Aussie Games Classification FAQ

Everything you need to know about video game classification in Australia.

For GameSpot AU's previous coverage on the R18+ issue, click here!

If you're an Australian and you're a gamer, then you're probably already aware that game classification in this country has some problems; namely, that the lack of an R18+ rating means any title deemed unsuitable for anyone under the age of 15 is refused classification, which effectively bans that game from sale. But do you know why Australia doesn't have an R18+ rating? Who's to blame? Why do we need an adult rating for games? What do the opponents of an R18+ say? And what can you do about it? This GameSpot AU feature aims to answer all your questions, and more.

The classification of video games in Australia is a complicated process. The Classification Board, made up of members representing a cross-section of the community, is charged with the task of viewing and classifying video games according to a set of guidelines laid down by the Federal Government. Unfortunately, these guidelines are outdated. The interpretation of these guidelines leads the Classification Board to often-inconsistent classification decisions and, coupled with the absence of an R18+ classification for video games, results in the banning of an average of five games per year in Australia.

In this GameSpot AU hub, you'll find all your classification questions answered, as well as a comprehensive guide to all the GameSpot AU coverage on video game classification in Australia.

1. Why is there no R18+ classification for video games in Australia? | 2. Why do we need an R18+ in Australia? | 3. Why do some people oppose the introduction of an R18+ classification in Australia? | 4. Who is responsible for classifying video games in Australia? | 5. Who serves on the Classification Board? | 6. How are video games classified in Australia? | 7. How many games have been banned in Australia to date? | 8. How are we different from the rest of the world? | 9. What is the public consultation into the R18+ classification for video games in Australia? | 10. When will the public consultation go ahead? | 11. How can I get involved in the public consultation process? | 12. What will happen after the public consultation? | 13. Who is responsible for introducing the R18+ classification for video games in Australia? | 14. What role has South Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson played in the classification of video games in Australia? | 15. Is Atkinson the only Attorney-General who opposed the introduction of the R18+ classification for video games in Australia? | 16. Who is to blame for all this? | 17. Is anyone else doing anything about this? | 18. How can I get involved? | 19. Where can I find out more?

Manhunt 2 is just one game which has been banned in Australia.

Q: Why is there no R18+ classification for video games in Australia?


A: Under the Classification (Publications, Film and Computer Games) Act 1995, the different types of classification for computer games are G (General), PG (Parental Guidance), M (Mature), MA15+ (Mature Accompanied), and RC (Refused Classification). Although the Act has been reviewed several times since 1995, an R18+ classification for video games has not been added. In order for the R18+ classification to be added to the Act, all state, territory and federal Attorneys-General must unanimously agree to its introduction. To date, this has not happened.

Q: Why do we need an R18+ in Australia?


A: Australia is the only developed country without an R18+ classification for video games. The reason we need this classification is so video games can be more accurately classified by the Classification Board of Australia. Without an R18+ classification, there is a wider margin for error regarding games with contentious content; for example, games that should be classified in the R18+ category are sometimes classified in the MA15+ category, while games that should be classified MA15+ are sometimes refused classification. The introduction of an R18+ classification will also help parents make better and more informed decision when purchasing games for their children. Introducing an R18+ rating for games will also bring it in line with other forms of media, such as films or DVDs. And finally--and it's an important point--adults in Australia should have the right to make informed purchases of mature games content.

Q: Why do some people oppose the introduction of an R18+ classification in Australia?


A: The main arguments against the introduction of an R18+ classification in Australia centre on the interactive nature of games in comparison to other forms of classifiable media like films and publications and their affect on children and vulnerable adults. It is believed by some Attorneys-General that video games have more impact than films or publications due to their interactive nature, and therefore video games with contentious content such as those that would be rated R18+ would cause a significant amount of harm to those who play them. It is also argued that there is a lack of enforcement of contentious content in the home, and that if an R18+ for games were introduced, those under the age of 18 would be able to access them without difficulty by circumnavigating parental locks, etc.

Q: Who is responsible for classifying video games in Australia?


A: The Australian Classification Board. This is the statutory body which is part of Federal Attorney-General’s Department that includes the Classification Board and the Classification Review Board. Its previous title was The Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC)--this changed upon its integration into the Federal Attorney-General’s Department.

