Australian Classification Board Turns To IARC To Streamline Ratings Process

March 11, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

The Australian Government announced this week that it would trial for one year a new system to speed up ratings for entertainment products. The Australian Classification Board will work in conjunction with International Age Ratings Coalition to use its ratings to streamline the process. A trial period will begin next month, and will be overseen by the Classification Board. The announcement was made by Michael Keenan, the Minister for Justice.

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Is Netflix Being Hypocritical About Net Neutrality in Australia?

March 4, 2015 - James Fudge

In the United States one of the strongest corporate proponents of the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rules is video content streaming company Netflix, but a new deal in Australia is raising the eyebrows of some rights groups who say the deal is hypocritical.

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Australia Considering 'Three-Strikes' Copyright Enforcement System

February 20, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

According to this TorrentFreak report, Australian Internet service providers have caved in to pressure from the Australian government to create a system to deal with copyright infringers and file-sharers. A group of Australian ISPs this week published proposals (a 34-page document called the "Copyright Notice Scheme Industry Code") to deal with the issue of online piracy - drafted with the help of entertainment companies, apparently.

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'Mortal Kombat X' Rated R18+ in Australia

February 3, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

The Australian Classification Board has rated Mortal Kombat X the highest rating it can give under its present system: R18+. The game, set for launch in late April worldwide, was given the rating due to "high impact violence, blood and gore, online interactivity."

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'Hotline Miami 2' Designer To Australian Gamer: 'Just Pirate It'

January 16, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

If you are worried that you won't be able to play Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number in Australia due to it being refused classification in the country by the Australian Classification Board, then perhaps Hotline Miami 2 designer Jonatan Söderström (from Dennaton Games) has an answer you might like: just pirate it. At least that is what he told one fan who emailed him and offered to send him money directly to get his hands on the game when it is released later this year.

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'Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number' Refused Classification in Australia

January 15, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number has been refused classification in Australia, according to this Kotaku Australia report. A report by the Australian Classification Board explains why the game was refused classification, or given an "RC," effectively banning it from being sold in Australia. The scene in question involves implied sexual violence:

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Take-Two President: If you don't like 'GTA V,' don't buy it

December 9, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Speaking at the BMO Capital Markets 2014 Technology & Digital Media Conference (as chronicled by GII) today, Take-Two president Karl Slatoff said that those pushing to get Grand Theft Auto V banned in Australia should simply not buy the game if they don't like it, not get it banned from store shelves.

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Kmart Australia Joins Target Australia in Pulling 'GTA V' From Stores Shelves

December 4, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Kmart Australia has joined Target Australia in pulling Grand Theft Auto V from stores shelves in the country. This is not surprising considering that Wesfarmers owns both Kmart Australia and Target Australia. Still, this news is likely disheartening to Take Two, who issued a statement expressing its disappointment in Target yesterday.

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Take-Two CEO Expresses Disappointment in Target Australia's Decision to Remove 'GTA V' From Stores

December 3, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick has expressed deep disappointment in Target Australia's decision to pull Grad Theft Auto V from its store shelves after an online petition specifically targeted the retailer over stocking the game. That petition on Change.org called for the retailer to pull the game over first-person interactions with sex workers (mostly viewed from YouTube videos showing sex with a prostitute followed by a murder in first-person view).

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Target Australia Pulls 'Grand Theft Auto V' From Store Shelves

December 3, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

It looks like a Change.org petition has garnered enough attention to get Grand Theft Auto V  pulled off store shelves at one major retailer in Australia, according to a GamesBeat report.

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Netflix Coming to Australia and New Zealand in Q1 2015

November 19, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The BBC reports that Netflix will expand its reach to Australia and New Zealand in March of 2015. The company said that it will expand to these new regions in the first quarter of next year and will have two new original series - Marco Polo and BoJack Horseman - ready to watch when the service goes live there. Pricing and programming available for Australia and New Zealand will be announced at a later date.

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Study: Active Games No Better Than Traditional Games For Children

October 16, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

New research coming out of Australia suggest that playing active video games or banning traditional games outright does not help children who live sedentary lifestyles. Traditional and active play games make little difference to how physically active children are throughout the day, says Professor Leon Straker from Curtin University's School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science.

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Melbourne Murder Trial Testimony Focuses on 'Call of Duty Training'

October 14, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Testimony in the trial of a 19-year-old from Melbourne, Australia man who stabbed a homeless person to death in January after an altercation, seems to be trying to create the defense that Call of Duty had a strong influence on the defendant's state of mind. Easton George Woodhead is facing a murder charge for repeatedly stabbing Morgan Wayne "Mousey" Perry at an encampment of homeless people living on the banks of Melbourne's Yarra River.

