The lights are on
The debate on whether or not to introduce R18+ rating classification for adult games that prohibits content to minors continues in Australia. However, new data shows Australians strongly support this measure despite ex-attorney general Michael Atkison's belief that "only a small amount of very zealous gamers" would.
The Federal Home Affairs group released a report stating that 98.2 percent of Australians support the rating. There were nearly 60,000 poll submissions and roughly half were performed through an in-store EB Games promotion. A decision from Australian officials has yet to be made.
Australia's current video game rating only goes as high as MA15+, therefore any game intended for 18+ does not get rated and is therefore banned.
In our latest issue (June), Game Informer Australia's editor-in-chief Chris Stead chimes in on the issue in his editorial titled "Game Regulation Across the Pacific." Below is an excerpt:
"That's what happened in Oz; the lack of an adult rating has merely seen the majority of content being sent through classification under false pretenses and ultimately released with a MA15+ classification. So instead of being safely marked as R18+, games like GTA and God of War are shoehorned into a lower rating, thereby subjecting children as young as15 to games they were never intended to experience. Not only is it morally reprehensible on the part of the government, but it must horrify the creators, too. A small percentage of games are sprung and asked to make nips and tucks (like turning off blood spatter in GTA IV) so that they can argue their way into a lower rating. This simply inspires many gamers to either send their money overseas for imports or, worse, head to their nearest torrent. In truth, the prohibition of video games has merely acted to increase its presence in the wrong hands."
Do you agree with the majority of Australians? Could the R18+ video game classification be a good thing?