iGEA And R18+: Now We Can Focus On 'Wider And More Important Issues'

As you might expect Ron Curry over at the iGEA is as delighted as anyone about the news that the senate passed R18+ legislation without amendment but, in a statement just released, he expressed caution -- he believes it is now time to focus on "wider and more important issues".

“Key to this rating has always been the notion of harmonisation and while the amendments to the legislation are a true milestone, we need to be cognisant that we still require the timely support of all states and territories as well as workable guidelines to underpin a successful classification system," he said.

“One of the key arguments in this debate is that we need a consistent classification to better equip all consumers in an increasingly global environment and where the digital delivery of games is ubiquitous. It would be very counterproductive to start splintering the classification system now that an R18+ rating has been passed by the Senate.”

It's undoubtedly a statement in reference to the fact that each state must now legislate in order for the R18+ rating to come into effect. The issue is now consistency -- John Rau, the Attorney General for South Australia has already mentioned that he would like to abolish the MA15+ rating altogether, which may result in a splintered system of classification in different states. For the games industry in particular, for many different reasons, that is hardly an ideal situation. It's clear that the federal government is hoping for a clear, simple and consistent classification across the country, let's hope that the individual states involved help put that together quickly and concisely.

Ron also paid tribute to both Jason Clare and the previous Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O'Connor.

“We would also like to acknowledge the Minister for Home Affairs, Jason Clare as well as the previous Minister Brendan O’Connor who have both been pivotal in ensuring that this issue stayed on the agenda and was given due and proper consideration, despite some intensive lobbying from a small, yet vocal, percentage of the community,” he said.

“With an adult rating, we can now can now focus on the wider and more important issues that are impacting our classification system.”


    Hear, hear. "Small but vocal percentage of of the community". Hopefully they realize they've lost, and just leave the issue to those best equipped to implement it. They day the ACL tell me what is and isn't appropriate for me to play is the day I say, "No, you're actually not", and import.
    Good karma to all those who helped make this happen.

    What John Rau proposes to do in SA is a textbook example of why the States and Territories should have no say in classification. If we have to have it, just make it federal. This probably wouldn't have taken 10 years if that was the case.

      Totally agree - if the main legislation is federal - the importation is controlled federally and the tax is paid federally then it stands to reason the classification should also be controlled federally. There should be no need to include the states at any step of the process.

        Well there is a matter of legality. The federal government doesnt have the power over classification the states would have to delegate their power to legislate over the issue to the fed govt like they did for the corps act.

      There are lot of issues that would be better off being a federal matter but lets face it - the states still want to protect their own powers and right to govern so even if it were more effecient or appropraite they wouldn't be so willing to just hand over those powers relating to classification. Unfortunately:

      State Interests > Legal Effeciency.

    I support this move, but I think the gaming community has been juvenile in their pursuit of this. Using idiotic arguments like 'the average age of gamers is 35', when the peak age of video game consumption (hours per day) is 12-17. And desperately trying to say that there is no effect on child development by violent media, despite the science saying other wise.

    Hopefully, this R18+ introduction will limit access of violent games by children, whilst enabling adults to make the decisions they want for themselves. I think it should be illegal for a store to sell copies of R18+ games to minors. Like alcohol, some parents will still buy them for their kids, but at least we could side with the scientific community and take a stance against it.

    Bu then again, if the climate change debate shows us anything, politics will get in the way of science every time!

      "the science"

      Show me some, and dont use Wayne Warburton...that isn't "science".

        This is a perfect example of gamers in denial. Warburton has released far more research on the matter than ANY over Developmental Psychologist in Aust, but yeah, he's just one idiot right?

        Sorry mate, doesn't work that way. Just because Dr. Christopher J. Ferguson (a SOCIAL psychologist, not a developmental researcher) disagrees doesn't mean you can dismiss Warburton's work when the developmental psychology community holds him in high regard.

        But I will grant you your arrogance for this moment and give you other examples:

        Here's an article for you (buy it if you actually care about the facts):

        Another Article

        Another Article:


        This was a 5min Google search. On my bookshelf is 'On Killing' by Combat Psychologist Dave Grossman and 'The Brain that Changes Itself' by Norman Doige, both of which support Warburton's claims.

        I'm an avid gamer, I love this shit, but if you want to deny the science supporting violence and child development, you are in the same camp as Creationists and Climate Change Denialists.

        *got a live one here*

        Science please?

          I guess I'm wasting my time. Psychological research isn't science according to Kotaku's readership, I'll inform the academic world, they must know!

          Bu thanks for proving my point that gamers are dogmatic idiots in this debate, I couldn't have had a better example.

      They haven't been juvenile as a whole. Yes there are people that will argue those aspects (i.e. more adult gamers than children etc), but the whole point that a fair number of people get that the laws/system has pretty much sucked in more ways than one.

      For adult gamers they weren't even given a right to choose (classifications overseas ARE about informing adults/parents when making CHOICES but still respecting the ideal rights of mature/adult gamers - to deny them any choice at all isn't exactly fair). For parents they were sometimes unwittingly buying games that are rated R18 overseas yet MA15+ here. For children - particularly from a more unstable upbringing they are easily able to acquire these games and with the very real possibility of being worse off as a result. All aspects of it suck and those adult gamers do have a right even if they make the wrong excuses about it.

    Without any changes, it looks like WA's legislation would let stores sell R18+ games to anyone without penalty: it only restricts unclassified, RC and MA15+ games.

    So it would seem to be in the best interest of the state government to fix the legislation quickly if they don't want R18+ games being sold to children.

    "despite some intensive lobbying from a small, yet vocal, percentage of the community,” - who is this refering to? gamers or???

      You haven't been following the R18+ debate much, huh?
      The answer is ACL.

        i have, i even went to 'politics of play' , i figured that was who they were talking about it just read funny... i figured gamers were probably considered vocal, but what annoyed me by the possibility it was referring to gamers was that i would hardly call them a small percentage of the community... and by the same vote i don't imagine that the agl is a small group either :S i just dont know...

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