Despite the waiting, despite the fact that other states have already pushed through legislation, Western Australia has held up its own R18+ legislation by sending it to a committee. Now politicians are openly debating the legislation — and not everyone is in favour.
Liberal MP Nick Goiran has raised worries that an R18+ category will dilute the Refused Classification category, after Christian Porter informed him that 80 per cent of R18+ games would previously have been refused classification.
Michelle Scott, WA's Commissioner for Children and Young People, claimed that an R18+ rating would "introduce a level of violence that children and young people weren't exposed to before."
However, Frank Morisey, from the Department of Attorney-General, called for a speedy resolution to the debate.
"The consequences are that R18+ computer games that are suitable for adults only would be able to be purchased by children," he said. "Retailers would be able to sell them to children with impunity."
The phrasing and misinformation being thrown around, on both sides of this debate, is a little concerning. Let's say the idea that 80% of R18+ games will come from the RC category is true, just for arguments sake. Even if this is accurate — which it most likely isn't — it still allows for games to be classified correctly and, with the right deterrents in place, it will still protect children from unsuitable content.
Michelle Scott's claim that an R18+ rating will introduce a new level of violence to children? Really? We're still having this argument? Games that are unsuitable for children are currently classed under MA15+. Very few games get refused classification. There is no floodgate.
Children exposed by video games loophole [TheWest]