Zombie gamers haunt city streets

More than 500 zombies lurched through Sydney at the weekend in protest at Australia’s restrictive gaming classifications.

Miffed at being barred from gamers’ screens, they want the government to introduce an R18+ classification – a sort of wildlife preserve for the undead.

As things stand, games classification in Australia is handled differently to books or video. If a title fails to conform to the 15+ classification, it’s out. It’s a stricter set of rules than in any other Western nation.

The Federal government is currently considering more than 55,000 submissions to a disussion paper about changing the classification system. Doing this requires unanimous approval from national, state and territory ministers.

But gamers have a little more hope this week, after John Rau took over as South Australia’s attorney-general from Michael Atkinson, who had made no secret of the fact that he planned to veto a change.

The Epic Zombie March was organised by Facebook group Aus Gamers
United in protest

“Someone needs to bring to attention how unfair this is to the gaming Industry and gamers ourselves. So why not us?” said organiser Rhys Wilson.

Not all gamers are on side, though. The protest attracted a lot of criticism from those who felt it was a little undignified. ‘Complete morons,’ according to one blog; ‘idiots’ and ‘unsociable’ according to comments on Twitter. Wilson doesn’t care: “For those who don’t give a toss about the gaming side, it’s just flat out zombie fun,” he says.