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Australia Censorship Iphone Games

Australia Considering iPhone App Censorship 284

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-apps-mate dept.
srjh writes "Having raised concerns about 'the classification of games playable on mobile telephones,' the Australian government has now 'put the wheels in motion to address this.' Under current Australian legislation, video games sold in the country must pay between $470 and $2040 to have the game classified, and due to the lack of an 18+ rating in Australia, if it is not found to be suitable for a 15-year-old, it is banned outright. This is the fate met by several recent titles, such as Left 4 Dead 2 and Fallout 3. Over 200,000 applications are available for the iPhone, many of them games, and developers have raised concerns about the prohibitive costs involved, with many announcing an intention to drop the Australian market altogether if the plan proceeds."
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Australia Considering iPhone App Censorship

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 19, 2010 @02:42AM (#33298214)

    In more civilized nations, we have no problem with children using extreme language in extreme situations.

    the problem arises when the children think it's fun/cool to use that language everywhere.
    This is where parents should do something, not when government should.

    the same arguments could be used against most things censored.

  • by exomondo (1725132) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @02:45AM (#33298232)

    This is where parents should do something, not when government should.

    Exactly! This is all about lazy parents trying to absolve themselves of the responsibility of raising children.

  • regulatory capture (Score:5, Insightful)

    by advocate_one (662832) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @02:49AM (#33298254)
    a fine example of it as only the big boys can absorb the costs and this effectively closes the market on their smaller competitors.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 19, 2010 @02:58AM (#33298294)

    With another phone system, I can download my own apps without needing them to be approved by either Apple or the Australian Government.

    If you want fast uncensored internet; Without having a clue as to what their policies are, I'd suggest voting Australin Sex Party this weekend.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 19, 2010 @02:58AM (#33298298)

    Morality and Intelligence are completely separate traits. Just look at history...

  • by migla (1099771) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @03:00AM (#33298306)

    In more civilized nations, we have no problem with children using extreme language in extreme situations.

    the problem arises when the children think it's fun/cool to use that language everywhere.
    This is where parents should do something, not when government should.

    What is the problem with that? Sure it can be an annoyance, but I'm not sure it would qualify as a real "problem". If kids want to fit in under some circumstances, they won't use extreme language, if that is improper. If they don't care about fitting in, that's their business, isn't it?

  • Relax people (Score:3, Insightful)

    by giorgist (1208992) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @03:13AM (#33298378)
    This is growing up pains ...
    None of all these things have come to pass.
    They come up with them, the realise they don't work, and they let them go.
    No better way to learn, it is the process of making laws.

    What is an iPhone app ? They only reason they are attacking, is because they are contained by apple.
    What next, webapps ? Android and HTML5 and FLASH will make them indistinguishable to a normal app.

    I would much rather they try and get it out of their system, than winge for ever ...
  • Re:Good grief! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 19, 2010 @03:23AM (#33298438)

    Is this really what the average Australian wants?

    Of course not, and it's not what will actually happen either. There's a snowball's chance in hell that the government will form a new body to review hundreds of thousands of applications, and if they tried to lock out the app store altogether... they'd be booted at the next election. This is a publicity stunt that will lead to nothing. There are 2 parties in Australia . .. Liberal & Labour. Labour just ousted their leader, meaning that the new *female* leader (a first for Australia) is ahead in the polls, but standing on shaky ground ahead of the election in a few days time. The Labour party is rallying whatever votes they can and this is an ideal stunt in the "Think of the children" and "We'll catch those tax dodgers" veins to bring more people on board the party line. Note that TFA specifically calls for changes that require no legislation but enforcement was not discussed at the meeting of attorney generals ... translation "We aint doin nothin, but the media will pick up on our concern".

    It's an election stunt, slashdot has officially been trolled by the Australian government.

  • by mrsteveman1 (1010381) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @03:28AM (#33298462)

    Assuming criminals are stupid is a great way to catch fewer criminals.

