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Australia Censorship Iphone Games

Australia Considering iPhone App Censorship 284

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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  • Good grief! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @02:45AM (#33298230)
    What is with the Australians? This is just the latest in a long line of this sort of shit. Is this really what the average Australian wants? Surely the Assie public is not this stupid? They do elect their politicians, don't they?
  • Re:Good grief! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jessejackson100 ( 1881962 ) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @02:53AM (#33298270)

    Oh we elect them alright. The problem is neither of the major parties has a full set of policies that don't suck.

    - Vote Labour and there will be Internet Filtering for all!
    - Vote Liberal and we no longer get the promised high speed broadband network, because apparently 'wireless is the future'.

    EPIC FAIL either way...

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

    by exomondo ( 1725132 ) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @02:56AM (#33298280)

    What is with the Australians? This is just the latest in a long line of this sort of shit. Is this really what the average Australian wants? Surely the Assie public is not this stupid? They do elect their politicians, don't they?

    Thank god we have an election coming up in the next couple of days and neither liberal nor labor are looking to be clear winners but it looks like the greens are most certainly going to dominate in the senate so these censorship bills are going to get a serious beatdown very soon! Hopefully we won't have to deal with any of this shit ever being implemented.

  • What's the point? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Netshroud ( 1856624 ) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @03:02AM (#33298316)
    Aside from the government making money. Applications that get classified as RC wouldn't be affected by any of the RC restrictions. The biggest restriction is that RC material cannot be sold in brick and mortar stores. iOS Apps aren't.
  • Re:Relax people (Score:3, Interesting)

    by QuantumG ( 50515 ) * <qg@biodome.org> on Thursday August 19, 2010 @04:27AM (#33298704) Homepage Journal

    uh huh. Tell that to Blizzard.. they were delivering unclassified games through Steam and got the same smackdown from the Australian government. It's literally about keeping the fees running into the classification board. You think they aint gunna go after every possible source of income?

  • Re:Good grief! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by delinear ( 991444 ) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @05:15AM (#33298898)

    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...

    Isn't that the point of the administration fee - to pay for someone else to review the app? As for them being kicked out if they tried to lock out the app store, well they're not suggesting anything they don't already do with traditional (and much bigger) game markets. If that's not sufficient to generate enough uproar to get the law overturned, what makes you think smart phone owners will have any more impact?

  • Re:Good grief! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TapeCutter ( 624760 ) * on Thursday August 19, 2010 @05:44AM (#33299030) Journal
    It will do more than register ire. The greens are set to hold the balance of power in the senate so they will stop pretending to appease senator Fielding with an internet filter and start pretending to appease the greens.

    I confidently predict that after the election the never ending inquiry into internet filtering will rapidly be dropped in favour of a never ending inquiry into renewable energy.
  • by exomondo ( 1725132 ) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @08:23AM (#33299858)

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

    It is! If we had an R18 rating that's exactly what it would do! Instead they absolve parents of their responsibility by just banning anything not suitable for a 15yo.

    It's much more logical and consistent for a parent to be able to say "you can't watch any 18 rated films" to a child rather than "well OK, you can watch this one because I've heard a good review of it and it has artistic merit, but you can't watch this other one because it's too violent/pornographic/sweary".

    Yes, which is why we want an R18 rating for games, but the government won't do that. That's exactly my point, they decide they will just wield the ban-hammer instead of having an R18 rating that parents would have to be aware of.

  • Mick Dundee wept (Score:3, Interesting)

    by paiute ( 550198 ) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @08:32AM (#33299910)

    How did Australia devolve from the cool tough guys of Gallipoli/"That's not a knife" to this bunch of pussies?

  • by Merls the Sneaky ( 1031058 ) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @12:44PM (#33303320)

    They also give a free pass to religion. Religious texts are uncensored and do not have to be submitted for censorship. I don't want to have my child exposed to religion at a young impressionable age. I will leave that to him to decide when I think he is intellectually ready for it. I am personally offended by mixing young children and religion. While I do not agree with censorship this latest push for censorship from the Labor party makes me wonder where it will stop.

    I'm voting No1 Australian sex party. The two major parties are both shit house it's time to help someone else have a go. And at least when it all goes to hell I won't be to blame.

  • by hoggoth ( 414195 ) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @01:03PM (#33303580) Journal

    Funny you should say this (about religion).
    We are nominally Christian. A friend who is much more religious than us urged us to read the Bible to our kids. Thinking it couldn't be a bad thing, we get a Bible and looked through it. HOLY S! I would *never* read these stories to my kids. They are full of the sickest violence and perversions imaginable. There's incest, rape, murder, revenge, and overall a very callous attitude towards extracting violent revenge and causing misery. We told our friend that if the cover didn't say 'Bible' on it she would never allow any of her kids to hear stories like this.

    We tried cleaning up a story. We took the story of 'Lot' and skipped over the part about the townspeople wanting to rape the angels staying with Lot. We skipped over the part about Lot offering to give his daughters to the townspeople to rape instead of the angels (a tempting offer, I'm sure, since Lot told them they were virgins). We skipped over the part where Lot's daughters got him drunk and had sex with their father so they could get pregnant (seriously WTF?! If you tried to make a movie of this without the name 'Lot' on it the religious right would freak). We only told that Lot left the city and his wife looked back and God turned her into a pillar of salt.

    My kids laughed and laughed at how stupid the story was and how mean and nasty God was in the story. They started playing 'I caught you peeking, ZAP I turn you into salt! HAHAHA! It turned into a game of Simon-Says where if you missed an instruction you got turned into salt.'

    Maybe I should show them the movie 'Saw' next, but I'll write 'Holy' on the cover to make it ok.

  • by IndustrialComplex ( 975015 ) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @01:24PM (#33303926)

    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

    I understand, but isn't it just easier to just get rid of the damned refused classification all together?

    Is there such a difference between someone 15+ and 18? Here is my worry:

    Right now you have HUGE support because Refused Classification is a HUGE category of things being literally banned.

    Let's say you cut that down to 18+ but add a few restrictions onto that, some rather nasty restrictions but less than what exists now.

    As a result they will have divided your group into people that were mostly pissed at the old system, but accepting of the new system. But still a large (but now smaller) group of people who are still royally pissed at the still existing censorship.

    The opposition has been reduced, and the politicians still get to censor. We know how these things generally operate, and once made 'taboo' things rarely come off the list. Especially when it requires a political vote to remove it from the list. It's easier to ignore it.

  • by interval1066 ( 668936 ) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @02:25PM (#33304866) Homepage Journal
    I've been frequently surprised by the Australian Govs at time puritanical, at times "Big Brother" attitude with new technology and its social impact. I've spent time with Aussies in Japan, mostly meeting them at bars and they seemed to be quite good folk. Then I hear about this stuff and I have to ask "Are these really the same people?"

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