Report: NSA Gave Blessing to Australia's ASD to Spy on U.S. Law Firm

February 17, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 83

January 13, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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IGDA Applauds South Australian Government's Decision to Take Down Anti-Videogame Billboards

January 10, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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Report: Australians Getting Censored Version of South Park: The Stick of Truth

December 18, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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Australian Media Plays Up 'Violent Video Game' Angle in Murder Trial Coverage

November 20, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

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.'"

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Research: Playing Games Improves Children's Emotional Well-Being, Helps Families Bond

November 14, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

According to a new study by the Queensland University of Technology, playing video games improves children's emotional, social, and psychological well-being. The study also finds that playing video games together as a family can help build stronger family bonds.

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Report: Seven in Ten Australians Play Video Games

October 21, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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Kickstarter Launching in Australia and New Zealand in November

October 16, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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South Australian Attorney General Wants to Scrutinize Ratings Classification Board

September 20, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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EB Games Australia Apologizes for Fake Cocaine Display to Promote GTA V Launch

September 19, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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Sony Aims to Sell Five Million PS4s by March 2014

September 19, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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'Whore of the Orient' Takes Heat for 'Racially Insensitive' Title

September 3, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

A prominent member of the Australian-Chinese community is speaking out against "Whore of the Orient," the latest game from L.A. Noire creator Brendan McNamara and Australian development studio Kennedy Miller Mitchell.

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No Wii U Price Cut for Australia

August 30, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

This week Nintendo of America announced that it plans on knocking $50 off the retail price of its Wii U console in September and that it would launch a special Wind Waker HD Limited Edition Wii U Bundle that includes the game, the Wii U console, a specially branded Zelda gamepad, and a digital copy of the Hyrule Historia book.

While America is getting all of this, apparently Australia is getting a big fat goose egg.

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Gold Farmer Converts $75K Worth of Virtual Gold to Bars, Gets Robbed

August 13, 2013 -

Australian nurse Katrina Fincham had struck it big by playing World of Warcraft. After earning around $75,000 by farming and selling gold in the popular MMORPG from Blizzard, she decided to convert that cold hard cash into cold hard gold bullion. After doing that she put it in her wall safe at her Adelaide home. All was right with the world, but then something horrible happened: her house was robbed and her wall safe was emptied!

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Sony Australia in $53 Million Dispute with the Australian Taxation Office

August 9, 2013 -

Sony Australia is in a dispute with the Australian Taxation Office over $53 million AUD, which comes from five years of tax adjustments (back taxes owed and penalties) that the company believes are in error. A Sony Computer Entertainment Australia spokesperson confirmed the news with GameSpot, but added that its PlayStation business in Australia has not been affected by it. Sony is appealing the assessment.

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IGEA CEO: Get Rid of Australian Classification Board

August 2, 2013 -

The Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA), the trade group representing the interactive entertainment industry in Australia, thinks that the rating system there is a mess and that the board that oversees it is more a hindrance than a help.

IGEA CEO Ron Curry says that the whole system needs to be overhauled because the classification system is dysfunctional and administered by a handful of government bureaucrats. He thinks that the system needs a serious revamp and that it needs to be administered by members of the industry instead.

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Saint's Row IV Secures MA15+ Rating in Australia

August 2, 2013 -

After being refused classification and losing an appeal on the first submission, Saint's Row IV has finally managed to secure a rating in Australia by the Australian Classification Board. After a modified version of the game was resubmitted, the Australian Classification Board classified the game as MA15+. At issue was a mission that contained the use of "alien narcotics" which improved the super powers of players for a limited time within the game. Publisher Deep Silver and developer Volition decided to remove the mission from the game.

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GTA V Rated R18+ for Australia

August 1, 2013 -

Take Two Interactive's and Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto V passed through the Australian Classification Board review process and survived, earning an R18+ rating for the region. Many were concerned that the game might end up getting refused classification on its first pass through the process much like Saint's Row IV and State of Decay did earlier this year. Saint's Row IV still remains effectively banned in the region, even after the game went through a second review earlier this week.

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Poll: What Do You Think of Australia’s Proposal to Ban Region Locked Consoles?

July 31, 2013 -

You may have noticed that video game prices in Australia are much higher than most everywhere else.  If you haven't noticed...