  • Re:Good grief! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 19, 2010 @03:48AM (#33298526)

    What is with the Americans? PATRIOT, revocation of habeus corpus, free speech zones, a prison population 5-10 times that of *any* other western nation... even 2257? Is this really what the average American wants? Surely the Yank public is not this stupid? They do elect their politicians, don't they?

    Or we could go across the pond to where it's the House of Lords, of all things, that is standing up for human rights by beating down unprinicipled legislation submitted by the House of Commons.

    Yeah, it's all "those crazy people in Australia". No-one else has whackos. At least our major politicians don't have to mention God in every. damned. speech. Next time you see any quality of life measure, have a look to see which nation is usually nestled under the Scandanavian countries which top the list - it's not the US, nor the UK. But no, you go dwell happily in your caricature that we're weird and repressed.

  • by AtomicDog1471 (1881258) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @04:12AM (#33298630)

    >if you don't agree with laws please go forth and make them change. this is a democracy after all.

    Aww, look. He actually thinks the system works! How quaint.

  • Re:Good grief! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by imakemusic (1164993) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @05:27AM (#33298946)

    Just don't show the hooker's tits!

  • Re:Good grief! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by exomondo (1725132) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @05:30AM (#33298962)

    Right, assuming by "Greens" you mean "Family First" and by "going to get a serious beatdown" you mean "actually be taken seriously and implemented". A clear win for either of the major parties is a blow to anything this stupid.

    No I mean the 'Greens' - as i have written - and 'beatdown' - again as i have written. Im not sure how you could misinterpret that, seemed pretty obvious based on the words i wrote and you quoted.

  • Re:Good grief! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tdelaney (458893) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @05:49AM (#33299046)

    At least I can watch free-to-air TV in Australia that is not limited to what is appropriate for a 12 year old. You can say "fuck" or show naked people (including nipples!) on FTA TV in Australia after 9:30pm. I'm pretty sure you could even get away with "cunt".

    All countries have some fucked up stuff. The US allows all kinds of violence on FTA TV, but not a hint of sex, swearing or (god forbid) blaspheming. Australia doesn't have an 18+ rating for computer games, and has a government that wants to introduce ubiquitous high-speed broadband (yay!) and a very broad (and technically useless) internet filter (boo!).

  • by causality (777677) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @07:33AM (#33299530)
    I don't think you understand that there is no "18 related films" and none is being proposed.

    Why isn't it about the government trying to help parents?

    If it were about trying to help parents, there'd be a category for adults. Then the parent can choose age-appropriate titles and adults can still get the apps they want. There isn't a category for adults. That's why this is not about trying to help parents. This is about censoring adults in the name of helping parents. If you think helping parents is a good thing then this is a mockery of it, a smack in the face.

    Oh, I forgot, the fucking libertarians have taken over the asylum, so if it's done by the government it's necessarily evil.

    No real libertarian would support censoring adults. Especially not when having an adult category does not negate the usefulness of all the other categories. Adding an adult category would be cost-free in the sense that it wouldn't hinder any of the stated goals of this proposal. The omission of it is either institutionalized stupidity or a deliberate attempt to censor. Both can be called evil.

  • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @07:58AM (#33299690) Homepage Journal

    This election is really a case of trying to pick a candidate that is the least awful

    C'mon its always like that.

  • by Tuan121 (1715852) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @08:11AM (#33299780)

    This election is really a case of trying to pick a candidate that is the least awful.
    Ugh

    As opposed to any other election anywhere in the world...

  • by causality (777677) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @08:23AM (#33299852)

    >the problem arises when the children think it's fun/cool to use that language everywhere.

    What problem? If that's how they want to express themselves, let them. They're just words for gods sake...

    If people don't get offended about something, how can they feign injury and use that to justify their demands that others conform to their expectations? Why, they'd have to resort to being patient and tolerant (in the true sense) and to using their counter-example to protest against whatever it is they don't like. If that happened their egos might shrink and become less inflamed with fewer high horses to mount. They might see the petty power struggles for what they are, and they might enjoy life more once they stop participating in them and wasting so much energy on them.

