Australian Catholic Bishops Welcomes The Draft R18+ Guidelines

In stark contrast to the ACL, who claimed that the R18+ guidelines "failed families", the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has released a statement claiming they "welcome" the release of the guidelines - proving once and for all that the ACL do not represent all people of Christian faith.

“How to handle the classification of R18+ Computer Games is a difficult matter for society as well as for individuals and, especially, for parents," claimed Fr Leonard. "There are no easy solutions and we want to ensure that there is as much information available on the content of such games for parents and concerned citizens."

During the submissions process the Australian Catholic Bishops made a very similar statement. Fr Leonard was quick to claim, however, that in an ideal world, we wouldn't have to worry about these issues at all.

“In an ideal world, the sort of material that is included in R18+ or higher classification films and computer games would never be seen in a civilised democracy. However, it is not an ideal world and, in the real world in which we live, such material unfortunately is produced and is available, sometimes legally and often illegally, within our society,” he said.

It appears that, despite having issues with some aspects of video game content, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has decided to take a pragmatic view of events.

“All concerned Australians, especially concerned parents, should carefully consider the draft Guidelines and tell the Government of their views," said Fr Leonard. "We all have a vision of how we would like our society to be, but we as a society need to address the world as it is, not as we would like it would be."


    This time I'd like to hear what the ACL answer is.

      It's linked to in the first line.

      It's a pretty stock standard ACL reply, all think of the children, and criticising the 'shift' in pro-R18+ campaigners to be better for children.

      Seriously, every time I read it all I can hear is just some dude in my ear going 'blah blah blah blah'. Same old drivel.

        Same old drivel, same old antiquated way of thinking.

        Excuse me while I go put on my chainmail, pick up my broadsword and go burn some heretics.

        I was under the impression that was the answer to the Guidelines, not to the ACB statement. That's what I meant.

          I misread that as 'bum some heretics'

    "Jesus would never have an R18 rating!"

    I'm actually betting he would. I bet he plays plenty of stuff :)

      I wonder what a faithful videogame of the Bible would be rated once you start crucifying people in quicktime events?

        Amen to that!

        It would already be RD'd because of the incest in the old testament

        The bible has some pretty violent stuff, would make a great MMO.

    This is a fantastic call. Although they don't agree with some games content, they agree that there should be warnings and a way of classifying them for the best information to be provided.

    ACBC Thank You for taking the high road and making a rational call on this subject. Please, try and convince the ACL zealots that despite what they think this should be the case.

    Looking at the ACL link mark provided.

    They reference a film being classified from 35 years ago 'Salo'.

    Now i haven't seen such film, though based on it's wiki page im kinda intrigued.

    But are they saying that the thing they are most afraid of is something released 35 years ago and they have no more time relevant piece of film to use as a reference.

    They realise alot has changed in the past 35 years right. I mean 35 years ago, things like underbelly would never have made public TV in australia

      From what I understand from the guidelines, content like what is in Salo would be banned, because it falls under this bit of the RC category:

      "Gratuitous, exploitative or offensive depictions of:
      (i) violence with a very high degree of impact or which are excessively frequent,
      prolonged or detailed;
      (ii) cruelty or real violence which are very detailed or which have a high impact;
      (iii) sexual violence."

      So what they claim would not get through.

        Salo has recently been re-classified as R18+. It was released in September last year:
        "In 2010, the film was submitted again, and passed once again with an R18+ rating. According to the ACB media release, the DVD was passed due to "the inclusion of 176 minutes of additional material which provided a context to the feature film. However the media release also stated that "The Classification Board wishes to emphasise that this film is classified R 18+ based on the fact that it contains additional material. Screening this film in a cinema without the additional material would constitute a breach of classification laws." The majority opinion of the board stated that the inclusion of additional material on the DVD "facilitates wider consideration of the context of the film which results in the impact being no more than high". This decision came under attack by Family Voice Australia (formerly the Festival of Light Australia), the Australian Christian Lobby and Liberal Party of Australia Senator Julian McGauran, who tried to have the lifted ban overturned, but the Board refused, stating "The film has aged plus there is bonus material that clearly shows it is fiction." The film was released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 8, 2010.

