The New South Wales Police are asking people to contact them if they see retailers selling World of Warcraft or other massively multiplayer online games.
Both the police and the attorney general's office in New South Wales say that the New South Wales Classification Enforcement Act prohibits publishers and retailers from selling unclassified computer games with penalties for individuals breaking the law ranging from $1,100 to $11,000 and up to a year in jail. For corporations, the fines roughly double.
And games like World of Warcraft, Age of Conan, Warhammer Online and Pirates of the Burning Sea are all sold without classification.
Something that the Interactive Entertainment Association of Australia doesn't believe is true. They claim that games without single player components don't need to be classified.
But they're not the ones making and enforcing the laws are they?
To make things more interesting, a spokesman for the New South Wales police minister told The Sydney Morning Herald that if people see a store selling these games they should file a complaint with the police so they can take action.
The one sticking point seems to be the definition of computer game, which as of this writing doesn't include a "bulletin board." Obviously the definition is a bit outdated, making it, perhaps, tricky to settle on an interpretation.
Of course if you have both the police and prosecutors agreeing, than it's going to be an uphill battle for anyone cited.
Sounds like they need to rewrite that definition.
Calls and emails to Blizzard and Activision for comment went unanswered today.