Monday, November 9

Feeling fleeced Down Under

This article is somewhat of an editorial reply to one of our readers who commented on my God of War Collection story. As many of you know not every region receives games on the same day due to various reasons. Sometimes EU get games and then the US will get them a couple days later and visa versa. Usually this is due to regional reasons such as different holidays in different countries or marketing standards that say games/movies shall be released on Tuesday and only Tuesday. However some places it seems never really get certain games, and although many blame the publishers and console manufacturer's for not caring about that region, it more often than not comes down to your government, people!

The comment in question came from an Aussie gamer so I will focus on that region. AUS has 2 major things working against it at the moment. First lets point out the antiquated rating system that essentially assumes only children play games so therefore the highest rated games should be 15+ and anything deemed to mature for a 15yr old banned from the market. As reported on (check it out
here), it seems a new opponent for Attorney General Michael Atkinson job is attempting to have an 18+ rating added to the system but considering Atkinson has held this position for 20yrs and at last election garnered 67% of the vote David Doe and his Gamers4Croydon party may be in for an uphill battle. Although Doe's chances of winning are slim its good to see someone taking a stand against this system and shed light on the public about who really plays games and that its not just a bunch of kids but well payed stable adults who enjoy the medium. If changes can be made in the Classifications Board's rating system, that would be a major step forward for the games that can flow into AUS, but that's just one of the problems.

Even if all of the sudden tomorrow you can play God of War collection in AUS there is still the issue of price and the fact that Aussie's plunk down a nice chunk of change for their games. I make no claims of being an economist nor an expert on the AUS government but for every game being sold in AUS 40% of that game cost gets funneled to your government via taxes. If a publisher sets up shop in AUS not only are they paying a 30% corporate tax they also have to pay heavy property tax rates depending on the state they are in. Like most businesses a heavy chunk of this loss gets passed onto the consumer.Then to top it off when you go and by the product you get slapped with a nation wide 10% sales tax.

It's so easy to blame the evil corporations but in this case it seems more like you environment that it is so expensive and hard to come by in that region. Unfortunately for gamers everywhere, not just Australians the increase of Government regulations on the Gaming medium is increasing. For every 1 gamer who is addicted to "WOW" in China, there are another 100million Chinese who play a couple hours of games a day or week and never have a problem. For every psycho kid that goes on a killing rampage in the US and blames it on "GTA" there are 2million others who played it and never thought twice about running over random pedestrians. Unfortunately the media and the buffoons we chose to represent us don't see the many, they only focus on the few. We are grateful to each and every reader here at Gamethirst and appreciate all your comments but if the state of your gaming world is not what you would like it to be you gotta get out there and do something about it. To every mature gamer in AUS fill up Attorney General Michael Atkinson inbox with email demanding he add 18+ certification, call and leave vmail stating the same. If things are gonna change we have to change them and who knows, maybe GoW Collection will be coming to a store near you if you do.

Get Tax info here

11/09/2009 David Allison

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