Second Life Banned in Australia? Not So Fast…

As GamePolitics reported last week, the Australian government is moving to block online access to games containing content which would exceed the country’s MA-15+ rating. The proposed filtering scheme would affect online retailers selling such games as well as games played online such as MMOs.

In last week’s coverage we noted speculation that such a ban could affect games like World of Warcraft and Second Life. At least one site is now reporting that Second Life has, indeed, been banned. The Inquisitr, invoking Nazi (!) imagery, writes:

It was confirmed by Australian Minister for Censorship that online games such as Second Life is banned in the country. There was confirmation from Censorship Minister Stephen “Goebbels” Conroy…

It is surprising because this policy has always been known to everyone. When Conroy was asked, he didn’t give direct answer. The more Australian government confirms the issue, the more totalitarian the policy is becoming if compared to China.

But Wagner James Au, who tracks SL happenings on New World Notes, writes that rumors of SL’s Australian demise are greatly exaggerated:

Over the last 24 hours I’ve been peppered with links… which seem to suggest the Australian government is imminently planning to block access to Second Life from that country…  I’m far from an expert on Australian jurisprudence, but near as I can tell, any relation with this news to Second Life is highly tenuous and conjectural at best…

 

Nothing in the [Inquisitr] editorial actually confirms [a ban], and the very second sentence compares the government administrator involved to Joseph Goebbels, which is such a ham-fisted violation of Godwin’s Law*, the only thing it really confirms is the author’s own penchant for dubious hyperbole…

 

It’s likely there are several layers of parliamentary, bureaucratic, and technical implementation before any of this impacts Australian access to Second Life (if it ever does.)…

* Godwin’s Law: As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.

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