Are you planning on taking your kids to the movies this school holidays? Maybe they are old enough to take themselves? Or thinking of buying the latest computer game as a Christmas gift?

15 December 2015

These are the ratings you're looking for

Movies and gaming offer hours of summer holiday entertainment for all ages, especially the exciting new releases and Boxing Day blockbusters. So it’s important to know what’s right for you and your family when choosing what to see and play. Classifications and consumer advice given to films and games help you to make informed choices.

Classification symbols

The G classification is suitable for everyone, but PG is not recommended for under 15’s without guidance from a parent or guardian. The M category isn’t restricted but it’s recommended as more appropriate for older teenagers – those aged 15 years and over. Films and games that are MA15+ are legally restricted, so kids under 15 must be accompanied by parent or guardian at the cinema or when buying these games. Anything classified R18+is for adults only.

What does that mean for your family? Everyone will be talking about the new film STAR WARS: Episode VII: THE FORCE AWAKENS, but is it suitable for everyone? It’s classified M, and with an M classification you need to think before you take younger kids to the cinema – M is not recommended for anyone under 15. Don’t forget the consumer advice: ‘Science fiction themes and violence’. Consider how your under 15’s might react to that type of content - everyone is different.

The Star Wars game DISNEY INFINITY 3.0 is classified ‘PG - Mild violence, Online interactivity’, so adult guidance is recommended for under 15’s. On the other hand, the new release game STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT is classified M - like the film, it’s recommended for ages 15 and older. The consumer advice explains it has ‘Science fiction violence, Online interactivity’, and the M classification lets us know this game is higher in impact than its Disney counterpart. So if your kids are different ages, buy age-appropriate games and let them know what’s OK to share with younger siblings (if you can get them to share at all!)

Holiday season has something for everybody – make the right choices and check the classification beforehand at www.classification.gov.au