game must be made of solid gold for it to cost that much!!

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  3. Man, remind me to never move to Australia. Without my games I'm nothing! butserously, the gov thinks you guys cant handel a little violence and sexual content by reading what the rating system says? lame. they must think you are idiots! i hate gov... just gets bigger and bigger to control your more and more!

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  4. it's like they encourage pirates with those prices..

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  5. Love the pic with prices. I think Germany also has so many stupid censors ;)
    In my country prices for games and consoles are still way higher than anywhere in Europe, USA and Australia.
    In comparison your price for 3DS takes about half of what really people are earning in my country ;)

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  6. Man thats rough, and I though Ireland had it bad!

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  7. Ausfailia, why.jpg

    First small tits, now this shit?

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  8. I couldn't handle the censorship over there.. I'd love to go visit, but couldnt handle those bans.

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  9. And here I thought we in germany had it rough. Games being banned because of violence but nudity still is no problem. Weird.

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