Attorney-General overwhelmed by support for R18+ games classification

EB Games' campaign secures 34,938 submissions on R18+ discussion paper

Some 98.2 per cent of individual submissions responding to the Federal Government’s R18+ computer games classification discussion paper support the introduction of an adult rating for games, according to the Attorney-General’s Department.

Just 1089 of the total 59,678 individual submissions did not support the introduction of an R18+ classification for games.

The Attorney-General’s Department had noted that the bulk of submissions — some 34,938 — had come via games retailer EB Games’ in-store campaign supporting the rating.

Some 16,056 had come via lobby group Grow Up Australia.

Detailing submissions received from organisations, the department noted that it had received just 34 submissions from community, church and industry groups. Of these, 18, or 53 per cent, supported the introduction of an R18+ classification for computer games while 16, or 47 per cent, opposed its introduction.

Organisations supporting an R18+ classification include the Australian Computer Society (ACS), Electronic Frontiers Australia and AusGamers (EFAA), Telstra, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACB) and Fox Interactive Media Australia.

Those opposed included the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL), Media Standards Australia (MSA), numerous WA Parliamentarians, the Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia, Inc (SSAA) and the Commissioner for Children Tasmania (CCT).

The discussion paper, titled 'Should the Australian National Classification Scheme include an R18+ classification category for computer games?', was released for public comment on 14 December 2009 by the Minister for Home Affairs, Brendan O'Connor. Submissions on the paper formally closed 28 February 2010.

In a statement O'Connor said a literature review on the impact of playing violent video games on aggressiona had found that evidence about the effect of violent computer games on the aggression displayed by those who play them was "inconclusive.” “From time to time people claim that there is a strong link between violent crime or aggressive behaviour and the popularity of violent computer games," O’Connor said.

“This review shows that there’s little evidence to support any claim of a strong link, though there is some evidence of short term effects on gamers.”

In August, opposition leader, Tony Abbott, said he would be happy to examine the issue of an R18+ classification rating for video games if the coalition won the then upcoming Federal Election, but admitted he did not know there had been a debate on the issue.

In April, Australia's Attorneys-General remained coy on whether classification reform for video games would be considered before the end of the year. A change to the classification rating requires the unanimous vote of all Australian Attorneys-General. The vote has previously been held back by outspoken former Attorney-General for South Australia, Michael Atkinson.

Follow Tim Lohman on Twitter: @tlohman

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: [[xref:|@ComputerworldAu]

Tags Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC)R18R18 gamesclassification

More about Attorney-GeneralAustralian Computer SocietyAustralian Computer SocietyElectronic Frontiers AustraliaFAAFederal GovernmentMSA (Aust)Telstra Corporation




I 100% agree with the R18+ rating for games to become available.
Its about time that the government stop treating adults like children.

Censorship is a cancer it does more harm than good.



I agree with ratings on games. The question on censorship is a bit more tricky. I would not want unfettered content available to all. I do wonder if it can be controlled by government. Maybe back to common sense and parental engagement with their children, I dont know what solves that problem.

Peter McArdle


A good article- but needs a clarification. The Catholic Bishops did not fuly support an R18+ rating. In their submission the Bishops said "Let there be no equivocation. In an ideal world, we would not be discussing the question: should the Australian National Classification Scheme include an 18+ classification for computer games? In an ideal world, the sort of material that is included in R18+ or higher classification films and computer games would never be seen in a civilised democracy. However, it is not an ideal world and, in the real world in which we live, such material unfortunately is produced and is available, sometimes legally and often illegally, within our society. Thus it is necessary to consider how access to such material, at least by children, can be best restricted. Banning such material would be desirable if it could be achieved. But much such material is available either via downloads or copies or it is already legal in some jurisdictions within Australia.”



Now that the overwhelmig support for an R18+ rating has been shown, get OFF your useless clackers and DO IT.

As for censorship...NO, under any circumstances.

Comments are now closed

UPDATED: Which NBN plan is best?