Australia’s video game classification system is officially under review with a report due in April 2020, the Australian government today confirmed.
“Australians and their families rely on classification ratings to inform their entertainment choices and they expect the advice to accurately reflect community standards,” said Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP in a statement.
“The current framework was established in the age of dial-up internet – well before the rise of the online streaming or gaming services we now use daily – so we will be looking at how to modernise it for different content and delivery platforms.”
The review will cover “opportunities to harmonise the classification of, or restriction of access to, content across different delivery platforms including broadcasting services (commercial free to air, national broadcasting and subscription television), online stores and services, cinema releases, and physical product (e.g. boxed video games and DVDs),” a terms of reference document details.
The review will also cover the design of a new framework that includes:
- What content requires classification
- Consistency of classification categories, standards and access restrictions across media formats
- Classification decision-making processes, including mechanisms for review
- Governance arrangements, including the suitability of the current cooperative scheme.
Finally, the review will identify “opportunities to update classification decision-making standards, including a comprehensive review to update the National Classification Code, the Films Guidelines, and the Games Guidelines.”
The review will be completed by April 2020, with a report submitted to Minister Fletcher at that same time. We’ll keep you posted as we learn more of the report’s progress.