Left 4 Dead 2's violence had to be toned down for its Aussie release.

Q: Who serves on the Classification Board?


A: The members of the Classification Board are chosen to be “broadly representative of the Australian community”, according to the Board’s website. Board members are not required to hold any specific qualifications, but they must meet certain selection criteria. Members are appointed by the Australian Governor-General and usually serve a term of three years on the Board. No member is allowed to serve for more than seven years. The current list of Board members is here.

Q: How are video games classified in Australia?


A: Classification decisions are made by the Classification Board of Australia in accordance with the Classification (Publications, Film and Computer Games) Act 1995. An application for classification of a video game must be made in writing, approved by the Board’s director and must be accompanied by a copy of the game or, in the case of an expansion pack or downloadable content, must be accompanied by the additional content. If any part of the video game is likely to be regarded as contentious material, the application must also be accompanied by the particulars of the material and a separate recording of the material in the game. The Board will then make its classification decisions after reviewing all documents and material submitted with the application.

Q: How many games have been banned in Australia to date?


A: There have been more than 30 games which have been refused classification in Australia. This number includes games that were originally banned and then re-submitted with changes and re-classified. The list is: 7 Sins, 50 Cent: Bulletproof, Aliens vs Predator, Blitz: The League, BMX XXX, Crimecraft, Dark Sector, Dreamweb, Fallout 3, F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin, Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Left 4 Dead 2, Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude, Mark Ecko’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure, Manhunt, NARC, Necrovision, Postal 2, Phantasmagoria, Reservoir Dogs, Risen, Sexy Poker, Shellshock: Nam ’67, Shellshock 2: Blood Trails, Silent Hill: Homecoming, Singles: Flirt Up Your Life, Soldier of Fortune: Payback, Tender Loving Care, The Punisher, Voyeur.

Q: What is the public consultation into the R18+ classification for video games in Australia?


A: In March 2008, the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (SCAG) announced that it would be asking the public for its opinion on the R18+ classification for video games in Australia. A discussion paper was drawn up to seek public opinion submissions on the issue; the paper includes an overview of the relevant research and literature and a proposal to amend the classification guidelines.

Q: When will the public consultation go ahead?


A: The discussion paper on the introduction of an R18+ classification for video games in Australia was due for release before the end of 2008, but suffered setbacks and changes proposed by South-Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson. After state, territory and federal Attorneys-General failed to come to a unanimous decision regarding changes to the paper in April 2009, the discussion paper was moved into the hands of the Federal Minister for Home Affairs and was given a proposed deadline of July 31, 2009. Following a cabinet re-shuffle, the paper was delayed once again. But recently, the Federal Attorney-General finally released the public consultation paper, and is now asking for all Australian's views on the R18+ debate.

It's not just violence that'll get a game banned in Australia. Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure was banned because of graffiti.

Q: How can I get involved in the public consultation process?


A: First of all, visit the Federal Attorney General's website, which contains all of the information you'll need. There are two documents you'll need to grab--one is a discussion paper that outlines the pros and cons of the debate, and the second is a questionnaire which you'll need to fill out and return to the Attorney General's Department either via e-mail, mail, or fax.

Remember, the public consultation process ends on February 28, 2010, so you'll need to make sure your form is submitted before then.

Q: What will happen after the public consultation?


A: Once the public consultation ends, the Federal Government will review the consultation. However, the introduction of an R18+ classification for video games will still require the unanimous support of all state, territory and federal Attorneys-General.

Q: Who is responsible for introducing the R18+ classification for video games in Australia?


A: State, territory and federal Attorneys-General. They must all agree to introduce the R18+ classification before this can happen. In effect, ordinary Australians can't directly “vote” for the introduction of an R18+ rating.

Q: What role has South Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson played in the classification of video games in Australia?


A: Michael Atkinson has been a vocal opponent of the introduction of an R18+ classification for video games in Australia. His main arguments centre around the interactive nature of video games and the idea that video games likely to be classified R18+ would cause harm to children and vulnerable adults if allowed into Australia. Atkinson has publicly stated his position in the South Australian Parliament as well as in interviews with gaming publications. He has publicly answered numerous letters from gamers outlining his reasons for opposing the introduction of R18+ for video games.

