Movie and game classifications

Are there rules for movie and video game content in Australia?

Our classification system helps to protect children from potentially unsuitable content and can guide your decisions about whether a film or video game is appropriate. The Classification Board in Australia (ACB) classifies all films, DVDs, video games and publications that are shown, sold or hired. The ratings include G, PG and M classifications for films and computer games with higher level content classified MA15+, R18+ and X18+ having legal age restrictions applied. To check the classification for any movie or video game released in Australia, you can search the ACB public database.

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What do these classification labels tell me about a movie, DVD or video game?

They describe the minimum maturity level of content and factor in context, impact and categories based on themes, violence, sex, language, drug use and nudity. Classified films, DVDs and video games must clearly display their Australian classification label with the symbols displayed in cinemas, on video and DVD cases, on film trailers, advertising material, posters, websites and in newspapers and magazines. The symbol and content warning will help you decide if a film or video game is suitable for your child. The three main parts of a classification marking are the symbol (a coloured letter), description and specific consumer advice about some of the strongest content.

Australian film classification symbolsWhat do each of the ratings actually mean?

G (general)

Suitable for everyone, including children as the content is very mild in impact. Parents should be aware that G may sometimes feature material that is not always of interest to children.

PG (parental guidance)

Content is mild in impact. Some movies may contain scenes that children find confusing or upsetting and may require the guidance of parents. You should consider whether the content may upset younger, or more sensitive children.

M (mature)

Content is moderate in impact. Films and video games classified M are recommended for people aged 15 years and over.

MA15+, R18+ and X18+

Restricted category material. This means there are legal restrictions in place which limits who can be supplied with a film, DVD or video game that has a restricted classification. In regard to MA15+ (Mature Accompanied), this classification is legally restricted to people 15 years and over, because the content is considered to be strong in impact. Children under 15 years may not legally watch, buy or hire MA 15+ classified material unless they are with a parent or adult guardian. You must purchase the movie ticket or video game for the child. A person may also be asked by the cinema or retailer to show proof of age.

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