- Just spotted that Aussie newspaper The Age has a video game specific blog, Screen Play, and it has a number of interesting Australian-related game posts on it, which seem to get pretty fierce commentary from the blog's readers.

In particular, there's a post about Australia's lack of a R rating for games, which notes: "The games industry has been actively lobbying State and Federal Governments for the introduction of an R18+ game classification for several years, but new statistics show the majority of Australians believe classification is irrelevant."

It continues: "The Interactive Australia 2007 report found 62 per cent of respondents in game-playing households said game ratings have no influence on their decision to purchase or hire a game, and a further 16 per cent said it only had "a little" influence." Well, from a U.S. and ESRB perspective, those stats probably sound... bad, if you think Aussie consumers are anything like American ones with regard to taking notice of ratings.

[Here's a Gamasutra piece discussing the Reservoir Dogs game's banning in the territory, which talks about the ratings gaps some more: "Due to a quirk in Australia's classification system, it is impossible for game titles to be rated MA18+, a mature rating which can be applied to games, meaning that games in Australia can either be rated MA15+ or banned entirely. In recent months, this topic has come under more intense discussion in Australia, Electronic Frontiers Australia renewing the call for a MA18+ rating to be instituted, since Australia is one of the only major Western countries not to allow 'adult' classification of games."]