Australia Might Finally Let Adults Play Video Games They Want To Play

from the ending-censorship dept

As you may know, down in Australia, they have a ridiculous censorship policy on video games, where they don't allow any video games that are deemed to be targeted at adults, even though plenty of adults play video games these days. Earlier this year, there was a public consultation on the question, and tens of thousands of letters poured in supporting repealing such bans. Oddly, the government's response was to say that since support for getting rid of the ban was so overwhelming, they wanted to talk to more people about it. Of course, some of it was political, with Michael Atkinson, the Attorney General of South Australia vehemently in favor of censorship. However, following some controversy, Atkinson stepped down, helping to pave the way for Australia to finally move forward on letting adults play adult-focused video games. cofiem points us to the news that the government has slowly been moving towards allowing such games and ending the censorship -- though, it still appears to be a delicate process of framing the debate so as not to freak out those who love to create moral panics about video games.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Revi (profile), Dec 6th, 2010 @ 5:39am

    I think it's not so much a stupid censorship policy as it is a stupid classification policy. If they had game classifications matching film classifications then it wouldn't be an issue.

     

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    cc (profile), Dec 6th, 2010 @ 6:01am

    Does this mean they'll also be backing away from their internet censorship plans? Or, is this just the result of pressure from the video game industry lobby and won't have a bearing on the rest of their stupid agenda?

     

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    harbingerofdoom (profile), Dec 6th, 2010 @ 6:08am

    Re:

    its not either.... so far its been a platform for politicians to grandstand and say 'look at me! im keeping your children safe!' and thats about it.

     

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    Overcast (profile), Dec 6th, 2010 @ 6:33am

    "Australia Might Finally Let Adults Play Video Games They Want To Play"

    As long as it's "approved by the state" - no doubt, still.

    We'll see, but I don't have a lot of faith in the People's Republic of Australia backing down. Years ago, it was my target vacation spot to go to someday - not anymore, lol.

     

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  5.  
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    Black Patriot (profile), Dec 6th, 2010 @ 6:52am

    Re:

    It's a perfectly nice place to visit, provided you don't get attacked by dropbears or bunyips, just don't move here, unless you like the government to slowly take away all your civil liberties and make everything remotely fun illegal.

     

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    DH's Love Child (profile), Dec 6th, 2010 @ 6:57am

    Re: Re:

    It's a perfectly nice place to visit, ****** just don't move here, unless you like the government to slowly take away all your civil liberties and make everything remotely fun illegal.

    Funny.. that's how it feels living in the United States.

     

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  7.  
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    Berenerd (profile), Dec 6th, 2010 @ 6:59am

    Re: Re:

    Them dropbears are worse than a freddy cruger nightmare...I know..I know many people in Aussie land...

    As far as losing liberties...looks like the US is trying to be more like Aussie.

     

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    Hulser (profile), Dec 6th, 2010 @ 7:02am

    Re:

    Or, is this just the result of pressure from the video game industry lobby and won't have a bearing on the rest of their stupid agenda?

    Have you considered the possibility that the underlying reason for lifting the effective ban is that the adult citizens of Australia don't want to be treated like children any longer and not because of some industry lobbying effort?

     

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    cc (profile), Dec 6th, 2010 @ 7:34am

    Re: Re:

    Of course. Consider that if they really are listening to what their adult citizens have to say, then the answer to my initial question is Yes. Otherwise, the cynic in me goes straight to the lobbyist explanation.

    Maybe it's just the retarded politicians' kids growing up...

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2010 @ 8:07am

    Re:

    "Or, is this just the result of pressure from the video game industry lobby..."

    Why in the world would the industry lobby for this? You're off your rocker.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2010 @ 8:07am

    Re:

    "Or, is this just the result of pressure from the video game industry lobby..."

    Why in the world would the industry lobby for this? You're off your rocker.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2010 @ 8:07am

    Re: Re:

    "Or, is this just the result of pressure from the video game industry lobby..."

    Why in the world would the industry lobby for this? You're off your rocker.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2010 @ 8:22am

    Re: Re:

    Why in the world would the industry lobby for this? You're off your rocker.

    The video game industry would lobby against anything banning the sale of their games. Why?

    Because they want more money. Can't sell games legally in the region if they've been banned.

     

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    Hulser (profile), Dec 6th, 2010 @ 10:01am

    Re: Re: Re:

    the cynic in me goes straight to the lobbyist explanation

    Not to downplay the insidious role of the corporate lobbyist, but I'm sure that the computer games industry has been lobbying for years to lift the effective ban and they haven't succeeded. What has changed, I think, is the attitude of the public, not an increased effort of any lobbying group. All that I'm saying is that this issue is coming to the forefront because of real frustration by the people, not because of any backroom dealings.

     

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    Qyiet (profile), Dec 6th, 2010 @ 11:45am

    Re: Re: Re:

    It's a perfectly nice place to visit, ... *snip* Funny.. that's how it feels living in the United States

    Given the retarded security the US has put in place with travel most people I speak with attempt to avoid even visiting. It's seen as a nasty chore to vist the states now, not something to look foward to.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2010 @ 1:28pm

    What must be remembered is that if 18+ ratings are allowed about 50% of games currently banned would be still be banned if submitted - no current games banned will be allowed in, but the official was referring to if they were reviewed now.

    Remember Australia has banned more movies than any other country in the western world. Australia has the toughest restrictions on our 18+ rating than any other country.

    That's standard films (non-porn). On the X18+ Australia also has the toughest restrictions in the world (this time by a long way) - where over 50% of US porn films need to be modified to be released in Australia.

    You can thank John Howard for changing those classification guidelines in 2001, where he made a whole tonne of things illegal.

     

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    Ben, Dec 6th, 2010 @ 5:14pm

    this isn't being spearheaded by the video game lobby, this is being spearheaded mostly by gamers.

    Palgn, a website an Australian website that does video game reviews gained something like 82000 signatures, games4croyden was a political party started up by a gamer in an attempt to shed light on the issue and run directly against Atkinson.
    Gamespot are probably the only 'big industry' thing making major strides in the campaign. Everything else is pretty grass roots.

    The thing I see with this is it will be too little too late. We'll get R18 games sure but with recent changes in how games are developed and marketed, increasingly by tiny development teams. The cost of actually submitting games for ratings is going to be prohibitive. It's something like 2 grand to submit a game for classification. Considering we have people making iphone games in there spare time they don't have that kind of money to submit for it. We're blocked from getting the indie game Chanel on x-box in Australia for this reason, and they're looking to make rating of iphone games compulsory which would basically kill the app store in Australia too.

    This is basically the first step in a long road.

     

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    sinsi (profile), Dec 6th, 2010 @ 11:59pm

    Don't get too excited, apparently the WA AG isn't sure. Looks like Atkinson was the fall guy for other no-vote AGs

     

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  19.  
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    Man no download slots, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 7:20am

    I agree that it is actually stupid to have those bans after all . Freedom of thinking and acting should be one of basic human rights . Of course if acting is not illegal . Anyway as comments above said it is more platform for politicians to gain some points for elections .

     

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