R18+ Ratings Classification for Games Goes Into Effect for Australia

January 2, 2013 -

On January 1, the Australian R18+ classification for video games went into effect. Prior to that, Australia remained one of the few developed countries not to have a classification equivalent to a "mature" game rating. In the past, games that had content that was considered too mature for the country's MA15+ category would often be refused classification - effectively games at this level were banned for sale in the region.

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iGEA CEO: New Game Classifications for Australia are Already Slowly Becoming Irrelevant

December 12, 2012 -

Australia's new classification guidelines due to take effect on Jan. 1, 2013 are already becoming irrelevant, according to the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (iGEA) CEO Ron Curry.

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Queensland Government Delays Implementation of R18+ Ratings for Games

December 3, 2012 -

GameSpot is reporting that the government of Queensland, Australia will not sell games marked with the new R18+ rating in the state until sometime after February 7, 2013.

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'1378' Creator Reveals New Project

November 13, 2012 -

A new video game that will be highlighted at the Games for Change conference hosted by RMIT in Melbourne on Thursday and Friday hopes to raise awareness about refugees seeking asylum in Australia. Refugees often take dangerous journeys on the open seas to reach the shores of friendly democracies. The game puts players in the shoes of these "boat people" who are trying to make their way to places like Australia to find safe haven and the kind of freedom and opportunities not available to them in their native lands.

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'Experts' Weigh in on Interactive Games and Entertainment Association Australian Survey About Games

November 5, 2012 -

Seizing on a new national survey in Australia, two "experts" have used it as an opportunity to warn parents of the dangers of video gaming. A survey conducted by the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association with the help of Bond University, found that right around 95 percent of boys between the ages of 6 and 15 described themselves as gamers. The survey of more than 1200 Australian households also found that the most popular genres among this age group were first-person shooters, action and fighting games and role-playing games.

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Report: Australia To Offer New Incentives for Game Industry

October 22, 2012 -

The federal government of Australia is planning to introduce brand new incentives to help grow and support the country’s game industry, according to an MCV Pacific report.

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Australian Government Promises Strong Support for PAX Australia

October 22, 2012 -

The Australian government this morning officially announced what we already knew - that the Penny Arcade Expo would be taking place in Melbourne, Australia from July 19-21 at the Melbourne Showgrounds. The announcement was made by Victorian Minister for Innovation, Services and Small Business Louise Asher and Penny Arcade president Robert Khoo.

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Research: Prolonged Gaming Before Bed is Not Good for Teenage Boys

October 19, 2012 -

A new study by the Sleep Laboratory at Flinders University (a public university in Adelaide, South Australia) finds that teens who play video games for long periods of time have trouble getting a good night's sleep. The study conducted by masters student Daniel King (supervised by child sleep psychologist Dr.

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THQ to Close Melbourne, Australia Operations

October 10, 2012 -

THQ announced this morning that it plans to close its Melbourne, Australia office - also known as THQ Australia - within a few months. THQ has already dismissed staff from its Melbourne office, according to multiple reports. The company will instead distribute its products within the region through All Interactive Entertainment (AIE).

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What to Expect at PAX Australia

October 5, 2012 -

While we already know that a Penny Arcade Expo event is planned for Australia (July 19 - 21, 2013) in Melbourne, Australia, at Showgrounds, new documents from the organizers of the event offer even more details on what activities will be available to attendees.

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Australia Launches Game Development Support Grants

September 27, 2012 -

Australia's Minister for Innovation, Services and Small Business Louise Asher unveiled two new programs that he says will give Victorian games developers "valuable support to develop and market high-quality games for a global audience."

The new game programs will be overseen by Film Victoria, who will provide $500,000 to support the development of commercial projects through investment and business support. Mr. Asher said the Victorian Coalition Government is committed to driving and supporting Australia's growing games industry through these new initiatives.

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Australian AG Greenlights MA15+ and R18+ Game Ratings Classifications

September 18, 2012 -

Australia’s Attorney General John Rau has done an about face according to Indaily, who reports that he has given a greenlight to both MA15+ and R18+ games rating classifications. Previously he had made a decision to abolish the MA15+ classification in South Australia when the new 18-rated game classification was approved.

The Attorney General said that the recently released guidelines were "stringent enough" and different enough from an earlier draft he had some qualms about.

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Australia's Classification Board Puts Emphasis on Interactive Elements

September 13, 2012 -

VG247 points out the release of a new document released by Australia's classification board, which puts a strong emphasis on the negative effects that games can have due to their "interactive elements."

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Australian Capital Territory Introduces R18+ Ratings Classification for Games

August 24, 2012 -

The Australian Capital Territory has officially introduced the R18+ ratings classification for games, according to Gamespot (Thanks to Cheater87 for the tip). The law was passed by the ACT Legislative Assembly this week, making it the first territory in the country to do so. The new rating was introduced earlier this year.

