Lobby Group Calls For Modern Warfare 2 Ban Down Under

30 Oct 2009  by   Paul Younger
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An Australian children’s lobby group has called for the Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) to reverse its decision to award Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 an MA 15+ rating. The Australian Council on Children and the Media has issue with the section of the game in which the player takes part in a terrorist atrocity, massacring unarmed civilians in an airport.Jane Roberts, president of the lobby group, called for the game’s rating to be reviewed, which would effectively ban the game in Australia as it has no adult rating above MA 15+.”The consequences of terrorism are just abhorrent in our community and yet here we are with a product that’s meant to be passed off as a leisure time activity, actually promoting what most world leaders speak out publicly against,” Roberts told the Sydney Morning Herald.”We understand that it’s a game but … we’re not far off when you look at the images that you could actually put it on a Channel Nine news report and you’d think maybe that is real.”If that material was on the internet about how to become a terrorist, how to join a group and how to wipe out people – that would be removed because it would not be acceptable.”South Australian attorney general Michael Atkinson, who recently voiced his opposition to introducing an adult R18 rating for games in Australia, was typically critical of the industry after hearing about the Modern Warfare 2 controversy.”Expecting game designers to be responsible by not glorifying terrorism will always lead to disappointment.” However, Activision and Infinity Ward did get some support from pro-gaming lobby group Electronic Frontiers Australia. A spokesman for the group, Nicholas Suzor, argued that the controversy highlights exactly why Australia needs an R18 rating.”Films often show the villain’s perspective and, by doing that, they get across the character’s story and the heinous nature of people who carry out atrocities. Games, too, are becoming more expressive, and are telling more involved stories,” Suzor said.”We may make an argument that these sorts of topics are not suitable for children, but I don’t at all accept that it is unsuitable for adults.”Left 4 Dead 2 was another recent casualty of the OFLC, which deemed its inclusion of melee violence sufficient grounds to refuse classification.

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