The gaming market in Australia is subject to uncommon bouts of international controversy over censorship of games, and effectively banning games that would be given an 18+ rating such as the infamous Grand Theft Auto series.
However, there is some progress going on. John Rau has boldly said that his state will put out the R18+ category regardless of what the other states say on it. The cabinet has approved Rau’s proposal to phase out the MA15+ category for games, and replace it with an R18+ rating, allowing games with graphic content to enter the market.
Like America, Australia is made up of multiple states that have their own laws and legislation.
Rau believes, and I agree on this, that content aimed at children is vastly different from content aimed at adults, and there should be ratings that reflect that. He also believes that applying film age ratings to interactive titles is completely absurd. He supports a clear broad line between children’s and adult’s entertainment to allow parents to make educated decisions on what games would be suitable for their children.
In my own opinion, I believe that content ratings for games should be strictly informative, and not restricted by age. There is a world of difference in the content of the original Grand Theft Auto, rated 18 in the UK, and the content of the controversial game Manhunt, also rated 18 to give an example.