As we’ve spoken about extensively in our feature Classifying the Unclassifiable: R18+ And The Bigger Picture the government are currently taking submissions on the upcoming Classification Review – and the deadline is this Friday.
The R18+ issue has been out of the spotlight in recent weeks, but those that oppose an R18+ rating for games have been slowly trying to permeate the idea that the Attorneys-General have outright denied the games industry an adult rating when that is clearly not the case. With an upcoming review and the rapid influx of digital distribution, the issue has become infinitely more complicated and this is reflected by the fact that the ALRC is currently working on a complete overhaul of the classification system.
Yet anti-R18+ commentators still insist on making a multi-faceted issue an overly simple one. Dr Elizabeth Handsley, writing an opinion piece on the ABC’s Tech and Gaming site, is the latest offender.
The way the process has been played out is better compared to computer gaming itself: you get killed once, you get up and start again, believing that if you just shoot a bit harder and a bit faster this time around, you’ll break through. You get killed again; you get up again, and so on and so on. There are only two possible outcomes: reaching your goal and giving up. And giving up is not an option.
But it’s not a game, it’s a serious decision making process based on rational argument, where the ultimate responsibility for the community’s welfare rests in the hands of elected representatives and their experienced advisors. If those representatives keep deciding against an R18+ rating, maybe it’s simply because the arguments just don’t stack up.
That has certainly been the case here, where the gaming lobby has persistently argued that legalising higher-level content would provide better protection to children from inappropriate content. Even after hearing this argument some dozens of times, I still don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
What Dr Elizabeth Handsley fails to mention, however, is where those arguments don’t stack up. She also fails to give a substantial reason as to why a handful of elected officials continue to delay the R18+ issue when the vast majority of Australian citizens agree with its implementation, as does the elected Federal Government.
With people like Dr Elizabeth Handsley continuing to spread misinformation, it’s increasingly important to continue with the pressure. So if you have the time, please head to the Classification website and make your opinions clear on this Online Enquiry Form.
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