Popular video games that include deliberately addictive or gambling-related features should be more strictly regulated and banned for use by children, according to a submission to a government review of Australia’s classification regulations.
The federal Department of Communication is reviewing Australia’s classification regulations, which were enacted in 1995, in a bid to update the system to accommodate changing digital technologies.
In a submission to the review, which started in January and is due to wrap up in two weeks, the Centre for Responsible Technology argued that many games available to children normalised gambling and exposed them to a business model designed to trap them in a cycle of dependence.
“We protect children from gambling in the real world, but online they have access to a global casino, where they are being played,” said Peter Lewis, the centre’s director.
“The addictive gambling design is prevalent in popular online games like Overwatch and Call of Duty which encourage in-game purchase with real and earned currency.”