A review of Australian classification practices for commercial video games featuring simulated gambling

Abstract

This paper reviews Australian classification practices for commercial video games that contain simulated gambling. In the last decade, over 100 video games featuring gambling simulations have been classified as suitable for commercial sale to youth in Australia, with 69 of these video games rated {‘PG’} for Parental Guidance Recommended (i.e. suitable for ages 8+years) and the remaining 33 rated {‘G’} for General (i.e. suitable for all ages). A review of the literature suggests that consumer advice and warnings related to video game material are often inconsistent and/or not adequately provided. A public health approach suggests that the presence of gambling content in video games may present risks to younger players unfamiliar with how gambling operates. It is argued that there is a need for further academic debate on social responsibility issues of early childhood and adolescent exposure to, and involvement in, simulated gambling activities available in interactive gaming technologies.

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