The Australian Government is Changing How They Rate Games
Posted by Steve Murray
The Australian Classification Board’s game ratings have become something of a running joke in the gaming news media but the country is taking steps to simplify the ratings process for developers. The Australian Federal Government is currently going through the process of legislating into law changes to the ratings approach by the Classification Board.
The proposed plan is for developers to fill out online questionnaires regarding their game. Their responses will help generate the age rating for the game rather than every game going before the Classification Board. Some games will still have to go before the board but those are expected to be those in the MA15+ and R18+ ratings brackets.
The Aussie Minister for Justice, Michael Keenan, referred to the planned changes as a modernization of the classification system but it’s really just a way to save money by putting less on the plate of the Classification Board.
Reportedly, the main reason for the Australian Government making this change is to start getting ratings on mobile games. Currently, no mobile games for sale in the country have any sort of rating attached. By forcing them all to fill out a questionnaire, presumably with harsh penalties should they knowingly falsify their responses, it will start attaching ratings in a rapidly growing segment of gaming. It also has applications for other games but the immediate future, this will have the biggest impact on the mobile sector.
While this might make things easier on the developers and the Classification Board, this change does nothing to revise the standards used to rate games. That’s where all the controversy comes. Gamers don’t have a problem with how the games are being rated. They have a problem with what they are rated at because it keeps games out of the hands of people who would have them in any other territory in the world. Maybe they can fix that next time out.
Source: Kotaku AU