Video games

We can classify video games by giving them age restrictions and content warnings.

Unrestricted games

Unrestricted video games do not need to carry classification labels. This is because they are exempted from labelling requirements under the Classification Act.

Although unrestricted video games are currently exempt from classification, they have usually been rated elsewhere (such as in Australia or the US) and often carry classification labels from those countries.

There is debate as to whether unrestricted video games should be required to carry New Zealand classification labels. This was not a requirement in the Classification Act because when the law was drafted in the early 1990s video games were very basic, with simple and unrealistic graphics.

Restricted games

Restricted video games can’t be supplied to anyone underage. This law applies to retailers supplying video games over the internet, in stores, and to parents or caregivers supplying video games in the home.

Most major gaming platforms (like PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo or Steam) display New Zealand classification labels for age-restricted video games.

Video games on mobile app stores like Google Play Store or Apple App Store don't currently display official New Zealand classification labels.

Banned games

A few video games have been classified as objectionable (banned) by the Classification Office. A classification of objectionable means that it is illegal to import, download, distribute or possess these video games in New Zealand.

You can search for video game classifications here.

Request or change a classification

Submit something to be classified, ask about getting a classification changed or request an exemption.