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BigWorld CEO Resigns Following $45 Million Buyout by Wargaming

August 10, 2012 -

The CEO of middleware company BigWorld has resigned from the company. Earlier in the week it was announced that World of Tanks developer Wargaming had bought the middleware provider for $45 million. CEO John De Margheriti, who was one of the founders of the company, will step down at the end of this week. He will be replaced by co-founder Steve Wang, who will report directly to executives at Wargaming. Despite the departure, De Margheriti's statement seems to indicate an amicable exit from BigWorld.

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Rumble Down Under: Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam Slams Government Over TPP

August 9, 2012 -

According to this Computer World Australia report, Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam has some harsh words for the Australian federal government for its part in pushing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is currently in negotiations in the U.S. The treaty is an agreement between Pacific Rim countries such as Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the U.S.

Australia NSW Police Commissioner Takes Heat for Video Game Comments

August 6, 2012 -

Australia New South Wales Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione is taking a lot heat for comments he made recently blaming the rise of teen knife-related crimes on playing violent video games. Scipione recently told The Daily Telegraph that teens were being desensitized to violence by playing violent video games that reward them for "killing and raping people." Obviously a tired trope related to Grand Theft Auto spewed by politicians.

EA's Firemint and IronMonkey Studios Merge to Become FireMonkeys

July 25, 2012 -

Electronic Arts has merged two of its mobile game development studios into one mega-studio in Australia. Firemint and IronMonkeys will be merged into a single studio now known as Firemonkeys studio.

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Research: Pre-Schoolers Who Play Interactive Games Have Better Motor Skills

July 25, 2012 -

Researchers at Deakin University (Melbourne, Australia) have come to the conclusion that pre-school aged children who play interactive video games (such as those found on the Wii) have better motor skills than those children who do not regularly play interactive games. Deakin University researchers and a researcher form the University of Wollongong conducted a pilot study in 2009 of 53 pre-schoolers ages three to six years old (31 girls, 22 boys) to determine if there was some sort of association between playing games and the fundamental movement skills of children.

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THQ Australia to Honor GAME Australia Darksiders II Pre-Order Bonus

July 6, 2012 -

THQ Australia confirmed that it will honor all Darksiders II pre-order DLC bonuses purchased through retailer GAME Australia. The retailer announced this morning that it would close its 15 remaining stores on July 8.

GAME Australia had offered Australian customers who pre-ordered THQ's upcoming game the Deadly Despair DLC pack, but then it went into liquidation. Obviously if the retailer is no longer in business it won't be able to fulfill those promised pre-order bonuses.

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GAME Australia's Remaining Stores to Close July 8

July 6, 2012 -

GAME Australia will officially shut down on July 8, with the remaining 15 stores closing across the country, according to administrator PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Last month PwC announced that GAME Australia would be closing the remaining stores but did not offer an exact date at the time. The Administrator for GAME Australia also announced that the remaining assets of the video game retailer would be liquidated to pay down the company’s debt.

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Queensland Mom Gets Probation, Community Service for Stealing Over 500 Video Games

June 29, 2012 -

Earlier this year a 32 year-old woman was charged with 41 counts of stealing and fraud after allegedly trying to boost $2,500 AUD in electronics, games and other merchandise from a Big W department store in Queensland, Australia. When police searched her residence in Ipswich they realized that she had been at it for quite some time. 

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Australian Government Fines Apple for iPad Ads Claiming 4G Compatibility

June 22, 2012 -

According to a Financial Times report Apple has been fined AUS $2.25 million ($2.29 million USD) by the Australian government for falsely advertising that its new high definition iPad was compatible with high-speed 4G networks in the country.

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Games Australia Has Fire Sale to Pay Off Creditors

June 20, 2012 -

In a not-so-surprising twist, Games Australia administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers announced that at today's creditors meeting stakeholders came to the conclusion that the best thing that could be done for the troubled retailer is to liquidate the company. Today administrators Kate Warwick and Greg Hall were named as the liquidators who will oversea the final and irrevocable sale of GAME's assets.

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Australian Researcher Compares Violent Media Consumption to Greasy Burgers

June 20, 2012 -

In an obvious bid to promote the new book he co-authored with Danya Braunstein, "Growing Up Fast And Furious: Reviewing The Impacts Of Violent And Sexualised Media On Children," Macquarie University Children and Families Research Centre (in Sydney, Australia) deputy director Dr. Wayne Warburton tells Adelaide Now that years of research from every corner of the globe show a definitive link between time watching violent media and the "likelihood" of aggressive behavior in kids.

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GAME Australia Closes 16 Stores, Remaining 15 to be Closed in the 'Coming Weeks'

June 19, 2012 -

GAME Australia administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) announced that it will "immediately" shut down 16 retail stores in Australia, with the remaining 15 stores to be closed in the "coming weeks." The retailer went into administration (bankruptcy protection) last month, and while there was plenty of optimistic talk about saving the chain in Australia in the lead-up to today's news, most believed the writing was on the wall for the company.

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Australian Parliament Finally Approves R18+ Ratings Category for Video Games

June 18, 2012 -

The Australian government has finally approved the R18+ adult rating category for video games after legislation passed the Australian Federal Parliament with bipartisan support. The new law will finally bring computer games in line with the classification system already used for films and other entertainment..