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'Stop The Spies' Hopes to Kill Australia's 'Mandatory Data Retention' Bill

October 7, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is shining a spotlight this week on a new Australian bill that would make it so that Internet service providers in the country would have to collect and store personal user data and give law enforcement agencies access to it for up to two years. The unnamed bill, currently being referred to as the "mandatory data retention bill," will be introduced to the Australian federal parliament during the week of October 27.

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Xbox 360 Gets Price Cut in Australia

September 29, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Microsoft Australia has announced that it will slash the prices of several Xbox 360 models beginning on October 1. The 250GB model and the 250GB Kinect console bundle, will both see a price cut of around $100.

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Uncensored Version of 'Left 4 Dead 2' Now Available in Australia

September 15, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The uncensored PC version of Left 4 Dead 2 is finally available to consumers in Australia via Steam today (thanks Blue's News). The uncensored version of Valve's co-op zombie survival shooter sequel now carries an R18+ rating and is for sale - for a limited time - for 75 percent off its normal asking price.

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Sunshine Coast Researcher Seeks Data On Games That Empower Girls

September 11, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

A researcher from the University of the Sunshine Coast (Queensland, Australia) is investigating the theory that video games can empower girls by promoting positive female identities and deliver affirmative outcomes in the lives of teenage girls.

International PhD student Katryna Starks from Los Angeles said her thesis "Game Chang(h)er: Exploring the video game design elements that may impact the agency and identity of adolescent girls," focuses on female gamers, a demographic that is not fully catered to in game design.

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'Left 4 Dead 2' Finally Gets R18+ Rating in Australia

September 2, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The PC version of first-person cooperative zombie survival game Left 4 Dead 2 has finally been reclassified in Australia with an R18+ rating (thanks Cheater87). The game, now has warnings for "high impact violence," "strong impact themes," and "mild impact language."

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Australian Consumer Watch Dog Group Sues Valve Over Steam Refund Policy

August 29, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

GamesBeat reports that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has taken Valve Software to court over its "no refunds" policy on Steam.

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Australian Government Quietly Discussing New Ways to Combat Piracy

July 25, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

A leaked document from the Australian government reveals discussion points on implementing a potential online piracy crackdown. Among them, changing the law to bypass a 2012 court ruling by an Australian court that protected ISP iiNet from suffering for the infringements of its users, and new legislation to allow for ISP-level blocking of alleged 'pirate' sites.

Much of this is coming from Attorney-General George Brandis, but he faces the usual accusations about a lack of transparency during the preliminary phase of discussions by digital rights groups.

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Report: Western Australian Amendment Meddles With R18+ Rating

July 7, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

On January 1, Australia finally and officially implemented an R18+ classification for games - something the government took a very long time to put in place. The goal of the rating was to allow games rated "Mature" elsewhere in the world to have a similar rating in Australia.

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'Watch Dogs' PR Stunt Leads to News Station Evacuation

May 28, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

A public relations stunt to drum up publicity for Watch Dogs went awry, instead leading to a bomb squad showing up in an Australian news station earlier in the week, according to Kotaku. The PR stunt consisted of a package, which arrived at the offices of Ninemsn. It contained a letter and a small safe.

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Australia's Classification Review Board to Merge With Three Other Review Tribunals

May 14, 2014 - Andrew Eisen

Hey, remember that scene in the movie "Dave" where Kevin Kline's character tries to balance the budget by getting rid of a bunch of redundant or useless government programs?

Australia seems to be trying something similar.

According to The ABC, on top of 40 government bodies already slated for closure, a further 36 will be abolished with many other organizations set to be merged in order to save nearly $500 million.

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Australian Government Redirects $10 Million Meant for Australian Interactive Games Fund

May 13, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Gamasutra reports that the Australian government will shut down the Australian Interactive Games Fund on July 1st, backing away from a pledge to support Australia's game industry by investing $20 million in federal funds into the sector to fund local game development.

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Australia Considers Automating Classification Process for Games, Film and TV

May 7, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

While Australia's government pushes for an automated solution to speed up the work of the Classification Board (the government ratings agency in charge of classifying ratings for games and other forms of entertainment) in the country, civil liberties groups and anti-pornography groups in the country are sounding alarm bells.

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Researchers Zero In On Gaming Addiction Treatments

April 29, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Researchers at the University of Adelaide (Australia) are shedding light on the unique problems of supposed "gaming addiction," saying that there is "strong evidence" to suggest that new treatments should be developed for these conditions. One of the biggest problems researchers face is that both Internet and gaming addictions are not recognized globally by mental health professionals as "real addictions." Gambling and sex addictions, for example, are recognized and treatable conditions.

