Several times last year Australian games ratings have been reported for arbitrary ratings assigned under the Australian Classification Board's IARC automated game and app rating tool.
Variants of the same game on different platforms appeared in
the classification database with wildly different outcomes. One game achieved being 15 rated, 18 rated and banned. Inevitably when the shit hit the fan and the incompetent ratings gained the attention of publicity, human censors stepped in and sorted out
the rating (down to 15), and expunged all the embarrassing misfires from the database.
Well it seems that the shoddy system has been discussed for a while and a damning report from 2016 has just been published as a result of a Freedom of
The report reveals that a selection of ratings from the tool were audited by compared them with an assessment from a human censor.
Results were particularly atrocious fro the higher ratings. A table on page 13 reveals
56% of M (PG-15) ratings assigned by the tool were wrong
72% of MA 15+ ratings were wrong
100% of R 18+ ratings were wrong
99% of RC (banned) ratings were wrong
In all of these categories the automated ratings were nearly always lowered by the audit.
The failure of the system was attributed to the inaccuracy of data input but surely this is a systemic failure to define tight enough definitions of date
A game which challenges players to spread a deadly virus around the world has been banned in China, its makers have said.
Plague Inc. has been pulled from the Chinese app store for including illegal content, British-based developer Ndemic
Creations said. In a statement, Ndemic Creations said:
We have some very sad news to share with our China-based players. We've just been informed that Plague Inc. 'includes content that is illegal in China as
determined by the Cyberspace Administration of China' and has been removed from the China App Store. This situation is completely out of our control.
Plague Inc. has become a huge hit since it was launched eight years ago. It now has 130
million players worldwide and soared in popularity in China amid the coronavirus outbreak, becoming the bestselling app in the country in January. Some players suggested they were downloading the game as a way to cope with fears surrounding the virus.
Mary Skelter 2 is a 2018 Japan console game by Compile Heart
The game was originally banned for its October 2019 release by the Australian Censorship Board. But now it has relented and awarded the
game an R18+ rating.
It is reported that all traces of the earlier ban have now been removed from the Australian Censorship Board's online database.
The change of heart
is typical of Australia's automated games classification scheme This produces random MA15+, R18+ or banned (refused classification) ratings for games. If the game is of sufficient economic importance then human censors are asked to jump in
and sort out the mess.