South Australia Attorney General John Rau believes the country's new video game classification rules are not being applied strictly enough and should be further investigated by the Federal Government, according to a report from ABC Australia.
Rau said the updated classification system could be giving children access to violent and sexual content, despite the government's agreement last January to introduce the R18+ mature classification and fine-tune restrictions for the MA15+ rating. He believes that more than a dozen games have launched in Australia last year that have been rated MA15+ while receiving higher, more mature ratings in Europe and North America.
Rau plans to voice his concerns to the Federal Government, despite being satisfied with the recent launch of Grand Theft Auto 5 in the country with an R18+ rating.
"It is concerning to me, particularly as a parent, when I see that 13 games have been released in Australia as MA15+ whilst exactly the same game attracts up to an R18+ classification overseas," he said, noting that these games include Killer is Dead, The Walking Dead, and Atlus' God Mode. "These particular games have been assessed as having intense violence, blood and gore, nudity and suggestive themes."
Rau wants recently-appointed new federal Attorney-General, George Brandis, to reassess how the Australian Classification Board rates video games.
"If the standards are not more rigorously applied I will be referring each of these games to the South Australian Classification Council for review," he said.
In June, the Australian Classification Board announced that it had denied Saints Row 4 classification under the "Guidelines for the Classification of Computer Games." Developer Volition went back to censor parts of the game, the new version of which passed classification in August with an MA15+ rating.