In March the Attorney-General tasked the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) with the job of conducting public consultation across the community and industry on the National Classification Scheme.
The review was to take into consideration the rapid pace of technological change, the need to improve classification information available to the community, the effect of media on children and the desire to have a strong content and distribution industry in Australia. All of which would take into account the existing Commonwealth, State and Territory classification laws.
The ALRC are now working on developing options to ensure the system of classification in Australia is adequately equipped to accommodate both current and future developments in technology.
However the current legislation does not cater for mobile phone games applications or online games.
In light of this, the introduction of the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Amendment (Mobile and Online Computer Games) Bill as an interim measure will now ensure Australians have continued access while the classification review is taking place.
A proposed new adult category is the R18+ classification with the release of guidelines for the introduction of Australia’s new adult category for computer games.
The introduction of this new classification will give parents better advice about what games are suitable for their children, while allowing adults to view material designed for the 18+ category.
The existing MA15+ games classification will also be reviewed, with any games showing frequent and unduly repetitive strong and realistic violence being refused classification under the MA15+ category.
The proposed guidelines are available at: www.classification.gov.au