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.
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.
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."
GamesBeat reports that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has taken Valve Software to court over its "no refunds" policy on Steam.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Watch Dogs has been reclassified in Australia and will come with more content warnings when it is released this Spring, according to CVG. The open-world hacking-themed action game was originally classified by the Australian Classification Board in September last year with a rating of MA15+.
Microsoft's chief marketing and strategy officer Yusuf Mehdi announced that a limited edition Titanfall Xbox One bundle will be released on March 11 in the United States. The bundle offers the standard edition Xbox One console, Kinect peripheral, wireless controller and headset, a download code for Titanfall and a voucher for one month of Xbox Live Gold. The bundle is available to pre-order at participating retailers and will cost $499.99.
According to a report in the New York Times, the National Security Agency knew in 2013 that the Australian spy agency, the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), was conducting surveillance on a U.S.-based law firm representing the Indonesian government in a trade dispute with the U.S. government. The dispute was over the United States banning the import of clove cigarettes into the U.S. from Indonesia.
On this week's show hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about Sony's PlayStation Now streaming service, Sony Online Entertainment's all access MMO pass, Ultimate Gay Fighter, and South Australia's government being pressured into getting rid of anti-game billboards. Download Episode 83 now: SuperPAC Episode 83 (1 hour, 8 minutes) 78.5 MB.
The International Game Developers association passed a long a statement praising the South Australian government for its decision to take down billboard ads which compared gaming to gambling. On December 18 the international organization joined Australian video games trade group the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA) in its vocal opposition to the ads, which both groups called anti-game propaganda.
Australians hoping that the new R18+ ratings system would finally allow them to play the same games the rest of the world is playing (save Germany, which has an even stricter system in place) will be sad to hear that the version of South Park: The Stick of Truth they'll get will be a modified experience.
While the news media in Australia is using headlines about how a man accused of murder was playing a violent video game prior to allegedly committing the crime, the unnamed game is never mentioned in court as some sort of catalyst or influence to the events that unfolded outside of an Ambarvale home in south-west Sydney on June 20, 2012. Nevertheless, that hasn't stopped Sky News from using the headline, "Stabbing 'followed violent video game.'"
A new report commissioned by the Australian video game industry trade group Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA) reveals that seven in 10 Australians play video games and 86 percent of parents who buy video games play those games with their children. The Digital Australia 2014 report also reveals that Australian households have at least one device for playing video games in the home.
Crowd funding service Kickstarter will soon be available in Australia and New Zealand, allowing projects of all shapes and sizes to pitch to the public at large. Kickstarter will officially launch in these new regions on November 13 and those interested in starting projects to be ready for the service's launch can get started now.
South Australia Attorney General John Rau recently told the Australian Broadcasting Network (ABC) that the country's new video game classification (R18+, which went into effect in January of this year) rules are not being applied properly to games and the ratings process needs further scrutiny from the country's policy makers.
EB Games Australia has apologized publicly for a Grand Theft Auto V publicity stunt at one of its stores. Apparently a Grand Theft Auto V display in one of its Queensland stores used sherbert as fake cocaine.
"Regrettably, one of our EB Games store locations in Queensland set-up an unauthorised display within the store in support of the launch of the Grand Theft Auto V video game," Debra McGrath, EB's national brand, events and marketing manager said.
During its Tokyo Game Show press conference today in Japan, Sony Computer Entertainment president Andrew House said that his company wants to sell five million PlayStation 4 consoles in the first four months of availability. Sony hopes to hit this goal before the end of its 2013 fiscal year, which closes at the end of March 2014.
"Our plan is to sell 5 million PS4s by the end of 2013," House said.