Two-Thirds of MA15+ Games Are Rated Adults Only Overseas

Brendan O' Connor is petitioning hard for an R18+ rating for video games. Yesterday he released the final report from the public consultation, stating that 98.4 of people were in support of an adult rating, and today he sent out a report revealing that two-thirds of MA15+ games in Australia are rated for 'adults only' in comparitive countries overseas.

“The Gillard Government wants to give better guidance to parents and remove unsuitable material from children and teenagers, claimed O' Connor. "A new R18+ classification will help achieve that.

“Right now there are dozens of games that are classified as MA15+ in Australia," he continued, "but in other countries these gaming titles are restricted to adults only. If a new adult only category were introduced, it could result in computer games that are currently classified MA15+ being reclassified R18+, providing a new level of protection for children.”

“The Classification Board has been doing its job professionally and appropriately, applying the rules as they stand when making decisions on computer game ratings,” Mr O’Connor said.

“An R18+ rating for computer games and associated changes to the MA15+ category would reduce minors’ exposure to images of gratuitous sex, violence or other adult themes."

The report released, can be found here, but a brief comparison of 47 MA15+ rated games showed that...

- Nine game titles were given a 17+ or 18+ classification in all other countries - 15 game titles were given a 17+ or 18+ classification in the majority of other countries - Eight game titles were initially refused classification in Australia, before being reviewed or resubmitted and classified MA15+. In their original form, these games titles received a 17+ or 18+ classification in other countries - 15 game titles were largely consistent with international equivalents of MA15+.

Again, this is a great sign for the SCAG meeting tomorrow. Time and time again Brendan O' Connor has stated his support for R18+, and the vigour with which he is pushing that agenda seems to support the fact that we could get the right result tomorrow.

Fingers crossed.


Comments

    Hang on, he's going to allow games already classified as MA15+ to be REclassified as R18+, but he won't allow previously RC'ed games to be reclassified as R18+? That's a bit of a rip off.

    Although given that games tend to have a fairly short shelf-life, it's unlikely that re-rating anything will have much of an impact in sales if you don't do it in the first month or so on sale.

      And here I was hoping I might be able to sell my copy of Manhunt.

      Actually ur wrong though. If the games dont meet the R18+ Standards then they will be Refused Classifcations.

      So those other games that has been refused, can be resubmitted bak to R18 standard.

      Just as long its not beyond the R18+

        I'm sure he said a few days ago that he wouldn't allow anything previously RCed to be resubmitted for an R if an R rating is introduced...

      Unless the law is changed as well then ALL current rating will stand unless the game is resubmitted (I believe Valve have made a commitment for L4D2 to be submitted again if we get an R18+ rating) or unless a minister (Brendan O'Connor??) asks for it to be as a result of public submission (has happened once - Manhunt).
      The only exception to this I can think of is GTA:SA - it was briefly RC when the Hot Coffee situation came up and was the result of content that wasn't mentioned during the classification but that would affect the rating (basically Rockstar or whoever submitted failed to mention something they really should have!).

      While they may look at some existing games I would not expect a big change - this will be more important moving forward.

    I question the amount of "minors’ exposure to images of gratuitous sex" currently portrayed in MA15+ game titles released in Australia.

    Otherwise, up you go guy. Bring on the R18+!

      I suspect that mention of gratuitous sex had nothing to do with reality but was included to counter the hystrionics of a certain nutbag group of christian australians. Who lobby...

    If we don't get this rating despite all the evidence it is needed and wanted I guess it'll just be another example of how much of a failure the system really is.... Not like we needed more examples of that.

    I look forward to seeing the result of the SCAG meeting.

    This is another welcome press release. The Government is really pushing this issue, after the quasi-fiasco of the Internet blacklist it seems they want to pick up the tech-savvy vote again. Or I'm just jaded and cynical, and they really do care about the rights of adults to do what they want...

    Australian MA15+ rating does not equal foreign R rating. Of those titles, the majority of them would have been stripped down/modified in some way by the game studios so that they make it into the Aus MA15+ rating. Because if they don't make it into that rating then they cannot be sold in Australia, and they make less money.

    Take for example most of the GTA releases are "toned down" slightly for the Aus market so that they meet the MA15+ rating. So Aus ends up with a game that is slightly different to the rest of the world. If Aus had an R rating then they games wouldn't have to be changed and we'd end up with the exact same thing as everyone else

      I love the stat that's the basis of this article, and believe it's one of the biggest arguments supporting R18+.

      But you're right, Matt.

    The argument that an R18+ classification would provide better protection for children is wrong; and should not be used to support the R18+ category.

    The fact is, the introduction of the category would enable more games unsuitable for children to be available, and we all know that most young gamers will play these games.

    As pointed out, this article is delibrately misleading, as the MA15+ games classified as 17+ or 18+ in other countries are edited to fit the MA15+ rating. This renders the argument worthless.

      Actually, the majority of games go into the MA15+ rating without editing.

        If the majority of games go into MA15+ without editing then I would question why Brendan O'Connor believes
        “The Classification Board has been doing its job professionally and appropriately, applying the rules as they stand when making decisions on computer game ratings,”

        It seems that if there is an issue with inappropriate games being given the MA15+ rating, it is due to being classified incorrectly rather than due to the absence of an R18+ rating. The absence of the R18+ rating has nothing to do with that.

          If you had any understanding of how classification works in this country you would understand why what you're saying is misinformed. But you don't, so I'll just leave it there.

            I can't see how the legitamacy of my comment depends on how classification in this country works.

    "It seems that if there is an issue with inappropriate games being given the MA15+ rating, it is due to being classified incorrectly rather than due to the absence of an R18+ rating. The absence of the R18+ rating has nothing to do with that."

    The absense of the R18+ is everything to do with that. Otherwise if they were classifying games "correctly", they would be banning games left right and centre. No Call of Duty, no God of War, no GTA, etc.

      I agree that if they were classifying games "correctly", those games would be banned in their original form.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now