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Classification board seeks to rate iPhone apps for Australians

Just when you can't imagine the level of absurdity relating to anything to do with our games classification system getting any sillier, along comes some news that raises that bar to even greater mind-numbing heights.

The classification board (a part of The Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) body) has expressed concerns to Government that downloadable games and applications for mobile devices like the iPhone and iTouch are skipping classification, and are seeking to have the current ratings process applied to each and every downloadable game and application out there.

Yes, including 80,000 of them on the iPhone / iTouch alone.

From, Australia's Classification Board director Donald McDonald told a Senate Estimates committee in Canberra on Monday...

"I recently wrote to the minister regarding my concern that some so-called mobile phone applications, which can be purchased online or either downloaded to mobile phones or played online via mobile phone access, are not being submitted to the board for classification"

There are a few important and obvious factors worth pointing out here:

1. In 2008-09 the classification board received 7,036 applications (with 1,095 computer games). Yes, that's 7,000 applications reviewed in a two year period. That's just under a tenth of the amount of games and apps currently at the appstore.
2. Apple does not allow adult related content on the appstore anyway. While it's true that some objectional content does slip through, Apple does take them offline fairly promptly once they've been alerted.
3. There's a fee involved for the OFLC to review a game (around $1000, I've read). It's *highly* unlikely any indie developer from around the world will even bother shelling that kind of money to have their program looked at just for the Australian market. If it's not classified, vendors like Apple would have to adhere to the law and omit it from sale to Australians.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 23/10/09 - 8:48 AM Permalink


Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 23/10/09 - 10:16 AM Permalink

Hopefully the archaric attitude by our government continues to be exposed with high profile cases like this.

It's the only way it will modernise.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 23/10/09 - 10:49 AM Permalink

Perhaps th' OFLC can create some content review jobs for devs looking for some casual work.?
Otherwise, a bloody stupid unrealistic idea; if that. Represent my nuts.

-- Chuan

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 23/10/09 - 2:49 PM Permalink

Maybe they should head over to www ratemyc*ck com and spend their time picking out which ones are suitable for Australians.

Submitted by Conor on Fri, 23/10/09 - 4:46 PM Permalink

Perhaps the office of film and literature classification should stick to film and literature classification like it's supposed to. We need a new office to handle games since the OFLC is unable to manage this. We also need everyone to stop voting for labor so that senator Michael Atkinson is pushed out of office and we can have an 18s rating for games.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 23/10/09 - 11:45 PM Permalink

As far as I understand it the OFLC only really has control over things that are advertised in Australia. I guess all the advertising that Apple does here really does give them a hand-hold there, and maybe that's why they ain't gone after a service like Steam.

Oh well ... here's to "the end times".

Or as far as I can understand it ...

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 24/10/09 - 12:25 PM Permalink

The funniest bit is that no one has mentioned that this guys name, is, DONALD..MCDONALD!