In light of the refusal of the Australian Classification Board to classify Left 4 Dead 2, some authorities are rethinking the country’s game ratings.
While R18+ ratings exist in Australia for films and other media, videogames still top out with a MA15+ rating, meaning that games that fall outside the spectrum can’t be approved for sale.
Adding an R18+ rating would require the agreement of all Australia’s attorney generals, but News.com.au reports that at least one member of that group is holding out, South Australian Attorney General Michael Atkinson. Atkinson’s take:
It certainly does restrict choice to a small degree, but that is the price of keeping this material from children and vulnerable adults. In my view, the small sacrifice is worth it.
Victorian Attorney General Rob Hulls disagrees, saying that Australia is “out of step with the world,” adding:
It seems inconsistent that in Australia adults are allowed to view adult-only films which have been classified R18+ by the Classification Board, but not computer games with equivalent high-level content.
Valve and Electronic Arts have appealed Left 4 Dead 2’s refusal of classification.