READY: R18+ Petition Breaks Records

READY: R18+ Petition Breaks Records

Retailers GAME and Aussie website PALGN have just announced that their petition calling for the establishment of an R18+ rating for video games has over 89,000 signatures, breaking the previous record for a “wet signature” petition.

The official count comes in at 89,210, as verified by independent auditors BDO. GAME has also announced that the petition will be tabled at the senate this year, post a clear outcome from the recent Federal ELection

“GAME and PALGN recognize that an R18+ rating will put more ‘distance’ between an MA15+ rating and games suitable only for over 18s” claimed GAME’s Rob Lukic, “helping mums and dads around the country understand which games are suitable for young teenagers and which games aren’t.

“GAME and PALGN want to ensure that children are not exposed to Video and PC games with mature content, and they both firmly believe that the R18+ classification will provide a clear message.”

Roland Kulen, Director of PALGN, echoed those statements: “Family gaming is now the fastest growing segment of the video games market, and it is important for all video games to provide a clear message with regards to their content – some games are played by everyone, but some are only meant for those over 18.”


  • What is there to be done, when the 98,000 signatures with a 97% support rate causes the government to declare that the survey group was ‘biased’ and that they’ll have to re-survey with a more ‘balanced’ sample group? The suggestion is they have to deliberately go find anti- or non-gamers to balance out the group, because, you know, there never ever could be an issue supported overwhelmingly by the public.

    Seriously though, how do you combat that response?

    • It’s impossible. It’s messed up circular logic. Damned if you do damned if you don’t stuff. It’s the main reason why we’re trying to highlight submissions from groups that you wouldn’t normally expect to support the R18+ rating.

    • Just realised I’m sort of conflating two ‘surveys’ here. The one the government ran last year gathered about the same number of responses that did run in the 90% + supporting the R18 issue. The PALGN petition is a different document. My question stands, though.

    • Those who oppose an R18+ rating have created all sorts of ficticious rubbish about why it would be a bad idea, saying that it has mental health ramifications. Then there are petitions and inquiries which gets tens after tens of thousands of calls for a rating which DON’T ADDRESS WHAT THE R18 OPPOSITION HAVE SAID!

      No matter how many signatures a petition had for legalising ice, the government would not do it because it’d be increadibly harmful. The government believes that this is no different. You can’t just call for the rating over and over again, you have to address the misconceptions out there. Until then, NOTHING will change.

      • Spot on. I’ve given up on this, I don’t think we’re getting the R18 rating until a whole generation of politicians drains out. Their minds are made up, on solid concrete so to speak.

        That does not mean we should stop the fight. Its far off, but we must keep at it, or I’ll never happen.

        • We’ll get an R18+ rating. What’s about the hit market will change those misconceptions, change political views, target every state attorney general. Patience.

        • The problem is, slightly rephrased from above, that when someone like me, or anyone here in this thread, takes the time to carefully refute the problem, we are written off as ‘biased’ because we are gamers. The circular logic states that because one plays games, one can’t be objective about their effects, so we must not listen to people who are gamers. Therefore we seek advice from people who don’t play games–who either don’t care or are anti-gaming and are the ones furnishing the argument with those misconceptions in the first place. I find that very frustrating.

  • Folks,

    The election results got in the way of a plan that now has the support of a Federal Senator. Some background…I’ve negotiated elements of this plan that will help further build support, most importantly, at the government level, the pointy end, of this debate. Of course, I pass on many thanks to GAME and all the great folks at PALGN.


    • Work Choices received just over 85,000 signatures, which were received via an online campaign. The GAME/PALGN campaign got over 89,000 signatures in just 8 weeks.

      • Where did you find that out? That’s the sort of fact that ties this issue into other major issues and can make interesting talking and reference points. It’s an excellent example of just how many people are concerned about this issue compared to an issue which basically overthrew a government.

        • My thoughts, too. If 85,000 signatories in an online poll were against Work Choice, and if you take as a given the idea that it was basically Work Choices that lost the Howard government the election, then how is it possible that this is still a non-issue for so many people?

          To me, for this to have been a record-breaker (particularly for a petition with ACTUAL signatures, rather than an online one) then surely politicians should be running scared?

          • That’s correct Dean…Work Choices was an online poll that had the support of the ACTU (and their membership), including a large TV media spend. I believe, as this campaign unfolds with help of a Federal Senator, each and every State Attorney General will begin to realise that a change in our media classification laws would be a good thing.

  • There are 21,342,590 people in this country that still need to have their say before a decision is made…. This may take a while….

    • That’s not how representative democracy works though mate. Those 21 million (and the rest of us) are all represented by a mere handful of people in office. Those people in office simply need to be convinced that its the ‘will of the people’ to put this kind of thing through. Its not a referendum 😛

  • Given the results of the previous Federal election, I’d be very surprised if the current government tries to implement any new laws or legislation (or changes to existing ones) that have even a hint of controversy about them. We’ll be seeing a lot of “committee’s”, “Research Papers”, “Reviews”, ect. ect.

  • You know what we need to do? We need to throw a Rally to Restore Sanity-esque rally. I’m obviously joking cuz we could never get the right number in attendance but it’d be great if we could pull something like that off.

    Part of the problem is that the government won’t listen yes but I think another is that the issue just isn’t public enough for anyone to give a stuff and thus the government acts on its own accord. The laymen is more concerned with which kid was booted from master chef than issues like this.

  • I think the issue just hasn’t been spun cleverly enough. Gamers unfortunately still have this ridiculous stigma of being 25 year old men living with their parents who have no life and no girlfriend. Anyone who actually plays games knows that the community is much broader than that but the 40-70 year old politicians don’t see it that way.

    What hasn’t been spun enough is why parents should be concerned and that this is a parents issue, a family issue. Media not associated with gaming should be contacted about our classification system being broken for our children, and how it needs to be fixed so they are not exposed to inappropriate content.

    There is too much confusion and too much left at the hands of children informing the parents, the information should be clear cut so they can be sure what they purchase for the children or allow them to purchase for themselves is appropriate and lawful.

    Clearly the bodies who will decide if and how to deal with the rating system are ignoring numbers, so lets show them demographics. Gamers are a demographic that mainstream media has stereotyped at the moment into being irrelevant, so lets get a relevant family demographic involved and asking why the government isn’t protecting their children.

    • You make great points…however, the GAME/PALGN campaign has been purely centred on “asking each and every State Attorney General for their support to help parents in understanding which games are suitable for over 18s and which games are not.” This has been our clinical focus.

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