Games - Government Publications - Monographs
Articles - Magazine Articles - Newspaper
Wide Web - Unpublished
World Wide Web
Numerous Web pages, both
local and overseas based, have an undoubtedly high value in informing any
researcher into the computer games censorship debate. Only a select,
but representative, few can be presented here. As anti-censorship
people are most likely to be both highly computer literate and knowledgeable
about computer games, they are best represented in this section.
These resources are particularly useful for understanding overseas
developments in the debate and for stakeholder
and gamer demographics issues. This
page also includes additional Australian Federal
Government resources of relevance in the debate. These Government
sources are instrumental in establishing who plays computer games and the
effects of our current computer games censorship scheme.
Bureau of Statistics [ABS]. (1998, November 2). 8146.0 More detailed
analysis of the use of information technology in the home
Retrieved March 30, 2001, from the World Wide Web:
According to detailed statistical
research undertaken by the Australian Government, as many as forty-four
percent of adults who have a computer in their homes use it frequently
to play games. This compares with a figure of eighty-five percent
for their children. It may be deduced from these figures that a sizeable
portion of adults are sufficiently familiar with computers, games in particular,
to adequately supervise their children's use of such entertainment.
Board of Film Classification [BBFC]. (2001, March 16). British Board
of Film Classification - Policy. Retrieved April 4, 2001, from the
World Wide Web:
The United Kingdom's censorship
officials permit levels of sexual content in computer games sold in that
country that would cause the same titles to be banned in Australia.
Such controversial games may receive a 15+ or 18+ rating, as do films that
contain similar material, and thus be restricted for sale to those above
a certain age. See also Overseas Censorship.
Frontiers Australia [EFA]. (2001, January 27). Other censorship resources.
Retrieved March 29, 2001, from the World Wide Web:
Although primarily a non-profit
organization dedicated to protecting and enhancing the freedoms of Internet
users, the EFA also supports other anti-censorship causes such as the right
for adult computer gamers to buy and play games designed for their age
group. This support is reflected in the links they provide to other
censorship resources on their Web site such as to external anti games censorship
Software Ratings Board [ESRB]. (2001). About ratings and descriptors.
Retrieved March 30, 2001, from the World Wide Web:
In the United States, most
games are rated by the ESRB. This
organization provides a wide-ranging system of ratings that takes into
account the needs of many age groups, adults included. Consumer advice
is also provided so that all interested parties can have a better idea
as to the exact reasons for the rating on any particular title. See
also Overseas Censorship.
Leisure Software Publishers Association [ELSPA]. (2001).
One step ahead
of the game. Retrieved August 16, 2001, from the World Wide Web:
Many games sold in Europe
carry the age category rating of the ELSPA.
As with the UK and US ratings systems, they allow games to be specifically
rated for adults only. Like the ESRB
system, it was developed by knowledgeable games industry bodies to avoid
imminent tough government imposed regulation.
I. (2000, April 22). The state of censorship: Fact, fallacy and urban
myths. Retrieved March 29, 2001, from the World Wide Web:
One of the EFA's most prominent
members exposes what she sees as the negative myths surrounding computer
games. Taking a strongly anti-censorship position, she explains and
supports her contentions with considerable evidence. Most of the
common accusations against computer games
are addressed in some way.
Another notable generalist
Australian Web site dedicated to fighting local censorship has been created
by the Watch
on Censorship organisation.
L. (1998, April 2). Sex in games. Retrieved April 6, 1998, from
the World Wide Web:
Taking note of the controversies
caused by sexual content in computer games,
a division (GameCenter) of one of the Internet's largest news and information
Web sites (cNet) interviewed
several people, all connected to the games industry in some way, so that
they could air their views on this contentious issue. Interviewees
included actual games player, game designers, and games journalists.
Somewhat predictably, no one protested too strenuously against sexual content
in games, those who did protest did so mainly out of the fact they considered
sex to get in the way of a good plot and associated gameplay. Most
interviewees took an anti-censorship position.
J. (1996, August 13). Games and laws around the world. Retrieved
August 15, 1996, from the World Wide Web:
In a rare move, a major games
review Web site decided to compare games regulation legislation in various
countries around the world. Such countries included Australia,
the UK, the USA,
Canada, Germany, France, and Japan. Concerns about games within each
of these countries tend to differ and different regulations have arisen
because of such variation of opinion. No one country is placed above
or below another as the various cultural traditions are well respected
by the article's writer.
of Film and Literature Classification [OFLC]. (2001b). OFLC Database
Search. Retrieved August 8, 2001, from the World Wide Web:
This comprehensive listing
of all computer games banned by the Australian censors reveals that no
game has been banned in the past three years. Games initially banned
but then permitted, and games allowed only in permanently censored versions
do not appear on the list. Games permitted in many overseas countries
but never submitted for classification in Australia are likewise absent.
C. (2001, January 27). Plans for r-rated computer games. The Australian
[On-Line]. Retrieved January 27, 2001, from the World Wide Web:
With the convergence of technology
that has allowed the dividing line between DVDs and computer games to blur
(see Tender Loving Care), the
OFLC decided to launch a re-evaluation of the guidelines currently used
to rate computer games. In particular, and in full accordance with
their five years of research on this issue, they proposed the creation
of an adults-only category for computer games. Upon learning this
news, Young Media Australia protested, arguing
as they have for years (and against the most
recent OFLC research) that such a rating would be harmful to minors.