The Geeks' Den: R18+ Classification for Computer Games in Australia – Make a Vote

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Friday, February 5, 2010

R18+ Classification for Computer Games in Australia – Make a Vote

I just made a submission to the Attorney General’s Department on whether the Australian National Classification Scheme should include an R 18+ classification category for computer games.

Read Discussion Paper

Download Submission Paper Template (For your vote)

Submissions should be sent to:

Email: classificationreview@ag.gov.au

Fax: 02 6141 3488

Post: Classification Review
Attorney-General’s Department
3 -5 National Circuit
BARTON ACT 2600

The document is easy to fill out and will give your say on whether Australia should have an       R 18+ classification. An excerpt of my submission was as follows:

THE QUESTION

Should the Australian National Classification Scheme include an R18+ classification category for computer games?

YES

ARGUMENTS

To help us understand your reasons for your answer, please indicate how much you agree or disagree with the following arguments:

  • Adults should not be prevented from playing R 18+ level computer games simply because they are unsuitable for minors

1) strongly disagree 2) disagree 3) do not know 4) agree 5) strongly agree

  • The R 18+ classification category sends a clear, unambiguous message to parents that the game material is unsuitable for minors

1) strongly disagree 2) disagree 3) do not know 4) agree 5) strongly agree

  • Consistent classification categories for films and computer games are easier to understand

1) strongly disagree 2) disagree 3) do not know 4) agree 5) strongly agree

  • A new classification will supplement technological controls on minors’ access to age-inappropriate computer games

1) strongly disagree 2) disagree 3) do not know 4) agree 5) strongly agree

  • Comparable classification systems internationally have an adult rating for computer games - international parity is desirable

1) strongly disagree 2) disagree 3) do not know 4) agree 5) strongly agree

  • Consumers access games which would be R 18+ illegally – it would be better if they were legally available with appropriate restrictions

1) strongly disagree 2) disagree 3) do not know 4) agree 5) strongly agree

  • Computer games should be treated differently from films given the specific, negative effects of interactivity on players, particularly their participation in violent and aggressive content.

1) strongly disagree 2) disagree 3) do not know 4) agree 5) strongly agree

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

1) strongly disagree 2) disagree 3) do not know 4) agree 5) strongly agree

  • Minors would be more likely to be exposed to computer games that are unsuitable for them.

1) strongly disagree 2) disagree 3) do not know 4) agree 5) strongly agree

  • An R 18+ for computer games would exacerbate problems associated with access to high level material in Indigenous communities and by other non‑English speaking people

1) strongly disagree 2) disagree 3) do not know 4) agree 5) strongly agree

  • There is no demonstrated need to change existing restrictions.

1) strongly disagree 2) disagree 3) do not know 4) agree 5) strongly agree

Comments (Optional - up to 250 words)

If a minor wants to play something now that is unsuitable they are able to quite easily. Most technologically savvy minors can easily download a cracked game illegally on the internet.

Making an 18+ rating will not change that fact, however it will make it easier for over 18’s to purchase games legally instead of those people downloading and using illegal games from the internet.

It has always been and always should be the parents’ job to police or control the content that their children watch or play. An 18+ rating should make it loud and clear that their child should not purchase or be playing these games.

Mentally unstable or unfit persons over 18 can also download illegal games that are banned from the internet at the moment anyway. That is a completely different issue that should be dealt with through the mental health system – i.e. More funding from the government perhaps.

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