Australias Net Will Filter MA15+ Games

The Australian government has set their eyes on gamers, promising to user its internet censorship regime to block websites hosting and selling video games that are not suitable for 15 year olds. Can you imagine the number of games that will be included?

I was feeling bad for Germans as there was a proposed banning for all violent games but Australia is about to take it much harder. To further complicate things, Australia does not have even have a R18+ rating. For video games, MA15+ is as high as it goes while movies and such has R18+ and X18+. Games will be required to modify the their content to meet the MA15+ guidelines in order for distribution.

So far, this has only applied to local stores selling physical copies of games, but a spokesman for Senator Conroy confirmed that under the filtering plan, it will be extended to the net and the filter will be set at the ISP level blocking all flash games, downloadable games and all web games that does not meet the MA15+ standards.

From our understanding, if a website hosts questionable content the Classification Board believes exceeds the MA15+ standard, it’ll be blocked. Same goes for MMOs and even worst, overseas online retailers. I wonder how this would effect sites such as eBay, GameStop and all the large distributors.

There is an important need stop child pornography and other unsuitable content that may inflict negative impact on minors but honestly, this will hurt the overall development of Australia more than it will help. The Australian government needs to stop basing their video game rating system around what’s appropriate for a 15 year old.

The government allows 17+ year olds to join the military but yet can’t allow them to simply play a game that is over MA15+? Kind of silly if you ask me. I can picture the video game smuggling and the rise of internet proxies in Australia if this law is passed. Alright mate, express your concerns on the new bill.

Update: A recent post by Destructoid suggests even games like Second Life may be banned because you can choose to do “sexy things”.

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