Automated Classification for Australian Video Games

  • Video Game classification is seeing a major development in Australia
  • A new system for rating games automatically will be trialed
  • Is the Australian Government finally get up to speed with video game classification?

A new system has been proposed for the classification of video games in Australia. The proposal for a complete overhaul of the classification system is the result of the National Classification Scheme Review conducted last year. The new system brings to the table an automated system where games are classified without extended decision making and deliberation. This is a sign the Australian government is finally catching up to the rest of the world with their game classification legislation.

 

The past decade has been plagued with instances where video games have fallen through the cracks of the Australian Classification Board. The online title World of Warcraft was banned from sale by the ACB due to their inability to classify a game without a single-player component and not as a result of prohibited game content. The massively popular Valve game Left 4 Dead 2, saw a massive delay in release to the Australian market due to an initial ban for excessive violence followed by a lengthy process of reclassifying the altered version.

It seems the Australian Classification Board needs some serious case management

 

A big step forward for classification in Australia came with the introduction of an R18+ rating for video games that took effect January 1st this year. Before the new rating was introduced, any game that exceed an MA15+ rating was automatically unable for sale. The absence of an R18+ rating, as well as the issues addressed above, have gained Australia al banned video game total as high as the Chinese Republic. The National Classification Scheme Review was put together to tackle the problems that existed within our country’s review board.

Part of the new legislation has a section that targets instances such as the delay for Left 4 Dead 2. Already classified titles won’t need to be resubmitted through the review board’s processes when minor changes are made. Furthermore the speed of the classification process will be improved overall with an automated rating system.

 

There will be a trial run of the automated system with mobile and online games, both of which are victims of the current classification method. No set date has been announced for the trial run but the outcome will definitely impact the way our classification system operates. If the new automated system performs well and is adopted then we may see Australia making an important step forward to match the way the rest of the world handles video game age ratings.

 

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