For all the great things about Australia, you have to admit – it sure isn’t a great place for gamers. What with the government regularly banning some of the most popular and fun video games on the market.
The good news is you can bypass that block with a VPN. We’ll tell you how to do it, and mention other perks of using a VPN while gaming in this article. In case you’re in a hurry, just click here for Australia’s best VPNs.
Why Are So Many Games Banned in Australia?
It’s mostly due to the country’s very strict and rigorous rating process. Also, it’s pretty hard for games to be classified because the legal guidelines focus a lot on “interactivity.” Those guidelines also say that video games have a higher impact than movies, TV shows, and literature.
The best a regular game can hope is to get an R 18+ classification. That means it’s legally restricted to adults.
But the requirements to get that rating are pretty vague. Take this for example:
“Violence is permitted. High impact violence that is, in context, frequently gratuitous, exploitative and offensive to a reasonable adult will not be permitted.”
It’s pretty hard to define what “acceptable” violence is. And a game can get an RC (Refused Classification) rating if it has depictions of “violence with a very high degree of impact which are excessively frequent, prolonged, detailed or repetitive.”
That’s the kind of thing that describes pretty much any popular FPS game, for instance. Unfortunately, your access to entertainment is regulated by the subjective views of the Classification Board.
What Games Are Banned?
It’s hard to say exactly. If you check Wikipedia, you’ll see this long list. Some games seem to have gotten a passing rating eventually (like Saint’s Row IV and Katana Zero).
According to the list, the following games are still banned:
- Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number
- Paranautical Activity
- Song of Memories
- Super Blood Hockey
- Omega Labyrinth Z
- Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni
- MeiQ: Labyrinth of Death
- Shellshock 2: Blood Trails
- CrimeCraft (currently unplayable anyway)
- Marc Eckō’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure
- Reservoir Dogs
- Blitz: The League
- Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude
- Singles: Flirt Up Your Life
- Postal 2
- Enzai: Falsely Accused
The list isn’t really complete, though. According to this article, Australia banned around 220 games back in 2015. Some of them might have had their classification overturned, but it’s unlikely all of them did.
And a more recent article also said that DayZ, We Happy Few, Hotline Miami, and Bonaire (thought to be DLC for Red Dead Redemption 2) were banned.
Plus, the fun games that did get an R 18+ or MA15+ rating only did so because the publishers submitted an edited version. So you might not get the same experience as people playing the normal version.
How Are Games Banned?
It’s hard to say since there’s no exact information about this.
One way the government could do this is through firewalls. Basically forcing ISPs to block connections to the games’ websites.
But we speculate the bans are location specific. Since they’re refused classification, they don’t end up on shelves or on the Australian version of digital distribution platforms (like Steam).
How to Unblock Games in Australia with One Simple Service
In our experience, the best way to get around these annoying and unfair bans is to use a VPN – an online service that hides your IP address and encrypts your traffic.
All you need to do is use a VPN server in the US or EU. You’ll get a new US/EU IP address, and you’ll have access to the digital store’s US/EU version, where you can get the games you want. If firewalls are the problem, any non-Aussie server will likely do.
Since speeds can be a problem with VPNs, it’s important to get a reliable, stable service with smooth speed and tons of servers. To save hours of backbreaking research, click here for Australia’s best VPNs. ProPrivacy’s guide has all the information you need to make a smart decision and it’s all in a format that’s very easy to read and understand.
Other Good Reasons to Use a VPN for Gaming
Unblocking banned games is cool, but you can enjoy other perks when using a VPN while gaming too. Here’s a quick list:
- Since VPNs encrypt your traffic, they prevent bandwidth throttling because your ISP can’t see what services you spend their data on. So you can freely binge online gaming every day without any surprise slowdowns.
- By hiding your IP address, VPNs also keep you safe from DDoS/DoS attacks. They happen more often than we’d like to admit in gaming, and for the pettiest reasons. Well, since wannabe hackers no longer have your IP address, they can’t locate and target your network with cyber attacks. What’s more, some VPNs have DDoS protection on their servers.
- Masking your IP address means no more IP bans. If a jealous admin who has it out for you bans your IP for “cheating,” you just need to use a VPN server to bypass it. If they ban it again, just switch to the next server.
- A VPN might lower your ping and lag if you use a server that’s in the same country as the gaming server. Why? Because it will route your traffic directly without any detours.
Were You Able to Unblock Games with a VPN?
If yes, which ones did you unblock, and which ones did you like the most?
If not, tell us what issues you encountered. Who knows, we might be able to help you out.
Also, if any of you know other ways to unblock games in Australia, or have extra information we didn’t cover, share your thoughts in the comments or on social media.