Mortal Kombat Rated M In The US

We're still waiting to hear the results of Mortal Kombat's appeal here in Australia - we'll hopefully know by tomorrow - but we've just gotten news that Mortal Kombat has received an M-rating in the US, a rating the the team expected. This will have no impact on the Classification Board's decision, but once again it highlights Australia's need for an R18+ rating for games.

It's worth noting that while plenty of games rated M in the US are rated MA15+ in Australia. An M rating in the US signifies that the game is suitable for gamers aged 17+, and is a step below their Adults Only rating, a rating very few games have received (Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Manhunt 2 are among them).

In a sense our MA15+ rating occupies the middle ground that the M rating in the US occupies, but Australia's MA15+ rating is obviously far more stringent than the US M rating. Once again, this will have no impact on the Classification Board's decision, but we find it frustrating to hear that our system of classification causes so many issues. In the US a game created for adults is classified accordingly - in Australia ignorance, bureaucracy and the influence of lobby groups make things infinitely more difficult.


    I don't particularly want the new Mortal Kombat, but I do hope it gets through the rating unscathed.

    Our system is such a mess...

      I almost hope it does not, as its a great example case. We'd be able to point to it as a sign that the system is a mess, ie. a game that was released in 1997 didn't cause the downfall of Australian society, why would this one?

        But then, if it doesn't it'll be another game that'll come into the country when the 'floodgates' open. People will find ways to spin either way...

          I got an R18+ UK version of L4D2 on the weekend. I tell you, those flood gates are tricky to open. They were all rusty and heavy, not really a good thing to open and close one game at a time.

          Anyone else had issues with your local flood gate?


          The real problem is that "people" are ignorant mainstream media (e.g. tv and radio) who are all too willing to promote and incite hysteria amongst the general population.

          And (quite sadly) they're playing to what they perceive as popular opinion...

 I think we should go on a Grand Theft Auto-esque killing spree to remove the naysayers : D

        You're over-generalising it.

        The job of the OFLC isn't to determine whether or not something will cause the "downfall of society" or even make any societal impact - it's simply to determine the appropriate audience for a piece of entertainment.

          you guys need to get the government out of the video game rating business. in the U.S. the ESRB board is independent, self regulated, and knowledgeable about the gaming industry. such high standards are typically unreachable by government bureaucrats. BTW its our government thats arrogant not our citizens, which seems to be the case in Australia as well.

    It's weird. There's been reports of the USA & UK banning "We Dare" but AUS allows it in, but we ban MK while USA & UK allow that in... We are the backwards country

      As much as I'm for the an R18 and MK release, I'm inclined to disagree about that, never understood why something related to the natural and essential nature of sex (and barely at that in the case of We Dare) is deemed more inappropriate than... sawing a guy in half with a hat for the fun of it... or ripping off a guys head and eating it's gooey insides. Honestly, I wouldn't release Mortal Kombat as anything less than R18+, which just furthers highlights the need for it.

        ugh, *less appropriate, plus a plethora of other errors, apologies, night shift last night and just got up <_<

      It wasn't banned(at least in the UK), it was actually given a 12+ rating IIRC, it was the controversy around it getting such a rating that led the producers to decide to not sell it in the UK

    I think its wrong to state that we are backwards or say the system is distorted by bureaucracy or lobby groups.

    We've banned a violent video game with as far as I know excessive blood & gore etc. The sort of game thats appealing to a teenage male audience (even though it might not be marketed towards that demographic)

    We've allowed a "spin-the-bottle" type videogame thats marketed and appeals to a much much much older demographic - that parents wouldn't buy for their kids (where lets face it, parents buy COD for their twelve-year-olds)

    I guess its also the cultural taboo things, traditionally sex is taboo in US media, more likely to result in a massive backlash from the conservative groups.

    I support an R18+ rating, don't get me wrong, but I can see why the decision here has been made, when we DON'T have such a rating in place, allowing the game to be sold to 15 year olds, I think banning the game is perhaps the right move. (I am also just 18, so its not like I'm an old nutter =p)

      I agree in one respect, but disagree in another.

      Agree - Given our current classification system I'll honestly be more surprised if it passes classification (well, less so now that it's 15y/o in the US)

      Disagree - At the same time, the fact that it will (realistically) take years to introduce an 18+ rating bracket because of the bureaucracy in place and reliance on lobby groups to determine a policy or political stance, the system is quite justifiably distorted/broken.

      It's very frustrating when people can't make a decision based on common sense (it is, isn't it...?) and what's practical for fear of backlash from a vocal minority.

