R18+

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R18+

Post by The Dr Of Style on Tue Dec 15, 2009 5:11 pm

From MSN today

Should Australian adults have the right to buy computer games featuring high-level violence, sexual content or illegal drug use?

The Federal Government wants to hear from the public on whether an R18+ classification for video games is needed and has released a 14-page discussion paper outlining the arguments for and against.

It seems like a simple enough question, given that there has long been an adult classification for films, but the issue has created a giant rift between the ever increasing army of gamers - the average age of whom is 30 - and the older politicians in charge of administering Australia's censorship regime.

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POLL: Should Australia have an R18+ rating?
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Tempers have been flaring for years but the debate has ramped up this year after no less than six games were banned because they were not suitable for 15-year-olds.

Some, such as Left 4 Dead 2, were heavily censored and later allowed to be sold but others, such as the highly anticipated Aliens vs Predator, are unlikely to ever be sold in local games outlets.

It is believed about 74 video games have been banned in Australia since 1995 because they do not meet MA15+ standards for violence, drug use or sexual content.

The state and federal attorneys-general must all agree to the R18+ classification for video games before it is introduced and, while Victoria and the ACT have made statements in support of the measure, South Australia's Attorney-General, Michael Atkinson, steadfastly refuses to change his stance that children need to be protected from violent video games at all costs.

Ron Curry, chief executive of the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association, encouraged all Australians to have their say during the public consultation period, which ends on February 28 next year.

But he questioned whether the public input would result in anything meaningful, given Atkinson's staunch resistance to R18+ games. Asked whether the entire exercise was futile, Curry said "I'm not holding my breath."

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ScreenPlay Blog: Have your say
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A survey of 1614 Australian adults commissioned by the IGEA found 91 per cent were in favour of an R18+ rating.

"The debate keeps raging around children but we need to look at this debate also in terms of adults being able to access content that's age-appropriate for them," Curry said in a phone interview.

"The majority of politicians, particularly of Atkinson's age, are just disconnected from this form of media.

"Whether it's comics, colour television or video games - each new iteration of media has caused some panic, particularly from those who are most removed from it."

Atkinson's spokesman said today the fact that angry gamers had sent him "death threats" and abusive letters had not helped their cause. But he said Atkinson would be open to changing his mind depending on the input from the public consultation.

One game developer from Atkinson's hometown of Adelaide, David Doe, is so passionate about the issue he has said he will challenge Atkinson for his seat of Croydon in South Australia's election in March next year.

In an interview with ABC Radio late last month, Atkinson talked about refusing to "surrender" and rejected comparisons with films, saying games were a greater risk because they were interactive.

"I don't want the extremely violent, sexually depraved drug use games in Australia at all because, at the cinema, we can stop people under 18 going in to see outrageous movies," he said.

"We can't stop these interactive games that are extremely violent or depraved getting into the home and then getting into the hands of children."

Curry said he believed the Government's discussion paper was "balanced" and "neutral".

Some of the arguments presented in favour of the R18+ rating include:

- An R18+ rating sends a clear message to parents that the game material is not suitable for children.

- Consistent classification categories for films and games.

- Parental controls on all major game platforms can be used to block children from playing R18+ games.

- Adults should not be preventing from playing R18+ level games simply because they are unsuitable for minors.

- Australia is one of the only developed countries without an R18+ rating for video games.

- Banning games from sale in Australia may not be effective as children can order the titles from overseas.

Some of the arguments presented in opposition to the R18+ rating include:

- Games should be treated differently from films because of the "negative effects of interactivity on players".

- It would be difficult for parents to enforce age restrictions for computer games.

- A higher quantity of games would be released with higher level content that minors could access.

- Indigenous communities and other non-English speaking people may not be able to understand the classification labels.

- There is no demonstrated need to change existing restrictions.
DIscussion paper http://www.ag.gov.au/www/agd/rwpattach.nsf/VAP/%283273BD3F76A7A5DEDAE36942A54D7D90%29~Discussion+Paper+-+computer+games+-+R+18plus+classification+category.pdf/$file/Discussion+Paper+-+computer+games+-+R+18plus+classification+category.pdf

Submissions http://www.ag.gov.au/gamesclassification

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Re: R18+

Post by Hemish on Tue Dec 15, 2009 5:15 pm

I sent in my submission
It aint gonna matter though
Asskinson will never change his mind , he needs to get booted for it to be changed

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Re: R18+

Post by Sledge Hammer! on Wed Dec 16, 2009 4:42 am

That's my thought too, it doesn't matter that 91% of polled australians want to see the introduction of an r-rating, or that the vast majority of research over the past 8 years has all lead to the recommendation of an r-rating for games, or even that we are the only western country in the world that is unable to sell 18 rated adult aimed games to people of age, as long as Atkinson has his grip on power he's not going to budge, and gamers and consumers will continue to have freedom of choice to make up our own minds denied us.

