The president of the Game Developers Association of Australia (GDAA) has slammed the country’s “antiquated” classification system.Responding to news earlier in the week that Piranha Bytes latest RPG, Risen, was refused classification due to drug and prostitution references, the GDAA’s Tom Crago described censorship down under as “a joke”.“We are once again caught in this awful, ridiculous web of the antiquated classification system that we all have to endure,” he told radio station 3RRRFM 102.7 (via iTWire).  “Here in Australia the sooner that changes, the better; it is obviously a battle to ensure common sense prevails.  We will get there eventually, but in the meantime as gamers in Australia we suffer, and to be honest we are embarrassed at how backward our government is…“We are the butt of a lot of jokes; I travel, obviously a lot, talking to other developers and publishers and people cannot believe it that we still have this ridiculous system here in Australia, designed twenty or thirty years ago, and hasn’t changed since,” he added.

“We need some form of classification system don’t we?  But it needs to be relevant; it needs to move with the times.  It needs to recognise that people’s leisure habits change, and people that are accessing content evolve, and we are looking at a video game industry that is very different from what it was twenty years ago.”The main problem with the system in Australia at the moment is that the highest age rating which can be applied to a game is MA 15+. Unfortunately anything that the Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) deems to be unsuitable for 15 year olds will not be classified, meaning mature gamers are unable to play mature titles.It doesn’t help that the OFLC’s decisions are inconsistent, with the body making numerous u-turns on classification decisions. FEAR 2, for instance, was initially banned due to violent content before the decision was overturned despite no changes being made to the game.

Paul Younger
Founder and Editor of PC Invasion. Founder of the world's first gaming cafe and Veteran PC gamer of over 22 years.

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