Ratings urged for cell games

The Dominion Post 02/11/2009

Offensive and risque mobile phone games and applications could soon be censored in New Zealand. Games for the Apple iPhone that contain soft pornography and promote racism, alcohol and child abuse have drawn widespread flak. Chief censor Bill Hastings says mobile phone games and software downloaded from the internet should be subject to the same classification laws as films and video games. The Office of Film and Literature Classification is working with the Justice Ministry and the Internal Affairs Department to reform the law so electronic and computer files, including mobile games and software, can be given ratings, he says. He has no specific concerns at present about the content of particular mobile games and applications.

“But that’s not to say the application providers shouldn’t think about voluntarily submitting for classification any applications they think might have restrictable content. My view is that video games should be treated all the same regardless of which medium they’re conveyed on.” A paper on the proposed change to the Films, Videos and Publications Act is due to be completed by the end of the year, and a bill will be introduced to Parliament.