Research: Majority of AU and NZ Parents See Games as Learning Tools

April 30, 2012 -

Parents in New Zealand and Australia are embracing the idea that video games can serve as great tools to engage and educate children, according to new research commissioned by the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (iGEA).

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High Court of Australia Rules Against Hollywood Studios

April 20, 2012 -

In a major setback for rights holders doing business in Australia, the High Court of Australia has ruled that Internet providers have no legal obligation to act on copyright infringement notices sent to them by rights holders. The court ruled that copyright infringement notices provide no "reasonable basis for sending warning notices to individual customers containing threats to suspend or terminate those customers' accounts."

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South Australia to Keep MA15+ Rating

April 3, 2012 -

South Australia will introduce a new law that would ban anyone under the age of 18 from purchasing a game with a rating of MA15+, according to a report from Gamespot Australia. A spokesperson for South Australian Attorney-General John Rau told GameSpot that this move is "a more practical measure" than Rau's previously announced plan of removing the MA15+ category altogether.

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Australian Capital Takes R18+ Rating for a Test Drive

March 27, 2012 -

It’s been a long time coming but Australia is finally getting the adult rating for video games that Aussie gamers have been clamoring for.  You know, the adult rating that movies and books in that country already have.

Ahem.

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Australia's R18+ Legislation Passes Lower House

March 20, 2012 -

Australia's R18+ legislation has passed the House of Representatives, with advocates hoping that it will be adopted by the Senate at some point. This puts the adult classification that most Australian citizens have been asking for multiple years on track to becoming law by early 2013. In order for it to pass through the Senate, the bill will require the support of either the coalition or the Greens (both support the R18+ classification). Once it passes the Senate, the R18+ legislation will become law.

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Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Defends ACTA

March 19, 2012 -

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has deflected criticism that the government's ratification of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) will lead to internet service providers being forced to play the role of copyright police, among other criticisms about the treaty. The agency claims that ACTA wouldn't require changes to Australian law as it is today.

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Australian Law Reform Commission: Game Industry Should Self-Regulate

March 5, 2012 -

The Australian Law Reform Commission is proposing a voluntary system where only games with a rating of MA15+ content or above would have to be classified by the Australian government. The Commission also suggested that all classification ratings for various forms of entertainment should become consistent across all forms of media. That is the conclusion of the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) Classification-Content Regulation and Convergent Media report that was commissioned late last year by Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland.

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Australia's R18+ Ratings Bill Sent to Inquiry Hearing

February 16, 2012 -

According to a Kotaku Australia report, the R18+ ratings bill has hit a slight snag in the Australia Parliament. According to a tweet from Ed Husic, MP for Chifley, the Coalition government has asked that the R18+ bill be sent for an inquiry. Under the rules, if one MP calls for an inquiry on a proposed bill, it must undergo further scrutiny by a Standing Committee.

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Australian R18+ Classification to Take Effect January 1, 2013

February 15, 2012 -

According to the Australian government, gamers in the country can expect the adult-level R18+ classification for video games to be in place by January 1, 2013 (thanks to Cheater87). As promised, Federal Minister for Home Affairs Jason Clare introduced the R18+ bill in parliament yesterday and announced that the federal government expects the R18+ for games legislation to officially come into effect next year.

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R18+ Ratings Classification Heading to Australia's Parliament

February 14, 2012 -

Australia's Federal Minister for Home Affairs Jason Clare announced last month tentative plans to continue the work of former Federal Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O'Connor in introducing an R18+ adult ratings classification for video games to lawmakers. At the time he said that he would introduce a bill in the February session of the parliament.

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Sega Studios Australia Cuts 37 Jobs

February 7, 2012 -

It looks like the Australian game development community has been hit again by another round of layoffs - this time at a Sega studio. According to GameIndustry.biz, 37 employees have been laid off at Sega Studios Australia in Brisbane. The studios' most recent work was London 2012: The Official Video Game of the Olympic Games. Prior to that the studio went under the name The Creative Assembly Australia and worked on Rome: Total War, Medieval II: Total War and Stormrise.

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Pirate Party Urges Australian Government to Drop ACTA Support

January 30, 2012 -

Even as the Pirate Party petitions the Australian government to rescind its ratification of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), party leaders admit that it's probably too late to cause a sea change on that front.

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Australia's R18+ Gets Debate and Vote in February

January 24, 2012 -

The Australian Government will finally debate and vote on an R18+ video games classification in February, according to several published reports. Former Federal Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O'Connor had taken responsibility for the bill, and had been pushing for a vote on the subject for a very long time. 

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Australian Christian Lobby Compares Games Industry to Tobacco Companies

January 12, 2012 -

Update: This story is apparently ancient history from March 2010. While it's fun to refresh your memory, it's not news. We apologize for presenting it as such.

