The Classification Review Board has voted 3-1 to ban the violent computer game Manhunt following an application by the federal Attorney General on the request of the Western Australian Minister for Justice.
In a statement released today, the Classification Review Board said the game -- which has been available here since late last year under an MA15+ rating -- could not be legally sold, hired, advertised or exhibited in Australia following the determination. Those stipulations apply to online as well as bricks and mortar retailers.
"In the Classification Review Board's opinion, the game warrants a refusal of classification because it contains elements beyond those set out in the classification guidelines and legislation for a computer game at the MA15+ classification," the statement said.
"Specifically, it contains some depictions of high impact, as well as scenes of blood and gore that go beyond strong.
"It also contains a high impact theme".
Manhunt came into the news recently after the mother of a murdered British teenager blamed his fate on the game. The New Zealand government has banned the game.
In an information sheet for computer game retailers, the Classification Review Board reminded them of penalties for selling, hiring, having for display or hire, or demonstrating, a game that has been refused classification.
Individuals who do so face fines ranging from AU$4,500 in Queensland to AU$24,000 in Victoria, with imprisonment listed as an alternative in all jurisdictions bar the ACT and Tasmania, where both the fine and imprisonment may be imposed. Corporations may face higher penalties.
Penalties also exist for advertising a banned game.