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Australia is well known for its banning of questionable material in video games, but now it seems the number has hit a new high. According to a report from ABC Australia, the number for the last four month totals 220. That is an inordinately high number, considering this is four times the number from the last decade combined.
The Australian Classification Board, a governmental entity that rates films, video games and publications for age-appropriate material, has done so in response to a massive increase in digital games being created, which it numbers at 180,000 to 200,000 in the last 12 months. The Attorney-General’s Department commented it would be unrealistic for the Classification Board to cover so many items directly.
In a related move, starting July 1st, Australia will be starting with the International Age Rating Coalition (IARC) to test out if it would be appropriate for their country. The tool has seen some use in North America and most of Europe, and amendments in Australian law were made last year to pave the way for using the groups rating system in an automated fashion.
Games like Fallout 3, Left 4 Dead 2 and most of the Grand Theft Auto series have seen “Refused Classification” ratings from the Classification Board in the past, which under law means they cannot be sold in the country, though the games can be reassessed at later dates. There’s no telling at this point whether this will either increase or decrease the number of games banned in the country, but it will serve to get the ever growing number of games rated.