Q: Is Atkinson the only Attorney-General who opposes the introduction of the R18+ classification for video games in Australia?


A: No. Atkinson has explicitly stated he is not the only Attorney-General who opposes R18+ for video games in Australia. Although other Attorneys-General refuse to indicate their position on the subject, only Victorian Attorney-General Rob Hulls and the ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell have publicly stated they support the introduction of R18+ for video games in Australia.

Q: Who is to blame for all this?


A: There is no one to blame for the lack of an R18+ classification for video games and the sometimes-inconsistent classification decisions of video games in Australia. The Classification Board of Australia makes classification decisions based on the guidelines set out in the Classification (Publications, Film and Computer Games) Act 1995, while South Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson is not alone in his stance against the introduction of an R18+ classification for video games in Australia. All state, territory and federal Attorneys-General must agree before the classification guidelines can be amended and updated to include an R18+ classification for video games. All Australians can do it wait for the public consultation, give their honest opinions on the subject, and continue to raise awareness in the community through intelligent debate and discussion.

Games Like GTA: San Andreas have been released, banned, and then re-released in Australia.

Q: Is anyone else doing anything about this?


A: Yes. There are a number of websites run by Australian gamers dedicated to the spread of information and the fight for an R18+ classification for video games. Here is a list of the most prominent sites where you can find out more information or get involved:

http://everyoneplays.org.au/
http://www.gamers4croydon.org/
http://www.refused-classification.com/
http://www.r18games.com.au
http://r18games.com

Q: How can I get involved?


A: The way forward is through organised and civilised discussion. Petitions, formal letters to members of Parliament and raising awareness among the community are all good ways to get involved in the debate. There is a need for more intelligent debate in the gaming community as well as outside before things can move forward. Angry letters, profanities and death threats will only serve to show those in power that Australia does not deserve an R18+ for video games.

Q: Where can I find out more?


A: GameSpot AU has compiled a classification hub where you can find all our articles, interviews and news stories about classification in Australia. Click through to the next page.

Click on the Next Page link to see the rest of the feature!

Want to know more? Here's a comprehensive list of stories GameSpot AU has written in recent years to go through. If you want to go back to the first page of the feature, click here.

Previous Stories

GAME petition signs record R18+ response
Retailer's in-store petition collects 89,210 signatures in favour of R18+ for games; eclipses 2005 Work Choices online petition.

Greens hit pause on Aussie R18+ push
Greens decide against tabling a private member's bill for R18+ for games in Australia; want to avoid "pushing people back into a confrontational position".

"Silent majority" views needed on Aussie R18+: Minister
Strength of argument and not just weight of numbers need to be considered before introduction of adult ratings for games, federal government says.

Deadly Premonition DOA down under?
Publisher voluntarily decides to not release horror game in Australia; local censor board says game was never submitted for classification.

I Game and I Vote
The three major political parties share their views on gaming issues ahead of the 2010 Federal Election.

Strong gamer response caused Aussie R18+ setback
Dominant response from "interest groups" reason for lack of movement on adult rating for games; Federal Home Affairs Minister says government seeking "other legitimate views."

Aussie government report into R18+ detailed
We take an in-depth look at the recently released preliminary report into the results of the Australian R18+ public consultation.

EA hits back over R18+ for games
EA Games president Frank Gibeau criticizes the Australian government for its outdated policies on classification; says lack of R18+ is creating hostile environment for local developers.

Aussie R18+ on agenda at next attorneys-general meeting
Federal Attorney-General's Department confirms R18+ for games Down Under will be discussed in May meeting; public consultation findings to be tabled.

New SA attorney-general denies pro-R18+ stance
John Rau says he has "no preconceptions" about an adult classification for games in Australia; intends to listen to arguments both for and against.

Atkinson successor chosen within two weeks
New South Australian attorney-general to replace anti-game activist Michael Atkinson to be decided "in a week or two"; Atkinson quit front bench post to "spend more time with his family."

Atkinson quits as SA attorney-general; wins Croydon election
UPDATE: South Australian attorney-general and vocal anti-game advocate retains seat in state election; quits government front bench. Gamers4Croydon polls 3.6 percent of electorate vote.

