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2021: April-June

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Mary Skelter Finale...

The latest video game to banned by the Australian Censorship Board


Link Here28th June 2021
Full story: Banned Games in Australia...Games and the Australian Censorship Board
Mary Skelter Finale is a 2021 Japan console game by Idea Factory

The game was banned ('Refused Classification' in censor speak) in June 2021 by the Australian Censorship Board. The game is PEGI 16 rated in Europe.

Kotaku Australia revealedl that the game was specifically banned over instances of hypersexualised imagery, including scenes that the Board described as implied sexual violence and exploitative or offensive depictions of minors.

 

 

Internet Harm...

Australia's Online Censorship Bill passes in the Senate


Link Here25th June 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in Australia...Wide ranging state internet censorship

A controversial online censorship bill passed the Australian senate on Tuesday night, moving the censorship closer to becoming law.

The Online Safety Bill 2021 forces social media companies, internet and hosting providers to remove supposedly 'harmful' material within 24 hours.

The eSafety commissioner will also be granted stronger censorship powers to block access to domains and URLs where material is hosted.

A senate committee gave the bill the green light after delivering recommendations in March. The committee said the aims of the legislation were strongly supported however, expressed concerns over the commissioner's future powers.

Similar concerns were raised by Google Australia, which worried about the fast rate the legislation was moving. Google Australia added it was often impossible for a cloud provider to remove individual pieces of content, which the internet giant said the bill fails to address.

The Online Safety Bill is expected to shortly pass through the House and take effect six months later.

 

 

Offsite Article: Unsafe legislation...


Link Here21st May 2021
The protections of Australia's online safety bill exclude us sex workers. By Gala Vanting

See article from theguardian.com

 

 

Disco Champions...

Distributors of Disco Elysium video game successfully appeal against being banned by the Australian Censorship Board


Link Here15th May 2021
Full story: Banned Games in Australia...Games and the Australian Censorship Board
Disco Elysium: The Final Cut is a 2021 role playing game by ZA/UM

A three-member panel of the Classification Review Board has unanimously determined that the computer game, Disco Elysium: The Final Cut, is classified R 18+ (Restricted) with the consumer advice High impact themes, coarse language, and drug references.

In the Classification Review Board's opinion Disco Elysium: The Final Cut warrants an R 18+ classification because the themes, coarse language and drug references have a high impact. The overall impact of the classifiable elements in the game was high. The Review Board also considered the appeal of the game to be skewed to an adult audience.

In the Review Board's opinion, while drug use linked to incentives and rewards cannot be accommodated at R 18+, this game does provide disincentives related to drug-taking behaviour, to the point where regular drug use leads to negative consequences for the player's progression in the game. It was, specifically, the disincentives for drug use that influenced the Review Board in making their decision. Drug use is not explicitly depicted within the game. The game contains frequent strong coarse language, often used aggressively, which has a high impact. The themes within the game are related to a detective investigating a murder while also attempting to manage his own alcohol addiction, and getting his life back together after his substance abuse. The themes and drug references within the game are inextricably linked.

The Review Board convened on 11 May 2021 in response to an application from the original applicant, Zaum Studio OU, to review the decision made by the Classification Board on 18 March 2021 to classify Disco Elysium204The Final Cut RC (Refused Classification).

The Review Board is an independent merits review body. It makes a fresh classification decision upon receipt of an application for review. This Review Board decision takes the place of the original decision made by the Classification Board.

 

 

Ascendant...

Australian age rating for movie lowered on appeal


Link Here27th April 2021
Full story: Movies Cut in Australia...Cut by the film censor, often for a lower rating

Ascendant is a 2021 Australia Sci-Fi mystery fantasy by Antaine Furlong (as Anthony Furlong)
Starring Charlotte Best, Jonny Pasvolsky and Susan Prior IMDb

A young environmentalist wakes, trapped, kidnapped in the elevator of a super high-rise building at the mercy of her tormentors

The original age rating from the Australian Censorship Board of MA15+ for strong themes and violence was reduced on appeal to M for mature fantasy themes, violence and blood detail. Note that MA 15+ would be likened to a 15A in UK terms whereas M would be likened to a PG-15 in US terms.

Australia's Classification Review Board explained:

In the Classification Review Board's opinion, Ascendant warrants an M classification because the themes and violence can be accommodated within context. The other classifiable elements can be accommodated at lower classifications.

It is the view of the Classification Review Board that the themes and violence within Ascendant were justified within the context of a fantasy narrative, and within this context they were of moderate impact.

It is for the above reasons, that the Classification Review Board has decided Ascendant warrants an M classification as the impact of its classifiable elements is no higher than moderate.

 

 

Disco Elysium...

Games connections appeal against being banned by the Australian games censor


Link Here26th April 2021
Full story: Banned Games in Australia...Games and the Australian Censorship Board
Disco Elysium: The Final Cut is a 2021 role playing game by ZA/UM

The Classification Review Board has received an application to review the classification of the computer game, Disco Elysium: The Final Cut.

Disco Elysium: The Final Cut was banned by the Classification Board on 18 March 2021. The Australian Censorship Board banned the game presumably because the core gameplay mechanics prominently include drugs and alcohol and which is a bit of a no-no for the country's censors.

The Classification Review Board will meet on Tuesday 11 May 2021 to consider the application.

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