South Australian Attorney General Wants to Scrutinize Ratings Classification Board

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.

Source: ABC by way of Polygon

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  1. 0
    Bigman-K says:

    To be perfectly honest, by the time a person reaches 14/15 and is in high school they should be able to handle just about any game you can throw at them, but I can understand what he saying in regards to consistency of the rating system. Compared to other countries the ratings on some of these games tend to be lax.

  2. 0
    Bennett Beeny says:

    I'm just glad I live in a country where my gaming choices and those of my kids are not regulated by government nannies. My daughter plays whatever she wants because I've yet to see any evidence that playing mature-rated games does any harm to children whatsoever.

  3. 0
    Longjocks says:

    Regarding the last paragraph, it's not that it's too strict overall, it's that the R rating has awful, inconsistent definitions. In one paragraph it states that any adult should be able to play whatever they want, then it goes on to say that adults can't play X, Y and Z, and offers a flimsy excuse as to why.

    This guy may be right. Some games with an MA rating may not be appropriate for 15-year-olds. But it's not necessarily the rules aren't being applied properly but that the rulebook the rating-givers have to follow is about as coherent a document as a kindergartener's crayon-filled colouring book.

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