The Australian Government has now announced changes to the rating system for video games. These changes are going to take effect starting September 2024 and will ensure that titles containing loot boxes or gambling aspects are age-rated.
Games that contain aspects like spin the wheel for non-monetary reward will straight up be categorized as R18+. Meaning that these games will require an individual to be over the age of 18+ to play.
Games that contains loot box aspects, meaning those boxes that are opened using actual money, will be categorized with least an M rating. This means that will need to be at least 15 years old to play. Additionally, in-game items and random rewards will also fall under the same category, as per culture.org.
This is done in order to protect youngsters from gambling addiction. Some popular titles like FIFA, PUBG, Counter Strike contains loot boxes in different forms that give random rewards. Opening these require real world money or in-game currency that can be bought with real money.
Govt. eyeing to save gambling addiction among youth
Many cases of children losing their money to gambling have been registered across the country. This prompted the government to look into the matter and simmer the harm, so it doesn’t become an addiction.
The rating currently on many of the games like FIFA are either E (everyone) or T (teenagers). A thing to note here is that the ratings are for the gameplay, and not the in-game monetary aspects. While the monetary aspects were much predatory to the youth, a proper rating system was sought as the need of the hour.
Games like Counter Strike have the option to sell what you have for cash and use that to open boxes. But numerous other titles do not have these features/options. Getting new items requires spending money on most of the other games.
Nevertheless, the government has taken feedbacks positively by planning to address these issues to keep the integrity of video games while also keeping the players safe.