The IEAA strongly disagrees with the decision by the Office of Film and Literature Classification’s Review Board, to ban the video game. “The IEAA contends that the game does not exceed the guidelines for the MA15+ category” said CEO Chris Hanlon.
The decision by the Classification Review Board was made on the basis that the game promotes crime and that this is something that must be refused classification. “There has never been any evidence that links playing computer games to increases in crime” said Mr Hanlon. “In fact, OFLC publications state that none of the independent research published to date has demonstrated serious affects of aggressive game play upon young peoples’ behaviour.”
The decision has significant implications for all entertainment content providers. “Any film, game or publication and especially that related to graffiti, can potentially be banned under this precedent” said Mr Hanlon.
“It’s important that the classification laws are clear, consistent and are applied equally to films, games and publications” said Mr Hanlon. “Business needs a consistent set of rules, rather than original decisions overturned and then re-determined by one person. “Every time this happens it costs business hundreds of thousands of dollars. Stock needs to be withdrawn, advertising changed and retailers have to deal with an angry public”.
The process of seeking a review of OFLC classification decisions, needs reviewing,” said Mr Hanlon. “Usually those who object to a film or game have never actually seen it”. With Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure the game was due for world wide release in February yet the complaint process started months before. This leaves the system open to vexatious complaints from vested interests.
“An effective classification system is one that is consistent and free of political interference that can make decisions that reflect the diversity of Australian society” said Mr Hanlon.