12th January 2010 - Saturday January 9th saw another R18+ ‘rally’ in Sydney, Australia. Between 9am and 4pm Sydney-siders were encouraged to approach the Queen Victoria building to express their support for an adult classification of video game content. R18+ Home Page
The Rally was organized by R18+ Games Australia and according to one poster on kotaku:
“It wasn’t a ‘Rally’, it was an information dissemination event. We weren’t chanting, or holding up signs, or blocking off banks or anything like that – just handing out leaflets and raising awareness of the situation as it is at present and how it can be changed. We had people all over the city handing out flyers. We also got over 50 submission papers filled out by people on the street. Instead of criticising from afar if you’d like to see change affected perhaps you should come up and help out next time.”
One of the first congregations of 2010 on the topic, this round of public consultation is due to end by the end of next month, February. Almost exactly a month ago the Australian Federal Government released a paper on the pros/cons of an R18+ classification:
Thier arguments against the rating:
- Computer games should be treated differently from films given the specific, negative effects of interactivity on players, particularly their participation in violent and aggressive content.
- It would be difficult for parents to enforce age restrictions for computer games.
- Minors would be more likely to be exposed to computer games that are unsuitable for them.
- An R18+ for computer games would exacerbate problems associated with access to high level material in Indigenous communities and by other non-English speaking people
- There is no demonstrated need to change existing restrictions.
And, the key arguments for the rating are:
- The R18+ classification category sends a clear, unambiguous message to parents that the game material is unsuitable for minors
- Consistent classification categories for films and computer games are easier to understand
- A new classification will supplement technological controls on minors’ access to age inappropriate computer games
- Adults should not be prevented from playing R18+ level computer games simply because they are unsuitable for minors
- Comparable international classification systems have an adult rating for computer games – international parity is desirable
- Consumers access games which would be R18+ illegally – it would be better if they were legally available with appropriate restrictions
Australians still have just over a month to submit submissions on the topic of an R18+ classification for video games. For those inclined, the following form below can be emailed, faxed or mailed to the included address. Linky
Minor Celebrities including ABC2’s Stephanie ‘HEX’ Bendixen from Good Game TV have thrown their support behind the R18+ Site with her Face Book page urging gamers to show their support by sporting the official logo.
Leave a comment below or in the forums and maybe 2010 is the year Australia steps ups.
Article Written By Ian Crane