          If Salo is the same movie i am think of then its been banned and then re classified that many times that its beyond a joke now, another movie like that is 9 Songs, they cant decide if it should stay as X18+ or just give it the RC.

        indeed but context is nearly always king, and apparently with the extra footage on the DvD release is why it was allowed through.

        And thats besides the point no one would make a game like that because it's pointless, it wouldn't sell, it would get bad press everywhere until the end of time.

        the only reason to do such things on film is to provoke discussion on different things. In a game the discussion would get focused in the wrong direction. And any of the directors intentions would be lost.

      'But are they saying that the thing they are most afraid of is something released 35 years ago and they have no more time relevant piece of film to use as a reference'

      shh... don't tell them about A Serbian Film...

      But seriously, I don't think anyone is planning an adaptation of Salo for the Xbox...

    "We all have a vision of how we would like our society to be, but we as a society need to address the world as it is, not as we would like it to be."

    Greatest quote of the 21st century. If all people were as pragmatic and wise as the Australian Catholic Bishops we could probably solve most of the world's problems. I need to keep reminding myself of this from time to time.

    The ACL's comment clearly shows no-one read the guidelines before going to print.

    Seriously, how much longer do they need to print incorrect facts and false claims before they are finally pulled aside and gagged?

    “We all have a vision of how we would like our society to be, but we as a society need to address the world as it is, not as we would like it would be.”

    Somes up the situation in a few lines. Move with the times.

    I'm with Johnny Sweetbread, that last quote is brilliant. Very down to earth, realist response and it's heartening to see.

    Dam the ACL frustrates me!

    This is a positive story though, its nice to be finally getting some good news on the subject :)

    I recently watched the new Australian film "Snowtown"...

    And I must say, mortal kombat looks like teletubbies taking a nap compared to this film.

    I just thought to myself how ridiculous this whole debate is considering the stuff that's allowed on the big screen.

    Good news. Also reading the link it seems there's a man out there called Donald McDonald. Best name ever.

      I swear to god I know two people called Donald McDonald.

    Thank you bishops for reminding us some religious groups are still capable of rational thought.

    As an aside, I just noticed on the ACL site that one of their board members is CEO of a wine company. He's obviously not thinking of the children. Allowing adults access to alcohol increases the likelihood that children will gain access to material they shouldn't.

    the acl should be branded a fundamentalist group and barred from taking part in politics.

    I'm conflicted.

    Part of me wants to get the R rating for games. But another part of me wants this feud with the ACL to go on. I think I've grown accustomed to it.

      That's OK, once we get the R18+ I'm sure we can find some other feud to take up with them. Perhaps we could suggest new laws that ban self-appointed, unrepresentative groups from being allowed to speak at high-level ministerial gatherings? I'm sure they'd have something to say about that.

      Don't worry, they aren't going away any time soon and there are plenty of things that they are both vocal and completely wrong about.

      There are plenty more issues you could disagree with the ACL about. When it comes to deceit and dishonesty they aren't a one trick pony. ;)

      As for the comment from the Fr about this kind of content not existing in an ideal world, I can think of something else that wouldn't exist in an ideal world. No prizes for guessing what it is.

        Apart from the obvious answer of religion, historical accuracy would be another victim. Removing the nasty uncivilised facts from history because they depict horrid acts would leave us with historical revisionism that would make Orwell blush.

    “We all have a vision of how we would like our society to be, but we as a society need to address the world as it is, not as we would like it would be.”


    Finally some good PR from a christian group showing that the ACL do not represent the christian community ok they still don’t like the content but it shows they live in the real world and understand that people are going to play these games so we might as well “ensure that there is as much information available on the content of such games for parents and concerned citizens.”

    I am amused that the ACL press release selectively quotes the recent objection article to make their point.

    At first I was annoyed, then I realized the title of the article was, in fact, "Objection! Should We Just Ignore The ACL Altogether?" That made me smile.

    I think the ACL's answer will be something like:

    That's Catholic, Marge. You may as well ask me to do some kind of voodoo dance!-Rev Lovejoy

    "The preferred position of the Catholic Church is that R18+ material should not be available."

