Australia: R-rating for video games under government review

R18 - Image 1Quite a number of gamers were up in arms when Australia‘s Office of Film and Literature Classification board’s refused to rate Digital ExtremesDark Sector (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3) for release. Well, if you’re one of those who felt a bit disappointed, you might want to know that the Australian federal government has revealed that it is currently considering an R-rating for videogames.

Australia Flag - Image 1Following the Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) board’s refusal to rate Dark Sector (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3) for its Australian release comes some good news for the Australian gaming community.

The Australian federal government has revealed  that it is currently considering an R-rating for videogames (and that’s across all platforms, not just 360 and PS3, as in the case of Dark Sector).

So far, the highest age restriction a game can receive is MA, which encompasses the 15-plus certificate bracket. With this current rating system, any title deemed inappropriate for an MA-rating (like, say, Dark Sector) is refused classification.So… This R-rating, which is similar to the 18-rating in the UK, could open doors for more adult titles in the country.

As expected, this move may not sit well with various organizations such as the Australian Family Association which feels that explicit videogames are potentially more dangerous than films due to the interaction of the user:

We’re concerned about the level of violence and so on in R-rated material. But in terms of the games, it seems that there’s a lot more scope to actually change people’s brain structure and their attitudes with games.

While its true that this could open the doors for more adult themed games in Australia, the classification system might be good in the long run.

Underage gamers will be prevented from picking up games that have been deemed inappropriate for them while older members of the gaming community will be able to try them out and see if they like it. Of course, this is all under the assumption that implementation of the new ratings will be strictly followed.

Buy: [Dark Sector for PS3]
Buy: [Dark Sector for Xbox 360]

Via GamesIndustry

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