The Greens Support An R18+ Rating For Games

Only one of Australia's three major political parties supports the introduction of an R18+ rating for video games. The other two? They'd like a bit more time to think about it, thanks.

With the Federal Election just a fortnight away, Gamespot quizzed the Labor Party, the Liberal/National Coalition and the Australian Greens on a range of topics close to the heart of gamers around the country.

When it came to reforming our classification system, only the Greens declared unequivocal support for the introduction of an R18+ rating for games.

"It is bizarre that Australia is one of the only countries in the Western world without an adult classification for games," says Scott Ludlam, Greens Senator for Western Australia. "We believe that a change to the classification system should occur in the next term in parliament."

"The Greens will continue to support a campaign for R18+ for games. We also believe that the games industry and gamers have done a really good job of highlighting the issue and putting it on political agenda. We're going to play our part in parliament and the community to make sure people know about the issue. We plan to raise this issue during our upcoming federal election campaign and make sure it is part of the debate."

Both the Labor and Liberal spokespersons acknowledged the submissions received earlier this year during the period of public consultation on the issue, but declined to confirm their stance. Instead, both parties called for yet more consultation on the issue.

You can read the three parties' views on classification, broadband, 'net filtering and local development investment at the link below.

Does the Greens' support for an R18+ affect the way you're planning to vote at the election?

I Game and I Vote [Gamespot]


Comments

    The more I hear about these guys... the more I want to vote for them.

    I was already voting for them because of the filter, but this is icing on the cake.

    BTW, what happened to the democrats?
    I thought they'd be all over things like this.

      Democrats are no longer significant in Australian politics, having lost all their senate seats.

      IMO when Natasha left politics the party lost much of its momentum. The party originated in SA and some party infighting there really killed it off.

      Since a vote for the Greens is (in reality) a vote for Labor I can't support them on this one, especially when the Libs have come out and said they're going to dump the current filter anyway.

        You do know you can fill in your preferences yourself. The preferences only get allocated automatically if you vote for one party above the line.

        even if libs dont get elected witht the opposition of the greens the coalition and nick xenophon theres no way internet filtering legislation would pass parliment unless labour wins like 75% of parlimeant or some other highly unlikely scenario.

        so as get up's simon sheikh said "Filtering the internet just doesn't work, and now the policy is dead, buried and cremated"

        The whole "vote for the Greens is a vote for Labor" thing is absurd: http://bothkindsofpolitics.org/?p=1291

        And as pointed out, if the Coalition are serious about no filter, they can block it (with the Greens) regardless of whether they're in government or opposition: http://bothkindsofpolitics.org/?p=1065

          Yeah but that requires people to actually consider their preferences thoughtfully and make their own decisions...

          ...when most people I say will just follow the how to vote cards because the vibe I get from hearing what the public has to say is most of them dont give a shit about politics and just want this crap to be over so they dont have to worry about it for the next 3 years.

          Anyway, wouldnt vote for the Greens under any circumstances whatsoever.

        as stated already, if the libs are for real then it doesn't matter if they are in power or not the filter plan is dead in the water.

        If they are lying just to get your vote then...

        remember they WILL kill the NBN

      The Democrats jumped the shark over a number of years...first, the leader Cheryl Kernot left to join Labor, then the next leader Meg Lees approved the GST (against the wishes of most of her colleagues) and then when Natasha Stott Despoja was leader, Lees did her best to sabotage her. Since then they lost their Federal Senate seats and are basically regarded as washed-up - the Greens have taken most of their old support base as their policies have expanded.

    I'm sick of them "calling for consultation". They are trying to stall in the hope we'll give up.

      Yeh, exactly, either that or trying to consult until they get the results they want the consultations to say, and not the ones they are getting.
      The worst part is, every consultation costs money that could be put to much better uses.

    It DOES influence my vote, however I won't be voting purely on this issue. Still, it's making me check out their other policies...

    I was already going to vote for the Greens, but this just makes things 10 times better.

