Australia’s pre-historic classification laws do nothing to protect kids from violent video games and place even more onus on parents to protect kids from violent content.Every time a block buster video game that contains violence hits retail shelves I hear the same outcry: ‘It Should Be Banned!’
I can understand the argument that kids with a predisposition to aggression that play violent video games can become more aggressive and should not be exposed to this kind of content – Agreed! But if you ban a game from sale will the kids stop playing it? No, like any black market item, it will go underground and they will source it another way.
Our current protections against this underground network are the classification laws. With the development of more realism in video games, these laws need some touching up. Morals aside, Australia is not going to have a classification system that adequately protects young gamers without an R-18 classification. The R-18+ is not just a rating, but a ‘Don’t even think about’ sign for kids. No R-rating means publishers instead work really hard to get their games classified into an MA15+ category. They do this so they can sell the game! The game is presented to the Classification board, they follow the laws of the classification process and the game is classified or denied from sale. I would love to see violent games classified differently, however while our laws remain the way they are, denying a product from sale is seen by many as the best solution.
My best advice to parents, “Watch your kids playing video games – we are depending on you”.