Playing By The Rules: Classifying Online Video Games in Australia
It won’t come as a shock to anyone to learn that the classification of video games in Australia is somewhat of an entanglement. But walk into any game retailer in the country and it is immediately clear that one group of games is without any classification at all: online-only titles like World of Warcraft, Warhammer Online and Age of Conan. Between vague classification guidelines, an inconsistent Classification Board, the lack of an R18+ rating, and a constant game of pass-the-parcel between Australian government departments toying with the issue, classifying video games in Australia is proving a headache for more than just gamers. But are online games and MMOs exempt from classification in Australia? If not, is it then illegal to sell these games without a classification? And if so, why have games like World of Warcraft remained unclassified on shelves for years?
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