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Australia Has Banned Over 200 Games This Year

OFLCAustralia can now claim the title of Country Banhammer.

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.


About RedGuinness

Andrew Shortall (RedGuinness) is the Writer, Editor, Administrator and founder of Stay-At-Home Gaming. He also suffers from sleepless nights, summer new release withdrawals and trying to behave himself in front of his new nephew.

2 comments on “Australia Has Banned Over 200 Games This Year

  1. Red Metal
    July 17, 2015

    Seems like whoever effected these bans is unaware of what happens when you forbid anything. It doesn’t kill their interest in a work – it multiplies it tenfold. If something’s tasteless, the best strategy is to let it exist and it will condemn itself – no need to take an action. Makes a lot more sense than censorship, that’s for sure. It may not always be a quick process, but instant gratification is an unrealistic expectation anyway. I think we all need to accept that at some point.

    • RedGuinness
      July 17, 2015

      I totally get a ratings system in the interest of parents deciding what their kids should play, especially for non-gamer parents, but outright banning does lead to more interest, like you say. Hatred, for example, was taken on pretty strongly by User Reviews on Steam.

      In my head, adults should be able to make any decision they wish that doesn’t harm or lead to the harm of anyone. Until they prove video games do that (and science currently says no) they should be legal.

      Your move, Jack Thompson.

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