The Australian Classification Board is a statutory classification body which classifies films, computer games and publications in Australia, supported by the Classification Review Board which reviews films, computer games and publications when a valid application has been made. Ratings were formerly handled by parent agency, the Australian Office of Film and Literature Classification, which was dissolved in 2007.
Current video game ratingsEdit
The video games rating system is the same as ratings for film, but with minor adjustments in the amount of impact and allowed ratings.
These ratings are advisory in nature, and are sold without any restrictions on access:
G (General) - These games are for general viewing. However, G does not conclusively mean a children’s film or game because many of these productions contain content that would be of no interest to children. It is an equivalent to ESRB'S EC and E and CERO's A (low end).
The content is very mild in impact.
PG (Parental Guidance) - These games contain material that a parent might need to explain to younger children.
The content is mild in impact. This is an equivalent to ESRB's E10+ and CERO's A (high end).
M (Mature) - These games contain material that requires a somewhat mature perspective, but still not enough to be considered too strong for younger viewers. This is the highest unrestricted rating.
The content is moderate in impact. This is an equivalent to ESRB's T and CERO's B and C rating.
By contrast, the following ratings are legally restricted from general access, and requires consumers to be of a certain age in order to obtain games with these ratings:
MA15+ (Mature Audiences/Mature Accompanied) - These games contain content which is considered unsuitable for people under the age of 15. People under 15 must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian to buy or watch any MA15+ rated content, and similar to ESRB's T (high end) and M and CERO's C (high end) and D.
The content is strong in impact.
R18+ (Restricted) - These games contain content which is considered inappropriate for people who are not adult. People under 18 are not allowed to buy or watch R18+ rated content.
The content is very strong in impact, and similar to ESRB's M (high end) and ESRB's AO and CERO's Z.
Video games do not have an X18+ (sexually explicit) rating; any games with content higher than R18+ level will be rated RC (Refused Classification) and therefore banned from sale in Australia. However, video game developers have the option of toning down the games in order to get lesser ratings. Games that would have gotten an R18+ rating were also refused classification before 2013.
CTC (Check the Classification) - This game has been approved to have advertising material released in Australia, however it is currently unclassified.
The content is unknown in impact.
Previous video game ratingsEdit
These ratings are still shown on some older video games that are still on sale in Australia. This system was deprecated in Q3 2005 to make video game ratings similar to film ratings. As with the ratings system used between 2005 and 2013, any games with material higher in impact than the MA15+ rating would be refused classification and therefore banned.