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Research: The Impact of Video Games on Teen School Grades is Almost Negligible

April 14, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Using worldwide scholastic results, researchers at Flinders University in South Australia have come to the conclusion that video games do not have a negative impact on the academic performance of adolescents.

Researchers analyzed data from than 192,000 students in 22 countries and found that academic performance and concentration among teenagers were not impacted by video game play.

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Australian Government Proposes Reforms to National Classification Scheme

March 20, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The Australian government is tweaking its National Classification Scheme, by putting forth new legislation that makes the process of classifying content such as mobile and online games faster and more cost effective. For example, new proposals will make it so that films released in multiple formats (for example, 3D versions) won't have to go through the classification process twice. The legislation will also remove the need for reclassification when minor changes are made to video games such as software updates or bug fixes, or when new but minor content is added.

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Australian Man Charged With Hacking Unnamed U.S. Video Game Company

March 20, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

A Queensland, Australia man accused of allegedly infiltrating and comprising an unnamed video game company's computer network located in the United States has been charged after a joint investigation between local police and the FBI, according to the Brisbane Times.

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Ubisoft and The Australian Classification Board Explain Why Watch Dogs Was Reclassified R18+

March 17, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Both Ubisoft and the Australian Classification Board have issued statements explaining why Watch Dogs was reclassified in the region as an R18+ game.

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ConsterWho's this "Anitia Skeeter" person you speak of?04/01/2015 - 5:31pm
Matthew Wilsonfatal frame coming to the US04/01/2015 - 5:25pm
ZippyDSMleeIanC: Not really but if that keeps you warm at night then well...its not me dealing with all that hatred daily :P04/01/2015 - 4:57pm
ZippyDSMleehttp://arstechnica.com/gaming/2015/03/it-felt-like-robbery-tomb-raider-and-the-fall-of-core-design/04/01/2015 - 4:55pm
james_fudgeIanC: or she doesn't like to be called every name in the book.04/01/2015 - 4:51pm
Matthew Wilson@IanC I may not like her work, but I recagnize that people were harassing her in the comets, so no I do not blame her for clossing them.04/01/2015 - 4:49pm
IanCAnitia Skeeter won't allow comments because she doesn't like debate.04/01/2015 - 4:46pm
Sora-ChanTestTube did a video on the Trans-Pascific Partnership https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7W4Zc55pCtY04/01/2015 - 4:06pm
ZippyDSMleepicking up The Feminist Wire , Mary Sue and Feminist frequency , a shame FF had to close down comments, I tend to drop anyhting that dose not allow comments these days but as seeing how much spam and trolling they get I will it slide.04/01/2015 - 4:03pm
ZippyDSMleeOkay now that I can understand, I was focusing on total outcome not just reinforcement.So its about reinforcement of poor feelings/behavior than anything else..now I get it....uhg forest for the trees.....04/01/2015 - 3:51pm
Andrew EisenBut again, to be clear, that does not mean consuming violent media will make you violent.04/01/2015 - 3:46pm
Andrew EisenZippy - Not totally sure what you're getting at but it's the same idea that when our fiction is full of stories where violence is the solution to everything, it helps reinforce the idea that violence is the answer in real life.04/01/2015 - 3:46pm
Andrew EisenAlso, just in case anyone wasn't clear on this, Sarkeesian's argument in her latest video is that we "need more women-centric stories of all kinds." That's it.04/01/2015 - 3:44pm
ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen Okay so would that be like violence something that has a loose tie to the real world, or would that be an oversimplification?04/01/2015 - 3:43pm
Andrew EisenThe Mary Sue reports on all kinds of fun, geeky stuff from news to movies, video games, comics, science and more.04/01/2015 - 3:42pm
ZippyDSMleeAnyone know of any fun/comedic feminist blogs that keep up with news?04/01/2015 - 3:42pm
Andrew EisenYes, kind of. Repeatedly hammering home that men are the default and women are the exception can help reinforce that idea in real life. Does that mean playing fantasy games staring male leads is going to make an individual a raging misogynist? No.04/01/2015 - 3:41pm
ZippyDSMleeThe trouble wiht twitter and FB is they give inconstant updates to those you follow and RSS feeds never worked well for me, guess I will put in my news stuff and skim it like the rest when I have time..04/01/2015 - 3:38pm
ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen:So a wide use of generic tropes about male leads makes it easier for males to dominate females, and females feel lesser beings in real life?04/01/2015 - 3:36pm
E. Zachary KnightZippy, they have an RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr. All links are in the side bar of their site: http://www.feministfrequency.com/04/01/2015 - 3:35pm
 

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