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.
This submission comes from Roddy McNeill, who wrote:
Primarily, the arguments against introduction of an R18+ certificate are based on emotive assumptions as opposed to any practical basis.
The Byron review which is mentioned in the given arguments for this paper recommends that the same ratings for film and games should be adopted and states in no uncertain terms that there is no evidence to link violence with video games. It also finds that:
“Overall parents feel that deciding what games are appropriate has to be their decision because it depends on their child, but that they would welcome clearer and more specific guidance explaining the rationale for the age ratings. In particular, some parents assume that the ratings would be too conservative and hence ignore them.”
Another quote from this review that summarises this debate about protecting the children by legislation:
“Kids don’t need protection we need guidance. If you protect us you are making us weaker…”
Currently with the policies in place, our children are being protected by being able to buy games that are restricted to 18 years old elsewhere around the world with only a recommendation that you shouldn’t play it if you are under 15 in Australia. This encapsulates the Grand Theft Auto series which has explicit violence and horror games like Dead Space.
Without an explicit rating, the irony of the current situation will continue; encouraged by those who are claiming to be protecting the children with an “out of sight, out of mind” attitude. As games are banned in Australia due to the lack of an R18+ certificate, they will be obtained outside of legitimate means with no controls.
In case you’re yet to state your case, here’s how to do it.