Video game prices in Australia are much higher than most everywhere else.

It's true, so long as they weren't banned, your favorite titles can run you 50 to 100 percent more Down Under than Up Over and that sucks.  Well, it sucks for Australians.  I live in America, but I am nothing if not empathetic so I feel for my gaming brethren with the funny accents.

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Australian Classification Board Reaffirms 'Refused Classification' Status for Saints Row 4

July 29, 2013 -

It looks like the unedited version of Saint's Row IV will not manage to get an R18+ rating in Australia. Re-reviewing the original decision, a three-person panel of the Australian Classification Review Board reaffirmed the ban and refused to classify the game. This effectively bans the sale of the game in the region on all platforms.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 62

July 29, 2013 -

On this week's show (Episode 62) hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about the very public meltdown and rage-quit of Fez developer Phil Fish, Nintendo's decision to remove content from the next Super Smash Bros. game because of the Internet, Australia's hypocrisy when it comes to game ratings and drugs; and the results of last week's poll on Game Politics. Download Episode 62 now: SuperPAC Episode 62 (1 hour, 1 minute) 56.5 MB.

Is Taking Drugs in a Game Worse Than Selling Them? The Australian Classification Board Seems to Think So

July 26, 2013 -

The Australian Classification Board has refused classification on several games in recent weeks because they featured interactive drug use, but as web site Stevivor points out (thanks to Cheater87 for the link), different rules seem to apply to making and selling drugs.

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Saint's Row 4 to be Resubmitted to Australian Classification Board Next Week

July 22, 2013 -

You may recall that way back in June that Saints Row IV was officially the first game to be refused classification under the new ratings system in Australia. The Classification Board rejected the game (effectively issuing a ban on the sale of it in the region) because it contained content that the board felt was above and beyond the highest rating a game can get in the country - R18+.

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State of Decay Gets R18+ Rating in Australia

July 12, 2013 -

Undead Labs' zombie-survival action game State of Decay is no longer banned in Australia. The game has been granted an R18+ adult rating by the Classification Board, paving the way for it to be sold in Australia. Undead Labs resubmitted a modified version of the game that removed and replaced the contents that the Board found to be beyond the pale - interactive drug use that directly benefited gameplay.

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Research: Violent Games Do Not Adversely Affect Prosocial Behavior

July 5, 2013 -

The results of research conducted by Morgan Tear and Mark Nielsen from the University of Queensland (Australia) concludes that playing violent video games does not diminish prosocial behavior (in other words, it doesn't make participants anti-social as some research has claimed). The results of the research was recently published in the journal PLOS ONE.

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Undead Labs Resubmits State of Decay to Australian Classification Board

July 3, 2013 -

GameSpot Australia is reporting that Undead Labs has resubmitted its zombie themed action game State of Decay to the Australian Classification Board.

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State of Decay Refused Ratings Classification in Australia

June 26, 2013 -

Undead Labs' State of Decay is the second game to be refused classification in Australia under the country's new ratings system. The game was refused classification because it includes interactive drug use that "aids in gameplay progression," or rewards the player for engaging in drug use.

Writing on the Undead Labs forum, executive producer Jeff Strain shared the bad news with fans.

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Australian Classification Board Reveals Specific in Saints Row IV Ruling

June 26, 2013 -

Yesterday we reported that Saints Row IV had earned the dubious distinction of being the very first game to be refused classification under Australia's new age rating system for games. Now GameSpot has figured out exactly what got the game banned. Two things managed to get the game bumped from an expected R18+ rating to basically being banned in Australia.

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Saints Row IV Refused Classification in Australia

June 25, 2013 -

Saints Row IV earns the dubious distinction of being the very first game to be refused classification under Australia's new age rating system for games. The ratings board announced that Saints Row IV "includes interactive, visual depictions of implied sexual violence which are not justified by context. In addition, the game includes elements of illicit or proscribed drug use related to incentives or rewards. Such depictions are prohibited by the computer games guidelines."

