• Enjoy the freedom to innovate and grow your business


    [ad] With Microsoft Azure you have hybrid cloud flexibility, allowing your platform to span your cloud and on premise data centre. Learn more at microsoftcloud.com.

  • IT Admin: No Time to Save Time?


    [ad] Do you spend too much time patching machines or cleaning up after virus attacks? With automation controlled from a central IT management console accessible anytime, anywhere – you can save time for bigger tasks. Try simple IT management from GFI Cloud and start saving time today!

  • Free Forrester analysis of CRM solutions


    [ad] In this 25 page report, independent analyst house Forrester evaluates 18 significant products in the customer relationship management space from a broad range of vendors, detailing its findings on how CRM suites measure up and plotting where they stand in relation to each other. Download it for free now.

  • Great articles on other sites
  • RSS Great articles on other sites


  • Reader giveaway: Google Nexus 5


    We’re big fans of Google’s Nexus line-up in general at Delimiter towers. Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 10 … we love pretty much anything Nexus. Because of this we've kicked off a new competition to give away one of Google’s new Nexus 5 smartphones to a lucky reader. Click here to enter.

  • Analysis, Gaming - Written by on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 11:31 - 2 Comments

    R18+ game classification: The quest continues

    This article is by Sam Hinton, an assistant professor in Media Arts at the University of Canberra. It first appeared on The Conversation and is replicated here with permission.

    analysis Late last week Federal Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare introduced a bill to parliament (PDF) that takes Australia one step closer to an R18+ classification for videogames. No sooner had the classification bill been introduced than the Coalition responded by calling for an inquiry into the bill. These are just the latest developments in a saga that’s been running for the best part of a decade. But if everything goes to plan, we could see R18+ games on Australian shelves by January 2013.

    So why do we even need an R18+ classification for video games? Well as it stands, the highest rating that can be applied to a videogame in Australia is MA15+. Games with content exceeding the MA15+ definition must be “refused classification”. And any game that is refused classification cannot legally be sold or played in Australia (of course this doesn’t stop players ordering such games from overseas). In an increasingly sophisticated game market, Australia’s lack of an R18+ rating has led to a number of games being refused classification.

    Most of these are mainstream releases that are readily available to adults in other countries. One such game is Syndicate, which was refused classification in Australia in December 2011 because of “violence that was high in impact”. This first-person shooter is readily available to adults in other jurisdictions – it’s available in the UK, for instance, with an “18 certificate”.

    Publishers who want to sell games that have been refused classification in Australia are then forced to modify the games to make them suitable for an MA15+ audience. Imagine if there was no R18+ classification for film. Well-known titles such as Dirty Harry, Pulp Fiction and Fight Club would be banned in Australia, or shoe-horned into a lower classification because they fall outside the MA15+ category guidelines.

    It’s been a long and bumpy road for people who want to see a change to Australia’s videogame classification laws.

    As Jason Clare commented while introducing the bill to parliament, a campaign to introduce an R18+ rating for games has been underway for ten years. The back-and-forth debates between the pro- and anti-R18+ camps has been going on for just as long, leaving much of the games industry with a real sense of R18+ fatigue.

    But in December 2009 a discussion paper was released by then Home Affairs Minister Brendan O’Connor, which opened the issue to public consultation. Almost a year later, in November 2010, a report about the consultation showed that of the 58,437 submissions, 98% were in support of introducing an R18+ rating.

    Despite this, and despite a telephone poll showing 80% of respondents in support of the new classification, the then South Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson continued to oppose the changes. (Changes to the classification scheme can only be made if there is a consensus among all state and territory attorneys-general.) But following the 2010 South Australian election, Mr Atkinson stood down and John Rau took over as South Australian Attorney-General. Mr Rau is a supporter of an R18+ classification for videogames, much to the delight of gamers in the pro-R18+ camp.

    And then, in July 2011, at a Standing Committee of Attorneys-General meeting, all states except NSW voted to support draft guidelines for an R18+ rating. The NSW attorney-general initially abstained but has since indicated his support for the change. So with support from the states and territories, and a bill currently in the parliament, the way seems clear for the introduction of an R18+ rating for videogames.

    But, of course, the journey is not yet over. It will take months before we see R18+ games on Australian shelves. For one, the passage of the bill through parliament can be complex and involve more debate and potentially even more community consultation. The Coalition’s request of an inquiry – as announced in a tweet by Labor MP Ed Husic – will send the bill to a Standing Committee for further discussion.

    Once the Bill passes the House of Representatives it must then go to the Senate, where it will follow a similar process. The bill may be sent off to a Senate Committee, with even more discussion and potentially consultation and reports. This process can take weeks to months, and may be stalled by the passage of other pieces of legislation and the sitting pattern of parliament.

    According to a spokesperson from the Attorney-General’s Department the bill is due to come into effect from January 1, 2013. Each state and territory then needs to decide whether it will allow the sale of the R18+ games in its jurisdiction. This will require the states and territories to modify their own legislation, which could take several months.

    Existing games can be reclassified if submitted for reclassification by the publisher, the minister, or an “aggrieved person” – someone whose interest goes beyond personal or intellectual concerns. Games such as Left 4 Dead 2 – which was refused classification because of violent content that did not fit into the MA15+ rating – could be reclassified within a new R18+ rating – assuming they are resubmitted.

    But there is no guarantee that all games that were refused classification will be granted an R18+ classification under the new guidelines. One game, Marc Ecko’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure, was refused classification in 2006 after the Classification Board ruled the game “promotes anti-social behaviour”. Specifically, the player progressed through the game by spraying trains and walls with graffiti – an offence under Australian law. The draft guidelines approved by the attorneys-general would still refuse classification to games that actively encourage drug abuse or criminal behaviour. For this reason, Getting Up would probably still be banned under a R18+ classification.

