Last time a major Mortal Kombat game was released it wasn’t. At least not in Australia, where the game was refused classification. In fact, Mortal Kombat may have been the most high profile RC in video game history. Now Warner Bros. has announced that Mortal Kombat X will be released in Australia under the R18+ classification.
Mortal Kombat received an R18+ classification, as you might expect, as a result of its explicit violence.
Hopefully we can look upon this as proof the R18+ rating is being applied correctly. Many worried that the new guidelines for MA15+ and R18+ meant there would be little difference, that certain games would still be effectively “banned” in Australia. But the classification of Mortal Kombat X at R18+ makes a strong case that the new guidelines are — for the most part — fulfilling one of their key roles: allowing adults to consume the media they want within reason. Would Mortal Kombat X have made it through classification before the R18+ was installed? I’d suggest not.
But games are still being refused classification. Hotline Miami 2 is the most high profile recent example: a game that was banned as a result of sexual violence. The system is working as intended, but is that a good thing? That’s arguable. It’s the Classification Board’s job to enforce the standards of the day to media in Australia and it is simply performing that role as instructed by the guidelines provided to them. That’s it.
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