Posted in: Technology

Confirmed: Second Life, online adult games to be banned outright in Australia

conroy-1

The Australian Minister for Censorship has today confirmed what I’ve been reporting for nearly two years: online adult games including Second Life will be banned in Australia.

A spokesman for Censorship Minister Stephen “Goebbels” Conroy confirmed to Fairfax newspapers that “under the filtering plan, it will be extended to downloadable games, flash-based web games and sites which sell physical copies of games that do not meet the MA15+ standard.” In Australia, the MA15+ rating means that the content is restricted to those aged 15 and above. Australia does not have a R 18+ or similar rating for computer games, with all adult games automatically being classified as RC (Refused Classification.)

I wish I hadn’t been right here, so I take no delight in being so. However I was derided by more than a few bible bashing ALP voting Conroy lovers (in a platonic sense of course, cock sucking will be banned under the censorship regime) as being extreme and wrong in the past, so here’s two examples of things I’ve written previously about what Conroy was planning to do:

December 2007
To be censored by the Australian Government is “pornography and inappropriate material.” X rated pornography is illegal online in Australia, as are casino style internet gambling, certain forms of “hate” speech and R rated computer games.

January 2009
We know that among other “unwanted” things, the following falls into the censorship regime: porn, R rated games, certain types of political speech (for example discussion of methods of euthanasia) and possibly copyrighted content.

I am though surprised this is news today, as the policy was ALWAYS THERE in the fine print from day one. Conroy has waffled and avoided ever giving a direct answer about until now, but he’s also very good at that.

That at the half way point of 2009 this is even still on the agenda in Australia is a fucking disgrace, and the more the Government confirms the details, the more totalitarian the proposal becomes, and even China starts to look more open and free.

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Comments

32 Responses to “Confirmed: Second Life, online adult games to be banned outright in Australia”

  1. matthooper

    It will be interesting to see how Second Life and WoW are treated, that's for sure. It seems overkill if they do ban SL outright, particularly given the moves by Linden Labs to change the way adult material is handled (see . Surely it would be more reasonable to allow adults to opt-in to taking part in SL and WoW if they so choose. Btw – SL isn't just about the adult content, despite commonly held (mis)conceptions!

  2. awsomelol

    this is bull, second life is 18+, and the censorship is about protecting children, children shouldn't even be fucking playing it anyway

  3. ABDesignsinc

    Awsome, Second Life is 18+ but! Linden Lab's has the right to Merge the Teen grid with the Main Grid Which Will Happen In A Few Month's Because of This Mini Grid Called Zindra, So Really Second Life is gonna be Any Age Soon Cause When They Merge Those Grids To One it's gonna Be Weird.

    - Anthony M

  4. Lee

    Well if that's true, then as an Aussie I say, I want out of this dammed country, I have an 3D gallery on secondlife in the pg sector of it, it is where I show my art and run a legit business, I make my living there, my 13 year old girl said how disgusting, basic internet safety taught by parents is all us kids need, so to our dear dictators, keep you filthy hands of our net!!!

  5. Steven

    The reason it's news now is because Conroy just got around to answering the latest batch of Senator Ludlum's questions on notice in which he confirmed that games will be blacklisted – prior to this, many knowledgeable people in the debate assumed that they would somehow make an exception for games. See QON 1496(13) from the Hansard of Monday, 22 June 2009.

  6. John E. Bredehoft (Empoprises)

    Clearly something to watch. In his writings, Duncan has been constantly lumping Australia and China in the same boat, and if access to the Second Life site is clearly restricted to Australians, many others will do so also.

  7. Nulflux Negulesco

    The perception that Second Life is a grid-wide mass orgy should re-examined. I've been making a living in Second Life for the last two years selling my inventions and I can tell you – those people who see SL as only an online whorehouse are perverted sex addicts to begin with and when they log into the Internet (not just SL) that's ALL they look for. If you seek it, you shall find. To be honest I really don't care what other people choose to do with their Second Life and NEITHER should you. Second Life is a fantasy land, where you should be able to do anything you want without someone else forcing their opinionated rules on the metaverse society. If I buy a simulator in SL I should be able to build whatever I damn well please and YOU (who did not contribute to purchasing or maintaining the simulator) should stay out of my business. If you are a prude and don't like sex, don't search for it and don't visit adult simulators. Plain and simple. If you seek such things out you're a pervert and a hypocrite.

    To those of you who spend so much time complaining about the adult content in Second Life, you need to first realize that copious amounts of adult images, video and games are available for free on the INTERNET. It is much easier to access high quality life-like pornography on the good 'ol WWW because the prevalence of such content is drastically higher there than it is in Second Life. Don't believe me? Do a Google search for any sex-related term and you get MILLIONS of results – most of which when you click on show explicit hardcore images or video.

    To the parents who are saying 'we have to do it for the children' I say you're full of crap. If your child is on the INTERNET to download and access Second Life, they already have a vector for pornographic delivery that is MUCH more powerful than Second Life could hope to be. I truly see more images of naked people simply surfing the web for mundane things than I ever have in Second Life.

