Game classification has been a tough debate between those who want the rating and the politicians. Neither political party has said that they will support the classification, even though Labor has invested money into broadband and high definition television.
The classifications previously didn’t include PG, but had G8+; but that cause havoc between game developers. A huge revamp out of the classifications systems over on movies, DVD, television and gaming saw them being colourised. That’s when the PG rating was introduced.
But television doesn’t even have a R rating too, so why are you complaining? Television has an equivalent, but usually edited, rating of AV15+. SBS is known, however, to show R rated programming.
The gaming industry does need another rating. In comparison, the US has a regulated rating system for games with an AO rating – Adults Only. The only reason, I think, that we don’t have it is that the government thinks that the more violent the games are, the more physiological damage. That, and the fact that the politicians think games are for children.
There is a site dedicated to refused classification, meaning that it exceeds the X18+ (movies & DVDs) and MA15+ (games) it will automatically be banned unless they edit it down, and shows games that have been rated over the US as M or in Europe as 18+. Grand Theft Auto has to be an example of this weird, but humourous, predicament.
But this does cause serious implications over the games industry. To get that ‘violent’ game that they wanted, they usually pirated. I accept that this might not be the case if it is actually banned over the US and Europe. The games can be downloaded over Bit Torrent, then play it over on their modded game console.
They can even play it on their computer. Emulators have been created to play a certain game console. Also there is sites bringing ISOs or GBA files to download. Though they say that you must delete them in 24 hours, most (or all) don’t. And the download sites can’t put in DRM or a piece of code into the software without being accused of hacking or infecting them with a virus. They also fear that they will lose a lot of their site visitors.
So, do we really need an R18+ rating? Do we? I say we do, because we need more choice over games. The government can regulate it, but they choose the states to do that. But also, I want to hear your say over this debate.