Today Is Your Last Day To Make An Submission To The ALRC

A couple of weeks back we were shocked to hear that the Issues Paper for the Australian Law Reform Commission had only received 80 submissions. We've now seen a large influx of submissions, but we just thought we'd drop a quick post to let you guys know that today is the last day for submissions.

I know there has been problems with the submission system - I myself ended up losing half a submission, and after starting from scratch again I got a message telling me I had already submitted - but I think it's definitely worth taking the time to fill out the form.

This is not just focused on games, it's for an upcoming report on classification in general - which is worth keeping in mind.

That said - have at it folks! Send your submissions here


Comments

    I've put mine in.

    It wouldn't hurt for those doing last minute submissions to mention the complete lack of evidence to support the claims of those who are in favour of censorship.

    They mention anti-social, promiscuous and criminal behaviour in youths because of media influences and other such nonsense. I think it adds more weight to mention that they're making it all up.

      More credible to NOT actually accuse other submissions of fabrication. I think that you'd need to word any such attack very diplomatically.

      Perhaps say instead that such claims might not hold up under rigorous scrunity, or fail to consider Point X or Point Y (which are relevant counterpoints or other potential influences).

      Better, though, I think, to focus largely on the positive message that R18+ keeps more games out of kids' hands, not less, and make comparisons to existing games' ratings here vs those in UK/US.

        I'm just sick of all of the "think of the children" statements that are completely unrelated to reality. Too often, we let them control the debate by making these wild, unsubstantiated claims.

        My response was far from diplomatic but I think it is entirely fair to point out that the justification for their argument is completely baseless.

          Thank you! I focused my response about this too; that the revision of the censorship laws wasn't brought by adults looking to coddle their children further... but by adults looking to have unfetterred access to content without a government (with blood on its hands) or society (with a dummy in its mouth) saying otherwise.

            That's fine, and we need those submissions to make up numbers, but I'm putting myself in the shoes of the public servant who needs to collate all this stuff (and I don't think yours will do any more than make up numbers):

            As this public servant, I am a middle-aged person with no children, but I know my young niece and nephew enjoy their games. I've heard the vocal Christian arguments regarding violent video games, and I hold a fairly stereotypical view of what a 'gamer' is.

            I see a submission that 'blindly' attacks other submissions as fraudulent, and I think, "Just what I'd expect from a gamer" and put it into whatever serves as a junk pile.

            Well written, well-reasoned, WELL-SUBSTANTIATED arguments are what's needed to get past the likely gatekeepers and make it into the short list of submissions that will be actually be considered by the true decision-makers in the review.

            I'm reeally not trying to troll or anything - I honestly believe the quality of the submissions needs to be extremely high to combat the general perceived lack of credibility of people (such as us) not backed by large organisations.

              Don't shoehorn all public servants into the same catagory, I'm a public servant and I'm a gamer (obviously), single, 23 with no nieces or nephew and I love games (obviously as I am on this site).
              That said I deal with a lot of evaluation forms in my line of work and from the way we do things I believe that all this data will be uploaded to 1 place and the main points drawn from it but any mention about inaccuracies, lies etc. will simply not make it to the next step, they will be dropped as irrelevant.

                What if those claims of lies and inconsistency are backed up by referring to the research that is often cited by the pro-censorship group and saying that it does not show that video games are more harmful than other media just that they cause short term increases to aggression, much like similar studies done on other media.

                This does not translate to any meaningful definition of "harmful", which is the justification for keeping the material away from children.

                I'm a public servant too, 25, married with kid, avid gamer, and even I would be tempted to discard any submission that is hysterical or angry in tone.

                All I'm saying is: solid arguments get noticed. Angry polemic does not.

              My submission was not just an attack on the other side's claims. I made my points, backed them up with reason and examples of inconsistency.

              I mentioned the huge flaw in trying to appeal to community standards when they vary so widely. One group may find A Clockwork Orange deplorable whilst another sees no harm in it (I made similar comparisons with the Bible) and noted the lunacy of trying to ban people from viewing material that they could legally act out on their own (R and X rated material).

              I may be making up the numbers, or some of my points will be paid attention to.

                That's good - I hope it all works out! :)

                Didn't mean to make anyone angry, I'm just saying how I expect this process will work.

