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 2016: Jan-March

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 Offsite Article: Do video games make children violent?...


Link Here 10th March 2016
Call Duty Black Ops III Nobody knows...and this is why

See article from theguardian.com

 

 Updated: Playing Fear of Outrage...

Australian games retail uses plain packaging for 18 rated video games


Link Here 6th March 2016
r18 games at target Major retailer Target Australia is now using plain packaging to display adult rated games on its store shelves.

The video game packaging just shows the big R18+ logo, the title, and nothing else.

Target Australia has bad reputation for censorship, unilaterally pulling Grand Theft Auto V after a little hoo-hah from morality campaigners.

Shoppers can still look at the normal covers for games in stores such as EB Games and JB Hi Fi.

Update: Only in South Australia

6th March 2016. See  article from web.facebook.com

Target of Australia has responded to the news report saying:

We can assure you this plain packaging display is not policy nation-wide. We are currently investigating the origins of this image. There are some legal guidelines in SA around how R rated video games can be displayed, so we believe the image may have originated from SA. Please don't hesitate to let us know if there's anything further we can assist you with.

 

 Update: Fallout 3 unbanned...

A fallout with Germany's games censors has been patched up


Link Here 17th February 2016  full story: Fallout 3...World censors ban Fallout 3
Fallout Game Year GOTY Essentials German game censors have officially lifted their ban on the popular post-apocalyptic RPG, Fallout 3.

Germany originally banned Bethesda's Fallout 3 in 2009 citing its overly violent content, and eventually ended up offering gaming fans in the country a censored version of the open world title. Now, however, as IGN Germany has reported, with just three years left before the end of the statutory ten-year sentence for its banning, it seems as if the development studio "initiated a difficult and rarely-successful trial" with the Federal Department for Media Harmful to Minors (BPjM) in order to get Fallout 3 delisted from the banned list.

The censors hearing the appeal said in a statement that Fallout 3 will be removed from the list because its content is no longer classified as harmful to minors from today's perspective.

Indian and Australian games censors also banned Fallout 3. The games censorship regime in Australia has changed since the ban so perhaps if the Bethesda appeal was initiated by plans for some sort of re-release then perhaps the ban will be overturned in Australia too.

 

 Updated: So who now decides who is allowed to be depicted as baddies in video games?...

Survival Island 3 banned for setting up aborigines as targets for shootings


Link Here 25th January 2016
578A mobile game that set up Indigenous Australians as shoot 'em up targets has been removed from both Apple and Google app stores following campaigns by cyber bulllies.

Survival Island 3 -- Australia Story 3D tasked players with surviving in the outback. Threats included angry animals and aboriginals noted as angry as you invaded their home!

A screenshot used to promote the game in the Apple iTunes store showed an in-game alert of Beware of Aborigines!

The game was listed as appropriate for players of 12 years old and up, for infrequent/mild realistic violence, cartoon or fantasy violence, and horror/fear themes .

Gaming news website Player Attack said :

The video shows a first-person view of beating an Aboriginal man to death with a blunt weapon while the voiceover cackles gleefully. The gamer is rewarded with a boomerang and what looks like a stone arrowhead.

A Change.org petition calling for the removal of the game was started on Friday night, and now has more than 48,300 signatures.

Survival Island 3 is not currently available to download from either the Australian or United States iTunes stores, nor the Google Play store.

Offsite Update: Beware of Liars

25th January 2016. See  article from blogjob.com

The Beware of Aborigines! line is from the app store page, along with the New Weapon line, both of which are used on the promotional screenshots but don't actually appear in the game.

The Aboriginal NPCs are standard NPCs and can either be friendly or hostile depending on the player's actions but it doesn't say Beware of Aborigines when they're on screen. This is also evidenced in a video from Andrei Plugaru , where no warning messages pop up when the Aborigines appear.

Even still, the media picked up on the petition -- no different than what they did with the GTA V petition that resulted in the game getting removed from Target and Kmart in Australia -- and they've been reporting that the game is about killing indigenous tribes in Australia.

At the time of the writing of this article, Survival Island 3: Australia Story 3D has been pulled from the iTunes app store and Google Play.

...Read the full article from blogjob.com

 

  Pakistan Army Retribution...

Game set in Taliban school massacred banned on grounds of political correctness


Link Here 18th January 2016
pakistan army retributionA bloody video game set inside the Pakistani school where more than 130 children were massacred by Taliban gunmen has been withdrawn, weeks after it was released as part of an army-backed campaign to promote peace and tolerance in the country.

Players of Pakistan Army Retribution take the role of a soldier attempting to protect precious lives from terrorists who attacked the Army Public School (APS) in Peshawar in December 2014.

There are various levels in the game, which features a rousing rendition of the national anthem, depicts events from the day of the attack and is branded with the logos of the Pakistani army and Punjab Information Technology Board.

The organisations jointly commissioned the game as part of a campaign to mark the one-year anniversary of the school killings.

Although it had been available to users of Android mobile devices for some time it only attracted public attention recently when Dawn, one of the country's leading newspapers, ran a review on its website that declared the game failed on every politically correct front.

There were claims of the game being disrespectful to the dead. Making a game out of the nation's most gruesome tragedy is adding salt to the injuries of not only the families of the martyred children but the entire nation.

Umar Saif, chairman of the Punjab Information Technology Board, said the game was immediately pulled from the Google Play store after he became aware of it on Monday. Saif said Pakistan Army Retribution was just one of dozens of videos, jingles and social media items commissioned as part of a Peaceful Pakistan campaign intended to build on national revulsion over the APS attack.

 

 Update: Paranautical Activity...

The latest game banned by Australian censors


Link Here 6th January 2016
paranautical activity logoParanautical Activity is a 2014 first person shooter by Code Avarice developed further by Digerati in 2015 as the Deluxe Atonement Edition

The PC and consolde gamen Paranautical Activity made the news in 2014 when developer Mike Maulbeck got involved in a twitter storm over incorrect details and was pulled from Steam.

The game reappeared in February last year as a Deluxe Atonement Edition . But this has now been banned by Australian censors.

The Classification Board listing is dated 5th January 2016 and lists the film as banned or 'Refused Classification' The Australian censor does not give reasons for the ban beyond vague words about it not fitting within the censorship rules.

Current distributors Digerati told kotaku they would look at removing the 'offending item' to comply with the Classification Board's requirements:

The reason they gave was 'illicit or proscribed drug use related to incentives and rewards' -- the prescribed drug in game is Adderall and picking up the item gives you a 15% speed increase.

I have asked if we can resub [Paranautical Activity] without the item, waiting for a reply.

 

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