R18+ Are You READY?

R18+ Are You READY?

The Standing Committee of Attorneys General is meeting December 10, and the issue of Australia’s lack of an R18+ rating will be on the agenda. At Kotaku we’re looking to get involved and push the issue back to the forefront of discussion in the gaming community and we want your help.

Over the next month we’ll be posting updates and info on all aspects of the debate, including guest blogs from the people that matter, focus posts on all the main issues, features, and retrospective looks back at the history surrounding the debate.

We’ll also be posting details on how you guys can get involved this Wednesday. The R18+ issue has been quiet as of late, but this meeting is as important as any stage in the development of the process – if we make a noise and spread the word, we could really make a difference here.

Stay tuned for more details.


  • I’m sure it’ll get pushed to the “more consultation” back burner again. At best. Just outright rejected again for no good reason at worst.

    • “I’m sure it’ll get pushed to the “more consultation” back burner again. At best. Just outright rejected again for no good reason at worst.”

      Sounds like the first time I asked a girl out! *boom tish*

  • I kinda feel like nothing would eventuate out of this once again since I have a severe lack of trust in politicians looking out for the largely normal, sane population and instead bowing down to their own personal views or the vocal minority.
    I would like to be proven wrong though.

  • I reckon evertime Seamus goes on telle he should be wearing a shirt that says something along the lines of:

    “Gamers care about your children… why doesn’t your Attourney General”?

    or something like that.

  • *polishes gun* just let me know whom i need to shoot! 😀

    … no i’m joking!! I haven’t actually even seen what a real gun looks like in person.. well except for police… and they seem to look down on people trying to touch them..

    I’m greatly looking forward to this, but i’m still somewhat doubtful we’ll get the presence of voice we deserve. Unfortunatly the government seem adept at ignoring some of even the most dedicated and sensible outcries…

    • My neighbour is a cop and he calls his gun “boobs” because guys (mainly young guys) tend to have a tough time not staring at it.

      SOB caught me checking it out and he even uses the same line, “mate, my eyes are up here”

  • No doubt we’ll do what we can but unfortunately, I’m sure we all have the same thing in the back of our minds. Those damn pollies are probably going to give us some sorta political bull about how there’s not enough information on the matter and the like. They’ve refused to be educated by the people who know the matter well and they’ve refused to take action on it thus far. This issue is minor to them and it’s pretty clear that they have no intention on seeing the matter through any further.

    Like I said though, we’ll do what we can even if it means that we only end up nagging them to death.

  • R18+ Games in Australia? Ha! Next you’ll be telling me the Earth is round! Witchcraft it is! You should all be burnt at the stake!

  • Kotaku, I dare you to not use Ron Curry as a guest columnist/source for this campaign. The guy is so overused it’s not funny. Not that what he says is wrong, but by now we know exactly what he’s going to say on almost any facet of the debate.

    There are other people in the industry with opinions; I’d like to hear from them, too!

    • You know, he actually feels the same way! Worth noting though that no-one has done more than Ron Curry when it comes to pushing this issue.

      • True, but I think if we expect the mainstream to at least engage with the issue seriously, there needs to be a much larger spread of opinion-seeking, and it certainly can’t be limited to one or two key voices, otherwise we simply reinforce the ‘niche’ perception

        • And I bring it up mostly because I just finished reading the the boxout interview with him in the current Gameinformer’s R18 piece. It was the same-old bites, they didn’t add anything to the discussion, and I actually got a little angry at the seeming willingness to reiterate the same arguments over and over again.

          If we are serious about proper assessment of R18 (which, as self-proclaimed intelligent members of society, we should be), we need to find new ways to look at the issue, and new ways to talk about it, or the debate risks stagnation and social irrelevance.

        • Nick – very astute comment and I totally agree. I’m very happy to sit back and see the debate being championed by a much wider group of people.

          Kudos to Kotaku for taking such a lead on this.

  • Much as I want to see a hopefully positive outcome from this meeting that will give us our very much needed R18+ rating I am forced to remain skepical until the issue is actually raised and decided.

    Notice that there hasn’t been any refused classification games for a while. Since this is the usual spur to putting our ongoing battle back in the public eye the pressure just won’t be on to force a decision so it will probably be postponed for some nominal reason again.

    To borrow a common argument from the other side of the debate, “Won’t somebody think of the children!”.

  • I’ve been working on this issue for almost a decade starting with the a review of the submissions to the review of the Classification Guidelines and later with national studies and media. So long and so poor has been the policy management of this issue that now, The Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 is so badly broken, not even an R18+ will improve its efficacy or legitimacy. R18+ is no longer a useful goal. My suggestion is that the community start to make noises about the need for an Act to repeal the Classification Act 1995 – which is, to be sure, a 20th Century relic symptomatic of a 20th Century economy.

