Lifestyle Child’s play? Video game ratings have poor warning standards

Child’s play? Video game ratings have poor warning standards

Australians spent a whopping $3 billion on video games in 2015.

But many have poor warning standards, according to research from Federation University.

Dr Julie Ross examined whether Australian classifications had enough information for parents to make informed decisions about which games were appropriate for their children.

Her study compared classification information given to games in Australia to the same game’s classification overseas.

Dr Ross says that Australian video classification standards need to be reviewed and improved.

“My research concluded that parents were often unable to determine if a video game was appropriate for their child or not,” Dr Ross said.

“Video games in Australia provide less warnings than their international counterparts, and that Australian children 15 years of age are legally allowed to play some games that are rated for adults overseas.”

Dr Ross also surveyed parents with school-aged children to see if they would make the same choices when presented with the additional classification information from overseas.

“When presented with the classification information awarded to the same game overseas, a substantial number of parents made different decisions about the suitability of some games for their child,” Dr Ross said.

“This suggests that video game classification in Australia does not consistently provide enough information for parents to make informed game choices.”

Research like this is only possible if we support our universities. To keep Australia clever, please sign the petition below.