    Calling for consultation, costing more taxpayer's money for nothing. Give us straight answer, YES or NO... no call for consultation kind of crap

    It doesn't particularly influence my decision because I had intended to vote for them anyway, given that they're also the only major party to oppose internet filtering. It does reaffirm my decision though.

    Even if you don't intend to throw them a vote in your electorate, it's worth considering them and their policies for the senate. There's a fairly useful website here:

    http://belowtheline.org.au/

    It can help you put together a full set of senate preferences that you can take into the booth with you. Otherwise the way that preferences deals work you might find your vote goes to unexpected places (eg last election, votes for the Democrats put Steve Fielding from Family First into the senate due to preferences)

    What gets me is that standing up and saying;

    "yes there needs to be a rating for it and our party will support this"

    Would SURELY get more votes then it would lose. I would like to think so anyway, I'm probably as far from the truth as I could be :(

    Something interesting I stumbled across at Ausgamers

    http://trog.qgl.org/voteomatic/

    You punch in your feelings (yes, not fussed, no) towards a list of topics and then it'll spit you out a list of the parties and how many of your opinions matched theirs in numerical order.

    Turns out I'm a Socialist!

      er, sorry. Didn't look to see if I could put a link in before I posted, if not then please accept my apology :(

    As someone who voted Ludlam in im very happy with how he has stood up to the issues concerning us! The greens are a fantastic party and hopefully will make a massive surge this election.

    Vote greens everyone :)

    just a small nit-picking point, but the greens aren't really considered one of the major parties. they polled less than 10% of the vote in 2007 (7.79% to be exact)

    they are a second teir party along with the nationals.

      That was Gamespot's phrase, not mine. We'll see where they are after this election though...

      @dave

      but the greens getting more seats in the senate (depending on how many they win) could influence policies.

      we all know they are not going to win power.

        Exactly! I don't know about anyone else but there's policies from both majour party I like and don't like and they're about on par with each other. The Greens tend to lean towards the same policies I like so if they get enough seats in the senate they will be able to block the ones I don't like and pass the ones I do.

        They may even end up with the balance of power if they get enough votes and I for one would prefer that to either of the majour parties.

        They are the voice of reason IMO

          If your the type of person who likes extremely self-fish policies based on no research, no values, no planning, no consequencial considerations...

          I can see why you love the Greens.

      I think 'major' in this regard means "has a hope of gaining/retaining seats". It's quite likely they'll win at least one seat in the lower house, too.

      The polls show that they are currently est. around 14% if an election was called tomorrow, effectively making them "Kingmakers", which is pretty much explanatory. they would be considered a major political party because they could influence the passing and rejection of any bill they want.

    Calling for Consultation??
    I'd like to call for the FINAL REPORT on the consultation they already did. Where is that???

    Maybe finish one round of consultation before asking for more!!!

    We never even needed a discussion paper in the first place!. This is a no-brainer, economically-sound improvement of the ratings system. I greatly admire the effort of Gamers4Croydon, but all that fuss earlier in the year with EB and GAME rounding up petition signatures and websites springing up...that shouldn't have been necessary at all.

    Most of the older generation still seem to perceive video games as some dumb kids fad that will simply go away eventually, rather than a 4th form of mainstream digital entertainment like film, literature & music that deals with as much adult content as it does family/youth content. Video games are going to have more and more mature content the longer they exist, just like the way films progressed. Movies deal with all sorts of themes. Why can't video games?. It's such a blatant double standard.

    There is nothing to debate or argue about, R18+ is simply a logical progression. It's just completely absurd that the parties continue to stall on this. I mean, they seem to think that if R18+ is introduced, we'll be swamped with porn games. What porn games!?. We have access to exactly the same retail games as the USA, Europe and NZ. They have exactly the same retail games as us, but ours are just more censored. The retail games that are on our shelves now, are all the retail games that are available (excluding regional release delays obviously).

      Parties will go where the money is.

      It's sad, and it's cynical... but it's true.
      Money let's you advertise and campaign, it lets you influence independants and it will get you elected if only because you are able to outlast the other guy.

      The games industry doesn't have the finances to compete with the right wing.

    I'm voting greens because they are the only party that have really positive policies and clear principles.

