Finally some good news on the censorship issues in Australia. A discussion paper has been released by The Federal Attorney-General’s department (it was supposed to come out 6 months ago) that will allow the public to have their say on the issue of an R18+ rating for games.
The discussion paper, which can be read here, comes on the heels of the latest game, Aliens Vs. Predator, to be refused classification. Australia stands as one of the only developed nations to not have an adult classification on video games. According to the discussion paper, the government has been discussing this issue for some time but it has finally opened it to community feedback when a 2009 study showed that the average age of gamers was 25.
The discussion paper tells you how you can get involved. Now is your chance to finally have your say. I would suggest that you have your arguments very well thought out and mature. Do not just start abusing people or this will just collapse before it gets a chance. If you are an adult gamer and don’t get involved and write in on this you have no one to blame but yourself if the rating bid fails.
We have to combat the closed minded politicians with reasonable, well thought out counters to some of their arguments. As an example, an Australian Family Association spokesman, John Morrissey, is against an R18+ rating and here is his quote: ”How do you enforce it? An 18-year-old can buy the game and play it with his younger brother. You never know what happens once it’s behind closed doors.”
This is a nonsense argument as we already buy R18+ rated DVDs and if we, as parents, can govern our children’s watching habits, why can’t we govern their game play. I don’t let my 10 year old watch R18+ rated movies, why would I let him play R18+ rated games. The games would have restricted sale at shops so children won’t be able to buy them and it is up to the parents to make sure the child doesn’t play the game at home.
I don’t know about you but I am really tired of being told by our government that they are better parents than me.
Please, go read the discussion paper and then let your voice be heard. Let’s get an adult rating for games and join the rest of the world.
Would you like to know more about what is banned in Australia? Go to refused-classification.com for an eye opening experience.
To finish, let me share one of my favourite quotes that I read on this issue. I apologise to the person who wrote it, I can’t remember where I read it now, but here it is: “Censorship is like banning a man from? eating a steak because a baby can’t chew it.” No truer words have ever been spoken.