    Clearly we cannot allow this! We must reinforce the easily offended lifestyle. We clearly need to legitimize it with political power and by taking it seriously at all times. At all costs must make sure to never tell anyone to grow up and get over any otherwise harmless thing that offends them. Any authority figure must especially take seriously and whenever possible, kowtow to whoever screams the loudest with no regard for the actual legitimacy of their grievance. Young people must grow up seeing the repeated examples of parents, schools, and media who model this behavior and never question or critically examine it, because then it will be normal and all they've ever known. That's the precedent we want to set and the message we will send.

    Otherwise people might adopt a "live and let live" philosophy otherwise known as freedom, and might get the idea in their heads that there's something wrong with so much concern for what other adults want to read, listen to, watch, or what games they play. Shit man, they might even think it's good enough that they can choose such things for themselves and that it's proper to allow other adults to do the same.

    If we allowed that, then the next thing you know, entire political campaigns and party platforms will have to find some other basis. The tacit assumption that "they must be up to no good" might shift to the busybodies and away from those who want to be left alone by them. This could really spiral out of control! It would become difficult to try to legislate morality. It could even lead to more people believing that it's silly to blame any of our problems on inanimate objects, and with that goes the War on (some) Drugs and all the great justifications for expanded police powers that it has faithfully provided all of these years.

    So you see, Australia must stay the course. If they allowed a category intended for adults and restricted to adults, it'd be a small and seemingly harmless step down a very slippery slope. Do you know what's at the bottom of that slippery slope? Why, a world where other people might say or do things that someone else doesn't like. Do you understand now the danger that we are in?

  • by hoggoth (414195) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @10:12AM (#33301142) Journal

    Bullshit.

    The official ratings are meaningless to me. I don't care if my kid sees a topless girl, I don't see anything wrong with the human body. But I sure as hell don't want him filling his head with the most disgusting murders imaginable until he's old enough to handle it.

    Yet the ratings are very strict with anything related to nudity or sexuality but give a free pass to all sorts of violence.

  • by MozzleyOne (1431919) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @12:56PM (#33303490)

    I believe the idea of an R18+ rating is that everything which is now considered "Refused Classification" just becomes "R18+" ... i.e. it's a lower, not an upper, limit to content

    One effect of not having an R18+ rating means that there is immense pressure on the classification board to be very liberal with the 15+ rating, as companies spend millions of dollars making these games. This actually increases the chance of young kids seeing inappropriate content!

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @01:19PM (#33303826) Journal

    >>>The problem isn't a lack of R18, the problem is that anything not meeting 'standards' is illegal.

    Good point. The government should not have the power to ban adults from buying items. The government is not your daddy or mommy. I used to think, "Well if America falls to tyranny, there's always the freedom-loving Aussieland," but apparently I was wrong. Australia is ruled by a tyranny of oligarchs that won't even let you play an adult game.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 19, 2010 @02:06PM (#33304570)

    Why do I need to teach them about people who hand over their daughters for raping, and an immature vindictive God who metes out the most horrendous punishments for the slightest infractions?

    To protect them from Christianity.

    Sounds like a light introduction in high school, with more detail in college would be appropriate.

    You're going to wait until college to warn your kids about religion? You're going to be too late.

  • by Hashi Lebwohl (997157) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @06:07PM (#33308054)
    Please don't confuse us with our politicians - I have no idea where they come from, but it's certainly not the real world!
  • Re:Good grief! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mjwx (966435) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @08:44PM (#33309372)

    At least I can watch free-to-air TV in Australia that is not limited to what is appropriate for a 12 year old. You can say "fuck" or show naked people (including nipples!) on FTA TV in Australia after 9:30pm. I'm pretty sure you could even get away with "cunt".

    You can do that.

    Hell, you could even flash a nipple during the AFL grand final (largest sporting event in the nation) and not hear a single word of protest. Unlike during the superbowl.

    Have you ever watched Australian TV, compared to American TV where "gosh darn" is considered cursing, we have a much more restrictive interpretation, bugger, damn, god damn, bollocks ect.. are not considered swear words and you can even drop the F-bomb once or twice and avoid the M15+ rating.

    Compared to Australian TV, American TV is puritanical.

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