Gamers4Croydon staying "positive" on unseating Atkinson at election
Fledgling political party to have presence at close to 20 polling booths for the South Australian state election; founder urges gamers to get out and vote.

Game developers on R18+ games for Australia
GameSpot AU chats with Aliens vs. Predator producer Paul Mackman and devs from Electronic Arts about having games banned Down Under and the way forward for R18+.

Anti-R18+ site urges people to stop "discussing" issue
Anti-R18+ site claims interactive nature of violent games makes them harmful to those who consume them; urges readers to vote against R18+ in Aussie public discussion paper.

Group collects over 16,000 pro-R18+ responses
Grow Up Australia and EB Games collaboration nets large response to Aussie R18+ public consultation.

Major Aussie game retailers willing to adapt for R18+ classification
EB Games, GAME, and Gametraders say they are prepared to accept restrictions on how to display and merchandise adult content.

Aussie censorship ministers remain quiet on R18+
Only one Australian Attorney-General publicly states support for introduction of R18+ rating for games; others remain noncommittal.

Aussie minor parties show support for R18+
The Greens, the Australian Sex Party, and the Pirate Party profess support for R18+; Coalition says it will watch Michael Atkinson's movements "with interest."

Aussie R18+ consultation to end on Sunday
Only two days left before submissions into government survey about R18+ closes; readers urged to make their opinions known.

Aussie's heavily pro-R18+ in consultation
Only 1 percent of processed responses to government survey against an adult rating for games; more than 6,000 responses received in total so far.

Australian Christian Lobby's Jim Wallace on R18+ games for Australia
The head of the Australian Christian Lobby discusses training to kill, why they oppose an R18+ rating for games, and why the public consultation is "nonsense."

Government stays silent on R18+ response
Australian federal government remains noncommittal on effects of R18+ discussion paper; says public view will merely "inform [the] decision" on R18+ for games.

Analyst writes off Gamers4Croydon's chances
ABC's Antony Green believes R18+ for games issue will be "insignificant" in upcoming South Australian election; says most voters will rely on gut instinct at polls and vote pro-censorship.

Aussie pro-R18+ groups profiled
We examine the big pro-R18+ groups down under to see what separates them from each other and to see how you can get involved.

Atkinson slams Gamers4Croydon
South Australian Attorney General says lack of graphic game images in public discussion paper will result in "overwhelming response in support of R18+"; hints that his stance could change if gaming community engages in civilised debate.

Atkinson won't surrender anti R18+ fight
South Australian Attorney-General says lack of graphic game images in public discussion paper will result in "overwhelming response in support of R18+"; hints that his stance could change if gaming community engages in civilised debate.

Sydney gamers take to the streets over R18+
A group of Sydney residents set out to inform the nongaming community about the issues surrounding Australia's classification system.

Indie developer takes aim at Australia's classification system
Ban This Game offers a satirical look at one of the Aussie game industry's most pressing issues.

Aliens vs. Predator unbanned in Australia
Classification Review Board overturns initial ban due to violent content in Sega, Rebellion's actioner; game will be released down under with no changes.

Aliens vs. Predator banned in Australia
Sega and Rebellion's xenomorph-versus-hunter-versus-marines reboot refused classification down under; censor cites explicit violence.

Modern Warfare 2 classification appealed in Australia
South Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson says game allows players to be "virtual terrorists;" Classification Board says no appeal has been received to date.

Left 4 Dead 2 classified down under
Modified version of L4D 2 takes out decapitation, dismemberments; Valve and EA still hoping to get unedited version of game passed for sale in Australia.

Valve to resubmit two versions of L4D 2 to Aussie censors
Two-pronged strategy to get Left 4 Dead 2 into Australia; Valve says releasing unmodified version is its preference. Valve calls Classification Board L4D2 ruling "inconsistent."

Left 4 Dead 2 banned in Australia
Aussie Classification Board cites "realistic, frenetic and unrelenting violence" as cause for antipodean zombie game ban.

Features

Censory Overload
This in-depth feature tracks the history of games classification in Australia, how the system has evolved to the situation we have now, and what game developers around the world have to say. Everything you need to know about classification in Australia is in this feature.

Playing By The Rules: Classifying Online Video Games In Australia
Want to know why primarily online games in Australia don't have classification ratings? This feature finds out why.