I put in a submission anyway, because I think it's important to make your voice heard and fight, even when you can't win, but I don't expect anything to change.

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Re: R18+

Post by TheCollector on Wed Dec 16, 2009 9:07 am

i'm with you guys (and the other 1468.74 polled Aussies) on this issue.

now to borrow from a great showman:

If you want an R18+ rating in Australia for Video Games, GIVE ME A HELL YEAH!!!!



OT: how do you get 0.74 of a person?

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Re: R18+

Post by The Dr Of Style on Sat Feb 06, 2010 8:18 am

Ad in todays paper for positions on the classification board......junior & management.....gonna apply......heck it's a $100000 a year job that it seems i can fill the requirements for so why not..... some interesting stuff on the application page... first point is an interesting one

Classification decisions are required to give effect as far as possible to the following principles which are set out in the National Classification Code:

 adults should be able to read, hear and see what they want;
 minors should be protected from material likely to harm or disturb them;
 everyone should be protected from exposure to unsolicited material that they find offensive; and
 the need to take account of community concerns about:
• depictions that condone or incite violence, particularly sexual violence; and
• the portrayal of persons in a demeaning manner.


Summary of Classification Services

In 2008-2009, the Board classified 181 publications, 395 cinema feature films, 4,377 videos or DVDs for sale or hire, 1095 computer games, 77 Australian Communications and Media Authority (internet content) referrals and 247 enforcement referrals.

It should be noted that the classification of cinema release feature films represents only approximately five per cent of decisions made by the Board. A high proportion of the product dealt with is aimed at the ‘Adult’ market.


And yes I think I could handle watching a high proportion of "Adult" material..... Embarassed

http://www.ag.gov.au/www/agd/rwpattach.nsf/VAP/(4CA02151F94FFB778ADAEC2E6EA8653D)~ClassificationBoard_Member_informationpack.doc/$file/ClassificationBoard_Member_informationpack.doc

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Re: R18+

Post by ragericho on Sat Feb 06, 2010 9:20 am

$100000 a year to watch porn what a awesome job

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Re: R18+

Post by mse6 on Sat Feb 06, 2010 10:56 am

yes...but you would hate to be the guy that gets stuck monitoring the polish tranny-midget porn section.

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Re: R18+

Post by TheSweetestThing on Sun Feb 07, 2010 4:50 am

Thus the high pay, I wonder if it's actually worthwhile. Lol

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Re: R18+

Post by Steve Holt on Sun Feb 07, 2010 7:07 am

i think i'll apply, i'm willing to take one for the team and watch hours upon hours of porn

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Re: R18+

Post by NiteOwl on Sun Feb 07, 2010 8:24 am

mse6 wrote:yes...but you would hate to be the guy that gets stuck monitoring the polish tranny-midget porn section.


.......The down point of your argument is????... santa

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Re: R18+

Post by Shocka on Mon Feb 08, 2010 8:07 am

Whoa, is that in Perth, Dr of Style?

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Re: R18+

Post by The Dr Of Style on Mon Feb 08, 2010 11:16 am

ad was in the West paper but the job's in Sydney.....but I'd happily move there for the porn....I mean the 5 yr contract @ $100000 pa......

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Re: R18+

Post by bowspearer on Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:28 pm

I just submitted the following comments with my submissions:

This whole debate merely shows the complete lack of intelligence and even common sense by those bureaucrats (in the worst possible sense of the term) responsible for game classifications.

Games were certainly initially marketed at kids and teenagers, but in the past 20 years, those gamers grew up, their passion stayed with them and the market kept up with them. The time for looking at games as something for children was 20 years ago. People accuse politicians and bureaucrats as being disconnected form the people with anachronistic perspectives- situations like the current one with games only further give that public sentiment credence.

Gamers are adult and children, so are beverage drinkers. However we don’t currently have prohibition because alchohol is harmful to children. Much like cordials and soft drinks, g rated games can be fun for all, but just as every adult likes a good stiff drink from time to time, adult gamers also like the grittiness of adult themed games. That doesn’t make them any more disturbed than it makes an adult who likes the odd drink an alchoholic.

The average age of gamers is 33 putting games in the same demographic situation as movies-goers, and if proof of ID (along with penalties for negligence with this) is acceptable enough for cigarettes and alchohol, it should be good enough for games.
And really, that should solve the problem in a way that works for everyone.