    The battle for an R18+ classification for videogames in Australia has been something of an epic, but the journey’s not over yet. There are still plenty more rocks and potholes to navigate before we start seeing R18+ games in local stores.

    Further reading:


    This article was originally published at The Conversation. Read the original article. Image credits: Screenshots of Skyrim.

    submit to reddit

    2 Comments

    You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

    1. Dean
      Posted 22/02/2012 at 12:03 pm | Permalink |

      The draft guidelines approved by the attorneys-general would still refuse classification to games that actively encourage drug abuse or criminal behaviour.

      So where does that leave games like GTA, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, or even Sky rim (which let you murder, steal or pickpocket if you choose)?

      Oh, right, those games are already MA15+

      The “criminal behaviour” clause is so silly anyway. Who wants to play a game where all you can do is the same things you do in real life? If it were up to some people, I’m sure the only games we’d be able to play are “Yardwork Simulator” and “Lee Carvello’s Putting Challenge”.

    2. Dean
      Posted 22/02/2012 at 12:04 pm | Permalink |

      “The draft guidelines approved by the attorneys-general would still refuse classification to games that actively encourage drug abuse or criminal behaviour.”

      So where does that leave games like GTA, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, or even Sky rim (which let you murder, steal or pickpocket if you choose)?

      Oh, right, those games are already MA15+

      The “criminal behaviour” clause is so silly anyway. Who wants to play a game where all you can do is the same things you do in real life? If it were up to some people, I’m sure the only games we’d be able to play are “Yardwork Simulator” and “Lee Carvello’s Putting Challenge”.




    Get our 'Best of the Week' newsletter on Fridays

    Just the most important stories, one email a week.

    Email address:


  • Most Popular Content


  • Six smart secrets for nurturing customer relationships
    [ad] Today, we are experiencing a world where behind every app, every device, and every connection, is a customer. Your customers will demand you to be where they and managing customer relationship is the key to your business’s growth. The question is where do you start? Click here to download six free whitepapers to help you connect with your customers in a whole new way.
  • Enterprise IT stories

    • NetSuite in whole of business TurboSmart deal turbosmart

      Business-focused software as a service giant NetSuite has unveiled yet another win with a mid-sized Australian company, revealing a deal with automotive performance products manufacturer Turbosmart that has seen the company deploy a comprehensive suite of NetSuite products across its business.

    • WA Health told: Hire a goddamn CIO already doctor

      A state parliamentary committee has told Western Australia’s Department of Health to end four years of acting appointments and hire a permanent CIO, in the wake of news that the lack of such an executive role in the department contributed directly to the fiasco at the state’s new Fiona Stanley Hospital, much of which has revolved around poorly delivered IT systems.

    • Former whole of Qld Govt CIO Grant resigns petergrant

      High-flying IT executive Peter Grant has left his senior position in the Queensland State Government, a year after the state demoted him from the whole of government chief information officer role he had held for the second time.

    • Hills dumped $18m ERP/CRM rollout for Salesforce.com hills

      According to a blog post published by Salesforce.com today, one of Ted Pretty’s first moves upon taking up managing director role at iconic Australian brand Hills in 2012 was to halt an expensive traditional business software project and call Salesforce.com instead.

    • Dropbox opens Sydney office koalabox

      Cloud computing storage player Dropbox has announced it is opening an office in Sydney, as competition in the local enterprise cloud storage market accelerates.

    • Heartbleed, internal outages: CBA’s horror 24 hours commbankatm

      The Commonwealth Bank’s IT division has suffered something of a nightmare 24 hours, with a catastrophic internal IT outage taking down multiple systems and resulting in physical branches being offline, and the bank separately suffering public opprobrium stemming from contradictory statements it made with respect to potential vulnerabilities stemming from the Heartbleed OpenSSL bug.

    • Android in the enterprise: Three Aussie examples from Samsung androidapple

      Forget iOS and Windows. Today we present three decently sized deployments of Android in the Australian market on Samsung’s hardware, which the Korean vendor has dug up from its archives over the past several years for us after a little prompting :)

    • Businesslink cancelled Office 365 rollout cancelled

      Microsoft has been on a bit of a tear recently in Australia with its cloud-based Office 365 platform, signing up major customers such as the Queensland Government, Qantas, V8 Supercars and rental chain Mr Rental. And it’s not hard to see why, with the platform’s hybrid cloud/traditional deployment model giving customers substantial options. However, as iTNews reported last week, it hasn’t been all plain sailing for Redmond in this arena.

    • Qld Govt inks $26.5m deal for Office 365 walker

      The Queensland State Government yesterday announced it had signed a $26.5 million deal with Microsoft which will gain the state access to Microsoft’s Office 365 software and services platform. However, with the deal not covering operating system licences and not being mandatory for departments and agencies, it remains unclear what its impact will be.

    • Hospital IT booking system ‘putting lives at risk’ doctor

      A new IT booking platform at the Austin Hospital and Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre in Melbourne is reportedly placing the welfare of patients with serious conditions at risk.

  • Enterprise IT, News - Apr 17, 2014 16:39 - 0 Comments

    NetSuite in whole of business TurboSmart deal

    More In Enterprise IT


    News, Telecommunications - Apr 17, 2014 11:01 - 133 Comments

    Turnbull lies on NBN to Triple J listeners

    More In Telecommunications


    Featured, Industry, News - Apr 17, 2014 9:28 - 1 Comment

    Campaign Monitor takes US$250m from US VC

    More In Industry


    Digital Rights, News - Apr 17, 2014 12:41 - 12 Comments

    Anti-piracy lobbyist enjoys cozy email chats with AGD Secretary

    More In Digital Rights