    They're not supporting R18, they only concede that if it's impossible to remove then there's no point. I'm sure they'd jump at the chance to increase the censorship.

    I choose to think that underlying the response by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference is a genuine respect for other people's beliefs and decisions.

    They're simply doing what they were told to do: Say what they believe and let you decide. And that's beautiful.

    This response is great show of how many Christians, even those who dislike video games with violence, still respect other's choices and hope this classification brings about better decision making.

    Awesome. Now the ACL has lost all credibility, considering that Catholocism is the number 1 christian faith with over 1 billion people.

    I feel that as if we don't get the R18+ rating for video games in Australia this time around, it will not happen for at least another decade..

    I hope I'm wrong..

    This seems like the "last stand" so to speak.

    I find it grimly amusing that he says that much of the material included under an R18+ rating would never be seen in a "civilised" democracy, yet many of the stories in his hailed Bible are much more horrific and barbaric than many of the things I have seen in modern media. Including but not limited to:

    - Torture
    - Incest
    - Genocide
    - Murder
    - Rape

    I'm not even going to go into some of the "lessons" taught in certain books that fly in the face of anything we would call civilised these days. There's a reason I'm a renounced Christian and proudly so.

    In an ideal world, Bishop, your words would carry no weight in any political matter.

      "- Torture
      - Incest
      - Genocide
      - Murder
      - Rape"

      So pretty much an episode of Law and Order: SVU? Should we ban anyone associated with that show or who watches it from having a say as well?

      Also, if you're specifically picking on the Bible, then you're not a renounced Christian. You're a renounced Christian, Coptic, Orthodox, Jew, and Muslim. Even then, "Christian" isn't a religion, but rather a catch-all term for religions that share common roots.

      Also important - in an ideal world, the Bishop, Iman, Dali Llama, or anyone else's opinion would all carry the same political weight as any other group - secular or otherwise - who lobby Governments. Just because you yourself have a problem with a specific group - in this case, it seems like Christians as a whole - doesn't mean they suddenly don't have a right to their opinion as well.

      Like it or not, there's a fuck load of Catholics in this country. Like it or not, the Bishops council therefore have a voice worth hearing assuming they represent the general views of all those people.

      PS: Grow up, you childish, childish, hipster dick.

        Side note: Know your religion when you want to argue.

        Catholics - as represented by the Bishop - are not a branch of Christianity that rely solely on the Bible as word-for-word laws for living. Catholics instead use the Bible simply as a book that catalogues the life of Jesus and the previous traditions of the Jews (Old Testament). So there may be general teachings or concepts that are important in that, but Catholics also rely on the teaching of the Church on those matters.

        Think of it like this: you've got a really old, important cultural book. You also have modern professors that teach the context of those words, rather than say follow them word for specific word. Welcome to Catholicism.

          Somewhat at a loss of words there for that 'brilliant' bashing of what is probably one of the more open voices of the "moral right" ie. christian/religious camp

          Had this been an actual ACL post of standard vitriol I would have expected that response. Someone needs to get over their "god issues" >.>

          @Superfred: Nice Catholics in a nutshell there. Just to elaborate a bit more. There's two major parts to the Catholic faith the well known Bible and the Catechism. Bible is viewed as a two parter the basic history and background of the faith (Old Testy) and the newer sets of laws that lay the groundwork for their faith from good old J himself (New Testy). The second part is the Catechism which is basically "the Bible Explained" for Catholics (and non-C for the curious =P). Pretty much just teachings, rites, etc. analysis of the bible. The brilliant part of the Catechism is that it's an analysis/study taking into reference today's society so its actually ever changing and not stagnating (ie. the modern mass spoken in the clergy's language and the priest facing the crowd as opposed to the old Latin facing back is a product of this)

          Bah.. now i've ranted >.>

    “We all have a vision of how we would like our society to be, but we as a society need to address the world as it is, not as we would like it would be.”

    This is a great quote.

    It's very gracious of the Bishops Conference to recognise the legitimacy of civil and secular processes of debate.

    Would that this pragmatism extended further.

    The catholic church could use some good points, the archbishop appointed to advising the Pope on issues of priests who molest children has just been arrested for... well, you can guess the rest I imagine.

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