In a move that possibly cost the Australian tax payer upwards of $300,000 the Classification Review Board was asked by the South Australian Attorney General and Australian Council on Children and the Media to re-review the classification of twelve reasonably recently released video games.
In a succinct announcement the Review Board upheld the original ratings given to the games.
“The Review Board upheld the MA 15+ (Mature Accompanied) classification for all of the 12 computer games. These titles are: Killer is Dead, Alien Rage, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Blacklist, Deadly Premonition the Director's Cut, Company of Heroes 2, God Mode, Borderlands 2: Add-on Content Pack, Fuse, Deadpool, The Walking Dead, Gears of War: Judgment and The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct.”
In response the IGEA (Interactive Games & Entertainment Association) reiterated its initial reaction to the review request.
Ron Curry, CEO of IGEA said, “Most video games that are sold in Australia are assessed against a set of strict guidelines and the results of the review confirm our faith in the Classification Board to interpret and apply the guidelines appropriately.”
“The basis for the classification review was unsubstantiated and it is a shame that the exercise was undertaken in the first place. The 12 video games were wrongly singled out because of the different ratings received overseas; an argument that does not take into consideration the structural and cultural differences between Australia’s classification scheme and international schemes.”
The IGEA has been welcoming of the way the introduction of a R18+ classification for video games, and the general reworking of the Australian Classification Board guidelines. It does however remain vocal in urging the Government to implement the largely untouched recommendations made by the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) in 2011. Underlying the 57 recommendations made by the ALRC is the call for a modern classification scheme which can cater to the significant changes in the diversity and delivery of media entertainment.
“We need a complete overhaul of the classification scheme, where the guidelines and their application can cater efficiently to new technologies and be consistently applied to media content regardless of the platform it’s found on,” said Curry.