Australian games industry makes its case for 18+ rating

Attorney-General petitioned to made new adult rating law

Australia's Interactive Games & Entertainment Association has made its submission to the Attorney-General's department requesting the introduction of the proposed R18+ classification for videogames.

The country is currently the only Western one to have certificate 15 as the highest rating a game can be awarded - a rule that has led to the censorship of games including Left 4 Dead 2 at the end of last year.

"Australia needs an adult rating so adults can play games that are age appropriate for them and parents can make educated choices for their families based on clear, consistent guidelines," said iGEA CEO Ron Curry. "With the deadline for submissions closing on February 28, we urge the community to make their voices heard in support of an adult classification."

A number of recent polls have shown a huge majority of people support the new R18+ rating and retailer EB Games recently promoted an in-store petition calling for the government to amend the law.

According to a News Limited poll, 95.5 per cent of the public were in favour of the new rating. A Fairfax poll returned a majority of 97 per cent, and an Interactive Australia 09 report by Bond University found 91 per cent of both gamers and non-gamers supported the rating.

"There have been some claims an R18+ classification will expose Australia to unlimited high level content but this is simply not the case. The Classification Board will still refuse games that exceed the adult rating guidelines," added Curry.

"An R18+ classification is essential to protect consumers whilst providing them with the full information to make educated decisions about their entertainment choices."

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Latest comments (5)

Armin Seuchter Studying Business Management, University of Surrey9 years ago
Impressive percentages. I wonder what Michael Atkinson has in store for Australia now, for I assume that he cannot simply ignore what the populace wants, can he?
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Simon Small Studying Bachelor of Multimedia (Games and Interactivity) / Bachelor of Science (Computer Science and Software Engineering), Swinburne University of Technology9 years ago
I have read (here? elsewhere? don't recall) that Atkinson is going to largely ignore the R18 public submission thing going on, because he says that the vast majority of respondents will be gamers.
This makes sense. It will be people with an interest in the decision who make their opinion known.

Also when former Attorney-General of Australia, Phillip Ruddock, was shown a large amount of research and evidence regarding the introduction of an R18+ rating for games; his response was roughly, "I don't care". Of course, I don't know exactly to what degree Atkinson does or does not agree with this perspective, but evidence points towards strongly agreeing.
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Hamish Millar Producer, Hothead Games9 years ago
Not having the rating is pro-censorship. Maybe that point of view will help motivate it through...

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Hamish Millar on 15th February 2010 6:57pm

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Samuel Chay Mottershaw Studying Scriptwriting, Staffordshire University9 years ago
Michael Atkinson said they were a vocal-minority.
At 95.5% I'd say that's a pretty big majority.
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Colin Pearce Studying Computer Games Technology, University of Abertay Dundee9 years ago
I'll be interested to see how Michael Atkinson reacts to this. He has already put his (in my opinion, misguided) personal opinion before the requests of Australian gamers. Will he put it before the request of the general populace too?

His stance is that, without an 18+ rating, there will be less violent content in the country for children to view. The irony is that many games that WOULD have been granted an 18+ rating if one were to exist are instead slipping in as 15+. Just look at AvP as recent evidence of this; the game given an 'adult' (18+) rating in EVERY COUNTRY but Australia.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Colin Pearce on 16th February 2010 10:48am

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