    To those of you who say 'they should verify the identity with a credit card' I say you really are naive. Anyone wanting pornographic material, much more hardcore and realistic than SL could provide – could do a simple Google search for 'xhamster' or 'thumbzilla' or 'jesuslovesporn' and you will notice that these sites have enormous amounts of material that you can access for FREE with no credit card whatsoever. Dig a little further and you will find hundreds of thousands of websites similar to the ones mentioned above.

    As I mentioned, I make a living in Second Life. The money I make there selling such things as particle effects, fireworks systems and custom made avatars puts food on our table, buys the diapers for my baby and allows me to work from home so I can enjoy spending time with the little one as he grows. When you slander SL and drive customers away from my products because of 'sex' or whatever, you are undermining my ability to continue providing for the well being of my family. So stop the slander about Second Life and stop trying to dictate my fantasy world. If you don't like it, you can get your own fantasy world and it will be exactly what you want it to be, somewhere else.

  8. astralpilgrim

    If Linden Labs had done what they have been advised to do for many years now this could be avoided in Australia and potentially many other countries – an 18+ online game should require credit card verification of age by default. The fact age verification is optional yet exposure to pornographic content is not controlled is just asking for it – Linden Labs are bringing this on themselves.

    That said an outright ban is not likely of the SL grid, there is no reason the Teen grid can not remain open. Australian government are showing their idiocy here by not even having an 18 rating system in place. It basically tells the rest of he world that there in Australia adults are treated like 15 year olds….

  9. Chris Linka

    Poor, poor Ausies. and I thought New Zealand was bad for banning Mickey Mouse. Tsk, tsk, tsk…..glad i live in Canada….the best and possibly the most free country in the world.

  10. komisan

    Any links to your source? I would like to read more about this thanks.

  11. rosemarymorton

    I am upset that i as a woman of 52 years will be penalised for the smaller population of under 18's….this is an outrage and more fitting for Russia. I have confirmed my age on any game that i play and do not partake in sexual activity…this i could do on Skype or any other format that a web cam would take me. How narrow minded and stupid waste of energy …should we just ban the internet so that people no longer have the choice.
    Furthermore, i am insulted that it is assumed that many who access the internet where some adults play such stupid activities, leads me to no longer be able to continue my friendships and exploring and learning.

  12. Gumby_Roffo

    Roll on Election time so this tool can be voted out . Honestly as a communications minister Im seeing someone that has perhaps a background in bricklaying ( Sorry Brickies) trying to understand the internet.

  13. Iris54

    this is ridiculous!! Are we next going to be told what is acceptable for us to be wearing, and how to speak etc? thought this has been sorted already. There is a lot of money tied up for many of us in SL, if we are not allowed to be in SL, what happens to the money we have invested already? What about the many of us who for many reasons are not able to have social interaction in rl, who have friendships in Sl?? What happened to the freedom I thought we were famous for?? We might as well live in one of the countries where you have to have permission for everything. Hang your head in shame, whoever is making this decision!!!

  14. liasleandros

    This comes right on the heels of Linden Lab announcing Zindra as their new Adult only content continent – and then making it clear that non-adult content will be welcome in Zindra along with people who feel the need to wear child avatars in a continent advertised as the place in SL to access Rated X content. Coincidence I guess.

  15. grantsavage

    well my lad this country should have the American civil liberties union. This is not freedom of speach. And hense this gentleman has no right to dictate to others what they can or cant do in the privacy of there own home which he (as a government) tax out the bottom. This shoes once again how an elected official tries to gather the spotlight by picking up on a familiar subject. We have it here in the states and for the most part we are on to the fool who take there 15 minutes of fame.My country folk at heart they have no right to obstruct the use of anything that you are paying for in the freedom if your own home. Will he want to censor the use of television if he doesnt like the commercial or the show. It is shade of Joe McCarthy here in the state and if he is left go he will end up burning books and censoring your children cartoons. Will he have a censorship official at your sons football game when the coach curses at the officials.

    People of Australia unite against this Morone, because he is looking for the spotlight only, appointing himself the keeper of rights. If it works there in australia as here in the states he is probably a pedifile or frequent brothels downtown. Keep you mouths open. Only for your own civial right.He works for you, he is your employee you pay him and elected him.

    Grant Savage
    Member ACL
    Member SL USA

    Be well and travel safe

  16. grantdavies1

    well my lad this country should have the American civil liberties union. This is not freedom of speach. And hense this gentleman has no right to dictate to others what they can or cant do in the privacy of there own home which he (as a government) tax out the bottom. This shoes once again how an elected official tries to gather the spotlight by picking up on a familiar subject. We have it here in the states and for the most part we are on to the fool who take there 15 minutes of fame.My country folk at heart they have no right to obstruct the use of anything that you are paying for in the freedom if your own home. Will he want to censor the use of television if he doesnt like the commercial or the show. It is shade of Joe McCarthy here in the state and if he is left go he will end up burning books and censoring your children cartoons. Will he have a censorship official at your sons football game when the coach curses at the officials.