    Personally I hope they ban all games, it will give me more cred when hanging out with bikies.
    "yeah you shoot people and control the drug markets, well I play games. Just go talk to Michael Atkinson about who should be careful of who!!"

    It should work out nicely.

    I put my in over a month ago.

    It's not exactly hard to do one up quickly, maybe people just don't think that their voices will be heard. When you think about it they are only hurting themselves and their cause by doing so :(

      I was hesitant because, the questions didn't address the actual issue; they were focused on children and other garbage issues - when I'm against censorship at all.

      But when I freed myself and decided to just say what was wrong with each question and do my monologue at the end... it wasn't so hard.

        I was the same, all the questions where kind of, we are going to censor the hell out of everything but we are just asking what would be the easiest way to screw everyone over you think???

    haha u mad

    ahhh i wonder how many submissions have been added since that 80 x,x

      Over a thousand if I'm checking correctly

    yea i put mine in around a month ago. Get on it guys!

    It's submissions like this that scare me
    http://www.alrc.gov.au/sites/default/files/pdfs/CI%2070%20Allan%20Choveaux.pdf

      They want to ban all pornography?

      Amusing. I wonder if that includes pornographic literature, like those steamy romance novels.

      Or the Bible. Because depending on where you draw the line, the whole book of Song of Solomon would also get banned and there's a good chance that the story of Lot (Genesis 19 ish) would get scrapped as well.

        By the way, I'm not attacking the Bible here or proposing that it should be banned. Just pointing out the hypocrisy of those who wish to ban things based on their interpretation of the Bible (which really only dislikes pornography by linking "Thou shalt not commit adultery" and Jesus's statement about lusting being the same as adultery) when the Bible itself could be banned under the same logic.

          You can't attack something that isn't real.

            Considering how often groups, like the ACL, try to beat us over the head with the Bible, I'd say that the book itself definitely exists. :p

        the closing line of my submission.
        "Don't bash me with some religious hypocrisy. The Bible for example is full of murder and sex, maybe it's time this was reclassified."

      I'm with this guy, ban everything and slowly release it back once a religious council looks at it and says it is OK. How could that possibly go wrong??

      Maybe we could have Jesus happy faces on stuff we are allowed to watch and Jesus mad faces on the stuff we are not allowed to watch. That would be massively more simple that the current system.

      I like the part where he says if its unsuitable for children, it should be unsuitable for adults
      I also like the part where he wants guidelines based off Christian morality, but wants the government to make decisions independent of industry groups.

      Ohhh what a wonderful read that was.

      There's heaps to worry about in that submission, but my favourite is:
      A unique symbol in the form of a shape, should be set aside and copyrighted. A nine sided outline with distinctive colours such as brilliant green, blue and red, within which the categories are seated. The symbol would be required for each and every public presentation throughout the nation.
      In presentation such as movies or computer presentations the particular symbol would be set at the top right hand side of the screen throughout the presentation.

      Wow. A bright red 9-sided "R" in the corner for the duration of a movie? Count me in! (for the sake of the children)

      Direct quote:
      "All flat statements on any subject of even minor importance, must be accompanied by proof"
      So, religion out the window then.

        And political commentary, although many would question if that counts as "even minor importance".

      Wow.. just wow..

      Christian morality?? Acknowledgement of The Almighty??
      Its nice that he wants to acknowledge us Kotaku readers, but its not really necessary.

      Focus groups only containing self appointed religious leaders??
      WTF has religion got to do with anything? I couldn't think of a better way to introduce ignorance into anything that to hold a focus group comprising of religious leaders or the parliamentarians he seems to think know better than everyone else..

      If its not suitable for children then its not suitable for adults either..
      OMG, I don't even know where to begin on this one..

      After reading his submission I'd like to employ his own classification system and rate it as 'H' for harmful.

      Mr Allan Choveaux has obviously lived a sad sheltered life to this point. I really do pity him..

      Heres his website.. http://www.heartsare.com/ hahahah

        Furthermore..

        He wants us to send him a cheque to "contribue to spreading the Truth of The Immaculate Conception and thus contributing to world peace"

        let the trolling begin..

        http://www.heartsare.com/page60.html

        what is it with Wackjob Fundimentalists and not being able to make a decent looking website to save their lives.

