|Commonwealth of Australia
The country's classification board provides the age classification of all media in the country, including video game releases such as Grand Theft Auto. The majority of the GTA series is rated MA15+, however some editions of the games have drawn the RC rating ("Refused Classification"). Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was famously re-rated after the Hot Coffee debacle, the OFLC changing its original MA15+ rating to RC. The re-release of the game saw it obtain the the MA15+ rating again, after the Hot Coffee material was edited out. Rockstar produced a different version of Grand Theft Auto IV for retail in the Australian/New Zealand market to meet Australian OFLC MA15+ guidelines - no blood pools form beneath dead bodies, prostitute 'services' are shown from an obscuring angle (and no options are available), and injury decals are not shown on the protagonist or on NPCs when they are wounded. The PC version of the game, however, remains uncensored. The international version of GTA IV was eventually submitted for rating in New Zealand by a retailer, and was passed with an 18+ rating, allowing the uncensored version to be sold there.
Media that receive a "Refused Classification" rating are banned from sale in the country; it has historically been particularly easy for games to receive this rating, as there was no 18+ classification for games. As of 2013, however, the R18+ rating has been available for video games. Games which do receive the RC rating must be edited to meet MA15+ standards to obtain an Australian release.
Note that the classification board do not decide ratings policy, but merely enforce it - changes to the classification system, such as providing an 18+ rating for games, must be authorised with a unanimous vote from all state attorneys-general. Attorney General Michael Atkinson of South Australia was the lone dissenting vote regarding an 18+ category for video games for a very long time.
Australia within the Grand Theft Auto games
In the GTA III Era games, references are made to a war between the United States and Australia. It is first referenced in GTA III when a caller in Chatterbox FM, Colonel James P., talks about his experience in the Australian-American War, which Lazlow claims it did not happen. References appear in later GTA games, usually in Ammu-Nation commercials and radio advertisements. It can be presumed that Australia lost the war - San Andreas Ammu-Nation promotions mention weapons "from when we whooped Australia's ass".
The GTA IV Era games continues the references to the Australian-American War. A commercial for Babies Overnight adoption service mentions "...an Australian baby, which loves to play war but always loses." On the website "www.ilovetoblow.org", there is also another reference to Australia losing the war.