Ivanhoe Grammar School Principal, Mr Rod Fraser has expressed his support for the introduction of an R18+ rating for video games. “The introduction of an R18+ rating would allow parents to make a better informed decision on which games they buy for their children,” Mr Fraser said.
“Under the current rating system too many video games with excessive violent and sexual content are released with an M or MA rating which can cause confusion among parents about the suitability of a game.”
The Federal Government recently expressed its support for the introduction of an R rating for video games in light of recent research which indicated that 98% of Australians support this move.
“There is still a perception amongst many people that video games are a toy just for young children whilst the interactive entertainment industry has grown to be a multi-billion dollar industry.
“Just like films, video games now cater for all audiences, from young children to adults. The existence of a R18+ rating would clearly signal to parents that certain games are for adults only and so therefore they should not buy them for their children,” Mr Fraser said.
Ivanhoe Grammar School’s new cyber safety website, www.iCyberSafe.com, has a whole section for parents about video games and in particular the risks of online gaming. There is also an article on the website’s blog particularly on the topic of violent games using Call of Duty: Black Ops as an example.
Mr Fraser summarised his thoughts by saying, “Video games are not all bad and there are many benefits for young people from gaming including improved spatial awareness, improved problem solving skills and better health through games such as Wii Sports and an opportunity for stress relief.
“However, as with any activity it should be done in moderation and a balanced lifestyle should be the goal for young people. Parents should take an interest in what games their children are playing and how long they spend on them so that they can make a better decision on what is appropriate. They can also play video games with their children to build a stronger bond.”