Case Study: Australia's Computer Games Audience and Restrictive Ratings System
Jeffrey E. BRAND,
Jill BORCHARD and
Kym HOLMES Additional contact information Jeffrey E. BRAND: Bond University, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Jill BORCHARD: Bond University, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Kym HOLMES: Bond University, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Computer and video games are big business in Australia, just as they are in many other developed economies. However, Australia is unique among developed states because there is no R18+ or "Adult" rating for computer game content in Australia. The present case study represents a snapshot of a larger national audience study of 1614 homes and 4852 individuals within those homes. The research presents demographic, behavioural and attitudinal data by which the largely functioning ratings system may be judged. The data show that the typical gamer is 30 years of age, often a parent and actively engaged in content selection and exposure. By presenting these data in the context of the unique regulatory regime in Australia, this report seeks to demonstrate that consumer power exceeds the control of the state and such control may function to enhance rather than stifle the health of the computer games industry.