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Australia Censorship Government Games

Australia Likely To Get 18+ Game Rating 55

Posted by timothy
from the thank-you-uncle-government dept.
hypnosec writes "Australia is set to update the age rating system for video games, adding a new 18+ category which should allow for the more violent games to be sold in the country. The current maximum age rating for a console or PC game is 15+. If a title didn't meet the specifications for this age it was denied a rating and was therefore not allowed to go on sale. This didn't necessarily mean the game never hit the shelves, but it could only do if tweaks were made to remove some of the most violent or questionable content. The first parliamentary session in the new year is set for the 7th February — giving the poor fellas a nice long break — where the bill to introduce the new age rating will be voted on by the lower house. If it passes there, it will go on to the senate, which has the ability to pass it into law."
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Australia Likely To Get 18+ Game Rating

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  • Sanity to prevail? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RogueyWon (735973) * on Wednesday January 25, 2012 @06:45AM (#38816731) Journal

    On the face of it, it looks like sanity might finally prevail. And in all likelihood, it probably will.

    There's just this little nagging worry at the back of my mind that after going through the political process, what might happen is that a bunch of games that would previously have been released as 15+ will now be released as 18+ and that games which couldn't have been released before... still won't be able to be released because the 18+ guidelines won't actually be much/any more permissive than the old 15+.

    But that's just paranoia, right? Perhaps somebody with more knowledge of Australian politics and their ratings system could provide comfort.

  • by rtb61 (674572) on Wednesday January 25, 2012 @07:09AM (#38816847) Homepage

    This will also drive online sales for 18+ games. Likely a lot of 18+ games will simply never hit the shelves in the original format, as parents will notice they are unsuitable for minors, rather than wallowing ignorance and buying unsuitable games for their children. So most brick and mortar versions will be adjusted to lower the rating and gain access to a larger market and those sold online will be original versions (strict rules on contracts with minors in Australia so, Adult only contracts for online sales).

  • by Gadget_Guy (627405) * on Wednesday January 25, 2012 @07:28AM (#38816915)

    Likely a lot of 18+ games will simply never hit the shelves in the original format, as parents will notice they are unsuitable for minors, rather than wallowing ignorance and buying unsuitable games for their children.

    I don't think that parents will stop the 18+ games from being stocked. Most of the people I see in the computer game stores are adults. In Australia, the average age of a gamer is 32 years old. 75% of gamers are aged 18 or more. Source: Australian gamers getting older and wiser, Oct 2011 [theage.com.au], or download the full report [igea.net].

    As an aside, here is a suprising finding from the article:

    63 per cent of gaming households play on a dedicated gaming console, 62 per cent play on PC, 43 per cent play on a mobile phone, 13 per cent on a gaming handheld and 13 per cent play games on a tablet computer.

    So much for PC gaming being dead.

  • by Gadget_Guy (627405) * on Wednesday January 25, 2012 @07:30AM (#38816923)

    More of the worlwide tendency: governments wanting frantically to control what people see, hear, read, have access to, and do.

    Haven't you got that backwards? This is the government making more content available that was previously banned.

  • by sakdoctor (1087155) on Wednesday January 25, 2012 @07:59AM (#38817003) Homepage

    Governments have always done that since there have been governments.
    What you're seeing today is governments scrambling to stuff the internet genie back in the bottle.

    As for this story, by censoring mature games people are forced to pirate, so the government simply lose out on the sales tax of those who would have bought.

  • by jellomizer (103300) on Wednesday January 25, 2012 @09:09AM (#38817313)
    This won't stop kids from playing them either. It will just stop them from buying them at least ones without a fake ID.

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