Australia Bans 220 Video Games in 4 Months
Since July 1st, 2015, Australia has enlisted itself to partake in the IARC program for one year. It aims at an international unification of the rating guidelines for video games. The UK, the majority of Europe, the US, Canada and Brazil also joined the program.
Since 150.000 - 200.000 new games are released in physical and digital retail each year, criteria were used on a collection of approx. 150.000 games in order to assign them to the ratings process. Especially online games were omitted from classification in Australia in the past. By now, 220 games were banned already.
IARC - The International Age Rating Coalition
This is how the classification works: game developers sign up for the IARC and get a free software tool with thousands of questions about the content, such as: "Does the game contain any bodily functions such as belching, flatulence, or vomiting when used for humorous purposes?". With the result of this questionnair, the developers can then see what rating they can expect in the worldwide market and make adjustments if they desire something different.
This cost-effective form of self-censorship especially enables small studios and indies to adjust their software to the legal guidelines of the member countries.