AAustralia's entertainment ratings board, the Office of Film and Literature Classification, has refused to grant a rating for forthcoming Atari titleMarc Ecko'sGetting Up: Contents Under Pressure, thereby effectively banning the game from sale.
After having grantedGetting Upan "MA 15+" (Mature Audiences of 15+) rating back in November on the basis that,although the game contains strong violence and themes, it was suitable for gamers aged 15 and over, the OFLC reviewed the rating and determined that "this game promotes the crime of graffiti"?. The OFLC says that games will not be rated if they "include or contain detailed instruction or promotion of matters of crime".
The OFLC had particular problems withGetting Up's "realistic scenarios", where main character Trane learns about graffiti techniques and styles from five real life graffiti artists, and the fact that players are rewarded for putting graffiti on public buildings.
Atari Australia issued a statement saying that the publisher 'strongly disagrees with the board's decision, and defends the original classification by the OFLC"?. It has also stated its intention to contact Australia's Interactive Entertainment Association in a bid to get their support, claiming that the OFLC's decision "will impact the industry and is not specific or isolated to one company".
Australia is notoriously tough on games with violent or sexual content, with titles such asLeisure Suit Larry,Manhuntand Grand Theft Auto III also being refused classification.