The Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (iGEA) has announced that today it made its submission to the Attorney-General's Department on the R18+ discussion. Along with some insightful statistics, they are again calling for the community to get submissions in before the deadline in two weeks time.
Ron Curry, CEO of iGEA, points to overwhelming community support for an adult rating as central to why this R18+ rating must be introduced.
"Australia needs an adult rating so adults can play games that are age appropriate for them and parents can make educated choices for their families based on clear, consistent guidelines. With the deadline for submissions closing on February 28, we urge the community to make their voices heard in support of an adult classification,” said Curry.
Reminder: we're the only Western country without an adult classification for video games. And according to recent research and polls, Australians are widely supportive of the concept of the consistent use of R18+.
- News Limited’s poll shows 95.5 per cent of respondents vote for an R18+ classification - A Fairfax poll indicates 97 per cent of respondents believe Australia should introduce an R18+ rating - Channel 7 Sunrise’s poll reveals 97 per cent of respondents would like R18+ games permitted - Furthermore, the Interactive Australia 09 report by Bond University found that 91 per cent of gamers and non-gamers believe the classification should be introduced
“There have been some claims an R18+ classification will expose Australia to unlimited high level content but this is simply not the case. The Classification Board will still refuse games that exceed the adult rating guidelines. An R18+ classification is essential to protect consumers whilst providing them with the full information to make educated decisions about their entertainment choices,” said Curry.
UPDATE: At a quick scan of the iGEA document, there is an excellent point raised on the question of games being modified for local release to suit the MA15+ category. Examples raised were GTA IV and Silent Hill: Homecoming. With the negative comment suggesting these modifications are a "great result for consumers."
In response, the iGEA submission states: "These are 'adult themed games'... Is it better to have them modified for an adolescent audience, or have them restricted to an adult audience?"
This is the first time the industry itself has pointed to the possibly negative effect of allowing games that should rightly be rated R18+ into the lower MA15+ category through a few simple modifications.
The iGEA’s submission can be found here. This is well worth a read as it contains many useful insights for those still writing their own submissions as well as great foundations for informing others around you who don't understand what this argument is all about.
Submissions close February 28. That's less than two weeks, people! Once you're done, don't forget to email us your closing comments so we can share the best argued statements with the rest of the community.