R18+ classification for video games – protecting or endangering?

Well, many say it’s been a long time coming, but this week the government introduced a legislation to establish an R18+ classification for computer and video games here in Australia.

For years now games have either been denied classification and excluded from the Australian market or granted Australia’s highest classification of MA15+, even if it’s not suitable for children.

With this legislation comes a sigh of relief for parents, gamers and gaming companies alike, yet is not without its opposition.

Mark Serrels, editor of computer gaming site, Kotaku, spoke with Jennie Lenman.


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Produced by Sophie McKay

2 responses to “R18+ classification for video games – protecting or endangering?

  1. Serrells and the gamers lobby have been saying all along that having an R18+ classification will protect children better. Of itself, all that will do is allow games with higher impact than at present. The real gains for children will only be achieved if at the same time, the classification criteria for MA15+ are sufficiently modified so that games with “strong” violence are no longer legally allowed in this category- a problem created with revisions back in 2001-2. This has been the real reason why adolescents have been able to access very violent games, not that there was no R18+ category. Unless the MA15+ criteria are fixed, the problems will remain.

  2. I’ve just been sitting down with my 11 year old brother talking about playstation. He was telling me about a game he played at his friends house the other day where soldiers shoot the enemy at close range in the face, break dogs necks and show military torture videos of beatings and cigarette burning…..and this is MA15+.

    I completely agree that there are some serious flaws to the MA15+ criteria, but I honestly believe that an R18+ rating will avoid these games being dropped to the ‘next closest’ rating and give alot of parents a clearer idea of what is completely inappropriate for their children to play, as well as opening up a market to adults who are completely entitled to be playing these games.

    And as nice as it would be for the classifications to do all the work in protecting children, ultimately parents are the ones responsible for their childs game play and they deserve to be given the right guidance. The jump from MA15+ to R18+ is huge and I know that if this game my brothers friend was playing was rated R there is no way in hell his parents would have bought it.

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