The Australian Christian Lobby is doing its best to slow down the momentum of an R18+ ratings classification in Australia by using a new tactic: comparing mature video games to cigarettes. The group used the public consultation period for the R18+ classification to assail the games industry.

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Pro-Gaming Australian Federal Minister Brendan O'Connor Exits Home Affairs Post

December 12, 2011 -

Former Federal Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O'Connor, a staunch supporter of R18+ for games in Australia, was today renamed minister for Human Services and minister assisting the School Education. He'll be replaced by former Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare. Naturally he'll inherit his portfolio of issues including the R18+ ratings classification for games.

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Australian Court Lifts Ban on the Sale of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 Tablet

December 9, 2011 -

Samsung should be happy today as Australia’s High Court removes the country-wide ban that was put on its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet - the result of an injunction in its continuing trademark disputes with Apple. The tablet had been under an injunction since July of this year.

Australia’s court froze sales of the device earlier this year after Apple filed an infringement suit against the Galaxy Tab. At the time Samsung called the court's ruling "grossly unjust." The thrust of Apple's lawsuits is that the Galaxy tab shares many similarities with the iPad.

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Video Games the Focus of New Melbourne Research Center

December 8, 2011 -

Games designed specifically to help improve mental fitness and to help the disabled and mental health sufferers to practice life skills are being explored by the Melbourne-based Young and Well Co-operative Research Centre.

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Australian ISP's Create Plan to Deal with Copyright Infringement, Rights Holders Reject It

November 29, 2011 -

While Americans were enjoying Thanksgiving last Thursday Australia's Internet service providers held a meeting to come to a consensus on how to deal with illegal file-sharing in the country.

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Australian Psychiatrist Wants 'Pathological Internet Misuse' Classified as an Addiction

November 28, 2011 -

Psychiatrist Philip Tam believes internet addiction should be classified as a disorder. The Sydney, Australia based psychiatrist and some Australian parents think that internet addiction and online game addiction need to be officially classified as addictions so that children can be treated for the so-called disorders.

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EB Games Australian Web Ad Called Sexist

November 10, 2011 -

A web ad for EB Games Australia is being called sexist, with one game developer calling it "massive step backward" because it enforces stereotypes about men, women and games. The online ad, "A Man's Guide to Trading" shows a man being nagged by a woman outside of an EB Games store about spending money. After she leaves he goes in and the clerk suggests that instead of spending cash he should trade in some games. He does just that and then uses the money he saved to buy the woman a fancy dinner. The ad ends with the woman dusting while the man plays Arkham City.

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Final Australian R18+ Guidelines Released

November 4, 2011 -

The final guidelines for the new r18+ games rating classification have been released by the Australian government (thanks to Cheater87). Federal Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O'Connor also announced that all of the states have signed off on these new guidelines. The guidelines, made public this week, finally explain the important parts of the R18+ rating, and show changes to the existing MA15+ rating.

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Australia's R18+ Rating Could Be Two Years Away

October 28, 2011 -

David Emery, manager of applications at the Australian Classification Branch, has warned the public at large in Australia that there will probably be a two year delay before the country finally sees the full implementation of an R18+ rating.

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2K Marin Australia Layoffs Rumored

October 20, 2011 -

Another day, another story about game developer layoffs in Australia. This time it's at the 2K Marin studio in New South Wales. According to a Kotaku report, citing asource who wished to remain anonymous, 15 employees have been laid off from the studio formerly known as 2K Canberra. 2K Marin co-developed BioShock 2, and is reportedly involved in developing a new X-Com project.

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KMM Brisbane Shuts Down

October 17, 2011 -

Less than a year after it was founded, the Brisbane, Australian division of KMM that developed the video game adaption of Happy Feet 2 closed its doors on Friday, according to a Gamasutra report. According to Gamasutra, the company started laying off artists earlier this month. That was only the beginning of the end, as the company let go the remainder of its 40 employee strong workforce.

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Australian Government May Forego Mobile and Online Game Classifications

October 13, 2011 -

Plans to classify mobile and online games in Australia may be abandoned under new legislation being introduced by the federal government. The government has proposed an amendment to the classification (publications, films, and computer games) legislation to include a temporary measure that would allow mobile and online games to be released in Australia without classification for the next two years.

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The Shifting Demographics of Australian Gamers

October 11, 2011 -

The Interactive Games & Entertainment Association has released a new report this morning that provides some interesting demographics on just who is playing video games in Australia. The Digital Australia 2012 report found that nine out of ten Australian households own some sort of device for playing games, and nearly one in five gamers play social network games. In households that play computer or video games, 43 percent said that they use a mobile phone and 13 percent use a tablet computer device to play games. Another 13 percent play video games on a handheld device.

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Team Bondi Owes Over AU $1.4 Million to Creditors

October 7, 2011 -

Earlier this week we reported that LA Noire developer Team Bondi would be closing its doors as it sells off its assets to pay off creditors. Today we have learned who the Sydney, Australia-based studio owes most of its debt to.

