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2020: Jan-March

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The Australian Censorship Wasteland...

Previously banned game, Wasteland 3, is cut for an R18+ rating

Link Here29th March 2020
Full story: Banned Games in Australia...Games and the Australian Censorship Board
  Wasteland 3 is a 2020 US multi-player role playing game by inXile

The game was banned by the Australian Censorship Board in February 2020. The censors did not provide any meaningful reason for the ban, but the censor's usual bugbear is that something considered naughty is used as an incentive in the game mechanism.

Well the game makers have elected to make cuts and to resubmit the game. This time round the censors passed the cut game as R18+ for Sexual activity related to incentives and rewards, online interactivity.



Offsite Article: 20 Diabolically Clever Ways Creators Fooled The Censors...

Link Here 15th March 2020
Entertaining selection of censorship anecdotes

See article from



Random Rating Generator...

Australian Freedom of Information request reveals a humiliating 2016 report about the inaccuracy of the Classification Boards automated game and app rating tool

Link Here4th March 2020
Full story: Game Censorship in Australia...Classification board, video game, cuts
Several times last year Australian games ratings have been reported for arbitrary ratings assigned under the Australian Classification Board's IARC automated game and app rating tool.

Variants of the same game on different platforms appeared in the classification database with wildly different outcomes. One game achieved being 15 rated, 18 rated and banned. Inevitably when the shit hit the fan and the incompetent ratings gained the attention of publicity, human censors stepped in and sorted out the rating (down to 15), and expunged all the embarrassing misfires from the database.

Well it seems that the shoddy system has been discussed for a while and a damning report from 2016 has just been published as a result of a Freedom of Information request.

The report reveals that a selection of ratings from the tool were audited by compared them with an assessment from a human censor.

Results were particularly atrocious fro the higher ratings. A table on page 13 reveals that:

  • 56% of M (PG-15) ratings assigned by the tool were wrong
  • 72% of MA 15+ ratings were wrong
  • 100% of R 18+ ratings were wrong
  • 99% of RC (banned) ratings were wrong

In all of these categories the automated ratings were nearly always lowered by the audit.

The failure of the system was attributed to the inaccuracy of data input but surely this is a systemic failure to define tight enough definitions of date required.



Endemic censorship...

Plague Inc game banned in China

Link Here1st March 2020
Full story: Games censorship in China...A wide range of censorship restrictions
A game   which challenges players to spread a deadly virus around the world has been banned in China, its makers have said.

Plague Inc. has been pulled from the Chinese app store for including illegal content, British-based developer Ndemic Creations said. In a statement, Ndemic Creations said:

We have some very sad news to share with our China-based players. We've just been informed that Plague Inc. 'includes content that is illegal in China as determined by the Cyberspace Administration of China' and has been removed from the China App Store. This situation is completely out of our control.

Plague Inc. has become a huge hit since it was launched eight years ago. It now has 130 million players worldwide and soared in popularity in China amid the coronavirus outbreak, becoming the bestselling app in the country in January. Some players suggested they were downloading the game as a way to cope with fears surrounding the virus.



Offsite Article: Let's Finally Fix Australia's Video Game Rating System, and Properly This Time...

Link Here 17th February 2020
Full story: Game Censorship in Australia...Classification board, video game, cuts
R18+ rating reform was never the end of the story. By Luke Reilly

See article from



Offsite Article: Shoving divisive identity politics down gamers' throats doesn't sell games...

Link Here 15th February 2020
Industry professionals know that, but the media is in denial

See article from



A censorship helter-skelter...

Mary Skelter 2 console game is unbanned in Australia

Link Here6th January 2020
Full story: Banned Games in Australia...Games and the Australian Censorship Board
Mary Skelter 2 is a 2018 Japan console game by Compile Heart

The game was originally banned for its October 2019 release by the Australian Censorship Board.  But now it has relented and awarded the game an R18+ rating.

It is reported that all traces of the earlier ban have now been removed from the Australian Censorship Board's online database.

The change of heart is typical of Australia's automated games classification scheme  This produces random MA15+, R18+ or banned (refused classification) ratings for games. If the game is of sufficient  economic importance then human censors are asked to jump in and sort out the mess.

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