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Australia plans to block online access to games above a MA-15+

Friday, 26th June 2009 17:54 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

australia

Australia’s federal government plans to block websites that contain games that are unclassified or have what is considered riskier than an MA-15+ rating, and the censorship will apply to all age groups.

A spokesperson for Communications Minister Stephen Conroy told the Sydney Morning Herald that all Flash and downloadable games as well as online retailers that sell boxed copies of MA-15+ games via mail order will be filtered.

“This is confirmation that the scope of the mandatory censorship scheme will keep on creeping,” said Colin Jacobs of online lobbyist group Electronic Frontiers Australia.

“Far from being the ultimate weapon against child abuse, it now will officially censor content deemed too controversial for a 15-year-old. In a free country like ours, do we really need the government to step in and save us from racy web games?”

The Interactive Entertainment Association of Australia has stated that this new plan is the direct cause of not having a 18+ rating for games, and such a situation could affect players of MMOs like WoW and Second Life because online games are unclassified.

“That [online games] exemption [on content ratings] is the only reason why multiplayer games with user-generated environments are possible in this country,” said Mark Newton, an ISP engineer. “Without it, it’d only take one game user anywhere in the world to produce objectionable content in the game environment to make the Australian Government ban the game for everyone.”

This is all over the place. Read more about it on GI.biz, GamePolitics, and TheAge.

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6 Comments

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  1. Hunam

    Bunch of mentalists. Makes me kind of proud that the government in the UK has only ever tried to ban 2 games… and failed both times.

    #1 5 years ago
  2. Phoenixblight

    Its a beautiful place but its things like this that keeps me from living there. Couldn’t pay 100 million dollars to live there. Their rules and censorship are out of hand.

    #2 5 years ago
  3. Razor

    And I thought the UK was mental…

    #3 5 years ago
  4. deftangel

    Boo! I told you this 5 hours ago :D

    http://www.vg247.com/forum/topic.php?id=66&page=15#post-4697

    Governments are going after ISP’s to filter the net all over the place, be it for piracy or censorship. Not that it’ll be entirely practical but this sort of thing will be going on mooted increasingly in the next couple of years.

    #4 5 years ago
  5. freedoms_stain

    No government should ever, ever, ever even think about censorship of this level for adults EVER.

    It’s tantamount to thought police, and it won’t work, there’ll be a backlash.

    #5 5 years ago
  6. jnms

    Amazing how goverments keep blocking Internet access, when the entire ‘platform’ has nothing to do with them. It isn’t ‘theirs’.

    #6 5 years ago