NSW AG Doesn't Want Any Dilution Of The Refused Classification Category, Still Supports R18+ [UPDATE]

We've just been on the phone with a representative for Greg Smith, the Attorney General for NSW, to discuss his comments on Seven News last night, and confirm his exact position on R18+.

"The AG doesn't want any dilution of the Refused Classification category for games, but remains fully committed to an R18+ rating for video games," said the representative.

We asked why he had stated on Today Tonight that he wanted games like Grand Theft Auto IV banned, a game that was passed as MA15+.

"That was just his reaction after watching the game," said the rep, "the point is that he wants games with extreme gratuitous violence or gratuitous sexual violence to remain in the Refused Classification category."

It sounds as though Greg Smith's idea of an R18+ rating is to simply tack all the criteria of the current MA15+ rating across to a new rating that is R18+ in name only. Worryingly, the rep also stated that the R18+ guidelines are still being "negotiated". We asked him to confirm whether or not the new guidelines have actually been finalised, and we were told he wasn't precisely sure as to whether new guidelines had currently been agreed upon, but he would follow up for us.

More news as we get it.

UPDATE: We've had it confirmed by a representative of Brendan O'Connor that the updated guidelines for R18+ will be released today. As soon as we get hold of them we'll update.


    Fan-freaking-tastic. This is the problem, our own AGs don't understand how broken the current RC category is with regard to videogames. Its unbelievable.

      I think the real problem is AGs trying to use this to push their own personal agenda instead of listening to what the people want.


    So he wants an R18+ rating... for what? If he thinks games currently rated MA15+ should be banned outright, what would even go into an R18+ category if GTA deserves to be banned?

    no, just no... You can't wait R18 and want MA15 games to be banned.

    I suspect the R18 is going to be a curse, we will get the R18, but nothing will change. All MA15 games will be lumped into the R18 category and all currently banned games will still be "too excessive" for R18 rating. R18 will be name only.

      The classification board do a very good job, they're not the politicians, they know what makes sense, I have faith in them.

    Seriously, this guy is just proving that he is as out of touch as every AG before him. Its fine to sell porn, its fine to watch porn, but if a video game shows pixels in the shape of boobs the world is going to end.

      maybe the AG thinks that pixelated boobs are the anti-christ :P hahahahaha

    “That was just his reaction after watching the game,” said the rep, “the point is that he wants games with extreme gratuitous violence or gratuitous sexual violence to remain in the Refused Classification category.”

    I really hope that you followed up this response by asking "why" and then were just too polite to mention the awkward lack of response.

    I'm sick of politicians legislating without any knowledge of what they're legislating. If someone asked me to write the laws governing shoe sales, I'd actually do a bit of research or defer to someone who has the slightest clue.

    Too often, politicians decide on a position because it simply seems like the obvious response "oh, there's violence, violence is bad therefore this is bad and we shouldn't have it" but can't come up with any real justification for that position.

    Why can't we expect something more out of the people we elect?

      Something that has been bugging me since reading that statement.

      How do you avoid diluting the Refused Classification grouping when the entire point of RC is to be a catchall for any content that does not fit the current classifications?

      It's a means of enforcing de facto bans, not a classification category in itself.

      We need it to be made perfectly clear that the point of the classification system is to classify content. To make it so that consumers are able to easily make informed decisions about the content they are viewing. It isn't a censorship system and should not be a censorship system. Implying that RC is a category and one that should be protected is showing that Mr Smith is approaching this debate from entirely the wrong perspective.

        There ARE guidelines for things that should be banned. The one that is usually responsible for stuff getting banned is that games can't present drug use in a positive light (this was what caused fallout 3's drug names to be changed, or risen to be banned, etc). Things can get banned by meeting these criteria, or by exceeding the criteria of MA15+ but not actually comitting a 'bannable' offence. So adding R should make the second type legal, but not the first.

    “That was just his reaction after watching the game,”

    Keyword, watching.

    If I showed him select parts of the Disney film Arachnophobia he'd also wonder why it received a PG rating...

    What a knob.

      Someone should sit him down and make him play the game for a bit.

      Afterwards they can ask him whether he now wants to go on a murderous rampage.

      If he says no then his argument against games is proven invalid.

      If he says yes then clearly he's unfit to be in Government, wanting to murder people and all that, and his credability drops.

      Either way we win.

      Yes, the key is watching. I'll bet he was sent a reel from the ACL with all the juicy bits in it.

    Not surprised. It's Australia that's going to suffer when we continue to import our games.

    ban rape sims from japan, ban those games from sick people who make child porn games but other than that, 99.9% of games should never be banned. Same goes for movies and other media, ban movies which show instructions on how to murder someone and dispose of the body or songs that constantly deliever a message to kill all people who weren't bless to have white skin shit.

    Tho games that also should be banned is Propaganda games, that deliver a political or radical views.

    But games like Grand theft auto where its the players choice to kill random civilians and the only people you are forced to kill to proceed on are all evil anyways, being drug dealers, mob lords, murderers. You dont go to poor mr joe place and murder his entire family because he happened to discover your drug plantation in the woods.

    Besides, they must learn that kids are playing this game is the industry fault that they are sold to kids. No they are sold to to the large adult population but its the parents who give it to there child, either they are too stupid or they see no harm.

