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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.

 

 

Bleeping censors...

Intel is planning a system for sensitive gamers to block triggering language


Link Here12th April 2021
Intel is planning to enable gamers to filter strong language and 'hate speech' from their video game experience by creating an AI censor program called Bleep.

The company is working with Spirit AI to create a 'safe space' for sensitive souls.

Bleep allows gamers to adjust a sliding scale that bocks problematic speech including xenophobia and racism, ableism, misogyny, and name-calling. The system includes an on-off switch for the N-word.

Intel plans to launch the tool later in 2021.

 

 

Recommending Six Days in Fallujah...

US muslim campaign group seeks to get video game banned


Link Here10th April 2021
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim advocacy group is calling for the censorship of Highwire Games' Six Days in Fallujah.

CAIR has called on Sony's Playstation, Microsoft's Xbox, and Valve's Steam not to host the upcoming game.The group claims that the game promotes Islamophobia and normalizes violence against Muslims. In a statement, CAIR said:

The gaming industry must stop dehumanising Muslims. Video games like Six Days in Fallujah only serve to glorify violence that took the lives of hundreds of Iraqi civilians, justify the Iraq war, and reinforce anti-Muslim sentiment at a time when anti-Muslim bigotry continues to threaten human life.

We call on Microsoft, Sony and Valve to ban their platforms from hosting Six Days in Fallujah.

The game is based on the 2004 Second Battle of Fallujah during the Iraq War. The battle resulted in an unknown number of civilian deaths, and more than 100 US and UK troops. Six Days in Fallujah was first announced in 2009 but at the time, its publisher, Konami, dropped it due to widespread calls for censorship.

 

 

Updated: A censorship mystery...

The Australian Censorship Board has banned the video game Disco Elysium: The Final Cut


Link Here29th March 2021
Full story: Games Censorship in Australia...Censorship rules for games
Disco Elysium: The Final Cut is the latest video game in a long line of censorship casualties in Australia.

The game launches on March 30th 2021 for PlayStation and Stadia owners but the Australian government has banned it from sale in the country.

The Australian Censorship Board hasn't specified exactly why Disco Elysium's been banned and developer ZA/UM has yet to publicly respond on this. However the core gameplay mechanics prominently include drugs and alcohol and which is a bit of a no-no for the country's censors.

 

Update: Criticising Australia's archaic games censorship

29th March 2021. Thanks to Daniel. See article from theguardian.com

The banning of video game Disco Elysium from sale in Australia has renewed calls for the Australian government to overhaul the classification system to move away from the moral panic associated with video games.

The chief executive of the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association, Ron Curry, told Guardian Australia:

Games are treated differently and the classification guidelines do not hide it. In spite of the government's own research to the contrary, when an R18+ classification was introduced for games they still insisted on making interactivity a determinant in classifying games, unlike film and publications.

There are also other restrictions levelled at games around violence, sex, drug use and incentives that aren't applied to film.

The sad reality is that the national classification system applies a stricter set of rules for video games than it does for pretty much every other kind of content, reflecting the early 1990s era in which those rules were written, when video games were associated with a moral panic and certainly not treated as the mainstream medium and artistic discipline that they are.

The Australian Lawyers Alliance said in a submission to a public consultation on the government's upcoming internet censorship bill named the Online Safety Bill:

The online classification system needed review, which should be done before the online safety bill passes. This bill should not be reliant on such an outdated classification system. The ALA therefore submits that this legislation should not proceed until such a review into the [classification scheme], incorporating community consultation, has been undertaken.


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