The Game I’ll Never Open; The Game I’ll Never Play

The Game I’ll Never Open; The Game I’ll Never Play

I don’t know if R18+ was ever about the games. Games can be important, but ultimately they are trivial things.

I am currently holding a copy of Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2+, Australia’s first R18+ game, and I’m thinking about how silly video games can be. The original Ninja Gaiden Sigma was a port of an expanded edition of a game that was released in 2004. Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2+ is an enhanced port of a port of a sequel which was in itself also an expansion — is that right? It’s a port of an expansion of an expansion of a port. I think. It’s truly impossible to tell at this point.

Video games.

Video games can be stupid, but so can any medium. It’s the right of video games to be stupid if they so desire. And it’s also our right as adult human beings to pursue this silly hobby of ours as we see fit. If that means going down to the store on March 7 to buy the very first game to receive an R18+ game in Australia then so be it.

It is our right to buy and consume these silly things. That’s what R18+ is about.

It is also my right to look down at this video game I’ll probably never play, wrapped in a case I’ll probably never open, and feel a little smug. For a second I thought ‘smug’ was the wrong word but the more I think about it the more I realise just how perfect it is.


Select groups barricaded themselves behind utterly illogical ‘won’t someone think of the children’ rhetoric, they peddled their ignorance and, bizarrely, people listened. They listened because they were scared; they listened because they didn’t understand. We had to deal with their arguments in private, on public forums, and that was beyond frustrating. We had to listen and watch as video games were misrepresented on mainstream media by people who simply didn’t understand them.

But that’s all over now. Common sense has won the day and, yes, I feel a little smug about that.

I’ll never have to write another article about the Australian Christian Lobby and you’ll never have to read it. Lyle Shelton no more, Michael Atkinson, Barbara Biggins no more…

Jim Wallace no more.

That feels pretty good.

It also feels good to be part of a group that affected change. Gamers made noise about this issue. Gamers 4 Croydon, Grow Up Australia, the iGEA, too many people to name. Gamers often do a decent job of arguing with each other over the most trivial things, but on this issue we were truly united and that was powerful. As a group we were engaged, we made noise in the right way and, in the end, the right people listened.

That’s what this game represents, this silly little game. The game I’ll never open, the game I’ll never play. This game means that parents will be better informed, it means that, within reason, we can play what we want.

It means we won.


  • I went into my local EB to ask when this was coming out.
    They said there were two other R18+ games scheduled for release before this!

    Didn’t say what though…

    I for one will be playing the heck of this when it comes out, though.

      • nah i was thinking a larger scale, sure that was a kick in the junk to us here in QLD, but it was only 1 kick, im waiting for the 2 footed running jump kick to the junk.

        • My worry is that R18+ will become the new MA. IE all games previously rated MA would just be stuck into the R category, and games that would have been RC’d under the old system would still be RC’d under the new system.

          But with Mortal Kombat finally receiving an R classification, those fears have been somewhat tamed…for now.

          • I think MGR: Revengance & Gears of War Judgement being rated MA and to a lesser extent Dead Space 3 and Crysis 3 should kill most concerns. I doubt we’ll see many RCs in the future.

          • Dead Space 3 getting an R is a bit worrying, considering 1 and 2 were rated MA. I doubt 3 is any worse than 1 and 2.

    • II think the way they changed the classification guidelines so that even the slightest whiff of sexual violence will earn a game an R18+ is the two steps back you’re looking for. There might have been some other changes they made with similar effect.

      So something that would be PG in a movie would be R18+ a video game. Admittedly, this isn’t a new problem but I have a feeling that it will be the problem with the R18+ classification.

      • yeah i was reading over the classification system, i think you might be right, it does look like a R18+ = Too hard basket situation.

        i hope it doesnt, just because it will prove to be ammo for future lobyists and religious freaks on a campain of injustice.
        But at the same time, i think its currently the safest option to ensure the “wont somone think of the children” mentatlity is at least addressed initially.

  • While I commend you for writing about the massive sigh of relief you can heave now that we’ve “won”, I think you underestimate the single-minded malevolence people like the ACL and their ilk can muster when they think they have a cause. I’m sure they’ll hand you plenty of writing material in the future.

  • “Jim Wallace no more.”

    Oh my gosh that is so satisfying to read. Smug is the perfect word for what I’m feeling. Take that, Wallace.

  • Of course, if they hadn’t brought in the R rating then the exact same game probably would have been released anyway with an MA15+ rating 😛

  • While this is a historic day for Australian gamers, and we have indeed won, I still feel this isn’t the last we’ve heard of the above mentioned groups/people.

    They’re still out there, potentially regrouping as we speak, and are likely to launch an attack in the near future when we least expect it.

    How long before we’re fighting for our rights all over again? Fighting for what we believe is right… or just common sense at a higher level.

    I’m already eyeing off the X18+ rating on the classification website. Wondering when video games will be deemed too sexual or violent to fit into the R18+ category.

    If something like this does happen, at least I know Mark Serrels and his valiant army of gamers will be there.

    Ready to fight the good fight and conquer all evil.

    For now though, let us all celebrate this historic moment in Australian video game history.

    And last of all, I just want to say thanks. Thanks to each and every one of you out there who helped fight this.

    I’ll be playing Mortal Kombat (legally) next week because of you and I sure won’t take it for granted.

  • Keep it sealed, most of us won’t get that luxury as the games will likely be gutted and placed into draws…

    Abit sad that the first game isn’t something that deserves the honour, certainly Mortal Kombat should have been the first.

    I’m still happy to have 2 sealed copies of Manhunt at home! 🙂

  • This is like the end of A New Hope. The Death Star is destroyed, the heroes receive their medals. But the evil Empire is still looming in the background…

    (Spoiler: Michael Atkinson is Mark Serrels’ father)

  • @Mark Serrels awesome!, this is the video game i got on the weekend signed by the musical composer/voice actor of Lollypop Chainsaw at the Soundwave AU Music Festival, i gave him a short interview on the game and he was so happy i bought it there for him to sign, he was supprised! i recorded my chat with frontman Jimmy Urine about Lollypop Chainsaw and got him to sign it at a metal music festiival, im just a fan but would like if you could make an article on the video. Video:

    thank you 🙂 im so proud, its worth something now and is an COLLECTORS ITEM 😀

  • While I am happy that an R18+ rating has been achieved I hope it does not change the way MA15+ games are going. As a younger gamer at the age of 16 I feel that I may be cheated if the norm will be to release games with an R18+ rating since it is there but alas I am glad it has passed and that there are fellow gamers joyful to play these new games. I just hope that other people of my age respect that rating and not to ruin it for the more mature gamers.

  • So, nitpick…

    If you mean caused change in the 2nd/3rd last paragraph, then it’s ‘effected’ not ‘affected’

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