    The game was not banned, I think thats an important distinction to make. Saying it was banned implies censorship of some kind, like some kind of Orwellian big brother style government that censors our media and decides what we can and can't watch or play. Thats not the case at all, its just refused classification, which is quite different to being banned. Its not like the classification board made a decision to ban the game, they were just unable to classify the game within the current limitations of our archaic and badly broken classification system. As such, the game was refused a classification rating, and since its illegal for games to be sold in this country without a classification rating, then we don't get any Mortal Kombat.

    Don't get me wrong, I still think it sucks, and I'm very pro R18+, and I badly, BADLY want this game. It just bugs me when people are going around saying it was banned because thats just a distortion of the truth, and we don't need to lower ourselves to that level to make our argument. We're better than the anti-R18+ lobby groups who use those sorts of spin tactics.

    This will not make an example, it will have very little impact. Even other countries making a laughing stock of our system does nothing to shame the government into making a change. I hope one day we fall in line but like every country we have our shame and downfalls. The US has its arrogance, the kiwis have their sheep affection and so it goes that we have old men who like talk back and old testament dictating our level of censorship.

    Don't be fooled, this is censorship no matter how you colour it.

    What you Aussies need is a committee that represents you, perhaps thinly veiled as well. Maybe write your game developers and ask them if they would be willing to create a committee to tackle this issue and represent their interests.

    I do not understand when Warren said that this game was not "banned" "its just refused classification"
    I'm sure what has happened here falls under definition #3 of "banned" , as it stands at the moment that is ...
    the act of prohibiting by law; interdiction.
    If it is not "banned" but it is just "refused classification" that in itself is "spin" .
    In any case the reason our system is a failure is because people will still find the games that are indeed "refused" , from over seas .Also how many games have been banned over the years and to what degree of significance ??
    1) Seven Sins ~ Banned because of high impact of sexual references.
    2) 50 Cent: Bulletproof ~ Banned because of high impact cruelty and violence. A censored version was later released.
    3) Blitz: The League ~ Banned because of drug use.
    4) BMX XXX ~ Banned because of sexuality and nudity in relation to incentives and rewards. A censored version was later released.
    5) Dark Sector ~ Banned because of high impact violence. A censored version was later released.
    6) Dreamweb ~ Banned because of a scene of sexualized violence, however, the game was censored, and re-released with an MA15+ rating in 1996 for "Medium level animated violence."
    7) Fallout 3 ~ Banned because of in-game drug use. Edited worldwide due to the insignificant change that was done. Therefore Australia got the same version as the other countries with a MA15+.
    8) F.E.A.R 2: Project Origin ~ Banned because of high impact violence, Warner Bros. Interactive later appealed the decision and received a MA15+.
    9) The Getaway ~ Original released uncut, more content was found that was deemed too much for the MA15+ rating. A censored version was later released.
    10) Grand Theft Auto III ~ Banned because of sexual violence. A censored version was later released. The PC version was released uncut.
    In summary of all this , does our (australia) strict classification laws actually provide results ? or does it just provide controversy ?
    I believe the latter , basically what was contained earlier on in this article hits the proverbial "nail-on-the-head"

    Although they may not be banned, several games have been refused a rating below adults only by ESRB hence making it easier for consumers to make wise purchasing decisions.

    Australia's case is different as videogames cannot be rated R18+ as the rating only exists for film. In order to be approved many games have been edited to meet the MA15+ rating because if not, the game will be banned altogether. Here's a list of the videogames currently banned in Australia:

    Does this law work ? does it stop our youths from obtaining such explicit content if they choose to purchase it from over seas ?
    No & no
    Does it create controversy ? Does it actually provide the game in question with more publicity as well as what happens with anything that is outlawed or redacted in any way shape or form ? with it natural curiosity and want for it either in full or in its original unedited form ?.

    Yes & in my opinion yes & yes .

    In conclusion , or at least from my stand point , which ever way mk 2011 goes by the way of our rating system , I will not purchase the redacted version . I will purchase the original version from europe or any even in asia where we can find pal original versions of any game + many more that have simply not been shipped to our shores .
    Technology definitely plays a part here and if the main goal is to shelter our children away from such violence , it is up to our parents to be able to educate us on such matters to begin with .For me i would not allow my children to play any sort of computer games before the age of 15 as "gaming" stems the growth of ones brain development at such a critical time .Not to mention general media driven television which has even more negative impact on childrens growth by virtue of filling our youths mind with trash in order to get them to feel a certain way ... ie 'brain-numbed in order to mold another consumer driven mind .In conclusion to my elaborate conclusion , i feel gaming at any level is not healthy brain-wise , though even more so is television and un healthy eating/lifestyles ... but then again life is not so "black-and-white" as the saying goes , think again ...

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