Being READY means having the ability to dispel myths regarding the R18+ debate.
It's for that reason that we're calling attention to some of the submissions made during the public consultation period, submissions from groups that you wouldn't expect to support the R18+ rating, but do so for clearly specified and well thought out reasons - reasons that may differ from ours.
First up is a submission from the Australian Catholic Bishops.
The Australian Catholic Bishops submission focuses on the protection of the vulnerable and parents without sufficient information with which to choose the right games for their children.
"The most vulnerable members of our community are our children and adolescents. Their needs and the needs of their parents must be given the highest priority in deciding the content, application and defence of the computer games classification guidelines.
Such support rests solely on having a uniform approach to media classification which enables parents and adults to have more information in regard to the content of some games and to make appropriate decisions about them."
The submission continues along this line of thought later in the piece.
"The consumer has every right to expect the OFLC to give them as much information as possible so that he or she can make an informed decision about viewing a film, video, DVD or computer game."
The international dimension is also cited.
"A national R18+ classification for computer games will also bring us into line with similar countries around the world."
Special attention is also drawn to the fact that the Classification Board needs "to have more categories, be more descriptive of the material and have, as an essential part of its strategy, an on-going community education programme about its content and meaning."
An R18+ rating isn't the best way forward because it allows us to play violent games - it's important because we need the ability to provide parents with the information required to protect their children from violent games. Without an R18+ rating, there is nothing to dispel the myth that games are for children, and nothing to stop parents from buying games unsuitable for their kids.
The Australian Catholic Bishops submission puts it like this.
"The principle of Informed Consent makes explicit the contract between the producer, distributor, OFLC and the consumer/spectator. It holds that the consumer has every right to expect the OFLC to give them as much information as possible so that he or she can make an informed decision about viewing a film, video, DVD or computer game."
We need to help parents make an informed decision about the games they buy for their children and an R18+ rating would allow for that.
You can check out the full submission below.