Gamers Get an Early Christmas Present with Release of Discussion Paper
Sydney, December 15, 2009 – The Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (iGEA) has welcomed the release of a discussion paper on the proposed R18+ classification for video games in Australia. The paper which was released by Minister for Home Affairs, Brendan O’Connor, marks the beginning of a public consultation process that will run until February 28, 2010.
Ron Curry, CEO of the iGEA says that the industry is pleased to have a forum for the arguments to be formally heard and says the paper is well constructed and positions both sides of the argument fairly.
“We’ve had the unusual situation that the debate was initially stifled by South Australian Attorney General Michael Atkinson, who has been a long standing opponent to this classification. We are pleased that the Commonwealth has decided to champion the issue and has agreed to move forward with a formal and structured public consultation process. We will be calling on Mr Atkinson to genuinely consider the range of views that are expressed over the next two months and reconsider his position on the matter.”
To introduce an R18+ classification, it requires unanimous agreement from the State and Territory Censorship Ministers.
“The adult rating for video games is widely supported across the community, whether it be adults who play video games and want the right to play games that appeal to them, parents who want clear and consistent classifications to help them make the right choices for their family, and for the video games industry in light of technology convergence which is blurring distinctions between different types of media.”
Australia is the only western country in the world without an adult classification, with the maximum rating currently MA15+. The introduction of an adult classification will bring video games into alignment with other forms of media and content that exceeds the guidelines for an R18+ rating will continue to be refused classification.
“There have been some arguments that an R18+ classification will expose Australia to unlimited high level content, and this is simply not the case. Content will still be refused classification if it exceeds the adult rating guidelines that are enforced by the Classification Board.”
*Interactive Australia 09 report by Bond University, based on a random sample of over 1600 households found that the average age of a gamer in Australia is 30 years old. The research also found that almost two-thirds of adults surveyed were unaware that Australia does not have an R18+ classification and 91 per cent of gamers and non-gamers believe the classification should be introduced.
About the iGEA
The Interactive Gaming & Entertainment Association proactively represents companies that publish, market and/or distribute interactive games and entertainment content. The iGEA aims to further advance the industry and the business interests of its members through informing and fostering relationships with the public, the business community, government and other industry stakeholders. The iGEA is administered by a Board of Directors and supported by the CEO, Ron Curry. The iGEA was formerly known as the Interactive Entertainment Association of Australia (IEAA).
For more information, please visit www.igea.net.
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