Media statement—Classification of the game Rimworld
The Classification Act provides that computer games are to be classified prior to sale in Australia. Following application by the distributor, the Classification Board classified the computer game, Rimworld, RC (Refused Classification) on February 28 2022.
The Board’s decision is based upon the application of the Guidelines for the Classification of Computer Games 2012 (the Games Guidelines). The Games Guidelines state “interactive illicit or proscribed drug use is not permitted” within the G, PG, M or MA 15+ classification, and that “drug use is permitted” within the R 18+ classification, provided any “interactive illicit or proscribed drug use” is not “detailed or realistic”. Pursuant to the Games Guidelines, “drug use related to incentives and rewards is not permitted” at any classification level.
The Board considered that the depiction of drug use in the game, Rimworld, did include “illicit or proscribed drug use related to incentives or rewards” and that therefore the Board was required to classify the game, Refused Classification. A game that has received an RC rating cannot be sold, hired, advertised, or legally imported into Australia.
Board classification decisions may be reviewed by the Classification Review Board. On receipt of an application for review from the Applicant, or other persons defined in section 42 of the Classification Act, the Review Board will make a new decision which replaces the original decision by the Board. Applications for review generally need to be made within 30 days of the original Board classification decision.