By Steve Wright
Earlier today, the Australian Government released new Guidelines for the Classification of Computer Games in the lead-up to the time they come into effect on 1 January 2013.
So far, the response has been mixed. Below is Ron Curry, CEO of the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA) -- an industry association representing Australian and New Zealand companies in the computer and video game industry -- with their take on the changes.
“We, along with many other stakeholders, have worked for many years to have the classification scheme acknowledge that adults play and enjoy video games and are due the respect of a classification category that reflects ‘age appropriate’ content for adults," Mr Curry said in a statement. "The new guidelines released today show that they have been crafted to try to balance the concerns of those who have resisted an R18+ classification and adults who want to play video games designed specifically for mature audiences and that are readily available in other developed democracies.
“Given the opposition to the introduction of an R18+ category from a vocal yet unrepresentative section of the community, along with a largely conservative group of Attorneys-General, it is no surprise the new guidelines hold video games to a higher standard across a number of categories compared to film and what originally existed for video games.
“As we have previously stated, we are concerned with the acknowledgment in the guidelines that interactivity has greater impact on players, despite the Federal Attorney-General’s office publishing a literature review in September 2010 that found no evidence to support these claims. There will be continued debate about whether the interactivity of video games has a greater impact than other forms of media, and we will continue to refer to the lack of the evidence to support these claims," Curry continued.
It is the position of IGEA that "we will need to wait to see how the Classification Board interpret and administer the new R18+ and revised M and MA15+ categories. We trust that they will reflect the standards of morality, decency and propriety accepted by reasonable adults, not just the vocal ones."
How did you take the Classifications, gamers?