Typically, whenever “Australia” and “video games” are mentioned in the same breath, you know you’re going to hear about some violent game either being banned or censored.
But today, you’d be wrong in your assumption, because, as Kotaku reports, the Australian Ratings Board has reversed its ban on Sega’s shooter Aliens vs. Predator. Despite the fact the game will not receive a single edit, the board has deemed it worthy of Australia’s highest game rating, MA15+.
The board explained its decision to grant the rating, and overturn its previous ban – the first such reversal since 2008’s F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origins apparently – thusly:
“The violence is fantastical in nature and justified by the context of the game, set in a futuristic science-fiction world, inhabited by aliens and predators. This context serves to lessen its impact. The more contentious violence is randomly generated and is not dependent on player selection of specific moves.”
From what’s been shown of AvP up to this point, it’s pretty clear that players will be committing some pretty horrific acts of violence, including the ability to slit throats, skewer people with your alien tail and performing the alien’s iconic face-spearing kiss of awesomeness. And yet killing zombies in Left 4 Dead 2 in an epic battle for survival was so shocking and disturbing, and not nearly as “justified” as eating dudes in AvP, that it needed to be censored? O...K...
This news has me torn, because, while I’m pleased that Sega is going to be able to released AvP in the form they intended, but it also, once again, reveals how broken Australia’s classification system is, and why the whole thing needs a serious overhaul immediately. In the meantime, congratulations Australian gamers!