Hey Nova Gamers!
Seeing as how I just returned from Australia, I figured this was the perfect opportunity to comment on the HUGE differences in gaming and the gaming culture and my experiences gaming down under.
Before I left for Oz I was warned that all M rated games may be banned. Over the 2 years I spent there this topic was pushed and brought up, but it was never actually put to rest. That being said, some games were changed or banned all together for one or more of the following reasons: being too violent, too much blood and gore, drug and Alcohol references, and/or sexual reference. I personally found this very interesting. Games seemed to be the only form of media that were monitored this heavily. There were almost no movies that were banned in the country over the same time frame for the above reasons. What really got me are games that were banned for “Sexual Reference” when prostitution is still legal in most of the country for anyone over the age of 18. In fact the town I worked in had a legal Brothel that was not only known about but protected by the police. In my opinion this is setting a double standard.
The second part of this story is the price of games. I purchased a copy of CoD MW3 and BF3 on the same day and ended up spending over 250.00$ for the standard edition. From what I understand there are two main culprits behind the high price of games. The first issues is a ‘parallel import restrictions’ rule, this restriction stops someone from legitimately purchasing cheaper products from overseas, and then re-selling them locally at a higher price, yet still cheaper than the competitors. Although this may or may not directly affect the price of games it does put a stop to competition, if there is no competition then there is no motivation to undercut others prices.
The second culprit is the ratings and regulations systems. How games are rated can actually affect the price. It seems that the rating regime is stricter in Oz then it is over here in Canada. This is evident by the amount of games that have been banned in the short period of time I as there. This means that if a game is rated as MA15+ (same as our M17+) rather than Pg, then the price is likely to be higher because the potential market is smaller.
I’m sure I can go on about this topic for hours but I will leave it at that for now. Gaming down under is not a pleasant experience and I’m very glad to be back home with Canadian gamers, cheaper prices…and proper internet!