Australian Government moves to block banned game imports

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The Australian Government has promised to use its new nation-wide internet censorship regime to block sites hosting and selling games unsuitable for 15-year-olds. Australia does not issue an 18-certificate for games, meaning that anything that can’t get a 15 rating is simply banned.

So far that law has only applied to physical retail copies of games but it’s now been confirmed that Australia’s internet filtering will be extended to downloadable games, web games and sites which sell physical copies of games that the government deems unfit for consumption.

The average age of an Australian gamer is 30 years old, but now even a mature adult will be unable to purchase games with more adult themes at all. In contrast, very few films and books with ‘over 18’ themes are banned or censored..

Colin Jacobs, spokesman for the online users’ lobby group Electronic Frontiers Australia, said the Government has gone beyond its mandate to help parents deal with cyber-safety. “Far from being the ultimate weapon against child abuse, [the mandatory censorship scheme] will 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?”

Some games that have been banned or partially censored in Australia include Fallout 3, F.E.A.R. 2, Dark Sector, The Getaway, Postal 2, Manhunt 1 & 2, Silent Hill: Homecoming, The Punisher and every 3D Grand Theft Auto game.

Image courtesy of Larry West Productions