2010: A Ratings Odyssey
Adult gamers have been calling for an R18 rating for a long time and since the public consultation earlier this year it is clearer than ever that Australia wants an R18+ rating for video games. The figures are enthusiastic to say the least. 98% of the near 60,000 submissions supported the introduction of an R18 rating. This reinforces what we already knew from research conducted by the iGEA. Their findings reported that 68% of Australians are gamers and that 91% of Australians agreed that the rating should be introduced.
Despite small victories, the country still awaits the introduction of an adult only rating for video games. On top of that, with no big titles being refused classification recently, the gaming community has gone quiet and the pressure on the government has evaporated. We wait patiently for the Attorneys-General to deliberate on the issue but already we are beginning to see signs that the decision will be delayed once again.
After the last SCAG meeting, Brendan O’Connor said “More work was needed before a decision could be made” and added that there was a need for “further analysis of community and expert views”. At this point it is unclear what this analysis might entail, but it is clear that they are not yet convinced that the introduction of an R18+ for computer games is in line with community values.
Many people are unsure what more they can do now that the public consultation is over. As the SCAG meeting approaches we see this as an opportune time to appeal to as many different Members of Parliament as possible. Let’s show them we still care and for the right reasons.
“We have to spread the word in our local communities and push from there. Remove all doubt and make it clear to the politicians that this is a good move.” - Aaron Percival, founder of Grow Up Australia.
We will be gearing up again in the lead up to the next SCAG meeting to help people form their arguments and voice their opinions. Two new members have joined our writing team to make regular updates and blog posts; our website has been redesigned to appeal to a wider demographic and we are expecting to launch a new campaign soon to help spread the word.
At Grow up Australia, we believe that the introduction of an R18+ rating for computer and video games is a huge step towards a better classification system. A system that will better balance the right of adults to be able to read, hear and see what they want and the need to protect minors from material likely to harm or disturb them as is already achieved with an R18+ rating for film.
Check out Grow Up Australia's website here.