Game Politics (gamepolitics) wrote,
Game Politics

Australia Echoes Graffiti Fears with Ban of Ecko Game

Very strange, very troubling news from Australia...

As GamePolitics reported on January 30th, the Office of Film and Literature originally awarded Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure an MA15 rating, judging it suitable for players 15 and older.

Suddenly, the Aussies have reversed themselves, deciding that the game is not suitable for anyone, of any age. Getting Up has been "refused classification," a polite term for banned. The hip-hop culture title joins the like of NARC, Postal and Grand Theft Auto San Andreas in being denied admittance to Australian shores.

But Federal Attorney-General Philip Ruddock asked the board to reconsider. Ruddock was backed in that motion by the Local Government Association of Queensland. A hearing was held earlier this month. Yesterday it was announced that Getting Up was being banned throughout the country over fears it might promote graffiti-style vandalism.

Australia thus becomes the only country in the entire world to ban the game.

For his part, Ecko was not sparing in his criticism, telling the Sydney Morning Herald, " I'm extremely disappointed in the Australian Government Classification Review Board's move to ban my video game, based solely on a perceived notion that it somehow will promote the crime of graffiti..."

"To blame gaming for everything that is inherently wrong in our homes, in our schools and on our streets is much easier to do than to actually figure out ways to fix the systemic problems that exist within our culture. If a kid wants to learn how to write on the wall, he or she will figure it out. They have done it since prehistoric times, in fact. You just have to dig a little deeper and be willing to open your mind to two artistic mediums - gaming and graffiti - you may not fully understand or appreciate.

GP: I saw this game at E3 last year and, frankly, wasn't all that impressed. But this censorship by the Australian government makes me want to buy a copy just on principle.

Tags: atari, australia, censorship, getting up, marc ecko
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