My trip to GDC was organised long before the Classification Board's decision, but when the circumstances changed, I wondered how Warner Bros would react - would the Australian press still be allowed to see the game? Would anyone from the studio be able to comment on the decision?
While I'm still going to be playing the latest build of Mortal Kombat, I'm expecting it to be a strange experience. I'm also anticipating that most of the US developers will refuse to comment on the situation in Australia.
As Elly reported yesterday, Warner Bros intend to appeal the decision and, without jinxing proceedings, I'm pretty confident that Mortal Kombat will be released in Australia, with minor adjustments if necessary. It's just a shame that an antiquated system, in clear need of reform - from the ground-up - has resulted in a decision that clearly negates one of the key elements of the classification guidelines: adults should be able to read/see/play what they want.
Of course both sides will spin this decision to suit their own particular argument. The vocal minority will no doubt use Mortal Kombat as a prime example of the content we don't want to see in this country, but I on the other hand - while not questioning the decision itself - simply see this as another reason why an R18+ rating is needed in Australia. As adults we must be trusted to make our own judgements on such material - and we need a rating system that helps us make those decisions. As it stands such a system does not exist, and that makes it difficult for adults from all walks of life - including parents - to make informed decisions.
We need a change. And hopefully that change is coming soon.