Overview

Video games are becoming more complex and graphically realistic. They are no longer confined to simple games for kids, and increasingly have mature content and themes intended for adults or older gamers. Recognising this trend, the Video Games Classification system was introduced in April 2008 to provide more choices for adults while protecting the young from unsuitable games.

Classification Ratings

The Video Games Classification System has two ratings:

 

Mature 18 (M18)

M18-rating

  • Restricted to individuals who are at least 18 years old
  • Game packaging must be affixed with M18 classification label and consumer advice
  • Distributors must ensure that the game is not distributed to those below 18

 

Advisory 16 (ADV16)

ADV16-rating

  • Suitable for individuals who are at least 16 years old
  • Game packaging must be affixed with the ADV16 classification label with the advisory text “Suitable for 16 & Above”

 

For details on the content standards, please refer to the Video Game Classification Guidelines  (70.05KB)

Consumer Advice

Consumer advice is provided to help the public make informed choices. These are descriptors that highlight the key content concerns found in a game, such as violence, nudity and sexual scenes. Consumer advice and ratings should be affixed on the game packaging, and displayed on publicity materials where available.

For details on the affixing of classification labels and displaying of consumer advice, please refer to excerpts of Sections 8 and 9 of the Films (Classification and Licensing) Regulations 2019 (244.68KB).

 

Media Classification Database

The Media Classification Database provides classification information on films, video games and arts entertainment events, to help members of the public make informed choices on media consumption. Click here to search for classification ratings.

Classification Process

Films - Workflow

Step 1: An applicant submits a video game for classification.

Step 2: The IMDA assesses and classifies the content accordingly. For controversial titles, the IMDA will consult the Films Consultative Panel (FCP) or focus groups to gather more feedback and views prior to making a classification decision.

Step 3: The applicant is then informed of the rating and consumer advice (if any).

Step 4A: For M18 games, the applicant can then apply for classification labels for duplicate copies for distribution.

Step 4B: For ADV16 games, the applicant is to affix self-printed classification labels for duplicate copies for distribution. A sample of the ADV16 rating label can be downloaded here (208.28KB). The image file of the rating marking can be downloaded here.

Step 5: If the applicant does not agree with the rating, an appeal can be made to the Films Appeal Committee (FAC).

 

Please click here (63.33KB)  to view the fees table.

Promotional Materials

Trailers and Game Demos

Exhibition of ADV16 and M18 game trailers and demonstrations must be within enclosed areas, and distributors must ensure only persons aged 18 and above are allowed entry when a M18 game trailer or demonstration is being exhibited.

The enclosed area should display the relevant notices:

  • ADV16 – The demonstration area should display a notice with the equivalent words - “Unsuitable for Persons Under 16”
  • M18 – The demonstration area should display a notice with the equivalent words - “Restricted to Persons Aged 18 and Above”

 

Print Publicity Materials

Print publicity materials should reflect the rating and consumer advice where available, and should adhere to the requirements of the Guidelines on Print Publicity Materials for Video Games (32.79KB).

Last updated on: 03 Jul 2019