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Australian Video Game Researchers Seek Common Ground to Improve Future Research

June 7, 2013 -

Monash University researcher Dr. Andy Ruddock from the School of English, Communications and Performance Studies and Brendan Keogh from the School of Media and Communication at RMIT (both in Australia, in case you didn't know) will host a seminar to discuss how better collaboration between media effects researchers and games studies researchers can find common ground and work together to improve understanding on the effects of violent video games on real world behavior.

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Will an M rating hurt Batman: Arkham Knight's sales?:

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ZippyDSMleeEh still rather subjective… the haters would be better off going after teen and beauty rags and magazines than fiction, fiction follows reality and going after fiction tends to turn into a bullying fest’s… plus its fiction its unrealistic to start with….02/27/2015 - 1:10am
MechaTama31That's a pretty difficult anatomy to break.02/26/2015 - 11:09pm
MechaTama31"the way her animations repeatedly break her anatomy" <-- I'm sorry, but we are talking here about the woman who can roll up into a little ball and live to tell the tale, yes? ;)02/26/2015 - 11:09pm
Andrew EisenAs far as examples that could be culled from female game characters though, that one's pretty mild.02/26/2015 - 9:11pm
Andrew EisenNot as much the heels or the suit in and of themselves but certainly the way her animations repeatedly break her anatomy to show off her lady bits.02/26/2015 - 9:10pm
E. Zachary KnightWell, Samus's heels are certainly impracticable, but I wouldn't really call her Zero suit objectified. I don't really feel that the new Lara Croft is objectified either, but that is my subjective opinion.02/26/2015 - 9:08pm
Andrew EisenTomb Raider: No but we haven't seen much of anything yet. Samus: Yes.02/26/2015 - 9:07pm
ZippyDSMleeWould you call the new tomb raider objectified? WOuld Samus Aran from the new Smash bros be objectified?02/26/2015 - 9:02pm
WonderkarpI'm hoping they put the rest of the comic book ghostbusters in there. Ortiz and Rookie(From GB the game)02/26/2015 - 8:38pm
Wonderkarpghostbusters board game is doing great. getting close too a 3rd extra playable Character. Ron Alexander.02/26/2015 - 8:37pm
Andrew EisenSmurfette is not subjective. If there's more than one female character, it's not Smurfette. Anyway, as with everything on the list, Smurfette is, in and of itself, not necessarily a bad thing.02/26/2015 - 8:32pm
Andrew EisenI think there's 5 women (out of 15, I think) but other than one being a bit more "hippy" than the others, they pretty much all have the same body type. Especially when compaired to the huge variety of male body types.02/26/2015 - 8:31pm
Wonderkarpso I dont see Smurfette as a bad thing. Unless like all your female characters are Smurfette. remember the Smurfs also had Sassette02/26/2015 - 8:29pm
E. Zachary KnightOne good example of the larger issues is one Anita used in the presentation, Blizzard's Overwatch game. There are a dozen men in the game with a dozen body types. But there are only 4 women with 2 body types, but 3 of them have the same one.02/26/2015 - 8:28pm
Wonderkarpthe smurfette thing is subjective to how many female characters you have. Take Sonic for example. You have Amy, who is obvious smurfette, but there's several other female characters now without that. Including the original animated seriescomics with Sally02/26/2015 - 8:28pm
E. Zachary KnightAE. Very true. I think that is where I was going, but it didn't come out right. Jack Harkness is sexy but not objectified. Whereas, a women would have to be objectified in order to be "sexy" in most games.02/26/2015 - 8:26pm
E. Zachary KnightAnd as Andrew pointed out, there is a big difference between a sexualized man, and an idealized man. But for some reason, there is no distinction between women in games. For the most part.02/26/2015 - 8:25pm
Andrew EisenI think one of the issues we run into repeatedly with these conversations is the confusion over "sexy" and "sexually objectified."02/26/2015 - 8:24pm
E. Zachary KnightYet, for some reason, in orde rto have a sexualized women, she must be wearing lingerie or a bikini. Can't women be sexual and still dress for the job at hand?02/26/2015 - 8:24pm
E. Zachary KnightThe problem I have with complaints of "sexualized men" is that men don't have to wear speedos to be sexualized. Captain Jack Harkness from Torchwood/Doctor Who, was one sexy man, but he spent 99% of his time in a WW2 soldier's trenchcoat.02/26/2015 - 8:23pm
 

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