Columnist: Australian Govt. Caving to Game Biz Pressure for R-rating

April 6, 2008 -

As GamePolitics has previously reported, elected officials in Australia are considering the addition of an R18+ rating for video games. Currently, any title that doesn't meet the content standard for Australia's MA15+ is effectively banned.

Writing in The Australian, columnist Ross Fitzgerald maintains that the move to an R18+ is being motivated by game industry lobbying:

The whisper is that... Attorney-General Robert McClelland (left) and his junior, Home Affairs Minister Bob Debus, have had a stream of lobbyists representing Nintendo and Microsoft in their ears about creating this new R-rating for violent video games.

Labor appears to be moving away from its stated policy of clamping down on violence as... members gang up on South Australia's hapless, evangelical Christian Attorney-General, Michael Atkinson, over his veto on a new R-rating for computer games.

 

I'm no supporter of Atkinson's deep social conservatism. I suspect that he rejects the R-rated computer game rating more for the sex in the R category than the violence... the rest of Australia's state and federal attorneys should hang their heads in shame for trying to foist a category of computer games on us that will contain mostly mind-numbing violence.

Comments

"# SomoneElse Says:
April 7th, 2008 at 2:37 am

I’m an Aussie 30 year old gamer.
I’d love an R rating.
Currently I just buy my games from Canadia if they’re banned and I really want them. I have no interest in Manhunt/Manhunt 2 and I really have no interest in an edited version of GTA4.
"
Try New Zealand. I read elsewhere that Aussies will be able to get the unedited version of GTA4 from there.

I personally would much rather have acess to an uncensored R-rated game than not to have access to it at all. It ridiculous that ADULTS can't even get their hands on a violent game. They always tell you when you are a kid that you can do what you want, watch what you want, and spend your money on what you want when you become an adult, but now here we are as ADULTS wanting to buy video games and are getting censored like 5-year-olds. Gimme a break!!

[...] Look on the bright side… at least we’re not as bat-shit crazy as Australia where anything that doesn’t fit into their “MA+15″ rating is banned from the country. That means anything that would be rated higher than “T for Teen” here. [...]

im 21 and i cant play r18+ games and its because its to easy for minors to get there hands on ma15+ games. little timmy whos 7 can walk into big w and buy a ma15+ game no questions asked and answer is simple. i work in a bottle-o and by law i cant sell alcohol to minors if i do i get find up to $5500 and can loss my job why cant there be the same laws on the selling of games? to any who hasn't played an online game go do it you will find 80% of the people you come across are over the age 18 its not just kids. why are we being age discriminated against?

another dam import how does AUS want to even grow in the gaming industry, seriously dont buy your dam kid the game, will you go buy your 12 year old son some hardcore teen sluts gone wild DVD?
 
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Andrew EisenAnd again, you keep saying "accountable." What exactly does that mean? How is Gamasutra not accounting for the editorial it published?07/28/2015 - 11:47pm
Andrew EisenMatt - I disagree with your 9:12 and 9:16 comment. There are myriad ways to address content you don't like. And they're far easier to execute in the online space.07/28/2015 - 11:47pm
Andrew EisenMatt - Banning in the legal sense? Not that I'm aware but there have certainly been groups of gamers who have worked towards getting content they don't like removed.07/28/2015 - 11:45pm
DanJAlexander's editorial was and continues to be grossly misrepresented by her opponents. And if you don't like a site, you stop reading it - same as not watching a tv show. They get your first click, but not your second.07/28/2015 - 11:40pm
TechnogeekYes, because actively trying to convince advertisers to influence the editorial content of media is a perfectly acceptable thing to do, especially for a movement that's ostensibly about journalistic ethics.07/28/2015 - 11:02pm
Mattsworknameanother07/28/2015 - 9:16pm
Mattsworknameyou HAVE TO click on it. So they get the click revenue weather you like what it says or not. as such, the targeting of advertisers most likely seemed like a good course of action to those who wanted to hold those media groups accountable for one reason07/28/2015 - 9:16pm
MattsworknameBut, when you look at online media, it's completely different, with far more options, but far few ways to address issues that the consumers may have. In tv, you don't like what they show, you don't watch. But in order to see if you like something online07/28/2015 - 9:12pm
MattsworknameIn tv, and radio, ratings are how it works. your ratings determine how well you do and how much money you an charge.07/28/2015 - 9:02pm
Mattsworknameexpect to do so without someone wanting to hold you to task for it07/28/2015 - 9:00pm
MattsworknameMecha: I don't think anyone was asking for Editoral changes, what they wanted was to show those media groups that if they were gonna bash there own audiance, the audiance was not gonna take it sitting down. you can write what you want, but you can't07/28/2015 - 8:56pm
MattsworknameAndrew, Im asking as a practical question, Have gamers, as a group, ever asked for a game, or other item, to be banned. Im trying to see if theres any cases anyone else remembers cause I cant find or remember any.07/28/2015 - 8:55pm
Andrew EisenAs mentioned, Gamasutra isn't a gaming site, it's a game industry site. I don't feel it's changed its focus at all. Also, I don't get the sense that the majority of the people who took issue with that one opinion piece were regular readers anyway.07/28/2015 - 8:43pm
MattsworknameDitto kotaku, Gawker, VOX, Polygon, ETC07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
MechaTama31So, between pulling a game from one chain of stores, and forcing editorial changes to a media source, only one of them strikes you as being on the edge of censorship, and it's the game one?07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
Andrew EisenHave gamers ever tried to ban a product? Can you be more specific? I'm not clear what you're getting at.07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
Mattsworknamethey should have expected some kind of blow back. But I didn't participate in that specific action07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
MattsworknameAndrew Youd have to ask others about that, I actualyl didn't have much beef with them till last year, so I can't speak to there history. I simply feel that gamesutra chose politics over gaming and chose to make enimies of it's prime audiance. For that,07/28/2015 - 8:40pm
Andrew EisenI'm still not clear on how Gamasutra was lacking in accountability or what it was lacking in accountability for.07/28/2015 - 8:38pm
MattsworknameAndrew: You and I agree on most of that. I don't diagree that there should ahve been other actions taken. Now, I do want to point something out, casue Im not sure if it's happened. Have gamers ever tried to have a product banned?07/28/2015 - 8:37pm
 

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