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Australian Law Reform Commission Recommends Voluntary Ratings System

September 30, 2011 -

The Australian Law Reform Commission's (ALRC) review into the country's classification system has determined that that only games likely to be rated MA15+ or hired should be classified by the government. The review was commissioned late last year by Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland. The point of the review was to find ways to reform Australia's classification laws in light of changing business models, globalization of retail, and new distribution methods.

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Australia's Privacy Commissioner Clears Sony in PSN Attacks

September 29, 2011 -

Sony did not break Australia’s Privacy Act during the PlayStation Network cyber attack, ruled Australia's Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim. Pilgrim’s report, released today, said that the Commission found "no evidence that Sony intentionally disclosed any personal information to a third party." Pilgrim said that he was satisfied that Sony Australia took reasonable steps to protect its customers’ personal information, including encrypting credit card information and ensuring appropriate security measures were in place.

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Rumor: EA Visceral Melbourne Closing Next Week

September 16, 2011 -

According to the International Game Developers Association's (IGDA) Melbourne, Australia chapter, Electronic Arts is set to close the local division of Visceral Games. EA's Visceral Melbourne studio is best known for its work on Dante's Inferno. EA Visceral Melbourne staff will meet with human resources personnel on September 19, to discuss the studio's closure.

"More sad news emerging about #EAVisceral Melbourne studio closure," the IGDA chapter posted on its Twitter account. "Happy to help all affected in any way we can."

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Is King right? Should all games adopt the free-to-play model?:

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Andrew EisenAs it happens, Chinatown Wars is the only GTA game I've played.04/19/2014 - 10:43am
Papa MidnightWith GTA5 (to date) failing to even provide indication of a PC release, I'm realising that this might be the first GTA game that I have not played (outside of Chinatown Wars) since the series inception.04/19/2014 - 8:14am
IanCSo im guessing a bunch of edutainment games, which a lot of people elsewhere are going gaga over, dot count as classics? Okay. If you don't mind me, i have a sudden urge to play Putt Putt....04/19/2014 - 6:15am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/04/18/playstation-99-cent-sale-discounts-tokyo-jungle-super-stardust/ Weekend long PSN flash sale. So much stuff is 99 cents for the rest of the weekend.04/18/2014 - 5:59pm
Adam802http://www.polygon.com/2014/4/18/5627928/newtown-video-game-addiction-forum04/18/2014 - 4:14pm
Matthew Wilsonit is a video talking about why certain games/products/consoles do well, and others do not. he back it up with solid research.04/18/2014 - 3:56pm
Andrew EisenI'm not keen on blind links. What is it?04/18/2014 - 3:45pm
Matthew Wilsonthis is worth a whatch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyXcr6sDRtw&list=PL35FE5C4B157509C904/18/2014 - 3:43pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 3: Night Dive was brought to the attention of the public by a massive game recovery, and yet most of their released catalogue consists of games that other people did the hard work of getting re-released.04/17/2014 - 8:46pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 2: If Humongous Entertainment wanted their stuff on Steam, why didn't they talk to their parent company, which does have a number of games published on Steam?04/17/2014 - 8:45pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 1: When Night Dive spent the better part of a year teasing the return of true classics, having their big content dump be edutainment is kind of a kick in the stomach.04/17/2014 - 8:44pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.giantbomb.com/articles/jeff-gerstmann-heads-to-new-york-takes-questions/1100-4900/ He talks about the future games press and the games industry. It is worth your time even though it is a bit long, and stay for the QA. There are some good QA04/17/2014 - 5:28pm
IanCErm so they shouldn't sell edutainment at all? Why?04/17/2014 - 4:42pm
MaskedPixelanteNot that linkable, go onto Steam and there's stuff like Pajama Sam on the front-page, courtesy of Night Dive.04/17/2014 - 4:13pm
Andrew EisenOkay, again, please, please, PLEASE get in a habit of linking to whatever you're talking about.04/17/2014 - 4:05pm
MaskedPixelanteAnother round of Night Dive teasing and promising turns out to be stupid edutainment games. Thanks for wasting all our time, guys. See you never.04/17/2014 - 3:44pm
Matthew WilsonAgain the consequences were not only foreseeable, but very likely. anyone who understood supply demand curvs knew that was going to happen. SF has been a econ/trade hub for the last hundred years.04/17/2014 - 2:45pm
Andrew EisenMixedPixelante - Would you like to expand on that?04/17/2014 - 2:43pm
MaskedPixelanteWell, I am officially done with Night Dive Studios. Unless they can bring something worthwhile back, I'm never buying another game from them.04/17/2014 - 2:29pm
PHX Corphttp://www.msnbc.com/ronan-farrow/watch/video-games-continue-to-break-the-mold-229561923638 Ronan Farrow Daily on Video games breaking the mold04/17/2014 - 2:13pm
 

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