    The other parties don't want to touch anything thats not in their "core" message. we just get a month of the repeating the same lines. They still haven't had their campaign launches yet because they don't want to run out of hings to say before the end.

    The greens had theirs last week and put their policies on the table.

    Go Greens!

    This election I'm voting independent, secondary parties (greens) then the major parties as low as possible.
    I'm sick of the idiots at the top of the pile at the moment.
    The greens have definitely taken a step up in my opinion, but I don't have a greens representative where I am, so I can't do much.

    Im liberal, but maybe Ill vote below the line and give greens my 2nd preference before following the rest of the liberal preference list.

    Libs and Labour stating that they need more time is a fucking joke. 'Um,yeah we know there's been dozen of polls and reports proving that EVERYBODY wants the rating, but we're not quite sure yet...'

    Morons.

    They're policies for internet and technology are great. Some of their other policies aren't so great. I urge others to at least read up on all their policies before making an informed voting decision.

    "I Game and I Vote"?
    A widget to mail your MP about gaming issues?

    Where have I seen that before?

    All those positions... I could have sworn someone got practically the same statements from those three parties almost a year ago...

    Oh, right: gamers4croydon.org

    It's nice to see Laura Parker's still a bastion of journalistic integrity /sigh

      Hi Chris,

      You ask "Where have I seen that before"?

      GameSpot first did the I Game And I Vote feature during the 2007 Federal Election: http://au.gamespot.com/features/6182740/index.html

      Perhaps you saw it then? We asked similar questions about the same topics to the Coalition and the Labor party.

      As for my journalistic integrity, this was something you didn't question when GameSpot ran numerous stories on Gamers4Croydon in the lead up to the South Australian election. Is there something specific about my work that you take offense to now?

        Apologies on the title, I had not previously encountered that. The old article does not appear to have a widget that I can see. Incidentally, I'm unsure of the usefulness of emailing MPs during a campaign when they may not even be MPs in 15 days. There's certainly not time for pre-election policy changes.

        As for your coverage, are you referring to the ones where you used the muddy, truncated logo as the image whenever referring to us?

        Then there was the one where you asked Antony Green about the chances of 1/6 of our campaign, then portrayed that as a blanket statement about the entire campaign.

        In general, you had a habit of repeating patently false statements verbatim without doing any fact checking. That's reporting, not journalism.

        That's just off the top of my head, given the passage of time since.

        As for not questioning it during the campaign, I requested the logo issue be fixed both in comments (which never appeared) and in an email (which was ignored). Ditto on the email for the Green article. Toward the end, we made a deliberate decision to limit contact with Gamespot AU to avoid these issues. There's a reason I lurk in the comments of Kotaku. So please, don't use the 'you were fine with it then' line.

        I do think it's commendable to be trying to get gamers involved in politics, obviously. But I found (and still find) it amusing that after what seemed like at best a lackluster effort (and at worst peddling to the naysayers) you suddenly decided it might be worth it to basically reinvent the wheel on subjects we'd already covered.

          Chris

          Much of your concern seem to stem from your belief that we're "reinvent[ing] the wheel on subjects we'd [Gamers4Croydon] had already covered". I have already pointed you to similar coverage we did on these topics three years ago--two years before Gamers4Croydon was founded. For more on what GS AU has done, please check out this extensive list of stories here: http://au.gamespot.com/features/6242950/p-2.html. Many of these stories also predate your former organisation.

          If your other major concern with our newest article is that you feel we've somehow stolen your thunder in regards to an email widget, then I must say that's petty. I laud Gamers4Croydon for having set something up previously. I believe we're all on the same side here, and becoming peeved that someone else had the same idea as you doesn't really move this issue forward.

          As for our story quoting ABC election analyst Antony Green (http://au.gamespot.com/news/6248186.html), you say it only represented 1/6 of your campaign. Croydon may have well have been only one seat your party contested, but it was your most important one as one of your party's main goals was to put pressure on then SA AG Michael Atkinson. As such, Green's comments can be taken to be broadly representative of what the majority of people would know your political party for. You did, after all, name it Gamers4Croydon, as opposed to Gamers4SouthAustralia.

