Final Submission Report: 98.4% In Favour Of An R18+ Rating

In the lead up to the SCAG meeting this Friday, Brendan O' Connor has released the final report on the submission process and revealed that 98.4% of submissions were in favour of an R18+ rating.

The full report can be found here.

Brendan O' Connor took the opportunity to restate his support for an R18+ rating. This final report will be tabled during the SCAG meeting on Friday.

“More than 58,400 people responded to the call for submissions on the proposed new adult only category. That’s an enormous response and I thank everyone who gave their views.”

“Of those who responded, 98.4% voiced support for an R18+ computer game classification.”

“These results reflect the feedback that I and other members of Parliament have received from the community,” Mr O’Connor said.

“Bringing the classification categories for computer games into line with those for films will help Australian parents make informed decisions about the games their children play.

“We want to provide better advice to parents to help remove material from children and teenagers that may contain gratuitous sex, violence or drug use,” Mr O’Connor said.

Again, this confirms what we all knew - the Australian public is firmly, overwhelmingly, in favour of an R18+ rating for video games.


    Lets home this sways SCAG......

      You can home all you want.. I'm hoping! :D

    The classification system is supposed to reflect community standards. It's pretty clear from this that the community's standards require an adults-only R18+ rating.

    I had no idea these reports would actually be tabled at the meeting. That's positive I guess...

    Please do not let the remaining 1.6% screw this up.

    So, again I need to ask - what is the point of having *another* public consultation if all of the AG's agree to the change? Don't they already have enough response from the public about this?

    Man that's some overwhelming percentages right there!

    “We want to provide better advice to parents to help remove material from children and teenagers that may contain gratuitous sex, violence or drug use,” Mr O’Connor said.

    While there are few games that are refused classification due to excessive violence, It was my understanding that gratuitous sex or drug use was grounds for a game being refused classification here in Australia.

    I had thought this was due to games being assessed differently to film, is this not still the case?

    It was also my understanding that even the introduction of an R18+ rating would not change any of the current assessment criteria, but only give them an extra category above M15+ (bringing it to parity with the rest of the Western world)

      I was a little confused, what exactly did you mean?

      I was always under the assumption that to qualify for refused classification, the content would have to be ineligible for a current classification.

      A film featuring graphic simulated sexual content and would no doubt score itself an R18+. If that sexual content was instead actual coitus and not stimulated, this would exceed R18+ guidelines and land itself in X-Rated town.

      If a video game's content exceeded that of our current guidelines, that is, land itself in R18+ town then it would simply be refused classification due to it not falling INSIDE our current, LIMITED, ratings.

      If what you say is true about the ratings criteria being different between the two mediums (film and video games) I would love to see them compared, but I would assume the criteria would remain the same, they would only need to decide if there is anything TOO extreme for an adult only rating.

        The word "coitus" always makes me giggle like a school girl.

        You should note that several films, most recently Micahel Winterbottom's 9 Songs, have received R18+ certificates from the OFLC despite featuring actual coitus and other explicitly detailed sex acts.

        So it's not a guarantee of an RC rubber stamp for states that don't have X ratings.

          Oh, Absolutely. Though 'art' always seems to have different rules applied to it. The guidelines have quite obviously relaxed over the past decade.

          Shortbus received an R18+ rating also, if it had been released in the mid 90's there's no way that would of been the case.

          I didn't mean to suggest rubber stamping.


    Of course this issue is finally addressed once I've already metaphorically packed my bags for Europe. Hopefully this will be resolved when I get back in two years. I'm sceptical that it will be though.

    So, if politicians are agreeing that support is so overwhelming, how come it's taken to the past few weeks for any of them to notice? They're not up to anything unusually sinister they're wanting to distract us from are they?

      58,400 is a rather paltry sampling of the population as a whole.

      Given that input was requested, the standard argument is that people FOR the proposal will respond in force, people AGAINST the proposal will either be unaware of it, or respond which leaves the rest of the people in the 'other' category who just don't care and are unlikely to respond.

      You could then draw the conclusion that the results will obviously be a majority FOR the proposal.

      That's the reason there was a second request for submissions.

        Not really... you'd assume those opposed to it would feel just as strongly as those in favour of it, and would respond in similar numbers. Some people against it might not be aware of it, but you could say the same for some people who are in favour of it.

