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Games Rating Authority
Games Rating Authority
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Violence can be included at all age groups as it ranges from Tom & Jerry style comical violence right through to realistic looking decapitation and other forms of gross violence.

These pages explain what is generally allowed at each of the age groups.

No violence descriptor is shown at 3. The only violence allowed to be shown is violence that is humorous and is set in a cartoon, slapstick or child-like setting. This covers content such as 'Laurel and Hardy' and 'Tom & Jerry' style violence.

If there is a possibility of a younger child finding the violence allowed at 3 in any way disturbing it will be rated at 7.

Other types of violence allowed at 7 include non-realistic looking violence towards fantasy characters, violence towards human characters who are depicted as 'stick men' or which are otherwise so heavily pixelated as to be difficult to recognise.

One final type of violence that is allowed is where nothing is actually seen of the violence but it is implied from the rest of the content. An example would be where a pilot is seen in a plane and later the plane is shot down but the actual violence is not shown.

Violence at the 12 level is more profound than at 3 and 7. It is not humorous and is not in a child-like setting. Violence towards human like or animal like characters has to be non-realistic. This means there will often be a bright flash of light or glow when someone is hit and bodies disappear and don't remain on the floor when killed. 12 violence also covers violence permitted in the rules of a sport; such as boxing, however there cannot be any blood. Similarly arcade style 'beat em ups' are included at 12, so long as there isn't any blood. If there is then the game will fall into the 16 category.

Realistic looking violence is only allowed in the 12 category if is towards a fantasy character. This includes mythical creatures such as dragons, gremlins, orcs and any other made up characters so long as it does not look like a human or an animal.

For a game to move into the 16 category it will have violence towards human characters who are going to react to being punched, shot or attacked as they would in real life. Usually this is seen by characters being knocked back or falling to the floor. Often there will be blood, although this isn't essential. Unlike violence at 12, there are not just bright flashing lights when someone is hit and dead bodies don't disappear or fade away after a few seconds.

Same as at 16; realistic and towards humans, but in this category the violence is more likely to make you look away or wince. 18 violence covers anything with a stomach churning factor. This includes anything deemed to be gross; heads, arms and legs becoming removed by way of a chain-saw or shotgun are amongst the most common. 18 violence also includes sexual violence such as rape.

Killing sprees in airports, shopping malls and schools are also covered based on the insensitive nature of the violence. Violence towards people that can't run away or defend themselves, i.e. children or someone tied up and attacked are also included.

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