          If the only other critique you have about GS AU's coverage of your former political party is of a "muddy logo", then I apologise for that visual. I don't believe it impacted on the substance of the stories, however.

          As I stated earlier, I believe we're on the same side here. If you still feel aggrieved about how you feel GS AU covered Gamers4Croydon previously, I invite you to drop me an email at [email protected]

            Anyone who's paid much attention to Dave Doe and I would know we're both smart-arses. And, even if that wasn't known, the fact that the comment you responded to explicitly indicated I was amused, not aggrieved, I am now perplexed.

            Apologies for being unclear. I am aware of the previous election's coverage. I was referring to specific responses from the people/parties you contacted that we received and publicised, that you did not show an interest at the time. (Again, to head of confusion: amused.)

            I am not 'peeved' about any supposed thunder stealing. It's a widget, not a trade secret. My primary 'concern' with the widget is that it's too late in the campaign (or of too limited scope, contacting only sitting MPs) to have the intended effect. (Amused/Dubious-about-efficacy)

            That characterisation (and poor understanding) of the campaign was part of the problem. Something which we tried to address at the time but were ignored. (You/Laura ask, I answer)

            As for the logo, I suspect you are aware of the power of images or would not use them. Point 3: http://www.cracked.com/article_18458_6-subtle-ways-news-media-disguises-bullshit-as-fact_p2.html
            This one was actively ignored. (You/Laura ask, I answer)

            I notice you didn't address the point about reporting v journalism. (*very* amused >.>)

            I'm happy to talk here. I've got nothing to hide, and we seem to be keeping it civil enough. You might remember from the campaign that I'm big on transparency =) (Though, of course that's ultimately up to the proprietor of this fine establishment)

              Hi Chris. Not sure if this is about transparency--more that I'm sure most people here don't really care much about our disagreement, which boils down to the fact that you weren't happy with our coverage of Gamers4Croydon. That's fine and you're entitled to your opinion. I'm confident we approached the issue fairly. I can tell you Michael Atkinson wasn't a fan of our coverage either, and for a media organisation, pissing off both sides of an argument means we must be doing something right.

              As for that tricky journalism vs reporting question, I don't know what your definition is, but I can assure you GS AU is all about journalism. We presented (more than any other media organisation in Australia) a comprehensive view of the R18+ issue, talking to a wide range of stakeholders. In our news stories, we reported without bias or editorialising, presenting viewpoints for those both for and against. We talked to sources and generated our own stories, instead of just finding someone else's original content, adding a couple of paragraphs that panders to one side or the other, and then slapping a link on it.

              As for your doubts about the ultimate effectiveness of our latest feature, I'm surprised you feel that way. As one of the key figures behind Gamers4Croydon, I'm sure many questioned whether the group was wasting its time in trying to unseat a comfortably entrenched government figure on a predominantly gamer-focused issue. Yet you guys stuck in there (to your credit). I would have expected (wrongly, obviously) that you'd be all for more people becoming more involved and aware of these issues, as opposed to being dismissive and resorting to professional slurs. Calling a journalist's ethics into question is a dire accusation, even if you're just being a "smart-arse" on a forum.

                If no-one cares, they don't have to read it. As for what this boils down to, you're putting words (emotions) in my mouth (head). As I stated in the previous comment, my original comment stemmed from the fact that GS showed little interest in those responses when we publicised them quite a while ago, while they are now worthy of a feature. To make it very clear, I know you have done that type of feature before, and I know you got those responses directly.

                It's sad that, even after explicitly stating the contrary many times, you still ascribe the emotion of 'pissed off' to me.

                Providing different sides of an argument without bias is important. And there were instances when you did that. There were also instances were you published arguments from one 'side' that were demonstrably untrue. Given that I consider journalism should be about revealing the truth (along with the more general provision of information), articles like that I consider to be reporting.

