Australian Classification Board

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The Australian Classification Board (ACB), formerly known as the Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) is a statutory classification body which provides day to day administrative support for the Classification Board which rates films, computer games, and publications in Australia, and the Classification Review Board which reviews films, computer games and publications when a valid application has been made. Since the name was changed to ACB, the analogous New Zealand body no longer has the same, but still has the old name. Both organizations are completely separate entities and as such, ratings do differ between them.

Film and Video Game Ratings

Below or beside the picture of the classification label is a list of the reasons the product received that classification.

OFLC G Rating.png G (General) – These films and computer games are suitable to be viewed by a general audience, including children. However, G does not conclusively mean a children’s film or game because many of these productions contain content that would be of no interest to children.
The content is very mild.
OFLC PG Rating.png PG (Parental Guidance) – These films and computer games contain material that a parent might need to explain to younger children.
The content is mild.
OFLC M Rating.png M (Mature) – These films and computer games contain material that requires a mature perspective.
The content is moderate.
Classifications below are legally restricted
OFLC MA15 Rating.png MA15+ (Mature Accompanied) – People under the age of 15 must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian for the duration of the film in the cinema. Parental permission to see an MA15+ film is not sufficient. People under 15 are not permitted to hire or buy films or computer games classified MA15+.
The content is strong.
OFLC R18 Rating.png R (Restricted) – People under the age of 18 cannot purchase or rent the movie, photo identification is required. It is also illegal to allow underage people to view this material.
The content is of a high level.
OFLC X18 Rating.png X (Restricted) – People under the age of 18 cannot purchase or rent the movie, photo identification is needed. It is also illegal to allow underage people to view this material. This rating cannot be applied to video games.
The X rating applies to sexually explicit material.

A rating of 'RC' denotes 'Refused Classification', where the game is effectively banned from being sold or demonstrated in the country. (there is no label as it is not a public rating)

Previous Video Game Ratings

These ratings are still shown on some older video games that are still on sale in Australia

GGeneral : The G classification is for a general audience.
G8+General for children over 8 years of age: Material classified G8+ may contain material which some children find confusing or upsetting, and may require the guidance of parents or guardians. It is not recommended for viewing by persons under 8 without guidance from parents or guardians.
M15+Mature: Material classified M15+ is not recommended for persons under 15 years of age, however there are no legal restrictions on access.
MA15+Mature Restricted: Material classified MA15+ is considered unsuitable for persons under 15 years of age. It is a legally restricted category—children under 15 cannot buy or hire an MA15+ computer game unless accompanied by a parent or adult guardian.

List of GTA ratings

The Classification Board has been quite harsh on the GTA series in comparison with other ratings boards. Grand Theft Auto III was originally restricted by the Classification Board who gave it a rating of "RC," but it later gained an "MA 15+" rating meaning the game could be sold in the country. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas had its "MA 15+" rating revoked after the Hot Coffee incident, resulting in the game being banned. The updated re-release allowed the game to regain its "MA 15+" rating. GTA IV was originally awarded a rating of RC, until a censored version of the game was submitted for classification. The PC version of GTA IV, however, remained uncensored.

Historically, video games could not be awarded the R 18+ rating, resulting in these games been banned or censored. This is contrary to a line in the classification code which states that "adults should be able to read, hear and see what they want". As of 2013, however, this has been changed. It is therefore unknown whether GTA V will need to be censored. Some stores may not wish to sell games with the adult rating. On July 31, 2013, GTA V was rated R18+, with the consumer advice listing drug use as the main reason. This makes it he first game in the series to receive this classification.

The GTA series is rated as follows:

See also

  • ESRB, the United States and Canadian computer and video game rating system
  • ELSPA, the former British computer and video game rating system, replaced by the PEGI ratings.
  • PEGI, the European computer and video game rating system
  • BBFC, the British Board of Film Classification

External link