(dpa) - Video games will carry ratings starting April 28 to help consumers and parents in particular make informed choices about what children play, Singapore's Board of Film Censors (BFC) said on Monday.
The games will carry rating stickers saying "Mature 18" or "Age Advisory."
Mature 18 (M18) is a restricted category for those 18 and older with retailers required to conduct an age check at the point of sales, said the BFC which functions under the Media Development Authority.
The rating is aimed at games with mature themes, or those that contain realistic depictions of "violence and drug use, nudity and frequent use of strong, coarse language," the BFC's statement said.
Age Advisory is considered suitable for those 16 and older. Retailers need not conduct age checks at the point of sale, but are encouraged "to exercise responsibility by not selling these games to those below 16," it noted.
Games that do not fall into either category are approved for general consumption and will not carry any ratings stickers.
"The new ratings will provide more choices for gamers," said BFC head Amy Chua. "The games distribution and retail industry will also benefit from having a retail system that allows it to make available more games targeted at the different groups."
Under the age advisory guidelines, games which contain a moderate level of violence, portrayal of implied sexual activity, nudity, coarse language and depiction of illegal drug use may be required to carry a label.
The classification system was developed over two years and involved consultations with members of MDA's advisory committees, representative from the video games distribution and retail sectors, parents, academics and gamers.