Indie developer takes aim at Australia's classification system

Ban This Game offers a satirical look at one of the Aussie game industry's most pressing issues.

Last year saw a lot of movement on the classification front; not only did Australia see a record nine games get struck by the Classification Board's ban hammer, but the Attorney-General's office finally got around to releasing the coveted R18+ Classification discussion paper, which invited Australian citizens to voice their opinions on the topic.

But not everyone has used such politically correct avenues to voice their dissent.

Melbourne-based indie developer Conor O'Kane is no stranger to using video games as a way of getting a political message out there and has used his latest title to take a jab at Australia's classification system and impending Internet filter.

As the name suggests, Ban This Game is all about banning games, though the game also throws in a few random extras, such as Web sites like Amazon, eBay, and Chris Crocker's YouTube debut. Players must stop the questionable content from making it to the bottom of the screen. Once they click on the offending material, it is bounced up. On a game's third bounce it is banned, and society is (presumably) saved.

Games that have felt the wrath of the Classification Board, such as Aliens vs. Predator, BMX XXX, and Blitz: The League, are some of the games that you can expect to be banned. However, games like Manhunt 2 make an appearance even if they were never submitted for classification in Australia, which means they were never banned.

When the game ends, you are presented with a series of facts about Australia's classification system, as well as a link to Gamers4Croydon, an independent political party which aims to oust South Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson.

If you've ever wanted to have the power to influence what Australians can see and play, you can download Ban This Game for free from banthisgame.com. However, GameSpot cannot guarantee that it will have an influence on government policy, and if you work for an attorney-general, it's recommended you play this game in the comfort of your home rather than at your workplace.

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Discussion

17 comments
wbezuidenhout
wbezuidenhout

@danielgreen, Your first post talks about bad parenting! It's not the public's problem, it's not the game's problem, it's the lazy ass, ignorant, bad PARENT who's buying their kids that game and allowing them to play it. Atkinson is not a bloody NANNY, and instead of banning everything that might "hurt" the child of a bad parent, why not focus on the damn PARENT!? Parents, stop putting the responsibility of caring for your kids on the government and in the process punish everyone else. You decided to have kids, their YOUR problem, stop making them ours...

Jim60360
Jim60360

just preordered my hunter edition, yeh boyee!!

danielgreen81
danielgreen81

Wow. Firstly, I'm all for an R18+ classification. I think it's only fair that video games be treated as equally as any other form of entertainment. Yes, for those of us who are hardcore enough, you can get your games imported. That's not the point though. The point (as I see it) is that for a game to make it to Oz, the classification board needs to be convinced that the game being reviewed doesn't deserve an R18+ classification. By doing this (as can be seen over 09 alone) you get a large disparity in what content is rated MA15+ when it would be more suited to an R rating. I just want a uniform standard in what is MA15+ and what is R18+ and for the games to be rated accordingly. Of course when you involve people nothing is uniform or fair, but an R18+ rating would go a long way. The classification board would be fairly aware that by refusing classification they 'ban hammer' the game in our country. I'm sure there's more than a few that were incorrectly classified as MA15+ just to allow it into the country when it was pretty borderline. And many more that were borderline that didn't make it. I'm not on Atkinsons side, I just want for us to be recognised as a growing adult inclusive industry.

rockatanski
rockatanski

Yes pkc, and no danielgreen. In a nutshell, Atkinson doesn't care about games at all. He never plays them and he is only using this entire out of control media fiasco to boost his falling popularity for the next election. He will be in for the shock of his life when he sees the votes come in to completely wipe him out of his seat, down the street and into the nearest church hall gutter where he belongs.

Sinister1811
Sinister1811

@Danielgreen81 Is that you Michael Atkinson?

pkcRAISTLIN
pkcRAISTLIN

Danielgreen81, even if they could prove a causal relationship between violent games and harm on society/children (which to date, nobody has) it is an acceptable price to pay to enable all the mature adults in Oz a right to choose what entertainment is appropriate for them. Why should classification options be different for games when compared to other forms of media? There ARE already laws that govern the sale of inappropriate items to people under 18. And if you think it's a problem that needs fixing, expecting uniform legislative reform across 6 states and 2 territories is a little silly. Atkinson is a joke and as soon as he loses his seat or retires the ratings system will be changed. I don't know how you can defend a guy who is abusing his position as a STATE attorney general- if he wants to prevent SA from having access to R18 games then good luck to him. He has no right (other than through archaic federalist laws) to be telling other states what they can or cannot do.

smp13
smp13

R18+ classification would be beneficial and I approve of seeking one, but it's not vital. Any banned or altered game can be easily obtained from overseas sources (i.e. eBay) in its original form. By doing this, one avoids giving taxes to our government, who made the decision not to allow the game sales and thus forfeit any subsequent taxes. You save money, beat the system, and get the unaltered game. Win, win, win. (And seriously people, danielgreen81 is right. Reading comments whenever this issue comes up and judging by the attitudes, they have a point in the restrictions. Great show of maturity. If that is how you are going to act, please be sure not to submit your view on the discussion paper, as it will only hurt our cause.)

danielgreen81
danielgreen81

You guys know that he's not making it personal. He's actually doing it to protect the kids whose parents don't give a stuff about what they do. I don't blame him. Unless there's some kind of new law passed that requires an ID check (similar system to smoking) then he's got a great point. But to make that ID check work, you need to legislate alot of laws to regulate the gaming stores and who those games are sold to, as well as the people who police and issue the fines to said persons/ entities that break that law. Oh, and on the likely chance that someone representing the attorney general and the R18+ classification paper (you can bet that it is going to be read by anyone within a thousand degrees of seperation from this political hot potato that it will be) based on some of the previous comments here, I don't blame him. Even if the writers of them are 18+ the maturity to handle such content is certainly brought into question by your lack of respect. Yes, respect should go both ways, but it doesn't always, and you shouldn't take the cheap shot just because you can. You need to respect yourself too.

AFROSILENT
AFROSILENT

avp ftw screw R18+ ban we are adults u should show us respect

zxssded
zxssded

Alien Vs Predator Vs BAN HAMMER~!!!!

immunis
immunis

Ban-hammer sounds like an awesome game name for this kind of thing. Think whack-a-mole :P

cabbage100
cabbage100

lol a lack of R18+ is an issue?! I had no idea!! :O (le sarcasm)

illmatic87
illmatic87

How bout a video of Atkinson playing this with a Wiimote

23matto23
23matto23

lol, put that in your pipe and smoke it atkinson