Wed, 27 Apr 2022 - 12:22
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Classification system improvements

A re-elected Morrison Government will strengthen and modernise Australia’s classification system better to protect viewers of screen content, especially children

 

The updates to the classification guidelines will address a range of issues including “loot boxes” in computer games, as well as ensuring there is appropriate classification and labelling of screen content that sexualises children, depicts suicide or shows violence against women.

 

Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said the Morrison Government is committed to ensuring the classification scheme reflects the modern world to inform parents properly about potentially harmful content consumed by their children. This includes introducing a minimum classification rating for computer games that simulate gambling or use gambling-like game mechanics such as “loot boxes”.

 

 “The Government’s priority is keeping Australians safe online, so having clearer advice alerting parents and other consumers to the presence of in-game purchases, such as loot boxes, will help them manage their and their children’s engagement with this content,” Minister Fletcher said.

 

“This isn't about banning or censoring content: it's about ensuring families can make more informed choices.”

 

The updates to the film and game guidelines managed by the Classification Board respond to clear community concerns and complement recent changes to online safety laws in the wake of the new Online Safety Act.

 

Updates to the guidelines will be developed to address potential harms and key community concerns, including:

 

  • Content that sexualises children, and child-abuse material, including aligning the guidelines with the Criminal Code;
  • Disturbing content such as suicide depictions and violence against women; and
  • Children’s access to gambling-like games involving in-game purchases, loot boxes and simulated gambling mechanics.

 

The Government will work with the Classification Board to enhance consumer advice that accompanies classification decisions. Specific warnings on content depicting suicide and violence against women, as well as for loot boxes, will help parents and other consumers manage access to content that concerns them.

 

Updates to the National Classification Scheme and a decision on the appropriate minimum classification for computer games that use gambling-like mechanics will also be informed by consultation with families and communities, experts in fields relating to child wellbeing, industry and other key stakeholders, and state and territory Ministers, as required under the National Classification Scheme.

 

Only the Morrison Government can continue to deliver for Australians and their families, and this is

part of our plan to build a strong economy and a stronger future.