Stephen Conroy the Australian Communications Minister, has been nominated by the British ISP industry for its annual “internet villain” award. Senator Conroy was nominated for the annual internet villain award “for continuing to promote network-level blocking despite significant national and international opposition”.
He is really living up to this title as this week it has become apparent that the Government has now set its sights on gamers, promising to use its internet censorship regime to block websites hosting and selling video games that are not suitable for 15 year olds. Australia is the only developed country without an R18+ classification for games, meaning any titles that do not meet the MA15+ standard – such as those with excessive violence or sexual content – are simply banned from sale by the Classification Board, unless they are modified to remove the offending content. This is incredibly backward in my opinion, Austalia should be ploughing on and making steps to remedy this problem rather than embracing some fascist censorship regime.
The average age of gamers is 30 in Australia, according to research commissioned by the Interactive Entertainment Association of Australia, this means that even Australians who are aged above 15 and want to obtain the adult-level games online will be unable to do so.
Mark Newton, an ISP engineer and internet filtering critic, said the move to extend the filtering to computer games would place a cloud over online-only games such as World of Warcraft and Second Life, which aren’t classified in Australia due to their online nature www.smh.com.au