In a shocking turn of events, Fairfax columnist and conservative 'maverick' Miranda Devine penned an opinion piece over the weekend calling for the introduction of an R18+ classification for video games in Australia.
Triggering the editorial was Sega's light-gun shooter House of the Dead: Overkill, its tongue-in-cheek yet gratuitously disturbing parody of the horror genre causing Devine to argue that "it's clear Overkill should never have been awarded an MA15+ rating, according to the office's own guidelines, under which state classifiers are supposed to take into account 'the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults'."
Devine points the finger at conservative lobby groups whose "good intentions have backfired spectacularly. Instead of protecting children, they have exposed them to unsuitable games shoehorned into the MA15+ category because the alternative is an outright ban, and the ire of anti-censorship activists."
It's interesting to see someone from the conservative side of the political spectrum come out and agree that the current classification system is not working. And to do it using the very same argument the games industry has been using in its lobbying for the system to be changed is eye-opening.
Indeed, as unlikely as it may appear, perhaps this is precisely the kind of support the industry needs to convince conservative politicians to enact the necessary changes.
Colour me amazed.
A Wii shock to the system for parents [Sydney Morning Herald]