News

Australian Government Scrutinizes Videogames Classification Rules

| 20 Sep 2013 14:59

John Rau, South Australia's Attorney-General, argues the new classification rules for videogames may still be exposing children to sexual or violent content.

Ever since the introduction of the R18+ classification of games in Australia in January, South Australia's Attorney-General John Rau has had doubts about its effectiveness. Rau said more than a dozen videogames released in Australia had been given the MA15+ rating while they received higher age classifications in Europe and North America.

He pointed to Killer is Dead, Alien Rage, God Mode, and The Walking Dead, all of which received M-ratings from the ESRB and 18 from PEGI. Players in North America and Europe had to be at least 17 years old and 18 years old, respectively, whereas in Australia they only had to be 15 or older.

"It is concerning to me, particularly as a parent, when I see that 13 games have been released in Australia as MA15+ whilst exactly the same grade attracts up to a R18+ classification overseas," Rau said. However, he is satisfied with the R18+ rating for Grand Theft Auto V, which received similar age classification ratings from the ESRB and PEGI.

After having the Australian Council on Children and the Media approach him with concerns, Rau wants George Brandis, the new federal Attorney-General, to review how the Australian Classification Board assesses games. "If the standards are not more rigorously applied, I will be referring each of these games to the South Australian Classification Council for review," Rau said.

Source: ABC News Australia

RELATED CONTENT
Comments on