Case study: Australia's computer games audience and restrictive ratings system

Date of this Version


Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Interim status: Citation only.

Brand, J. E., Borchard, J., & Holmes, K. (2009). Case study: Australia's computer games audience and restrictive ratings system. Communications & strategies digiworld economic journal: New challenges for the video game industry, 73(1), 67-79.

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2009 HERDC submission. FoR code: 2001

© Copyright IDATE 2009


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.

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This document has been peer reviewed.