Aussie classification review set for early 2011

Australian Law Reform Commission to conduct review of the classification guidelines and ratings--including video games--in Australia in 2011.

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Last week, at the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General meeting in Canberra, Australia's censorship ministers decided to draft preliminary guidelines for the introduction of an R18+ classification for video games in Australia, as well as review the current MA15+ and RC categories of classification. But it seems like games aren't the only type of media to receive a classification review.

Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O'Connor.

Today, the Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland and Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O’Connor announced that they will ask the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) to conduct a review of classification in Australia in light of "changes in technology, media convergence and the global availability of media content." In a press statement, O'Connor said that the current classification categories would also be considered as part of the ALRC review.

"It has become increasingly clear that the system of classification in Australia needs to be modernised so it is able to accommodate developments in technology now and in the future," O'Connor said.

"When the National Classification Scheme began, classifiable content and the way it was delivered to consumers was relatively static. Today, films can be watched in a cinema, on DVD, on TV or downloaded. Many video games include significant film segments to tell stories, and some films have interactive content. The National Broadband Network will increase this ready access to classifiable content. People, particularly parents, need a system of classification in Australia that allows them to make informed choices about what they wish to read, see and hear."

O'Connor said the ALRC review will also look at the whole classification system and how it works "in the 21st century."

Ron Curry, CEO of the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (iGEA) welcomed the review.

"Our understanding is that the ALRC review will look at all aspects of classification, including video games," Curry said. "We are looking forward to engaging more fully with the government on the wider implications on games, particularly in the digital environment."

The review is slated to commence in 2011; until that time, the Federal Attorney-General's Department is seeking comments on the proposed terms of reference for the review to be provided here until January 28, 2011.

Discussion

12 comments
pubboy
pubboy

sigh... I can't purchase the rockstar bundle on steam because of this stupid system.

xTheMuffinManx
xTheMuffinManx

i hope something gets done this time sigh meetings

wbezuidenhout
wbezuidenhout

Isn't that what they were doing earlier this month? Or for the past few years?! @isshiah, such a true statement. :) I heard another one (Can't remember from where): "If I had to sum up, in one word, why the human race will never reach its full potential, that word would be 'meetings'".

E-i-N-e
E-i-N-e

Hopefully we see results this time.

isshiah
isshiah

This reminds me of jacobs comment in mass effect 2: "When colonies go missing, we don't commission a team to write a report to figure out what the hell to do about it. We just go and find out." Government's always stall. It'll be done eventually...i hope.

TurambarGS
TurambarGS

Oh man, the ALRC always takes a very long time (months, years even) to produce their reports. Disappointing that the politicians are referring it to yet another body at this late stage, when the debate is essentially over - both on the facts and public opinion.

S2333
S2333

This is a step in the right direction. However due to bureaucratic processes it is going to take far too long and technology will have evolved a lot more.

TBoneTony
TBoneTony

As long as what ever changes they make to games is also the same to movies, like if they drop the MA15+ rating for games at least do the same to movies and TV shows too. Also I am not too impressed if they try to add the internet because this could stuff up us all if we have to make a site and classify it to the Ratings Board just to have the site viewed in Australia....that will stuff up every amature website developer.

AceBalls
AceBalls

Get on with it. It's taken too long already and it's making everyone sick.

Clarkinator
Clarkinator

Lol, nice link. It links to a gamespot 404 page. To access the link everyone, remove the gamespot start bit and leave it with the www.classification.gov.au bit.

CamoBullo
CamoBullo

Please, hurry up. All us Aussies are growing impatient now.