    People of Australia unite against this Morone, because he is looking for the spotlight only, appointing himself the keeper of rights. If it works there in australia as here in the states he is probably a pedifile or frequent brothels downtown. Keep you mouths open. Only for your own civial right.He works for you, he is your employee you pay him and elected him.

    Grant Savage
    Member ACL
    Member SL USA

    Be well and travel safe

  17. KMOSCO

    This is totally outrageous………………….This will be taking away someone from me that I really care about on Second Life…………… talk about ripping ones heart out, taking someone away from me. This needs to be stopped before it even gets started!

  18. anoninSL

    lol..they arent taking anyone away from you….they are censoring a game. Theres 10 million other ways you can communicate with someone Online.

  19. trishg

    OMFG this is supposed to be a free country im a adult and should be able to play wat ever game i choose plus its upto the parents to protect there children from the content on the web not the dam goverment we should be able to choose to have the filter or not if this is passed then this aint no free country its a freakin jail.
    Iv put alot of time and effet in creating my character and shops and for the goverment to turn around and say o we dont like sl well they will have halve the country telling then they can stick the censorship up there ***

  20. Jahn

    Australia is becoming more retarded for every year. Poor Aussies! I wouldn't wanna live there for sure.

  21. Lillipilli

    This is absolutely ridiculous, we have done the age verification thing, proved how old we are, whats the problem?? in response to a previous comment, people make friendships on SL even relationships! i understand u think that there are other options like yahoo and skype for friendships, but where on there can u hug someone? u cant! Sure they are avatars but sometimes its the thoughts and actions that count, i am an aussie and have made friends with people all over the world in SL, from NZ to Canada to the USA to Germany, we run a club, i have a business and really enjoy myself. Not all of SL is a sex fest, and if this minister would pull his finger out of his ass and go and actually have a look he would be surprised at all the things there are to do on there. there are concerts for Relay for Life which raise real money in the end, there are Foundations which raise the awareness of cancer…the list goes on……they have introduced the fact that u need your car licence or other documents to be age verified before u can enter mature sims, so then why not do that to actually log onto sl so that youngsters cant access it at all!!!

  22. buktombloch

    Hello ! Whats that !! I`m very afraid other “free and democratic” countrys will follow … I`m in germany- and we have “Lady Zensursula” here … bad enough !
    In SECOND LIFE I have builded the free, uncommercial library PEGASUS (about 160 books in german language now- an growing). No Sex, no Porn, etc. …
    Censorship … “Brave new world”. It´s time to resist ! Best greetz BukTom Bloch

  23. idontthinksoaustralia

    You really don't get it do you? What about the companies that have invested thousands if not millions into building their SL business? What about the Universities that just had their virtual world classrooms ripped from them? What about the Big Pond sim which acts as a 3d advertisement for Australian Tourism? What about the fact the rest of the world think we are one big joke after this move? If you think it is only about communicating with another person, you really ought to get in there and try it before you bash it. I bet you work in Government right? It seems we should make all elected officials send a good ten hours in secondlife and see its use for education and business and THEN let them come out and say it needs to be censored!

  24. sphilipakis

    “leads me to no longer be able to continue my friendships and exploring and learning” I guess you reached the “G-spot” all those politicians really want to bring us to :)

  25. One

    Well no, there is teen second life and it has a wide range of applications in education.
    Ignorance like yours is what allows them to get away with it.

  26. luminarist

    Since INTERNET has come in play people are no longer as easily fooled by media which is perfect control mechanism of any government – this is the first step of taking our freedom, thinking and getting their control back. This is not Australian issue this is world issue and our freedoms depend on it.

  27. Sam Darrow

    It's people like you who take statements from Linden Labs and create misinformation from the.

    Yes LL is merging the teen grid with the main grid. However, that does not mean things will change. Teen SL and normal SL will still be seperate, residents from each will not be able to go to the other grid. So it is NOT like there will be people from Teen SL going into normal SL sims.

    Please, if you don't know what's going on. Don't comment. Because all you're doing is just fueling misinformation.

  28. ABDesignsinc

    People Like Me? Sam, I Know Mostly everything that go's down in Second Life with the Linden's I'm not just some Person who Just Mutter's out what Linden Lab's Say in advance.. So Don't call me It's People Like You Because i'm not a Idiot..

    - Anthony M

  29. Stephen Humble

    I can suggest two parties which oppose censorship are the ASP (sex party) and LDP so please vote for them first. The LDP (aka liberal democrats) are free to join, the ASP is only $10 to join doing this will ensure that they can block this censorship legislation.

    http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/01/29/sex-party-hooplah-unfurls-against-backdrop-of-conroys-blacklist/

    http://www.ldp.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1032:not-evil-just-wrong&catid=108:admin&Itemid=29