Brendan O' Connor: We're "Considering The Pros And Cons" Of An R18+ Rating

In addition to the statement released yesterday, the Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O' Connor has just posted an update on the Australian Labor website restating the facts of of yesterday's Literature Review on violence in video games, but also stating that "Classification Ministers across Australia are carefully considering the pros and cons of introducing an R18+ classification for computer games."

Again, this is great news. Our major worry, considering the recent Victorian State elections, was that the R18+ issue would be delayed until the next SCAG meeting, but this is the strongest indication yet that a decision may be made on December 10th.

“We need a classification system that protects young minds from any possible adverse affect, while also ensuring that adults are free to make their own decisions about what they play, within the bounds of the law,” Mr O’Connor said.

“Classification Ministers across Australia are carefully considering the pros and cons of introducing an R18+ classification for computer games – restricting the viewing of these games to people aged 18 and above,” Mr O’Connor said.

“As part of their decision making, Ministers requested this literature review and other documents to assist them in making a well informed decision.

“I’m keen to proceed with making this important decision, based on solid and robust evidence. This comprehensive review adds to the material Ministers can rely on to make their decision.”

These comments echo those O' Connor made earlier, as reported by Computer World.

There are about 50 games in Australia, that are currently MA15+ that in the United States are at a Mature 17 classification and in the United Kingdom an R18+,” claimed O' Connor. “So in fact it could be said that having an R18+ classification for games, you will be able to reclassify the games that are currently for 15-year-olds, for adults effectively.”

He then made perhaps the most concrete statement yet, almost confirming that the matter will be concluded once and for all on December 10th.

I’m now in the process of talking to Attorneys-General about this issue and we’ll see what happens,” he said. “We are certainly focusing on the issue, we don’t want to leave it there - I think people want to resolve the matter and move onto other issues.”

Home Affairs Minister Voices SUpport For R18+ [Computer World]


    That does sound promising. These follow ups are awesome Mark! Fingers crossed...

    A few more off the cuff comments from O'Connor here -

    That sounds a LOT like they want to introduce the rating, but essentially need the justification to do so. He is "keen to proceed with making this important decision" which explicitly states there is an active decision to be made here. I know I'm an optimist, but leaving things alone isn't much of a decision is it?

    At the moment, the only thing I can see that would be listed as a con is that it would piss off the ACL.

    Which for me, sounds like incentive to do it.

    There's definitely been a lot of very positive rumblings ahead of the SCAG meeting this week. Good to see O'Connor talking about it, making statements in the manner that usually preceeds a positive announcement.

      I think, thinking politically for a moment, he'd have a hard time backing out of the position he's setting up here. That is, if the SCAG don't add the R18 rating, there would be some explaining to do about why not, after presenting this lit review and all the data about community support.

    Lets just hope we don't have another Atkinson emerging at the SCAG meeting.

    Turning pessimism to optimism (or however you spell it ;-) something seem different this time around, we might see the fabled R18+ rating after all. Fingers very tightly crossed.

    “We need a classification system that protects young minds from any possible adverse affect, while also ensuring that adults are free to make their own decisions about what they play, within the bounds of the law,” <- Like

    Best line I've heard from a politician in a long long time.

      What's disappointing is that this is exactly what the legislation says. They should all be saying this, all the time, and only this.

    It's mentioned there are 50 or so games here with a lower rating than overseas,What they don't mention is the fact that it's a lower rating for a reason,That being we have the crappy CENSORED version with nothing in it!
    About time Australia had an adult rating,It's way overdue.
    If they think these censored versions are being bought and played they are mistaken,Kids and adults are smarter,I mean come on how hard is it to just import the uncut version or just download the game,Lost shop sales here just because we have no R rating. Get with the times and give us our rating like we have for movies etc etc

      that made no sense bud, im sure ur just talking about l4d2 anywayz :D

      The majority of those games aren't censored for Australia however.

    This post should have that Phil Collins song In The Air Tonight playing over the top of it, I can hear the drum solo as I read those words.

    Very exciting. And oh man I hate forgot how much I hate that song. Seems appropriate though.


    So a single minister tells me yet again that a group of nameless other ministers are considering maybe doing something about talking about discussing the pros and cons of the R rating.

    You'll pardon me if I don't jump up and down with glee.

    Hey, I voted for that guy! The system works!

    98%+ of people want an R18+ rating. Stop dragging your feet. The people have spoken.

    Definitely sounds promising. His "solid and robust evidence" (with the report released a few days ago) makes me somewhat more optimistic that they'll reach a positive decision on December 10.

    4 years after i jumped on the R18 band wagon were about to see it finally, we've come a long way from the Old man Atkinson days

    With a bit of luck this will keep more little shits out of Call of Duty.

    While this is no doubt good news, I wouldn't underestimate Labour's ability to act like spineless rats. Get Tony Abbott yelping about this issue on radio for a couple of days, and Labour will drop it like an Italian-built hand grenade.

    Unfortunately, I won't believe the politicians are considering introducing the new classification until they actually do it.

    Both Labor and Liberal are far too scared of those fundamentalist christian wacko's over at the Australian Christian Lobby who still claim to have a letter from the current SA Labor government promising to block any changes.

      If you read that letter though (or the published quotes from it, can't remember if it was released in full) it's wording confirmed their current position (while Atkinson was in the chair), but made no defined promises of continuing with the same position. I remember reading it as a very well written non committal political response.

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