R +18 Classification back on the back burner

The issue regarding whether having an R +18 rating classification for the gaming sector is neccessary or not has been a long and often times heated debate. The article can be read from the Internode Games Network website. I'm not going to just repeat what's been said there, but rather make a few pointers that in my opinion some people from either side have lost grip of. There are several issues outside of whether or not a sector of the market requires additional classification.

The primary argument of conservatives against having the R +18 classification, is that having such classification, it would allow games currently banned to be imported and sold in Australia, and that it would fall into the hands of children. The concern is that these games would then expose children to violent materials. The conservative approach is that they don't want the games, and they don't want the chance that their children may be exposed to unpleasant material, so therefore don't have the classification to allow certain titles in.

However, I must point out that extreme violent games are currently released under MA +15 classification, such as the revised (on the drug names) version of Fallout 3 and even GTA4. However, drug use and sex is what would push a game to R +18 classification.

It needs to be pointed out that Australia is the only developed country in the world lacking a R +18 classification. Even if we bury our heads in the sand, doesn't resolve the issue at hand. If the major concern is that violent video games make children violent, they perhaps we should look at the ALL the developed countries with R+18 classification, and see how much of an impact violent video games has on children. It will then need to factor in their exposure to violent explicit lyrics in music, violent movies, even violence on television, including on news reports. If we are concerned that stimulus of a violent nature will adversely affect children, then should we not simply erradicate all such stimulus? Maybe George Orwell was right all along, and that Big Brother is winning, and this move against R +18 classification is just another step?

The major issues at hand is not just restricted to just children getting their hands on games with R +18 classification, but our freedoms and our responsibilities. Should be masses be punished if some parents lack in judgement and puchase a R+18 classified game for their children? Who in the right mind would do that anyways? Would you buy a pornographic DVD for your child? Would you buy a Playboy or Penthouse magazine for your child? Why should this be any different?

We need to take responsibility for our own actions, but we should also have the freedom to choose what our actions are. Parents need to be informed when making decisions in what the purchase for their children. If a parent sees a M classified game or movie, often they have no issues in buying it for their children. In fact, even an MA +15 classified game or movie they often don't hessitate to purchase for their children, but they will certain balk at purchasing R rated material for their children. So wouldn't having R+18 classification a good thing, by informing the buyer?

There are many arguments in regards to how lack R+18 classification prevents a proportion of the market entering, hence loss of sales in retail, and loss of work at development level, as our game development sector in Australia is apparently larger than our film sector.

The situation it seems is that a single politician can ignore what the people want, and the freedoms of the people they represent, and halt an entire process, which will allow us to be back on par with the rest of the developed countries. These politicians are more dictators rather than representatives of the people, since they obviously push their own agenda and seek to silence the people's voice that may conflict against their own.

The real question at the end of the day is not whether we should have R +18 classification or not, but rather do we want to keep our freedoms? Or allow Australia to turn into a total nanny state? How we use the internet is already threatened with the plan to filter and censor at the Internet Service Provider level. How much of our freedoms will we give up to feel "safe"?

I say, give us our freedom of choice, and let us take responsibility for our choices and actions.


  1. Very well said Choona. Oh and if anyone wants to read up about how Australia is going to have the Internet censored (like China, North Korea, etc.) check out this website: http://nocleanfeed.com/ .

    I reckon the Internet censorship issue is an even worse civil liberties disaster (not to mention it will be a pain in the butt to police/maintain). I mean who knows what the Australian government is going to censor? Does that mean, just like China, we'll only get the state's version of the story?

  2. "Those who sacrifice Liberty for security deserve neither" - Benjamin Franklin

    I think thhey believe we are naive and/or stupid, and must be protected from ourselves. So who will protect us from them?


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