Industry warns of fewer computer games

Last updated 05:00 30/06/2011

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Kiwis could have fewer computer games to choose from if the chief censor gets the power to classify all games locally, an industry body warns.

Chief censor Andrew Jack has said that New Zealand-specific classifications of all games might be warranted, after 71 per cent of respondents to a survey favoured that.

At present, only video games with restricted content are required to be classified in New Zealand under law. Unlike films and DVDs, other games – with G, PG and M ratings – do not have to be separately vetted in New Zealand and can be sold here under their Australian classifications.

Ron Curry, chief executive of the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association, said requiring all games to be classified locally would impose extra costs on games publishers and it was likely some would not bother to bring their unrestricted titles here.

Dr Jack said the survey, carried out for the Office of Film and Literature Classification, showed strong support for a local labelling system. "What New Zealanders want is clear and consistent information to help them make informed choices about what they and their children watch and play.

"We're not a little microcosm of Australia. We have our own values and attitudes."

He did not think the costs for publishers as a result would be "too devastating".

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- The Dominion Post

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