Australia has a(nother) problem with GTA

your momSince the Grand Theft Auto franchise moved from the top down world to a third person, 3D environment, Australia has recieved toned down versions just for them. It appears Grand Theft Auto 4 is no exception — but why? (Warning: American understanding of Australia incoming.)

The problem stems from Australia’s Office of Film and Literature Classification, the same office that rates videogames. Currently their highest rating is MA15+. The US has MA17+ while many European countries and New Zealand have R18+. The difference between the Australia and the US ratings may look like only two years, but they are important years. You’re talking about the difference between someone in High School, and someone who has graduated High School.

It’s strange to think that Australia doesn’t have a restriction higher than that for a 15 year old. There are lots of things I wouldn’t recommend a 15 year old play, but would be A-OK for a 17 or 18 year old. Instead of adjusting the ratings system to fit with the times, developers have to strip things out so it’s age appropriate for 15 year olds, and that sucks.

Thus far Rockstar has not commented on what content was removed this time to allow it to limbo under the MA15 bar, but I assume things like less blood, no prostitutes and no robbing old women and stealing their purses are high on the list.

Australia has to get its act together and make a decision. Either, 15 is old enough to be an adult and therefore play any videogame, including not-crippled versions of GTA OR they have to add a 17+ or 18+ level to their current system, and then sell unedited versions of games under that rating. This special version thing needs to end, and I’m sure many Australian gamers agree.

[via The Age]


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Author: Creighton DeSimone View all posts by

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