The Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA) welcomes and supports the decisions handed down by the Classification Review Board forthe recent classification review of 12 video games. However, the industry body maintains the review imposed by the South Australian Attorney General and the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) was unwarranted, costly and only served to confirm the Classification Board’s ability to accurately apply the classification guidelines.
Twelve video games were recently re-examined by the Classification Review Board against the Classification Guidelines despite the fact that none of the video games identified received any formal consumer complaints nor was any content identified as being highly contentious. At the conclusion of the review, each video game maintained its previous rating.
Ron Curry, CEO of IGEA says, “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.”
While IGEA believes the Classification Board is applying the guidelines correctly, and in some cases conservatively, it remains 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.
“Most people don’t realise that our current classification scheme was developed over 20 years ago in a ‘pre-Internet’ environment where the only way for consumers to buy video games was at a physical retailer.”
“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.
Like the ALRC, the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association is calling for an industry-led classification system similar to the systems found in Europe and the US. In an industry-led scheme, IGEA would be responsible for the application of industry classification codes of practice which would be developed by a Government regulator.
IGEA is an independent industry association representing Australia and New Zealand companies in the computer and video game industry. Its members publish, market and/or distribute interactive games and entertainment content. IGEA is administered by a Board of Directors compromising senior executives from interactive games and entertainment companies and supported by the CEO, Ron Curry.
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