    • I’d argue with you if you weren’t Jeff Brand ><

      You're probably right, putting an R18+ rating will let them say "Well you got that so just shut up for a while" when in fact more is required.

      I'm still of the opinion that R18+ is a step in the process and it's something we can sell to parents easily, but perhaps what you say is the best, ditch it all and start again, maybe even industry regulated like in the US.

      Get the government out of the job of censorship and make them respect the seperation of powers.

      If any of you don't know who this guy is, Google him.

      And those of you looking for someone other than Ron Curry? This is probably your guy, if he's got the time.

  • People need to write to their Attorneys-General and their State MPs with reasonable concerns about access to certain material not suitable for 15-17 year olds. This has the support of a number of Church groups and people on both sides of politics for a variety of reasons.

    The model we should be looking to is the highly successful European PEGI system. Our games are all distributed through European Censorship anyway and are labelled with PEGI because of the PAL region, we just stick Australian stickers over the top, it would be simpler to integrate and reduce the workload for classification on our Review Board.

    What we seriously don’t need is more abuse of politicians or celebration of guns, blood, violence or sex. That sort of thing will just send the media into a frenzy and make the decision easy for the Attorneys-General. Political pressure and sensible arguments are the only real weapon we have which we can count on, use them and use them well.

  • Mark, I tipped your predecessor that some of our State politicians over here in WA are against R18+ ratings for video games, but no idea if our Attorney General is among this group. The ABC’s Stateline program did a piece on them a few months back.

  • There is no way the legislation will be changed.. We’ll have South Australia, with their written promise to the Australian Christian Lobby (according to Jim Wallace), blocking or delaying it – again.

  • Braaains is right. It will be squeezed into the government’s content review of appropriate material and go quiet for another 18 months

  • Sorry, not going to happen. Simply because it’s easier for the AG’s to bury their heads in the sand and hope the issue goes away.

    A 98% response in support of the R18+ rating sees the government say “we think the silent majority has not spoken”. This is possibly because the ‘silent majority’ don’t give a f*cking damn. What an absolute display of mental midgetry on behalf of the government.

    So now we expect people who have no interest in the discussion paper, or the topic, to respond with their thoughts about something they only have a very rudimentary understanding of. But I guess that just shows all the crappy disadvantages of bureaucracy.

    “Hello Australian people. We’re releasing a discussion paper that only people who are interested in the topic will respond to. However, if we don’t like those responses we’ll delay any decisions and keep asking for opinions until we get those opinions that we like. Thank you for taking part in this discussion paper of which your responses will not actually matter, and will be dismissed if they do not agree with our opinions.”

    Again, this is not going to happen any time soon because the scaremongering by a vocal minority will continue to wail like a dying cat and the government will not want to do anything that more than 90% of the population just don’t care about.

  • Perhaps a good idea will be to promote this at the next SGL (Sydney Gamers League, for those in the dark) coming up? It’s only 2 weeks from now.

  • “And on December 10 game systems and work stations around Australia lay abandoned and silent as men and women from all walks of life joined together to walk in support of a single united system of classification for all media, one rule for all and none better or worse than the other. People of all ages walked for a more informative, more accurate and more appropriate ratings system to bring Australia in line with other countries and with its people.”
    And then I woke up and thought “I had a dream…”

  • Anyone interested in the debate should read the Game Informer AU article in the current issue, the most comprehensive information your going to get about the OFLC any where. With some surprising info as well, ie. the lack of an R18+ rarely has anything to do with the banning of a game.

    The GI article actually questions whether the R18+ debate is even worth the cost and time if it’s not actually impacting the banning of games. But I still think the principles the important thing, games should be measured on the same scale as all other enertainment media in Australia.

  • What we really need here is for a massive prime time ad campagin to get the message out the greater public. Like from 630pm til 930pm a pro r18 ad in every comerial break on every channel on all tv services (free to air and pay)

    If we can have 5min ads about life insurance with bad acting, then we can have 5min ads telling the country of the plight of video game classification.

  • I reccomend everyone picking up this months Game Informer. Really informative editorial on R18 and the classification board/system in general.

  • I’ve been ready for quite a while now. My letters have been sent, my responses tallied, and my wallet ready.

    Unless of course they prefer I continue to send my money out of the country instead of course 🙂

  • That days my Birthday…. Personally I don’t really care about the violence in games. I just like the free expression element.

    It would be a great Birthday present to find out that I can play Duke Nukem Forever in all it’s alien crotch punching goodness

  • Considering that the Victorian government will be going to the polls on Nov 27th, how can we make it an election issue albeit a minor one?

    For what its worth I am in the electorate of the current AG of Victoria.

  • Good luck mates. Be active& speak out. Here in america this past week our supreme court took up the case. Of viedo games with violent content-what is violent content? Less laws smarter citizenz.

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