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GAMES CENSORSHIP COLLECTION

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Resources
Computer Games - Government Publications - Monographs
Journal Articles - Magazine Articles - Newspaper Articles
World Wide Web - Unpublished

Unpublished

These are highly specialist resources, usually dealing with minute, precise issues within the larger Australian computer games censorship debate.  Formats are wide and varied.  Presented here is just a very small, but representative, sampling of the total resources held by the author of this Web site.
 

- Emails -

These messages are evidence of the way in which Australia's computer games censorship scheme operated in relation to one particular controversial title - Phantasmagoria 2.
 

Van Raay, M. (1997a, March 17). Re: Phantasmagoria 2 and the OFLC.  Email message to Anthony Larme.

Phantasmagoria 2 was passed by the Office of Film and Literature Classification in a censored form (rather than banned altogether) mainly owing to the persistent efforts of Michael Van Raay, a representative of the Australian distributor of this game.  In this email message, he tells Anthony Larme exactly what went on behind the scenes in order to bring about this situation.  Van Raay believes that many OFLC members agree to the idea of games for adults, but cannot change the guidelines they must work with alone.
 

Van Raay, M. (1997b, March 19).  Re: A few more Phantas2 censorship questions.  Email message to Anthony Larme.

As a follow-up to his earlier remarks, Van Raay elaborates on some of his behind the scenes experiences and states that he and the large local company he represents continues to push for a games ratings system that recognises that adults play computer games.  He clearly appreciates the dedication of some adult games players in supporting this cause.
 

- Letter -

Once again, an insider view of the actual operation of Australia's computer games censorship system is uncovered in an analysed resource.
 

Clark, D. (2001, March 29). Letter to Anthony Larme. Sydney: Office of Film and Literature Classification.

The Director of the OFLC, Des Clark, writes to Anthony Larme in response to his enquiry as to the date of the computer games guidelines review.  Clark states that it will occur soon and be part of a complex official process that will take some time to complete.  Anyone seen as being particularly interested in this process will receive a paper copy of the discussion paper that will form the basis of the review.   See also Stewart, 2001.
 

- Memo -

This is pretty much the same as in the Emails section above except that it relates to the controversy surrounding Duke Nukem 3D.
 

Mackay, I. (1996). Re: Duke Nukem 3D. Brisbane: Manaccom.

In a memo to retailers, the Managing Director of the company who distributed Duke Nukem 3D in Australia tells of the censorship controversies this game aroused with the OFLC and how he and his retailers felt exasperated by these needless inconveniences.  As a result, he created and circulated a petition for adult games shoppers to sign to send to the Government to prove the demand for adult games.
 

- Press Release -

Overseas developments and research into computer game demographics can be seen quite prominently in this resource.
 

Interactive Digital Software Association [IDSA]. (1996). New study documents broad appeal of interactive entertainment software and hardware.  Washington D.C.: Interactive Digital Software Association. 

US-based IDSA, the industry body for computer and video games publishers, found that seventy-two percent of computer games players are over the age of eighteen and that forty percent of these are women.  This flies in the face of common belief that games are just for kids, especially teenaged boys.  Such findings were based on a sampling of 1,700 US households that owned at least one gaming machine.
 

- Submissions -

Senate Committee inquiry submissions outline the accusations made against computer games very well.  They also provide additional information as to the local stakeholders in this debate.
 

Balnaves, J. (1996). Catholic Women's League, Archdiocese of Canberra and Coulburn [sic]. Submission to the Committee of Ministers on the Portrayal of Violence.  Canberra: Catholic Women's League. 

The Catholic Women's League takes the view that children are extremely impressionable when they watch or play violent entertainment material and thus need to be stringently protected against its inevitable negative effects.  Such violent entertainment material has increased markedly with the rise of computer games and the Internet.  Strict Government regulation is required for the overall good of the community.
 

Biggins, B. (1996). Young Media Australia. Submission to the Committee of Ministers on the Portrayal of Violence. Adelaide: Young Media Australia.

Although YMA holds no clear religious views, it is the most powerful and enthusiastic group in the Australian community with the aim of protecting children through the significantly increased censorship of visual entertainment material, computer games included.  They are particularly opposed to the introduction of an R rating for computer games on the grounds that they see adults as been technologically illiterate and thus unable to protect their children from the perceived strong negative affects of these games. Phantasmagoria is singled out as a computer game whose ban was well deserved, not just for the sexual scenes, but for the scenes of extreme horror as well.
 

Phillips, R. (1996). Submission to the Committee of Ministers on the Portrayal of Violence. Adelaide: Festival of Light.

This submission has little to say regarding computer games in particular, but does mention them in speaking out against violence and sexual content in visual entertainment as a whole.  It proposes a far stricter censorship system than currently applies to films and games on the grounds of protecting society, particularly the most vulnerable and impressionable members, namely children. 
 
 

© Anthony Larme 2002
larme@hotmail.com
Comments and questions are most welcome