Let’s skip all the intensely crazy stuff going on in Australia right now. Let’s ignore the fact that we have two leaders who are both gunning for the top position yet are both incredibly unfit for the job, let’s ignore the recently signed asylum seeker act that is grossly inappropriate and downright racist, let’s focus on one thing that is relevant to this website: the fact that despite the implementation of the R18+ rating for games, the system remains as broken as ever.
Let’s discuss Saints Row IV. A game that was initially refused classification a couple of months ago. In a hasty change of plans, PAX were forced to abide by Australian laws and forego public demonstration of SRIV at PAX Aus, having the demo run in a discreet, behind curtained area that was strictly for people over 18. Sometime after PAX Aus, the appeal to overturn the ban has been refused. As far as we know, Saints Row IV was submitted once, rejected, and then the appeal was made to overturn the decision, which again has been rejected.
Once again, let’s fast forward to NOW, and suddenly not only is Saints Row now passed, it’s classified as an MA15+ game.
How does a game jump from refused classification (RC) to MA, completely bypassing a rating? How does one, optional, mission, make the difference between banning a game from sale and letting anyone over 15 play it?