        I mean that thing looks like it was pulled straight from the mid 90's

      "If a category is not suitable for children it is not suitable for adults"

      That part of a response to Q21 sent a cold chill down my spine.

      So, under their suggestion, we would ALL be children

      Holy pants that is terrifying, I'm particularly scared by the suggestion of the religous leaders getting together to determine 'natural law'. Obviously this guy missed the memo on the division of church and state.

      As I read his submission I was imagining John Hurt's character in V for Vendetta.

    I want to get excited, but I'm sick to death of this government and all its bs.

    Question:
    How many submissions does it take to convince the Australian government to implement an R18+ rating for video games?

    Answer:
    None. Because whatever the public wants is decided for them.

    A couple of things to consider:
    - This review is about more than just "give us an R18+". It's about how the whole classification scheme should be redesigned. Perhaps industry should have some degree of self-regulation, to increase the breadth of content that can actually be classified? Should there be new levels of classification? Where does the Internet fit into all this? etc. Take a look at the iGEA submission to see a fantastic consideration of how ALL the issues might relate to video games. If you're too busy to write a full submission, I suggest you draw from and elaborate on the parts of their submission that ring true for you.
    - Not all the submissions are public, or submitted through the web form. I ended up sending mine as a PDF because the form validation failed. I'm sure I wasn't alone, so I reckon there's probably a LOT more submissions than you see there. But more well-written attempts to support our game-related causes can only help.

      Thanks for the link to the iGEA submission. Will have a read through this at lunch.

      Thankfully I personally don't really give a rats about whether Australia ever gets an R18+ rating for games or not. My main concern is the stigma and religiosity attached to this debate.

      A brilliant read, the most logical proposal of the ones I read, effective and workable.

    I just did mine. Frustrating that the last one we did seems to have meant nothing, but i'll do all i can for this.

    So many parents i have spoke to since just dont understand. They would never let their kids watch a R18 movie, but happily buy MA15+ games for them... which of course is R18 in every other western country...

    Anyway, I just hope this does something.

    These questions seem a little shady, like no matter what answer you put down it can be twisted to suit any end...

      True. Some of those questions seemed really loaded

    Don't forget it's also the last day of the survey into the proposed R18+ games guidelines (on the Classification website). This one has been hammered by organised responses from the right wing Christian no vote campaigners, and is important as it was intended to be used as evidence at the censorship ministers meeting next week. If anyone hasn't voted in that one please do so-remember it's not intended as a poll on whether there should be a censorship system at all so if you vote no to R18 or the guidelines because you think there should not be classification then all you will do is support the prohibitionists...

      Link please?

        Here you go.

        I think this survey was posted here back when it was first put up. That or on Reddit, I forget where I first saw it, but I completed it very quickly after it was put up.

    Well, I filled out the survey (in vain I expect), with my comments below.

    This draft has been written poorly with very broad terms like, "justified by context", which defines nothing, and spelling mistakes.
    Why is only R18+ marked with "Some material classified R 18+ may be offensive to sections of the adult community" but not MA15+?
    In the R18+ classification there is no clear definition to the statement: "Violence is permitted except where it offends against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that it should not be classified." Will these standards be defined?

    I took an hour and a half to do mine and had to contact the office when I clicked from page 2 back to page one and my document submitted. It was quickly fixed after a lengthy email from myself! the questions were to broad and even geared up to go against gamers the question was along the lines of the amount of consumers (games) impact on classification. By the end of the questionare My answers were more blunt and a little shorter toward the end.I felt the questions wording could be used to misconstrue my answers and this worries me.

    I spent alot of time into my last submission that they just declared invalid due to game getting signatures in their shop. I didn't even bother this time. This country is run for the minority.

      You said it mate!

    I strongly support the idea of the industry self classifying, it's what the OFLC has been suggesting all along. Once the issues out of the hands of the government it removes the bureaucracy and the constant stream of input of special interest groups who tie up the process with rhetorical dialogue.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/rann-to-ditch-ma15-for-video-games/story-e6frgczx-1226096403210

    Hooray, something that comes up at the last second so they can say "we need more time to sort the rating out"!

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