Your R18+ Rating Submissions

The period of public consultation on the issue of whether Australia should have an R18+ rating for videogames is drawing to a close. You have until February 28 to make a submission. Many Kotaku readers already have, and we're going to share them with you.

Last week we asked you to send us your submission to encourage your fellow Kotaku readers to have their say as well. We said we'd publish your closing 250-word comments. So for the rest of the week we'll be highlighting some of the best in individual posts.

The second submission comes from Ben Abraham, who writes:

As a doctoral candidate at the University of Western Sydney researching videogames and online writing communities, I feel I have a twofold interest in the introduction of an R18+ classification system.

As an academic, it would provide Australia with much needed parity with the accepted standards towards computer games throughout the rest of the western world, making my own doctoral research easier to undertake and ultimately more applicable to the wider world. As a fan and die-hard player of videogames, it would also allow me, a consenting adult, to view content that neither offends nor unwillingly influences me, without allowing minors to access content that is unsuitable for them. I feel that the current lack of an R18+ rating for games is in actuality counter-productive in this regard, as it forces many games to be shoe-horned into an MA15+ rating that is often inappropriate.

In case you’re yet to state your case, here’s how to do it.

The call for public consultation (AG.gov.au) The Bond University Interactive Australia report (for helpful research insights)


Comments

    This is a complete waste of time.

      Yeah, I believe it is too.
      Atkinson will remain in power and, regardless of opinions, he still wont budge.
      The only thing we can hope for is that there is such massive support for R18+ that the board will see that Atkinson is the sole person against it and they motion to bypass him. . . or something.

    Yeah it is sadly but the submissions all build up the support for the rating and can be understood by the general public and used in statistics, thus when atkinson doesn't take his fingers out of his ears, people will see him for the fool he is

    Keeping your fingers in your ears for that long CAN'T be good for your hearing! Foolish! Foolish I say!

    Oh look its Zaphodity from the 3FL forums. And its Ben Abraham from UWS!

    I'm also a doctoral candidate studying videogames at Macquarie University.

    What you all must understand is that even though this may feel frustrating now, this is how democracy works, very slowly. This is the only way to actually have policy changed, so welcome to the real world. Write your submissions and make your voice heard.

    My commentary in my submission:

    I am a doctoral candidate studying new media and videogames at Macquarie University, so I feel I have a doubly vested interest and an expertise in this area. Firstly, there is no unequivocal evidence that violent videogames create violent children. Secondly, associating videogames with children immediately ignores the huge proportion of adults gamers who are prohibited from making adult decisions because of a flawed policy. As has been shown time and again, the average age of an Australian gamer is well above the age of 18.

    Currently the RC designation is ambiguous and misused. It has two functions which cause it to become a confusing and unhelpful term. Firstly, the RC designation will be applied to any game (or other media) that depicts graphic acts of sexual violence or child abuse, for example. This criteria will not change with the introduction of an R18 rating, thus, no cruelly graphically violent games will suddenly flood the market. What will change is the ‘catch all’ function it currently serves. That is, when a game is deemed slightly too mature for a 15 year old, it will be lumped in with the material as mentioned above, even if there is no sexual violence or child abuse in the game. This could be as little as an exposed female breast, which is not at all similar to a graphic scene of rape. This will not change the kind of game that is available in the marketplace today, only the labels we apply to games such as Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare 2, Aliens vs. Predator, Left4Dead, etc. These games are already available, and, in my opinion, incorrectly available to children. Quite simply, the current ratings policy does not reflect the views of the community at large, and must be changed.

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