Sydney, Australia – Friday, 10th December 2010 – A decision to introduce an R18+ classification for video games has been postponed today following a Standing Committee of Attorneys General (SCAG) meeting in Canberra.
Ron Curry, CEO of the iGEA, says, “It’s disappointing that an adult rating for video games will be delayed once again despite mass support from the Australian community, whether it is from adult gamers who want the right to play games that appeal to them or parents who want clear guidelines for their children.”
We are however pleased that the industry has been given the opportunity to put forward its arguments for an adult rating and encouraged by the tremendous support the issue has received from the Federal Government, and the active engagement by each Attorney General at today’s meeting on the issue. We’re hopeful that the weight of evidence and the comprehensive research into the matter will ensure an adult rating is introduced when the Attorney-Generals reconvene,” said Curry.
The SCAG meeting follows several announcements made earlier this week by Minister of Home Affairs Brendan O’Connor highlighting the Gillard Government’s evidence based support for an R18+ classification for video games. This study is in line with a range of polls conducted in the last 12 months which show mass support in favour of an R18+ rating for games:
The public consultation conducted earlier this year found 98.4 per cent of submissions were in favour of an R18+ classification for video games
- News Limited’s poll shows 95.5 per cent of respondents vote for an R18+ classification and 4 per cent vote against it[i]
- 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[ii]
- 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[iii]
- 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 and that 91 per cent of adults would clearly know that game classified R18+ would be unsuitable for children[iv].
Despite the majority votes by the community, Australia remains the only developed nation without an R18+ classification for video games and a classification system which is inconsistent across various media. “While there are some opponents who argue an R18+ rating will only give children access to high level content, this is simply not true. Content that exceeds the guidelines required for an R18+ classification will still be refused classification and banned in Australia.”
“An R18+ rating for video games will go a long way in helping parents make informed decisions about the games their children play and also provide more consistent guidelines aligned with other forms of media,” said Curry.
This latest news comes fresh off the back of a series of ‘How to set-up Parental Controls’ videos released by the iGEA this week. The videos, hosted by iGEA ambassador and ABC sports presenter Stephanie Brantz, provides tips to ensure parents only allow children to play games that are age appropriate and for a healthy amount of time.
The video series can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/user/igeavideo?feature=mhum#p/u
[i] News Limited, 2010, ‘Do you want an R18+ for games?’ <http://www.news.com.au/technology/eb-games-petitions-for-r18-video-games-classification/story-e6frfro0-1225826969923>
[iii] Yahoo7!, 2009, ‘Would you like R18+ rated games permitted?’ <http://post.polls.yahoo.com/quiz/quizresults.php?poll_id=50754>
[iv] Interactive Australia 2009, National Research prepared by Professor J. Brand, Bond University for the Interactive Entertainment Association of Australia, 2008, <www.igea.net/category/industry-research>