Australias Net Will Filter MA15+ Games

Fallout 3 was banned until the content was modified MA15+

Fallout 3 was banned until the content was modified MA15+

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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Comments

21 Responses to “Australias Net Will Filter MA15+ Games”
  1. SuNMaN says:

    Aside from this sounding like a publicity stunt, it would seem much easier to either:

    Stop listening to christian housewives and not filter the net

    or

    Create a R18+ filter that filters all content above R18+, which can be bypassed by individuals over 18 through registering with the government.

  2. TheSandMan says:

    This is either a complete JOKE or a publicity stunt! This will completely destroy the online gaming industry in Australia. What are they thinking. I can understand why a country would censor kiddie porn but this is taking things too far!

  3. Soldier Cynic says:

    Child porn is an abomination, but it is also the magic boogie man that gets the populace to agree to a stupid idea they would not agree to otherwise.

    Censor the internet, its for the kids! Oh yeah, while you're agreeing to that we are going to slide in these other categories…

  4. Chriso says:

    This is ridiculous, I play Fallout 3 as well as many other 'MA15+' games but I am 22 and therefore should be able to if I wish. The government is always finding ways to screw normal everyday people over to "save our kids", if you ask me its the parents job! Sounds like Big Brother is becoming a reality if you ask me…

  5. Tom says:

    this is the stupudest thing i have ever heard. it's ridiculous. i'd understand if they were to only let 15 year olds or more purchase the game or hire it, because i mean, at the moment, no one really cares. but banning them is just stupid. what benefits could that pssibly have?

  6. Tim says:

    They like to claim it is for the kids to get you to agree to their plan of domination.

  7. Stephen_Conroy says:

    IF YOU DON’T SUPPORT THE BANNING OF VIOLENT VIDEO GAMES THEN YOU SUPPORT PEDOPHILIA. THANKS FOR VOTING TO THE LEFT, IT MADE A REAL DIFFERENCE REGARDING SOCIAL LIBERTIES AS YOU CAN SEE.

  8. jeff says:

    Wow, this article is horrible. Proof read before posting

  9. WoW fan... says:

    Is this really accurate?

    Slow the whole development of Australia? Come on, get a better grip of the facts before you derail whole anti-censorship drive here…

    I am sure that a $880billion GDP just depends on the sale of games over MA15+…

  10. AzzX says:

    So this filter is going to block Steam and all its content partners…..

    Yeah Right.

    The current Government is a joke – Do they really think they can push these sort of backward ideals onto us Gamers?

    • Chriso says:

      There's always proxy connections I guess, even though they may be rather laggy due to the absence of VDSL connections in this country.

      Btw VDSL connections would cost the government a lot of money which will mean data rates for the service will be astronomically high + since this is Australia they will probably double it just for kicks…

  11. Westy says:

    Just a quick note.

    Most of these games are purchased from sites such as “Steam”, which require a credit card for purchase. Now as far as I’m aware, you cannot own a credit card unless you are aged 18 onwards.

    This is obviously not about the kids as there had been lack of research done in regards to how children obtain such games. Usually, they’ve been obtained through pirated sites, which will become more popular if this legislation passes. I for one will go out of my way to get copies of stuff regardless as I believe it’s in my right to do so.

  12. fucktheilluminati says:

    first the prime minister promised that we will get VERY HIGH DSL. VDSL. which is apparently faster than adsl2+. we havnt got shit.. if anything it will go to the richer suburbs.. now they’re doing this shit?

    do something that can benefit the whole country you dickheads!

  13. Jakub says:

    If they are going to close steam im going to want compensation FOR ALL THE games that run off steam which is ALOT stupid bastards internet isnt just for kids the only thing kids should be doing with the internet is helping there study with it anything after that should be somewhat controlled by a parent why does someone 25+ need to get bollocksed for this i dont know.

  14. Erin Thomson says:

    THIS IS FUCKING BULLSHIT!!!

  15. unkown says:

    Senator Conroy is a cock, why the fuck would a person who plays games in australia want there fucking games censored, because some old wanker is scared and has nothing better to do. We should have the choice, not be forced to play censored games. The government should think of there priorities more, all this money on filtering useless shit is a waste of money.

  16. Tris says:

    Conroy is a fucking idiot.

    So, he is worried about 15 year old's, living in Australia, playing games that are too "graphic" for the MA15+ Rating category.

    THEN MAKE A FUCKING R18+ RATING CATEGORY YOU FUCK. With the MA15+ Rating being the highest, of course it is going to contain the most gory games (or games containing sexual references/scenes etc.) developers are able to produce (no shit). Opening the R18+ Rating category allows these games to have no content restriction (so they are able to fit into the MA15+ category, and therefore sell), which is more fun for us :P AND 15 year old's are not able to buy these.

    Conclusion:

    It's simple – these "unsuitable" games MUST be in the MA15+ Rating category, BECAUSE that is the highest rating category. Government start to whine because these games (that are already 'CAPPED' content wise) are not suited for 15 year olds. THEN DON'T MAKE THEM AVAILABLE FOR 15 YEAR OLDS! NO WAI (0.o)/

    Good day.

  17. Marcel says:

    Argh. This pisses me off beyond belief. If any of you want MA15+ games, I'll send over hard copies from NZ.

  18. FactChecks says:

    @ Tris

    Mate, firstly don't get me wrong i agree with your first line. However, Conroy is not the one holding back the R18+ rating. You will find it is Michael Atkinson the Attorney General for SA. He is the only AG that opposed the r18 classification.

    This will explain a bit for you:
    http://www.efa.org.au/2009/11/17/michael-atkinson

  19. Enc84 says:

    damn, im moving to australia soon to study, i love online gaming, gaming in general, i cant understand this, so games like fall out, mass effect 2 etc are banned in this country? Thats insane, what if I get my mate in the UK to send one over, will it get ceased by customs? lol what the hell, do they display games in their trophy cabinet at the airport next to the cocain and fruit.

    also whats the deal with your internet? why does no company offer unlimited access, i dont get these 'gig' packeges on offer

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