CNMRE’s goal in preparing this submission was to introduce a distinctive position that they believe enhances the debate and offers a lens through which to see the efficacy of an R18+ in contemporary Australian society.
As an academic research centre, The Centre for New Media Research at Bond University has engaged in public policy matters with respect to classification since 2001. Their engagement has been data-driven and their contribution to empirical evidence is cited in the Discussion Paper: Should the Australian National Classification Scheme include an R 18+ classification category for computer games?.
CNMRE’s research record includes A Review of the Classification Guidelines for Films and Computer Games: Assessment of Public Submissions on the Discussion Paper and Draft Revised Guidelines for the Office of Film and Literature Classification in 2001, Sources of News and Current Affairs for the (then) Australian Broadcasting Authority (2001), A Comparative Analysis of Classification Schemes in 22 Nations (2002) for the (then) OFLC, Living Diversity (2002) and Connecting Diversity for the Special Broadcasting Service, A Review of the Children’s Television Standards (2008) for the Australian Communications and Media Authority, and most prominently, a series of national empirical studies on computer game demographics and attitudes for the Interactive Entertainment Association of Australia (now the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association), GamePlay Australia (2005), Interactive Australia 2007, Interactive Australia 2009. The Centre also publishes research independent of government and industry policy matters including research on computer game history, narrative, form and style.
The thesis they advance is simple: The introduction of an R18+ classification for computer games sold in Australia will legitimate the National Classification Scheme. In the absence of an R18+, the National Classification Scheme has progressively lost currency. Consequently, an emergent “crisis of control” has eroded the potency and utility of the Scheme.
For a very interestoing and new perspective on the 18+ debate, read thefull CNMRE’s submission here.