                I wonder that you're attempting to represent my concerns about the efficacy of the widget as though I think the entire article is a waste of time. I explicitly stated this concern in relation to the "mail your local member" feature. This is because there is now less than a fortnight to the election, likely far too late for anything to change. It is also contacting people, some of whom will not be in parliament this time next month. Despite what you suggest "I do think it’s commendable to be trying to get gamers involved in politics". That's a direct quote from a previous comment.

                Yes, a journalists ethics are a serious matter (hopefully). The other side of my original comment was about not your coverage of G4C, but how you, at the time, (didn't) deal with concerns that were raised. Preventing the publication of a comment critical of one's coverage (as well as ignoring direct contact) does not strike me as the height of ethical journalism.

                I do find the "slurs" comment amusing, considering your responses - from my perspective - seem to show a pattern of consistent 'misunderstanding' of my position in order to attack a straw man. Perhaps they are genuine misunderstandings, the number and frequency just seem curious. Not to mention that a number of them are in direct contrast to what I have clearly stated.

                Perhaps we're both just being snarkier than we realise/mean to be.

        Insert 'AWW SHIT NAW YOU DINNIT!' type comment here.

    Greens would ruin ANY country if they got majority power.

    So why vote for them?

    Vote for greens is really a vote for stupidity. Sure you may know that they will never get enough power to control a whole nation, but then why vote for them if you aren't prepared for when they do get control of a whole nation? If they did get control their extreme views would send that said country right down the toilet.

    If greens had it their way, there wouldn't even be any internet in the first place. Don't you guys GET that? They have no depth, they would completely ruin business and the economy and stuff everything up... Probably even the environment.

    If you're not willing to let them rule a whole nation then you shouldn't be voting for them... And if you are willing to let the greens rule a whole nation... THEN YOU NEED YOUR HEAD CHECKED.

      Why vote for them? Simple, because a vote for them means means the Greens are one step closer to holding the balance of power in the Senate. That means that whoever holds power is going to have to negotiate with them in order to see their Bills passed into law. More Greens MPs means more representation of Greens values in parliament, and I for one think that's a good thing. Of course they're not going to win power - they're not set up for that and they're not pushing for that. What the Greens want is the ability to influence policy, and I'm happy to help them achieve that goal.

        You are just proving my point, you are only voting for them for some unknown want to give extremists a balance of power. It is very worrying that more and more are voting for such a horrible party, it is beyond stupid...

        But I guess that is how democracy works, if idiots want to vote in parties that will ruin a nation... that is what they get.

      Well as a voter of the Greens i'll tell you some reasons why voting for them is not a vote for stupidity.

      1) Just because they were started as an environmental party that doesn't mean thats all they stand for.

      2) They actually have some morals and principles, unlike 90% of other politicians, and will try their best to deliver on their policies and ideas.

      3) The last time one of the major parties had control of both the Lower house and the senate "work choices" and the "Voluntary Student Unionism" went straight through no questions asked. By the greens having the balance of power they can check the major parties aren't screwing with us too much and try to get changes made.

      I could go on and on but democracy is about thinking for yourself.

      Point 3 is the biggest reason for me. the democrats used to do it but they aren't here anymore. So a vote for the greens, particularly in the senate, I think is a vote for sensible.

        Work choices is the LEAST of what you have to worry about if greens got enough power.

        How stupid can you honestly get?

    Great news! Finally a party that somewhat represents my views.

    You guys do realise that there's nothing they can do about it. They may back it, but it's the govenor generals that have to introduce and change the legislation. To be honest, nothing will change about R18+ if you vote Greens or not. We're more persausive as concerned citizens than Greens supporters.

    Also, the Greens seats sway toward the Labor party, so really, think about who you're voting for before you do. I still have no idea who I'm voting for, but it's not the Greens.

      Ooh! You mean *attorney*-Generals. (Or attorneys-general, depending on taste).

      Well, either that, or you're an unreconstructed Kerrist.

        Attorneys-General. It's not a taste thing, just is.

        The hyphen might be a taste thing, not sure.

        [/smartarse]

          Wow, you're just picking fights with editors today, aren't you?

