READY: R18+ Video Games Industry Disappointed By Delay

The Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (iGEA) has made a statement expressing their disappointment at the continued delay as SCAG once again pushed back a decision on adding an R18+ category to videogames. Ron Curry expressed his disappointment at another delay "despite mass support from the Australian community" but also expressed he is pleased by "the active engagement by each Attorney General at today's meeting on the issue." Read their full release after the jump.

Sydney, Australia – Friday, 10th December 2010 – A decision to introduce an R18+ classification for video games has been postponed today following a Standing Committee of Attorneys General (SCAG) meeting in Canberra.

Ron Curry, CEO of the iGEA, says, “It’s disappointing that an adult rating for video games will be delayed once again despite mass support from the Australian community, whether it is from adult gamers who want the right to play games that appeal to them or parents who want clear guidelines for their children.”

We are however pleased that the industry has been given the opportunity to put forward its arguments for an adult rating and encouraged by the tremendous support the issue has received from the Federal Government, and the active engagement by each Attorney General at today’s meeting on the issue.

We’re hopeful that the weight of evidence and the comprehensive research into the matter will ensure an adult rating is introduced when the Attorney-Generals reconvene,” said Curry.

The SCAG meeting follows several announcements made earlier this week by Minister of Home Affairs Brendan O’Connor highlighting the Gillard Government’s evidence based support for an R18+ classification for video games.

This study is in line with a range of polls conducted in the last 12 months which show mass support in favour of an R18+ rating for games:

  • The public consultation conducted earlier this year found 98.4 per cent of submissions were in favour of an R18+ classification for video games
  • News Limited’s poll shows 95.5 per cent of respondents vote for an R18+ classification and 4 per cent vote against it[i]
  • A poll conducted by Fairfax indicates 97 per cent of respondents believe Australia should introduce an R18+ rating for video games and 3 per cent are against it[ii]
  • A Channel 7 Sunrise’s poll reveals 97 per cent of respondents would like R18+ games permitted in Australia and 3 per cent would not[iii]
  • Furthermore, the Interactive Australia 09 report by Bond University found that 91 per cent of gamers and non-gamers believe the classification should be introduced and that 91 per cent of adults would clearly know that game classified R18+ would be unsuitable for children[iv] .

Despite the majority votes by the community, Australia remains the only developed nation without an R18+ classification for video games and a classification system which is inconsistent across various media.

“While there are some opponents who argue an R18+ rating will only give children access to high level content, this is simply not true. Content that exceeds the guidelines required for an R18+ classification will still be refused classification and banned in Australia.”

“An R18+ rating for video games will go a long way in helping parents make informed decisions about the games their children play and also provide more consistent guidelines aligned with other forms of media,” said Curry.

This latest news comes fresh off the back of a series of ‘How to set-up Parental Controls’ videos released by the iGEA this week. The videos, hosted by iGEA ambassador and ABC sports presenter Stephanie Brantz, provides tips to ensure parents only allow children to play games that are age appropriate and for a healthy amount of time.

The video series can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/user/igeavideo?feature=mhum#p/u


Comments

    Its an interesting thought, that music and books do not have a unified rating system either - or the internet! I suppose thats coming.... what about the news too, is that rated G - the stuff we see/hear on the news is, alot of the time, shocking and disturbing as the content is actually real!

    So when is the new meeting? And will it be soon? god why does the Australian government have to be so retarded?

    Anyways, we want Classification. NOT Censorship! (In a rational sense though, of course)

    Disgusting.
    This is how democracy works - politicians (and in this case Attorneys General) delay things so that they have something to do.
    They have nothing to do, so they delay and delay, or amend, or do anything to extend the longevity of their service.

    (plus this issue has brought the Attorneys General to the public whereas before this issue most people probably didn't even know that each state had an Attorney General let alone who they were. Probably delaying to make themselves feel more important and keep in the spotlight).

    The more I think about it... the more I think the whole classification system needs review.
    It's not the 50's anymore.

    The whole lot needs standardising, and it should be legislated that it be reviewed every ten years.

    What do we pay these guys for?

      I think perhaps the Australian gaming community been a bit too subtle thus far. It would be really helpful if Kotaku could put up a form letter that automatically sends to our relevant AG saying "If you do not get this right at the next meeting, I will vote against your party regardless of all other policies. *You* work for *us*."

        Maybe, but I wouldn't participate in that. As disappointed as I am, there are far more important policy decisions that will sway my vote...

    WOW!!! 5 Different studies have 90%+ in favour of introducing the R18+ and the attorney Generals STILL sit on their ass. When they don't listen, where is the australian political pressure?? focused on green house emmissions. Confusing!!

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