    My parent bought me and my brothers GTA San Andreas first day, mind we were all only 10-14 old and I still remember the first 30 seconds on the game, F*** this F**** that. Then 20 minutes later killing drug dealers and we dont roam the streets murdering people and join gangs, actually teh people who do are those who never played games, so to get there violent fix they go out and commit such acts.

    Also the News causes more violence and murder than video games has ever had, Ban them.

    I know it's a big issue for this country to move forward, but honestly I really don't care anymore about it.

    First they all agree, but now one person's own opinions contradicts what he has agreed to. Personally I don't think much would change anyway, and expect that most of the MA15+ games today would simply slot into that 18+ if they were re-rated.

    Obviously, recently the Mortal Kombat situation situation proved that even in the event of a game being banned there are still a means to get it, and I'm happy to continue with that method just like we've done all this time.

      Yeah its sad to say but I'm completely over it.

      As long as you can still work around steam's regional discrimination by having an american friend gift you things and as long as ozgameshop stays in business for console games, local purchases have lost almost all their temptation.

    “That was just his reaction after watching the game,” said the rep.

    So he's basing his policy on what...? A gut reaction??

    What about... no, it's not even worth writing more.

    A gut reaction.

      If your gut reaction to seeing something you don't particularly like is to ban it, then there are serious issues at hand.

      I really do not understand the mentality of anyone who advocates censorship. Especially those who do not think to apply it consistently.

      Anyone talking about banning GTA needs to talk about banning A Clockwork Orange and they can pry my copy of that from my cold, dead hands.

    *sniff* *sniff* i still smell bribe money in his hands

      Funny, I only smell bullshit piling up around him.

    Well it really works out great for them, doesn't it? Not only do they get to keep enforcing outdated ideals on us, but now we'll have no ground to argue upon because 'they gave us what we wanted'.

    Really makes you wonder why they dragged us through Atkinson and Wallace when they could've just done this from the start....

    Gee...so a video of an action taken out of context gets response reporter was looking for. Nothing new.

    what makes him so good? why does he get to tell adults what they can and can't play? censorship is wrong. Religion has caused more violence then video games, why dont we ban them?

    The R rating is looking more and more like its not going to really fix the problem...rather just cause a whole bunch of new problems.

    I truthfully can't understand what is so hard about having a Uniform rating system across all media?

    This is a real shame... Oh well looks like sum overseas online retailer will have to get my money instead of a local, i tried to get exited about r18 in aus but in the end i knew this would happen, all thats gunna happen is now that so many games will b moved into r18 i feel it will be even easyer for them to jst push games into the RC catagory... Im 23yrs old, if i want to play a f&@king game with violence i will, i would prefer to put my money in a local retailer but if i cant then its not guna stop me gettin wat i want, all this r18 does is keep the acl happy n the funny thing is we helped it come to this...yay...,

    Hey wait is that the smell of the ACL on the NSW AG, because his rhetoric is starting to sound alot like theirs.

      Maybe someone finally pointed out to him that the ACL is a major stakeholder and supporter of the current NSW government.

    Since he's only opposed to violence of some kind, he's ok with gratuitous sexual content?

    They need to decide if the goal of the system is classification or censorship. Because the goal of the system was supposed to be the former (describe the content so that we can make an informed decision on whether to consume it), but it seems like everyone wants to use it as the latter (ban the stuff we don't like).

    If they want it to be primarily a censorship system, then for fuck's sake, call a spade a spade.


    Last edited 18/06/15 12:42 pm

      I've got this great idea for a movie.

      There's this town full of rather depraved people but there's this one guy who is apparently pretty decent. So when two men happen to be travelling through, they stay with that guy because their boss is on good terms with the guy's uncle.

      The locals hear about the people passing through and decide to welcome them in the only way they know how, homosexual gang rape. It's basically a local tradition.

      So they go to the guy's house, knock on the door and ask him if they can gang rape the two men. He's outraged, they are guests in his house and it would be impolite to let them be gang raped.

      So he offers up his virgin daughters for the people of the town to have their way with. And they do.

      Some time later, the town is destroyed but the man and his family manage to escape the chaos. Unfortunately, the man's wife dies during their journey so the two no-longer-virgin daughters realise that if someone doesn't start making babies with their father, there will be no males to inherit all of his stuff and carry on the family line.

      They come up with a cunning plan. They get their father drunk and rape him.

      I'm thinking of calling it "The Tale of Lot" or possibly "Genesis, the naughty bits".

      Then again, if something like GTA should be banned then something like this should probably go as well. It definitely wouldn't be a part of a book that is currently taught to young children as part of an opt-out religion class in NSW...

    "I have narrowed your choices down to 5 unthinkable options. Each will cause untold misery and—"
    "I pick number three."
    "You don't even want to read them first?"
    "I am here to LEAD, not to READ."

    Extreme gratuitous violence? Get his opinion on GTA after he's seen a sample of what is available on DVD, 'SAW' for example.
    Gratuitous sexual violence? GTA has never combined the two - just because they give you the freedom to shoot hookers doesn't make the act "sexual violence".

    This is what I was thinking when the review came out,the MA15+ games will be pushed to R18 and the games that had been RC with old system would still be RC.
    We've saved all the kiddies from the harms of evil video games, hoorah.

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