          According the Macquarie dictionary, both are acceptable, with attorneys-general being the preferred plural. Which also seems to the usage the government favours in their correspondence

          The Age seems to favour attorney-generals, however, as does the Herald Sun (and as I do, actually), presumably on the grounds that attorneys-general makes the speaker/writer seem like a bit of a twat.

          Obviously, for formal correspondence you might still let the government's preference override your own.

    Liberals are against the net filter:
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/liberals-would-scrap-labors-net-filter/story-fn59niix-1225901856447

      well cr*p.. so I need to trade the NBN for uncensored internet? talk about conflict..

        No, you don't. If they Libs are serious about blocking the filter, they can do that in the senate with the help of the Greens - there is practically zero chance Labor will have a senate majority in its own right. If they're not serious, it's a moot point =(

    I would vote for the Greens because of this, but unfortunately I cannot tolerate to vote for a party of luddites who are against any form of nuclear activity whatsoever. Their stance against nuclear power is simple ignorant luddism with no basis in fact, and I cannot in good conscience endorse them.

    Oh god not the Greens, trust them to side with the popular vote based on no values or policies.

    Sure it's great for us gamers, but are you willing to sell your soul?

      You mean trust a progressive civil liberties party to have civil liberties policy.

    The Greens are economically illiterate and only support "trendy" civil liberties on SOME causes. They are also full of environmental-religionists; many economic studies have shown Geoengineering to be the most cost-efficient solution to Anthropogenic Climate Change and the Greens are against any "tinkering with mother Earth." They are Gaia-worshipping tree fascists that want to humble human Promethean "arrogance" and return us to the caves.

    Every single Malthusian catastrophe predicted (see "Peak Oil" back in the 70's) has been avoided, primarily because of the Promethean arrogance that the Greens loathe.

    The fact is that the majority of voters are pro-18+ so the Liberals and Labor will eventually get around to endorsing it. The Liberals have ditched the internet filter, and Labor have not.

    On the issue of Cyber freedom, the Liberals are clearly better than Steven Conroy.

    I'm voting Liberal in the House of Reps; firstly as a rejection of Kevin Rudd and Co's obscene economic illiteracy and their narrative of "voting out Howard is victory for Centrism because Howard was a free-market zealot" (false on all charges (additionally, Gillard backed off from this narrative in her first public address after she was made PM)), and second to get evil nanny-statists like Steven Conroy kicked out of office.

    I'm voting for the Liberal Democratic Party (www.ldp.org.au) in the Senate. Its a small, classically liberal/libertarian political party that advocates ALL civil liberties (not just the trendy ones the Greens support), and also actually understands economics (which the Greens do not).

      Geoengineering would be great. Assuming it worked without unintended consequences. Humans don't have a good track record when it comes to unintended consequences though.

      The charge that the Greens want to "return us to the caves" is absurd, considering their policies involve *technological* solutions. Methinks you're getting prejudice mixed in with your facts. Also, by charging fascism, you're coming very close to being Godwin-slapped.

        Mr. Prior,

        Greens policies may indeed INVOLVE technological solutions, but again, they are also advocates of prices on carbon emissions. These are indeed justifiable, economically speaking, by an externality argument, but several studies have shown technological advancement and geo-engineering are significantly more economically efficient.

        "Assuming it worked without unintended consequences" sounds to me like an appeal to the Precautionary Principle (inform me if I'm mischaracterizing your argument). The problem with the Precautionary Principle is that it requires advocates of any specific action to PROVE that it will not cause any harm. This, unfortunately, is logically impossible because it requires proof of a negative.

        I'm glad, however, that you accept geoengineering as at least an option.

        You claim I'm prejudiced against the greens, but many ideological higher-ups in the environmentalist movement are indeed guilty of what I charge them (Al Gore, in his first book "Earth In The Balance," does indeed pour scorn on industrial society, modernity and development; his morality clearly logically would demand primitivism even if he doesn't have the guts to follow it to its logical conclusion). I will grant, however, many (and possibly most) people that support environmental conservation are not like Gore, David Suzuki or Aldo Leopold (or Clive Hamilton for that matter, who philosophically is of the same strain).

Join the discussion!