An Open Letter is a new feature where we communicate directly, straight to the heart of someone/something/anything in gaming. This month, in the lead up to the SCAG meeting on Friday, we write directly to the Attorneys-General.
Before it was an issue that could be brushed aside - and on some level we can understand that - but now a decision must be made. This Friday, during the SCAG meeting, the R18+ issue must be resolved once and for all, and the responsibility lies with each of you to make the correct choice for your constituents.
We believe that an R18+ rating for Australia is the correct choice.
The barriers to an adult rating are being broken one by one, and now is the time to act. You asked for our submissions, and we responded overwhelmingly in favour of an R18+ rating; you reviewed the extensive research on the topic of video game violence, and found no difference between video games and other media. When the consultation wasn't enough you conducted a survey and, once again - as always - the support for an adult rating for video games was overwhelmingly positive.
The arguments against the rating are crumbling, while the collective voice in support grows stronger by the day. Parents want to be informed - they want the means with which to make the correct decision about what their children can play, and an R18+ rating will help provide that.
The floodgates will not open, there are not a horde of inappropriate games awaiting an R18+ rating - just adult orientated titles that require an adult rating - nothing more, nothing less.
There are no legitimate reasons for an R18+ rating to not be approved - only the misinformed ramblings of a well meaning, vocal minority, clutching desperately at the remains of what is a fundamentally broken argument. The evidence is there, the research is there, and most importantly the public support is there. Don't let the people down. Australia is a democracy - time and time again your constituents have informed you that an R18+ rating for video games is what they want. You must be true to that necessity.
Australia is watching - this is no longer a niche concern that can be delayed, brushed aside or patronised. It's a nationwide issue and both parents and gamers are watching closely. They want the correct decision to be made.
This is your chance to do the right thing - don't let us down.