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.

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Comments on “Australia Might Finally Let Adults Play Video Games They Want To Play”

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Hulser (profile) says:

Re: 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?

Hulser (profile) says:

Re: 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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Ben says:

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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