Is Australia getting grown up about age ratings?

This is a guest post by Lachlan Kingsford, an Australian games scholar and the brains behind Nerdy Gentleman.  I asked him to tell us a bit about the latest state of play regarding Australian games classification, which I’ve written about previously. There is something rotten with the state of gaming in Australia. Unlike other entertainment… Continue reading Is Australia getting grown up about age ratings?

The ESRB mobile app rating system: is it missing some teeth?

The first move towards pan-mobile industry age ratings began last week – but I’m not sure it got off to a roaring start. The move was made by two US bodies: the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB – the body responsible for the self-regulatory model of games age ratings in the USA) and CTIA (“The… Continue reading The ESRB mobile app rating system: is it missing some teeth?

Medal of Honor, Games Classification and Free Speech

I’ve been meaning for some time to write about two things: (1) EA’s stunt over introducing the Taliban into Medal of Honor as a playable faction, and their subsequent u-turn; and (2) the pending US Supreme Court case over games classification in California.  In both cases, I am v interested in what these developments mean for… Continue reading Medal of Honor, Games Classification and Free Speech

Analysis: are age ratings coming to social and mobile games?

Are we seeing the start of a trend towards governments extending their games classification rules to mobile and social games?  If so, this is going to cause some serious friction with the games industry. Examples: in August, the Australian Labour Party promised (if re-elected – which now looks highly likely) to apply its notoriously restrictive games classification laws to… Continue reading Analysis: are age ratings coming to social and mobile games?

EA courts controversy with Medal of Honor ‘Taliban’ playability

News has emerged that the next Medal of Honor game, EA’s wannabe answer to Acti’s Modern Warfare, will permit gamers to play as the Taliban in multiplayer mode. At which point, various people (including me) raise an eyebrow and conclude that this is quite deliberately intended as a media stunt (as was Modern Warfare 2’s infamous… Continue reading EA courts controversy with Medal of Honor ‘Taliban’ playability

US Supreme Court to rule on violent video games

The US Supreme Court has agreed to rule on the constitutionality of a Californian law banning the sale or rental of violent video games to minors, according to the SCOTUS blog.  The case is expected to decide whether states constitutionally can ban the supply of violent video games to under 18s.  The In a nutshell,… Continue reading US Supreme Court to rule on violent video games

Starcraft II to be rated 18 in South Korea

Starcraft II has been given an 18 age classification by South Korea’s Games Rating Board, reports Gamesindustry.biz. Although Starcraft II beta was given a 15 classification, the South Korean Games Rating Board reportedly justified the increased classification to a more thorough review than the beta had received.  Beyond that, no information has been released explaining… Continue reading Starcraft II to be rated 18 in South Korea

Australia edges closer to an 18 games rating?

New South Australian Attorney General John Rau says he’s currently neutral on the issue of an 18 age rating for games in the country, reports Gamesindustry.biz. He told Gamespot AU that he had “no preconceptions about this issue and intend[s] to listen to the arguments” but that, until he has been able to read up on… Continue reading Australia edges closer to an 18 games rating?

Opinion: games and the Byron Progress Review

In 2007, Tania Byron was asked by the UK government to conduct an “independent review looking at the risks to children from exposure to potentially harmful or inappropriate material on the internet and in video games“.  This became the Byron Review in 2008, which made a number of proposals to better protect children online.  In… Continue reading Opinion: games and the Byron Progress Review

Games censorship and classification in 2010, part 1

At the end of last year, I wrote a retrospective on games classification and censorship across in the world in 2009, which – perhaps unsuprisingly – showed a totally inconsistent worldwide approach with different countries adopting hostile or progressive approaches to the regulation of games, virtually all of which was justified by reference to the… Continue reading Games censorship and classification in 2010, part 1