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Singapore introduces new rating system

Singapore introduces new rating system

The new rating system will take effect in Singapore on April 28th, 2008.

The island nation of Singapore has now officially revealed a new mandatory rating and age classification system for games being sold in the country today after a reported two years of development.

The system will go into effect on April 28, 2008 across the entire nation.

Singapore's new rating system has only two classifications at the moment, though it is expected that the categories will be expanded as time goes on. Currently games can be classified as either M18 or Age Advisory. M18 games are those which are suitable for adult audiences only and which require the customer to show some ID to a retailer. Age Advisory rated games are those which are suitable for younger audiences and which do not require ID checks.

The system at first seems remarkably sensible compared to other western equivalents which break the ratings down further, but one wonders how it will be enforced and if such a distinct black and white line can even be drawn across the computer games medium.

Still, with over two years of research and consultation into the topic, it looks like the Singapore government is at least on the right lines when it comes to rating computer games as a medium.

Are rating systems for games a universally flawed concept? Is it possible to clearly say that what is suitable for a 18 year old is unsuitable for a 17 year old? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

10 Comments

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DougEdey 15th April 2008, 12:40 Quote
Good. We need a system like that, legally enforced.
Almightyrastus 15th April 2008, 13:02 Quote
We can have all the systems in the world but if they are not properly enforced with deterrant punishments given out to not only retailers selling to underage but also parents allowing underage kids to play them then nothing will happen other than more of our money being wasted by endless government commitees trying to work out what the 'problem' is.

Strange how this very same arguement can be used for so many more of this country's perceved problem areas as well............
mmorgue 15th April 2008, 14:08 Quote
Sounds very sensible, but if the retailers don't enforce the id checking, then it'll fall flat like many others.

Besides, it really comes down to the responsability of the parents -- they have the kids, they don't want them playing inappropriate games, then it's *their* responsability to enforce it, not society's.
MrMonroe 15th April 2008, 15:17 Quote
Two ratings: "you must be an adult" & "parents, please pay some goddamn attention to what your kids are doing."

It seems they could have broken it down further on the low end, with some "youth" or "12+" ratings. Or, even better, (and this is what I sincerely hope they do in America) they could have just extended the ratings system for film into videogames.
Javerh 15th April 2008, 16:37 Quote
More ratings could easily blur them in the eyes of parents. Many parents already think that ratings are suggestive recommendations of game difficulty, not quality of game contents. Having a clear M18 - badge on the box could make a difference. If all else fails, they should legislate mandatory "HOT SEX & PORN INSIDE" - signs on all r-rated games. Parents would be bound to take notice.
Akava 15th April 2008, 17:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Javerh
If all else fails, they should legislate mandatory "HOT SEX & PORN INSIDE" - signs on all r-rated games. Parents would be bound to take notice.

Then buy it for them selves?

To be honest im dubious about the whole thing, I hope it will work so it will shut up people like Jack Thompson but im unsure, I guess only time will tell.
sotu1 15th April 2008, 17:57 Quote
and may this pave the way for other countries to enforce games ratings.

tbh i think it should be as simple as:

18+, 15+, PG, U - just like the film system. The difference being the 15+ and 18+ MUST have ID present to buy the game. No exceptions. Even if you're the queen.
johnnyboy700 15th April 2008, 19:51 Quote
I seriously doubt that people like Jack Thompson will ever shut up, video games give them such a big fat target to aim at as representitives of the "outraged moral majority" and the "ban this sick filth" Daily Mail readership.

I agree with the above comment that it doesn't make a blind bit of difference what kind of ratings system you have, what matters is how its applied at the retail /customer interface. If its not adhered to at the point of purchase then its a waste of time, even worse is the "responsible" parent/adult who buys it and then gives it to someone under the legal age anyway. Hell I remember seeing my eight year old nephew playing Doom II on his dad's pc and later on trying to persuade me that its "really ok" for him to play The Fall of Max Payne. When I checked with his dad, he said "its only a game".
Cthippo 16th April 2008, 07:30 Quote
Thats the question I have. Who is buying the games for kids? I seriously doubt that your average 15 year old is dropping $50 for GTA, so either their parents are buying the games (and will continue to do so), or the kids are downloading them. Its a nice thought, but in a world of digital distribution and torrents, I think a pointless one.
HourBeforeDawn 16th April 2008, 23:08 Quote
ya I remember when GTA3 SA came out and a mother wanted to buy it for her 12 year old son and I told her right there and then that this game is rated mature and that it has sex, drugs and cursing and she was like uh huh ya whatever its a video game and the next day she comes in cursing at me saying how terrible this game was and how she wasnt told how wrong it would be to let her kid play it I flat out told her to shut it and said I told you and showed you on the box you chose to ignore me so dont even start yelling at me for your own fault, she took a moment and the said sorry lol
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