While Australia has reviewed the Australian classifications, how is it possible to know whether they are working?
In this weeks tutorial a girl mentioned that she worked in a cinema where they can’t stop younger kids from watching MA 15+ movies and can only stop them from purchasing tickets and viewing R18+ movies. So what is the point of having restrictions if they aren’t enforced?
Terry Flew (2012) discusses the Australian Law Reform Commission review of the National Classification Scheme which highlights the restrictions on children and the introduction of the R18+ classification on video games.
One of the aspects taken into considerations the impact of media on children and one of the guiding principles is that children should be protected from content that will harm or disturb them.
The newly reviewed classifications also take into account the same classifications of movies to video games. The R18+ restrictions were originally rejected and games such as Mortal Combat which would of been adult content only were put into the Refused Classification category.
After receiving over 58,000 public submissions the R18+ restrictions on video games have been put into place and the first computer game recently given this restriction is ‘Nina Gaiden 3: Razors’ Edge’.
While these restrictions are helping to protect children from such content, how do we stop content from getting to them?
For example, if a parent were to buy a game suitable for 15+ or 18+ and plays the game with someone below the restricted age, is it considered alright because of the parental or older person?
The reason these restrictions are put into place are so younger children aren’t exposed to certain themes such as violence and nudity as we want them to keep a certain innocence about them and not grow up to fast.
If someone older allows the child to play such games or see these movies intended for older audiences, what does this do to them? The restrictions are there for the reason of protection but kids can still be shown this content. It could just go straight over there heads but there is a moral panic about kids playing violent video games and that somehow making them a murderer and the same thing with older movies, if they see mature content then somehow they want to imitate it.
The logic is based around fears of children but while the classifications and restrictions are there, the policy doesn’t mention the enforcement. Parental guidance is put into the classifications for a reason but children are then exposed to content that may not have been intended for them. This is more in terms of R18+ content then MA15+ but the issue still remains.