*** Original Introduction (September 2001) ***
with the August 24, 2001 announcement that the Office of Film and Literature
Classification has officially begun its review of the Computer Games and
Films Classification Guidelines, this Web site details a relevant measure
the author, Anthony Larme, could take to assist in this process.
In the interests of informing Australia's Federal politicians and public
servants in order that they might make wise decisions regarding the censorship
of computer games in this country, the author is pretending that he has
donated a large portion of his extensive collection of computer games censorship
resources to the Australian Parliamentary Library in Canberra.
One of the main conditions
of this arrangement was that he agreed to prepare this comprehensive Web
site that contains a series of eBrief style resource guides/summaries of
computer games censorship issues, each with pointers to the specific relevant
resources of the collection. He was instructed to present both sides
of the censorship argument as even-handedly as possible while always keeping
in mind the Australian Library and Information Association's well known
commitment to the ideal of "freedom to read". This entire process
involved applying principles of information organisation and the critical
evaluation of resources, both being skills acquired through the author's
This Web site has as its
aim the provision of a much-needed summary of issues and an annotated,
critical bibliography relevant to Australian computer games censorship.
In doing so, it presents its subject matter in detail with the aim of establishing
higher standards for online resource guides on specific topics in government
and special libraries. The Games Censorship Collection site also
hopes to have presented a guide to resources which will assist people to
make more informed, and therefore more valid, decisions which will impact
beneficially on the society they represent.
It has been five years since
the Film Classification Guidelines have been formally reviewed. The
Computer Games Classification Guidelines have never before been reviewed
since their inception back in 1994. Although there were indications
of a planned review of the Computer Games Classification Guidelines around
the same time as the last Film Classification Guidelines review, the actual
review has been repeatedly delayed. Since the last review of the
Film Classification Guidelines, many research findings have become known
and technological advances made that have rendered the current Guidelines
for both media semi-obsolete. With revised Guidelines that intelligently,
fairly, and accurately take the realities of modern entertainment media
and their consumer demographics into account, Australia can ensure that
its regulatory system for these products establishes a new benchmark for
such guidelines worldwide.
For the purposes of this
Web site, censorship is defined as:
Any attempt, whether successful
or not, made by any group or individual to restrict public access to computer
games on the grounds that a lack of such regulation would lead to moral
and/or psychological corruption among some or all sections of the population.
Classification is considered
a form of censorship under this definition.
Larme's Websites Main Page
eBrief at the Australian Parliamentary Library that inspired this Website