Australia has formally joined the International Age Rating Coalition (IARC) today, described as “a partnership of government and industry content classification authorities from around the world” — and with this comes access to easier online classification tools provided by the…
By James Pinnell on March 27, 2014 at 3:32 pm
It was just another part of the daily news. The Abbott coalition government, as part of their plan to “slash red tape” and “remove unnecessary regulation”, announced that they would amend the Classification Act of 1995. The heavy, clunky, 1980′s style human element of the classification system for digitally distributed games would be gone, alongside a host of other small changes.
“These reforms are the first step in the process of ensuring our classification system continues to be effective and relevant in the 21st century,” touted the Minister for Justice, Michael Keenan, who was effectively following on with pledges by previous Labor administrations to make the Australian Law Reform Commission’s recommendations in enforceable legislation. On the surface, it didn’t really seem like much of a big deal — the meat of the R18+ sandwich had already come and gone. But in reality, the rest of the meal had finally begun to arrive at the table.
To explain why this change is significant, we need to understand how the current status quo works.
Remember back in November, when the Honourable John Rau, Deputy Premier and Attorney-General of South Australia officially requested a review of 12 video games which he believed deserved stricter classification than the MA15+ they had? Well the Classification Review Board…
South Australians will soon find that games with gambling in them are automatically slapped with an MA15+ rating, under a new plan outlined yesterday by the Weatherill government. A new policy document released yesterday, ‘Building a Stronger South Australia’, discusses…
By Patrick Vuleta on November 14, 2013 at 2:33 pm
John Rau, the South Australian Attorney-General, just called for a review of the several games rated MA15+. Murder simulators such as Splinter Cell Blacklist, Killer is Dead, and The Walking Dead. Apparently these games had been released as 18+ in some countries, but only MA15+ here. Some were not happy about this lack of moral standards.
Earlier this year, Mr Rau also claimed this discrepancy meant games were not receiving rigorous attention at the review stage. However, Australia’s classification system is different from that of other countries, so perhaps we should make our own decisions. We need to develop our own Australian standard of what is fair game.
By Patrick Vuleta on July 11, 2013 at 12:34 pm
So, what’s the deal with our new R18+ regs? The impression I get from reading the gaming news is that the Classification Board is banning games left right and centre. Some gamers have even claimed that R18+ is just a rebadged MA15+, and that any games now approved under R18+ would have been done so under MA15+.
Which is… actually kinda true. Most games that have been let through under R18+ would have been let through under MA15+. Only a couple are “true” R18+ games. Yet despite this, our classification system is giving us more certainty over what we’ll be allowed to play. It’s an improvement. To see this, we need to compare what’s been Refused Classification with what’s been accepted under R18+.