        As for the others in the "don't care" category who don't respond - if they don't care, then they should have no impact on the outcome, since they won't mind either way.

        It's like if you held an election and one candidate lost narrowly but then claimed he should be awarded victory because there were a thousand people who didn't vote that might have voted for him if they HAD voted. If they didn't vote when they had their chance, then who cares what they think?

          "If they didn’t vote when they had their chance, then who cares what they think?"

          They know they had a chance is the difference. This open submission did not have anywhere near the publicity that an election does.

          Given that their job is to act in the interests of the population then they had no choice but to ask for a second, OPEN submission, as opposed to one driven by video game retailers encouraging their customers to petition.

          If they had of taken a sampling of the population, an accurate one, then the results would show a % for, a % against, and a % that are indifferent.

          In the current case I think I can quite comfortable assume that the only submissions they received were for, or against, which means 98.4% were for, leaving 1.6% against.

          In an accurate sampling you may get 100,000 people surveyed, 50,000 for, 46,000 indifferent, and 4,000 against (hope my maths is right...).

          That would mean 50% were for an R18+ rating with 4% against. 46% don't care.

          The figures aren't so overwhelming then.

          Now don't get me wrong I'm not suggesting only half of people want the ratings system change, I wouldn't be surprised if that 98.4% wasn't far off the mark, I was merely suggesting that the sampling isn't entirely accurate, especially given that people who are indifferent in this scenario are unlikely to have said anything.

          50% of people though is not a majority, in the face of opposition which in my example was 4% then there is a clear distinction. But with half the population not caring is there really a necessity to change?

          My figures are of course made up, just to represent the potential for inaccuracy.

    Everyone needs to be prepared for more consultation for one simple fact: No where in the entire process this year did anyone actually put down criteria for what an R18 rating would be. There aren't any hypothetical descriptions about where the line between MA15 and R18 and then RC would be (there are some vague ones for RC already in legislation).

    So if the AGs do decide an R18 rating is warranted, there is no way it will become law before more fiddling with the actual criteria for that classification. Be prepared for that. Review the legislation code as it is now, and make a list of things you think reflects the values of yourself as members of the community.

      As I understand it, video games are currently rated by a very similar classification system to movies, apart from the fact that any video game which would receive an R rating falls straight into the RC category.

      If movies were rated under the same system, an idea the ACL would be all for, there would be no R+ movies in cinemas or DVDs.

        I don't want to jinx it, but my gut feeling is that we'll get the rating, but it will come with some sort of overhaul.

          I hope the overhaul includes a little change like we no longer require a unanimous decision to make changes.

          IMO that's actually worse than not having an R18 rating. Thats what allows stupidity to reign supreme and a vocal minority to censor the rest of the country.

            You'll always see corruption spouted as an excuse for decision making to remain unanimous, in any field.

            I do share your opinion though.

            I agree, but then I also thing that the fact that Australian citizens have no bill of rights covering, for example, free speech appalling. That is much, much worse than any of this other stuff, and is what enables the government to federally legislate what you and I can and can't say to each other in videogame form.

          I think that at least there will need to be a tightening of the concept of RC, in addition to any little tinkering they do to MA15 to accommodate a clear distinction with R18. The RC category at the moment is the 'too hard' pile. If anything is just 'too offensive' for whoever is making the decision it can theoretically be thrown on that pile. It ALSO has a set of criteria that are immediately bannable offenses (beastiality for example). You can't have one category with two ways to get in.

          I think there will be a growing awareness here that RC means 'banned on moral grounds' and people are demonstrating they don't really like that much, both here and regarding the internet filter.

    Thank you Mario, but our pdf is in another castle... Link no longer working.

    May i ask this question which really hasnt been answered, What happens then when all the AG's agree to the R18+ rating? i mean that we will get it but will the overhaul be at the next SCAG meeting or will there be a special SCAG meeting and how long will all this take?

    Plus the links down, Why use rapidshare? shouldnt the AG website host it?

      It hadn't been put up when I wrote the story. I just checked and it's up. Will update the post now.

    Somehow I dont think thats enough.

    Here's me hoping they don't do the stupid and go

    "Obviously this was another one sided submission w/ gamers being too vocal. We need to canvas more before we continue"

    like last time =_=;;;

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