Australian attorney-general refuses to back 18+ game rating

Despite Left 4 Dead 2's controversial banning, rules look unlikely to change

The introduction of an 18+ age rating for videogames in Australia is looking unlikely as South Australian attorney-general Michael Atkinson continues to oppose such a move.

It's an issue that has recently been brought to the forefront after the country's ratings board refused to classify Left 4 Dead 2, effectively banning its release.

However, it won't happen unless all of the country's attorney-generals consent to a new rating - and keeping violent games out of the hands of minors is an issue Atkinson feels strongly about, reports

He believes that games have a greater influence on consumers than viewing a film or reading a book due to their interactive nature.

"People are participating and 'acting-out' violence and criminal behaviour when they are playing a video game," he commented.

"It certainly does restrict choice to a small degree, but that is the price of keeping this material from children and vulnerable adults. In my view, the small sacrifice is worth it," Atkinson added.

Valve confirmed earlier this month that is would appeal the Australian board's decision to deny Left 4 Dead 2 a rating. An EA spokesperson has said that it believes adults have the right to make their own choices when it comes to the content they consume.

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Latest comments (1)

Mat Bettinson Business Development Manager, Tantalus Media12 years ago
The latest turn in this embrassing state of affairs... While the blame has been put squarely on Michael Atkinson's doorstep, we're not seeing a high level of political pressure from the other state attourney generals.

It is frustrating that it comes down to a simple proclamation that games are damaging to children and vulnerable adults (whatever that means), no evidence, no wider consultation just a simple proclamation from one guy that holds the entire country to randsom.
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