Australia’s Classification System

In the early 1990s, when Australia, along with many other countries decided to create a classification system for computer and video games there was very little understanding of the medium. Regulators and Censorship Ministers decided to exclude an R18+ classification because they thought the medium was only for children and that adult themed games could cause potential harm. Also, the high level of technology involved with playing games meant that many parents couldn’t ensure adequate parental guidance.

But fast forward to 2009 and computer and video games are now enjoyed by young children, teens, females and adults. Parents are now not only able to ensure proper parental guidance to their children but many parents – the latest research cites 80 per cent – play games with their children. Also, there is no scientific evidence to date to prove games are somewhat more harmful than other media.

How does classification work?

Before games are sold publicly, the Classification Board assesses the content to see where it fits within the classification categories. If the game’s content exceeds an MA15+ rating, it is then refused classification and banned from public sale.

How can an R18+ rating be introduced?

To introduce an R18+ classification, it requires unanimous agreement from the State and Territory Censorship Ministers.