Aussie Government Considering R18+ Rating For Video Games?

ma15_top.jpgNext month, the Australian government will again discuss the necessity for an R18+ rating for video games, according to a story over a the SMH. The article states that the SCAG, or Standing Committee of Attorneys-General, will toss the issue around at its next meeting on March 28.

This fact was confirmed by a spokesperson for Bob Debus, the Minister for Home Affairs.

Note that this means the issue will be debated, not that an R rating will definitely be implemented. So keep the corks on your champagne bottles folks, at least for now.

Last year Activision had its fair share of difficulties with the OFLC when Soldier of Fortune: Payback was refused classification. Of course, Activision revised the game to remove the offending elements, and the new build was subsequently given the okay. Good news, right? Not really, seeing as the whole point of the game was its ridiculous amounts of blood and dismemberment.

All I can say is if the rating does get the nod - it's about bloody time.

R-rated games may be on shelves soon [SMH.com.au, thanks to everyone who sent in a tip!]


Comments

    Meanwhile the most prominent headline on the SMH website's front page for a few hours this morning was:

    "Bring On The Hate

    Violence and sex may get thumbs up.

    The most violent video games around could soon be sold in Australia after the Federal Government said it was considering updating the classification system for games to include an R18+ rating."

    If a broadsheet is treating this issue like that, then you can only imagine the field-day that the tabloids will have.

    Unless South Australian Attorney General Michael Atkinson gets his finger out of his ass and brings himself out of his fantasy land within the next month than there's no point in even thinking about it. The guy is an ultra-conservative nutter who has openly admitted to bringing his own "personal" views into politics and has for so long prevented South Australia from stepping into modern times. It's because of this idiotic co-operative censorship system that the we lack an R rating for games. I cannot believe Atkinson got into power in the first place, what were the South Australian people THINKING? He needs to get real. His reasoning not supporting an R rating is that he's not satisfied kids won't get a hold of such games (refused-classification.com). Well why does he not apply the same logic to the sale of alcohol, cigarettes, adult DVDs, sex toys and anything else which is adult exclusive? Oh because he is ignorant and stuck in 1989. Come on this is getting stupid. The federal government needs to do away with this co-operative scheme. Why not simply use a majority system instead of mandating changes be unanimous? If SA doesn't want R rated games than fine, but why ruin it for the rest of the country simply because of ONE state?

    You have a month to change his mind, so start writing letters NOW because SCAG only comes around every few years.

    Out of interest, what percentage of our population is classed as being 'gamers'? We know that 50% of gamers are above 18, and that the average age of Australian gamers is around 28, but how much of the population as a whole is that?

    Personally I strongly support this, but I have to point out that in terms of games actually banned here, our OFLC has probably done us a service - they're generally pretty dire. The more worrying thing really is games getting censored or underclassified.

    As much as I hate it, it won't happen until they change the system to allow - GASP - a MAJORITY vote to change the rule instead of a unanimous one. It seems ridiculous to me that 6 states (Are territories included seperately? I don't know) can vote FOR something like this, and one can vote AGAINST, and that ONE state wins. We need to get Michael Atkinson out of power or change the system to a more logical one.

    This is the best news I've heard all week. Sure that doesn't mean much, it being Monday and all, but goddamn.

    I guess all we can do is hope, but thank god this issue is actually being debated, rather than being left to gather cobwebs in the corner.

    Dialogue can only be a good thing. Unless it comes from Fox News.

    Here's a funny little story for anyone who cares.

    I heard about this on the radio this morning.

    Now I've written essays on the matter for my university studies - and I'm as passionate as can be about an R rating for games in Australia.

    And thus hearing this so suddenly and without warning gave me quite a stun - while I was driving.

    Unfortunately I didn't hear all the details as I rather suddenly had to adjust my car's direction so I didn't end up dead in a ditch.

    But still - this is some shocking, but heaven sent news.

    We won't get R rated video games, period. Unless there's a lobby group showing them that the majority of gamers are adults (who also happen to vote) they won't be able to see past their misconception that video games are only for kids.

    I'd suggest Kotaku (or even major games retailers) endorsing a petition, but unfortunately I don't see it making much difference. They'll always fall back on their rationale that they're doing it "to protect the children" without consenting to the fact that that's what good parents do. Not their governments.

    Even if they did allow R Rated games, it would only be a matter of time before some tabloid linked a violent act to a child that possible had access to an R rated game and they'd take them away again like it was a sword or a gun.

    Well its progress, maybe one day my copy of GTA:SA will be legal.

    Not really much of a loss if we don't get an R rating. It may even be better. It will let us get GTA and Call of Duty at 15, not 18.

    i am pissed off that we get watered down games or miss out on certain games altogether all because some slack mother and father cant look after their own children.
    I am studying in game development and i currently work in a game store and not only am i going to get a lot of pissed off customers coming in and asking for their money back on a Fallout 3 Pre-order like a couple did for GTA4, im also going to be playing the watered down version (assuming they make one just for us) and feeling like a fucking child playing it because the parents are morons.
    News flash: if you have the internet at home and your child uses it often, then they have already been exposed to bad shit, hell the little pricks probably looking up porn now, open your fucking eyes and try controlling what your kid gets exposed to, stop making the rest of us suffer.

    GIVE ME aRRRRRgh!!!

    (note that this is mainly aimed at Sto0poiD parents)

    I like Fallout too much, do not taint it!!!

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