The Australian video games industry is currently guided by controversial guidelines and a system that’s long felt outdated. With parliament currently assessing existing classification guidelines and industry bodies pushing for change, it’s a key time for the local games industry.
To push forward discussions of these issues, federal Labor MPs are hosting a Twitch session tonight from 6.30pm to 7.15pm where you can get involved and discuss your opinion about the future of games in Australia. While it’s set to be a fun time, it’s also an important place where you can chat about much-needed industry change.
Claire O’Neil, Shadow Minister for Innovation, Technology and the Future of Work and Tim Watts, Shadow Assistant Minister for Communications and Cyber Security (and past Kotaku Australia article contributor) will discuss the local games industry while playing SMG Studio’s recent hit Moving Out.
Watts in particular has been very vocal about the power of video games and earlier last month suggested parents could stay sane in coronavirus lockdown by playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons with their kids. O’Neil is also a frequent advocate for overhauling Australia’s outdated technology laws and regulatory framework.
Currently, Australia faces very pressing issues when it comes to video game classification, including a framework that often sees ‘controversial’ games banned for violating very niche rules. One of the major bugbears that has often been brought up is a restrictive drugs policy that sees any game banned for collating drug use with rewards. Depictions of overt sexuality have also been banned or censored in games regardless of whether the same content features heavily in other forms of entertainment.
Those watching on Twitch will be able to ask questions and provide any burning commentary to the two MPs who aim to gain a better understanding of the local games community. It’s a fantastic opportunity to let your voice be heard and to enjoy some shenanigans from one of Australia’s recent smash hit games.
The virtual forum on the future of the Australian games industry will take place on Wednesday, June 17 from 6:30pm – 7:15pm. You can catch all the action at Tim Watts’ Twitch page.
PAX Australia was filled with so many great panels, but there was one panel we recommended above all others. Games and Moral Panic: Why Are We Here Again? was a panel that strove to answer questions many of us had about the Australian games industry, and why classification is such an important and enduring issue.Read more