While we have no idea where most Australian politicians stand on yesterday's draft proposal for an R18+ video game classification, the new adult rating is getting some unexpected support from the Catholic Church. According to a GameSpot report, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference said that they welcomed yesterday's proposed guidelines for adult rating for video games. Unfortunately not all religious groups agree: the Australian Christian Lobby describe the changes as "frightening."
In a press statement, the Conference, which carries the influence of the Catholic Church in Australia, said that it would support the rating because it could not achieve its preference of having adult material banned. A tepid approval for sure, but the church admits that it is better to have such content under a proper ratings system that parents can use.
"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," the press statement said. "The preferred position of the Catholic Church is that R18+ material should not be available. But if such an outcome is not achievable then the Australian National Classification Scheme should include an R18+ classification category for computer games."
The Australian Christian Lobby described the proposed guidelines as "contrary to the interests of parents and children."
The draft guidelines were released by the office of the Federal Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O’Connor yesterday. MP's are expected to vote on the proposal - or at least discuss it or revise it - at the July SCAG meeting.