R18+ Classification for Video Games: Industry Responds to Discussion Paper
Sydney, February 15, 2010 – The Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (iGEA) has today made its submission to Attorney-General’s Department on the proposed R18+ classification for video games in Australia. Representing platform holders, publishers and distributors, the iGEA appeals for an R18+ classification to cater to the maturing gaming population and ensure consistent classification amongst other forms of entertainment.
Ron Curry, CEO of the iGEA, says there is overwhelming support for an adult rating not only amongst gamers but parents, families and the wider community.
“Australia needs an adult rating so adults can play games that are age appropriate for them and parents can make educated choices for their families based on clear, consistent guidelines. With the deadline for submissions closing on February 28, we urge the community to make their voices heard in support of an adult classification,” said Curry.
Australia is currently the only Western country without an adult classification for video games with the maximum rating MA15+. Yet despite this, the release of the discussion paper last December has unveiled mass approval for an R18+ classification for video games across a wide range of polls conducted in the media;
- News Limited’s poll shows 95.5 per cent of respondents vote for an R18+ classification and 4 per cent vote against it (1)
- A poll conducted by Fairfax indicates 97 per cent of respondents believe Australia should introduce an R18+ rating for video games and 3 per cent are against it (2)
- A Channel 7 Sunrise’s poll reveals 97 per cent of respondents would like R18+ games permitted in Australia and 3 per cent would not (3)
- Furthermore, the Interactive Australia 09 report by Bond University found that 91 per cent of gamers and non-gamers believe the classification should be introduced (4)
- “There have been some claims an R18+ classification will expose Australia to unlimited high level content but this is simply not the case. The Classification Board will still refuse games that exceed the adult rating guidelines.
An R18+ classification is essential to protect consumers whilst providing them with the full information to make educated decisions about their entertainment choices,” said Curry.
To sign a petition for an R18+ classification for video games, you can log on to http://www.growupaustralia.com/ or directly at the Attorney-General’s Department at http://www.ag.gov.au/gamesclassification.
The iGEA’s submission can be found here.
This is the first time Censorship Ministers have undertaken public consultation on this issue, with submissions welcomed until close of business on February 28, 2010.
(1) News Limited, 2010, ‘Do you want an R18+ for games?’
(2) Fairfax Digital, 2009, ‘Should Australia introduce an R18+ for video games?’,
(3) Yahoo7!, 2009, ‘Would you like R18+ rated games permitted?’
(4) Interactive Australia 2009, National Research prepared by Professor J. Brand, Bond University for the Interactive Entertainment Association of Australia, 2008