South Australia Attorney General John Rau recently told the Australian Broadcasting Network (ABC) that the country's new video game classification (R18+, which went into effect in January of this year) rules are not being applied properly to games and the ratings process needs further scrutiny from the country's policy makers.
Rau claimed during his interview with ABC that the updated classification system might still be giving children access to violent and sexual content, despite the government's introduction of the R18+ mature classification and changing the MA15+ rating. He claims that more than a "dozen games" have been launched under the MA15+ rating that deserved a higher classification.
"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 game attracts up to an R18+ classification overseas," he said, noting that these games include Killer is Dead, The Walking Dead, and Atlus' God Mode." These particular games have been assessed as having intense violence, blood and gore, nudity and suggestive themes."
Rau says that he will express his concerns to the government and wants the new federal Attorney-General George Brandis, to look into how the Australian Classification Board rates video 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," he said.
But some would argue that the ratings classification board in the country is already quite strict. It has forced many high profile games to alter content in order to get a rating in the country. Without a rating a game is effectively banned for sale. For example, Saint's Row 4 had to remove some content after being refused classification earlier this year.