Shadow attorney-general George Brandis told the Senate that it made sense that the country's classification process would now be uniform "classifying all media according to a single set of criteria."

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Report: All GAME Australia Stores to Close By the End of Next Week

June 8, 2012 -

Citing an anonymous source close to the retailer, GameSpot Australia is reporting that all of Australia's GAME retail stores will be shut down by the end of next week. The anonymous source also asserts that the business is now "$120 million in debt."

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GameStop Brings PSN DLC Purchasing Power to Stores in Europe and Australia

June 1, 2012 -

GameStop International and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe have partnered to bring PlayStation Network DLC to 1,600 retail video game stores throughout Europe and Australia. This includes stores in Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Consumers can purchase downloadable content in stores using cash, gift cards, and in-store credits from trade-ins to buy the DLC.

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GAME Australia to Close 60 Stores

May 25, 2012 -

PricewaterhouseCoopers, administrator for GAME Australia, announced plans to close a number of underperforming retail stores in the country today. PricewaterhouseCoopers announced that it will close 60 stores in Australia and lay off 264 employees. Seventeen additional employees will be let go at GAME's head office as well.

"This is a difficult time for employees and closing the stores was not a decision we made easily," said Kate Warwick of PricewaterhouseCoopers. "However it is not financially viable to continue to operate at this level at this time."

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Andrew EisenIf you do, I hope you can provide some examples of people (again, other than random no-name numbnuts on Twitter) who are genuinely trying to dictate what should and should not be allowed so far as themes, topics, language, plot devices, etc. go.07/01/2015 - 9:43am
MattsworknameI'd go into why I think it's a bigger problem then most realize, but nows not the time really. I'll catch up with everyone later07/01/2015 - 9:42am
Andrew EisenThat's the thing though, rarely is anyone (again, other than random numbnuts on Twitter) attempting to dictate what can and cannot be said or done.07/01/2015 - 9:39am
Andrew Eisen"Don't write rape scenes" is being offered as advice (along with reasons for that advice) not a mandate.07/01/2015 - 9:37am
MattsworknameOh, on that last one andrew I wasn't talking about the article, I was being more general, lately it seems like all the news and media is trying to decide what is and isn't proper to say. Thats what i was refering to.07/01/2015 - 9:37am
Andrew EisenPerhaps you should consider reading the entire article. Despite quotes you can pull from the intro and conclusion, the author isn't arguing that you can't or shouldn't be allowed to cover a certain topic.07/01/2015 - 9:35am
MattsworknameOne of the things I hate right now is that people are trying to be the deciders of what is and isn't proper to be said. It's political correctness to a level that makes me angry.07/01/2015 - 9:29am
Mattsworknamemake them, i just tell peopel that I think what they did sucked. Just cause I dont like what they did, doesn't mean I can tell them "You shouldn't wrtie that" cause thats just another step on the way to telling them "YOU CANT WRITE THAT".07/01/2015 - 9:24am
MattsworknameNo, but you or I aren't the one to tell someone else what they can or cannot do beyond EXTREMELY narrow limits. Telling a person then shouldn't write something or say something. I may hate certain movies or music, doesn't mean I dont' tell peopel not to07/01/2015 - 9:23am
E. Zachary KnightHasbro is taking steps to fix its Dinosaur gender issues. http://io9.com/the-jurassic-world-dinosaur-toys-are-clever-girls-again-171513589607/01/2015 - 9:20am
TechnogeekImagine that level of accuracy, only applied to something that has actually caused physiological and psychological trauma in more cases than just whatever the equivalent of the CD-i Zelda games would be.07/01/2015 - 8:40am
TechnogeekThat's the issue I see as well, E. To put it in terms anyone reading this site will likely understand: you know how any time video games show up on TV, they feature absurdly outdated 3D graphics and/or audio from the Intellivison era?07/01/2015 - 8:40am
InfophileWell, you CAN go to a crowded streetcorner and tell everyone who passes by your social security number and bank account PIN, but you shouldn't. Is that censorship?07/01/2015 - 8:36am
E. Zachary KnightSo if it is going to turn out to be a bad scene, why even bother writing it?07/01/2015 - 8:07am
E. Zachary KnightMatts, Goth, The article, and others I have read making the same conclusion, state that most people fail in their attempts to write rape scenes without being overly offensive or overly incompetent in their attempt.07/01/2015 - 8:07am
Adam802http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Ex-Sen-Leland-Yee-may-be-headed-for-a-plea-deal-6358941.php07/01/2015 - 7:12am
Adam802Possible plea deal in Yee case: http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_28408532/leland-yee-case-plea-deal-appears-likely07/01/2015 - 7:11am
MattsworknameInfo, Im with goth on this, the moment people start saying "You can but you shouldnt" thats a slow slide into censorship07/01/2015 - 6:05am
InfophileIn other words, you stopped when you found out it was arguing for a position you disagreed with, but before you found out why.07/01/2015 - 5:29am
Goth_Skunk"In short, anyone can write a rape scene—but should they? Chances are, the answer is no." And that's where I stopped reading.07/01/2015 - 5:11am
 

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