The number of computer games refused classification by the Australian Classification Board has exploded following the trial of a new international rating system called the International Age Ratings Coalition.
According to Twitterer @RefusedC, only 77 games received the ban between 1995 and January 2015. Following the adoption of the IARC guidelines, that number has blown out to 241 games to March 18, 2015. That works out to be an average of 40 games banned per month.
The rise of mobile and handheld games, along with the introduction of an R18+ category for games in 2013 has meant that the government classification agencies have had difficulty in keeping up with the number of new games released.
The trial introduction of the IARC, which puts the heavy work of classification on the games developers by asking them a series of questions about the content of their game, has turned the tide, making it easier again for the classification board to keep up. The tool is also free to use, as opposed to the AU$1,000 classification fee charged under the old classification regime.
There are 36 member countries associated with the IARC. According to online publication PlayerAttack, the Australian government minister for justice, Michael Keenan, said the adoption of the IARC was a many month process, but added that the Classification Board still maintains the power to overrule an IARC classification if it feels the rating given is not warranted.
The Australian trial of the IARC will last for twelve months, with a subsequent review process taking place after that. ®