The following article originally appeared at Robot Geek and is completely fictional, although if you actually need to be told that I doubt this disclaimer will do much good.
Australia’s notoriously strict censorship of videogames has received shocking vindication in the aftermath of the Australian’s government’s recent decision to allow the release of R18+ games in the country, a decision immediately followed by an eruption of videogame-related violence and social decay that reduced the country to a nightmarish post-apocalyptic wasteland less than a week later.
By law, every game released in Australia required a classification from the Australian Classification Board, a government body that regulated media content. Previously, the board refused to give any classification to games with content that would result in an R18+ (Restricted to 18 and over) rating, preventing an official release. A bill creating an R18+ classification for videogames was finally passed by the Parliament of Australia on July 18th.
What happened in the immediate aftermath remains unclear, due to the rapid collapse of Australia’s communication infrastructure and the country’s subsequent reversion to a preliterate culture dominated by savage nomadic warlords, heavily armed bands of murderous neo-barbarians, and the insane god-kings of despotic Bronze Age city-states, all struggling for survival in the crumbling ruins of a once-advanced civilization. However, according to the still-fragmentary reports that have trickled out of the country, several major cities were already in flames by early July 19th as hordes of videogame-maddened Australians took to the streets in what one surviving observer called “an orgiastic spasm of unimaginably savage Dark Sector-inspired violence.” The chaos escalated into a cataclysm that laid waste to huge swaths of the Australian countryside, destroyed most major cities, and caused the utter dissolution of Australian society, reducing a prosperous nation of 22 million people into what an official United Nations report describes as “a desolate hellscape where only the strong survive.”
How the R18+ rating had such rapid effects remains a mystery, since the bill would not have actually gone into effect until 2013. Several possible explanations have been offered, including a sudden, uncontrolled release of years of frustrated, pent-up hunger for gaming violence caused by gamer excitement in the aftermath of the bill’s passage, the hypothesis of some physicists that the social and moral degeneration that Australia would have suffered in the years following the decision eventually increased to such overwhelming levels that its collapsed mass tore a hole through space-time into the past, and anti-videogame activist Jack Thompson’s controversial “portal to Hell” theory.
Australia’s future is uncertain. Reversing the decision allowing R18+ games is impossible, since both Parliament and the Australian Classification Board ceased to exist with the dissolution of the Commonwealth of Australia as a sovereign state after the fall of the capital city Canberra to the bloodthirsty armies of Lord Colossus the Despoiler- formerly Duane Harris, assistant manager of a recently closed GAME Australia location in the Canberra suburbs- on June 20th.
The entire country is now under a strict blockade maintained by an enormous international naval task force, rumored to include the entire US Third Fleet. In a recent press conference, US President Barack Obama insisted that the ships are there solely to render aid to an American ally and “have absolutely nothing to do with any rumors involving supposed expansionist warlords, a ferocious race of rapidly breeding radioactive mutant kangaroo-men who have already made beachheads in New Zealand and Indonesia, or alleged battles in the Tasman Sea that are classified and didn’t happen anyway where one or more American nuclear aircraft carriers was destroyed by an orbital ion cannon that doesn’t exist because the army of vaguely Abrahamic techno-religious fanatics that controls it doesn’t exist either. So just drop it already.”
Critics of violent or sexual content in videogames have now gained considerable credibility. The most prominent is former New South Wales Attorney-General Greg Smith, who had been one of the principal opponents of allowing the release of R18+ games in Australia and managed to escape the country via Sydney Airport just hours before the city fell to a cannibalistic horde of New South Welshmen dressed in cloaks of flayed human skin and The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings promotional T-shirts.
Now widely hailed as a visionary, Smith has been proposed as a possible prime minister for an interim government-in-exile. He is reportedly holding meetings with the government of the United Kingdom, the United States, and the alpha males of the packs of feral humanoids who dominate northern Queensland about a possible joint military expedition to retake the country.
In a speech shortly after his escape, Smith said, “At last, do you understand? People claim that censorship of games is unjustifiable and old-fashioned. Tell that to a mother who’s lost her child because his friends started fooling around with real guns after playing Grand Theft Auto. Tell that to the hundred-kilometer wall of human torsos that’s encircled Brisbane since the city was conquered by an army of loincloth-clad barbarians and renamed ‘South Goroshire.’ Tell that to someone whose entire hometown was massacred by thousands of pale, bloodthirsty maniacs who were out ‘grinding’ for human heads to build a five-story pyramid of skulls on the Melbourne Cricket Ground honoring their dark god Namira, Daedric Prince of insects and ancient darkness. They understand the importance of this issue, I assure you.”