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 itnews.com.au, 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.