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Re: R18+

Post by The Dr Of Style on Thu Dec 09, 2010 4:26 pm

seems like another decision coming down tomorrow....interesting to see what happens....dude from goodgame said only 13 =games have been banned in 20 odd years here in aust

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Re: R18+

Post by Hemish on Thu Dec 09, 2010 4:32 pm

This was interesting, seems the govt now backs it too, just needs the states and territories on board and its good to go.
Be interesting to see how things pan out now

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Re: R18+

Post by BoloMusashi on Thu Dec 09, 2010 5:41 pm

I'm all for the move towards an updated classification system. I've noticed that it has been getting quite bit of media coverage and most of it has been favourable for the pro-R18+ movement. There have been the odd spots were the reporters are just confused and/or misinformed - they tend to resort to the "floodgates of violent games will open" etc.

The last I heard was that 12 WA MPs were putting pressure on the WA attorney general to vote against the proposed R18+ classification. Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor needs to secure unanimous support from all of the state AGs in order to get the classification so fingers crossed.

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Re: R18+

Post by Sledge Hammer! on Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:10 pm

Roughly 70,000 submissions were made during the public consultation phase, and a whopping 98% of them were in favour of the introduction of an r-18 rating for videgames. The government is in favour of it. Every objective independant study has ultimately concluded that an r-18 rating for games is not only preferable, but also ultimately beneficial to all levels of consumers. Every survey, regardless of where it is conducted or via what institution or publication, always comes out overwhelmingly in favour of such a rating being introduced. And yet that same one office, despite all of this, is still resistant of such a change, even with Atkinson having stepped down from his position of power.

Eventually it'll happen. With the way technology is eclipsing more traditional forms of entertainment more than ever before it pretty much has to, but I think it's going to continue to be a rocky road to get there, and I won't be holding my breath in hope of it happening today on this go around, just because there needs to be a unanimous decision, and that's always a tough ask, regardless of the overwhelming level of public support. I'd of course love to be proven wrong though. Still, until such a change is finally signed, sealed, and delivered we'll remain an adult gaming backwater...

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Re: R18+

Post by TheSweetestThing on Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:18 am

I just want to play uncensored L4D2. Sad

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Re: R18+

Post by Mahzian on Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:57 am

I hope we do get the classification but can't see it happening with narrow minded old world type like Atkinson and Conroy in power Sad

I find it hilarious that even in his quote he says movies are "outrageous", way to go about keeping your personal morals outside of business.

The only issue I can see with an R18 classification is dumb ass parents buying the games for their kids, akin to them buying them porn or alcohol, but that would be the fault of bad parenting not the classification system

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Re: R18+

Post by BoloMusashi on Fri Dec 10, 2010 5:28 am

Mahzian wrote:The only issue I can see with an R18 classification is dumb ass parents buying the games for their kids, akin to them buying them porn or alcohol, but that would be the fault of bad parenting not the classification system

If I only could get a $1 for every instance I've seen a parent pick up a MA+15 game and ask the sales clerk whether it's suitable for Johnny their 8yo.

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Re: R18+

Post by DroothR on Fri Dec 10, 2010 2:28 pm

TheSweetestThing wrote:I just want to play uncensored L4D2. Sad
Just get it from Europe.

Uncensored AND cheaper than buying locally. Cool

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Re: R18+

Post by Hemish on Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:12 pm

Get someone from OS to gift it to you on steam, my mate in taiwan did it for me and it runs fine

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Re: R18+

Post by BoloMusashi on Fri Dec 10, 2010 4:22 pm

The latest according to Kotaku - http://www.kotaku.com.au/2010/12/o-o-connor-could-have-gone-better-but-on-the-right-track-wa-ag-not-to-blame/

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Re: R18+

Post by Sledge Hammer! on Fri Dec 10, 2010 5:15 pm

The problem is, every time they get so far, there will be a new AG in one of the states, and thus the whole process starts all over again. For intance, I believe that the NSW AG changes next year sometime...

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Re: R18+

Post by bowspearer on Tue Dec 14, 2010 7:44 am

Mahzian wrote:I hope we do get the classification but can't see it happening with narrow minded old world type like Atkinson and Conroy in power Sad

I find it hilarious that even in his quote he says movies are "outrageous", way to go about keeping your personal morals outside of business.

The only issue I can see with an R18 classification is dumb ass parents buying the games for their kids, akin to them buying them porn or alcohol, but that would be the fault of bad parenting not the classification system

Just one problem with this line of logic. The reality is that this is already happening with a large number of games which should be R18+ being classified as MA15+ because there's simply no other place to put them.

An R18+ rating where retailers were legally required to ask for ID (and where failing to do so would result in similar penalties as selling cigarettes or alcohol to minors) would actually work better in terms protecting children than what's in place now- far better.

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Re: R18+

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