It’s been a rather long and shameful road for Australia’s media classification system. The system itself requires that most forms of media sold, rented, displayed or traded within Australia be properly classified and labelled, but the system has been … well, uneven, at best.
While all other media had six classifications, computer and video games had just four, restricting the allowable content for games to that which was deemed suitable for a fifteen year old audience of minors.
The lack of an R18+ classification led to some games being restricted from sale, while others wound up getting grouped into an overstretched MA15+ classification, which seemed to contain an increasing amount of inappropriate content.
It has been announced today that the new classifications category has finally (after many years of wrangling and obstacles) finally passed the Australian Federal Parliament and Senate – to commence on 1 January 2013 – but that’s not the whole story.