With the R18+ age rating in place, Ron Curry spoke this week about what important conversations the discussion has been preventing.
What conversation would you like to be having right now instead of all this?
What I’d really like is to throw out the classification scheme and start all over again. Let’s just have a really grown-up, evidence-based conversation.
If we need to understand this stuff, let’s spend some time; let’s go and find out. Not just a bunch of people sitting around and creating policy, but actually going out and saying to parents, caregivers and users: ‘What is meaningful to you? What you really want to know about classification?’
I don’t think we ask that.
You spoke this morning about a classification aggregator. Are there problems with something like that not being able to take cultural differences into account?
There are some countries it’s not going to work in. It’s not going to work in South Africa, it’s not going to work in Saudia Arabia, and it may not in some other territories.
So it already exists, and they’re putting in some criteria and we found that when it gave out a game’s PEGI rating, the nudity component was low, and it spat out a high ESRB classification because it was already mapped to their classification criteria.
What we’re doing now is trying to map it to our [Australian] classification criteria. It actually does work.
So what would you say are Australia’s particular sensibilities regarding the classifiable elements?
I think we’re a bit more sensitive to violence and the notion of sexual violence (and sometimes how we tie those things together). So sex and violence (which need not be sexual violence) is looked down at.
When you look at Europe, they’re quite comfortable with nudity, but they’re not quite as comfortable with swearing. And that’s why these algorithms have to tie that all back, somehow, to each territory [when making a classification].
And there are some territories where it’ll just never work becuase their issues are just so diverse as far as classification goes. In PEGI territories, the US, some South American countries, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, we’re kind of homogenous enough that it’ll work.