Pretty soon Australian gamers won't be able to access anymore those websites that host and sell games which the government deems to contain content "edgier" than what is allowed under an MA-15 rating. Doesn't matter if you're above 18 not, if it's blocked, you're not getting to it.
Stephen Conroy, spokesman for Communications Minister, explained to the Sydney Morning Herald:
This is confirmation that the scope of the mandatory censorship scheme will keep on creeping. Far from being the ultimate weapon against child abuse, it now will officially censor content deemed too controversial for a 15-year-old. In a free country like ours, do we really need the government to step in and save us from racy web games?
He further explained that this scheme will be applied to downloadable games, Flash games, and websites that are in the business of selling boxed copies of MA-15 games thru mail order.
Looks like famous MMORPGs such as Second Life and World of Warcraft may very well be affected by this new censorship policy, if it pushes through.
That [online games] exemption [on content ratings] is the only reason why multi-player games with user-generated environments are possible in this country; without it, it'd only take one game user anywhere in the world to produce objectionable content in the game environment to make the Australian Government ban the game for everyone.