Web filters to censor video games
reports the Australian government is
considering web-filtering sites that sell games that do not meet its local MA15+
rating as well as sites that host Flash
games that violate this
standard (thanks Akkinokage). This is a step backward for gamers who have held
out hope that the AU would add an R18+ rating to allow the sale of adult games
to adults. The story adds a related note that Minister Stephen Conroy and the
Australian Government have been nominated for
Internet Industry Awards 2009
. Here's a bit presenting various viewpoints on
Senator Conroy's spokesman said the filter would cover "computer
games such as web-based flash games and downloadable games, if a complaint is
received and the content is determined by ACMA to be Refused Classification".
All games that exceed MA15+ are deemed to be RC.
The filtering could also block "the importation of physical copies of computer
games sold over the internet which have been classified RC", the spokesman said.
Ron Curry, chief executive of the IEAA, said the move highlighted the
"unacceptable situation" of not having an R18+ classification for video games.
The industry has been fighting for changes to classification laws for years.
"It's through the introduction of an R18+ classification that adults will have
access to age appropriate material and parents will have the full tool kit to
understand the suitability of content for their children," he said.
Mark Newton, an ISP engineer and internet filtering critic, said the move to
extend the filtering to computer games would place a cloud over online-only
games such as World of Warcraft and Second Life, which aren't classified in
Australia due to their online nature.