The Australian Classification Board has classified multiple video games as R18+ since the introduction of the rating in January this year. But despite this South Australian Attorney General John Rau is claiming the guidelines aren't being applied rigorously enough, and plans to write to the Federal Government in an attempt to apply more scrutiny to the Australian Classification Board.
At a press conference today, he voiced his concerns.
"It is concerning to me, particularly as a parent," John Rau said, "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.
"These particular games have been assessed as having intense violence, blood and gore, nudity and suggestive themes."
Multiple video games have been rated R18+ since January, including games like The Last Of Us, State of Decay, Grand Theft Auto V, Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel and Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge. R18+ games are now commonplace to the extent that it no longer makes news when a game is given that rating. In addition, the Classification Board initially refused classification to Saints Row IV, a game that received adult's only classifications in every other western country. State of Decay was also refused classification, despite being released without a hitch in other markets.
John Rau is claiming that up to 13 video games have been rated MA15+ here in Australia but given higher ratings overseas. He did not name these games specifically, but said he is considering referring these games for review.
"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.
According to Rau, the Australian Council on Children and the Media had come to him with concerns over the application of the R18+ rating.