Automated Classification for Video Games in Australia

The Australian Minister for Home Affairs, Jason Clare, presented seven recommendations for classification reform to the Standing Council on Law and Justice meeting in Darwin yesterday.

The changes were agreed upon by all State and Territory Ministers. Here are the recommendations:

  • Broaden the type of content that is exempt from the scheme and reduce the red tape associated with running festivals
  • Enable the use of automated classification decision making systems, starting with a pilot for mobile and online computer games
  • Include classification marking requirements in the Commonwealth Classification Act and revamp existing statutory instruments so they are clearer and simpler
  • Change the rules so that 2D and 3D versions of films or computer games no longer need to be classified twice
  • Change the rules to allow minor modifications to be made to computer games without further classification
  • A program of research to examine current classification categories, symbols and community standards in relation to media content, and
  • Give explicit power to Commonwealth officials so that they can notify law enforcement authorities of content that is potentially Refused Classification prior to classification by the Classification Board

One of the more critical changes is “a program of research to examine current classification categories, symbols and community standards in relation to media content”. This type of research might end the discrepancies of content classification between games and other forms of media.

What are your thoughts about removing some red tape?