Today in what can only be described as a classic knee jerk reaction the Australian Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC), responsible for the classification of Computer Games in Australia, issued notices on several game publishers to withdraw as many as 10 game titles from the shelves for reclassification. In two reported cases in Victoria, OFLC sent in Government representatives to game shops to seize games.
Games that are confirmed to be effected at this stage are GTA3 (Take2) Ghost Recon (Ubisoft), Conflict Zone (Ubisoft).
This is a reaction to an article today (AusGamers Story), in both the Age Newspaper (Melb) and the Sun Herald (Syd) that again cites violent video games as possibly being a bad influence on young people. The article itself was prompted by a Victorian State parliamentary inquiry that concluded "more studies need to be carried out into the link between violent computer games and aggressive behaviour".
The issue is further complicated by the way that classification is dealt with in Australia, and todays move seems more about fixing up OFLCs lax classification system, a system that can take weeks to classify a computer game in a market where time means the difference between a profit and a loss to game publishers.
GTA3 has been refused classification (Story) by OLFC, however Ghost Recon and Conflict Zone must be submitted for full classification before they are again allowed to go on sale in Australia, its expected that the recent sweeping move will effect many of the major titles recently released for Christmas.
Almost all the titles mentioned in todays newspaper article have been pulled from the shelves until classification can be established.
News source: AusGamers.com