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Gaming in Other Countries

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Gaming in Other Countries

Australia

Australia is well known for aboriginal history and of course the Crocodile Hunter. Somewhat like Arizona, the artists of this country explore the history of their native people and can be seen in their art work. Rock music has also played a big role in the culture. There have been many legendary bands that have come out of Australia including The Bee Gees, INXS, AC/DC, Midnight Oil, and the Little River Band. When visiting, one can find live music in the outdoor markets and at local pubs. The movie industry is very small compared to Europe and the US yet many well-known actors throughout the world claim Australian heritage including Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, Mel Gibson, and Naomi Watts. Sports of this country include rugby and soccer (better know as football) as national pastimes. Australia is the sixth largest country in the world. It's about the same size as the 48 mainland states of the USA and 50 per cent larger than Europe, but has the lowest population density in the world; only two people per square kilometer (about .6 miles) compared to the U.S. which is about 30 per square kilometer.

Other interesting facts about Australia:

• Australia boasts over 7,000 beaches - more than any other nation.

• Australia's 140 million sheep (mostly merinos), found on around 53,000 properties, produce more than 70 per cent of the world's wool.

• With 24 million head of cattle, Australia is the world's largest exporter of beef.

• The longest stretch of straight railway track in the world crosses the Nullarbor Plain. From Nurina in Western Australia to near Watson in South Australia, the track is dead straight for 478 kilometers.

• The world's longest continuous fence known as the 'dingo fence', runs through central Queensland for 5,531 kilometers. It is 1.8 meters high and is designed to keep sheep safe from Australia's native dog.

• Spending Christmas at the beach or skiing in August may seem strange but Australia's seasons are the opposite of the northern hemisphere - summer officially starts in December and winter in June. But even in winter you'll enjoy blue skies and warm, bright days.

Australia's climate and the fact that it is the driest continent on earth makes it a fabulous holiday destination all year round, whatever you're planning to do. Do to where Australia is located their seasons are the opposite of ours; our summer is their winter. Besides that the climate of their entire countries is very similar to ours in Arizona. In the Australian winter you can ski in the southern states one day and be diving in the balmy waters of the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland the next.

Due to the fact that most of the population of Australia lives in large cities which are westernized they form a reasonable percentage of the gaming population. I personally would have thought that very few people would be playing because when I think of Australia I think of outdoors, grass huts, and no technology. This is not true of course; the cities of Sydney and Melbourne have the largest population of close to four million people in each. The technology is there, it’s the laws and government that is holding back the industry according to some.

“In Australia video games are rated by the Office of Film and Literature Classification, which also rates other media. Unlike movies however, no R18+ or X18+ category exists for video games, and as such if they do not fit into the MA15+ category (suitable for 15 year olds and over), they are effectively banned. This means that games deemed unsuitable for 15 year olds are banned entirely from sale and distribution within the country, even for use by adults. This has been a point of much debate for many years now, and recently the Victorian government has announced plans to try and get an R18+ category introduced.”

On the other hand a recent interview with Evelyn Richardson, President

Game Developers Association of Australia, has stated that Australia is going to be the best place to outsource for the next-generation consoles. She says this is because Australia is full of talented people and they have an experienced quality game industry. Another reason is the fact that the US and Australia have an affinity to each other. This makes the outsourcing process easier for companies. Something that startled me is that the cost of this is 60-70% less then that of the US. I don’t know how long that will last but I can see how this would help out game companies in the short and long run.

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