Player Profile: The Face of Australian Gaming
So is it true only children play video games in Australia? The latest study from the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association certainly doesn't think so, and this feature finds out exactly who is playing games in this country.

Federal And State Government Stories

Aussies asked to voice opinion on R18+
Long-heralded public consultation process on whether Australia should introduce an adult rating for games commences; Federal Government releases discussion paper discussing pros and cons of the debate.

Exclusive: Michael Atkinson talks Aussie game classification
South Australian attorney general says he is not the only classification minister to oppose R18+ classification; lauds current system's ability to "encourage modification."

Australian Censorship Ministers speak out on R18+
Victorian and ACT attorneys general say they support R18+; others admit no position.

Aliens vs. Predator is the latest game to feel the wrath of the Australian Classification Board.

Public feedback on proposed Aussie R18+ debate detailed
Bob Debus' department releases information about the upcoming discussion paper on R18+; intended closing date for consultation is July 31, 2009.

Aussie R18+ video game debate to be opened to public
Australian censorship ministers could not reach a unanimous decision on R18+ discussion paper; Commonwealth minister for Home Affairs takes over public consultation.

Aussie R18+ public debate still waiting on Atkinson
South Australian attorney general yet to make proposed "minor" changes to R18+ public consultation discussion paper.

Aussie R18+ public consultation goes ahead
Australian Censorship Ministers agree to release public discussion paper on introduction of R18+ for games before the end of the year.

Videos

Exclusive video interview: South Australian Attorney General Michael Atkinson on why he opposes R18+
Hear it direct from Atkinson himself on why he doesn't think an adult classification for video games should be introduced down under.

Crosshairs presents: How NOT To Get Your Game Banned In Australia
The GameSpot AU crew has come up with a few helpful tips to help game developers not get their games refused classification in Australia.

Crosshairs presents: Dear Atkinson
In this episode of Crosshairs we provide some tips on the best ways NOT to write a letter to South Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson.

Recent Banned And Censored Games

Aliens vs. Predator banned in Australia
Sega and Rebellion's xenomorph-versus-hunter-versus-marines reboot refused classification down under; censor cites explicit violence.

CrimeCraft rubbed out in Australia
In-game drug use that gives players rewards sees gang-based MMOG banned down under.

Fallout 3 did initially get banned, but not for violence.

Modern Warfare 2 classification appealed in Australia
South Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson says game allows players to be "virtual terrorists;" Classification Board says no appeal has been received to date.

Aussie censor board explains L4D2 banning
Full Review Board report shows violence main factor behind the denial of the Left 4 Dead 2 appeal; delineation between humans, zombies, and infected deemed "irrelevant."

Valve to resubmit two versions of L4D 2 to Aussie censors
Two-pronged strategy to get Left 4 Dead 2 into Australia; Valve says releasing unmodified version is its preference. UPDATE: Valve calls Classification Board L4D2 ruling "inconsistent."

WOW receives belated Aussie rating
Blizzard's MMO game finally gets an M rating in Australia after five years without a local classification.

Left 4 Dead 2 classified down under
Modified version of L4D 2 takes out decapitation, dismemberments; Valve and EA still hoping to get unedited version of game passed for sale in Australia.

Risen banned down under
Drug and sex-incentive gameplay causes Australian ban of fantasy RPG.

Necrovision banned in Australia
WWI-era supernatural shooter shot down in Australia due to excessive violence, according to Classification Board statement.

Sexy Poker folds in Australia
WiiWare strip poker game banned down under for reward-based nudity.

Written By

Discussion

99 comments
feral_warrior
feral_warrior

I'm wondering if they will un-ban the games that have been now. I doubt it but a gamer can dream.

skeleme
skeleme

This is the reason why I torrent games.

organbank
organbank

Meh. Buy your games online. Problem solved!

angussavage
angussavage

i just got R18+ Australia tattooed on my back

inuyasha22matt
inuyasha22matt

its bullsh## the Australian government are closed minded d### there let r rated movies and not R games if you don't want your kids to play such games THEN DO NOT LET THEM, DO YOUR JOBS STOP WRECK IT FOR THE REST OF USE it that simple. games are not the problem people if you think so then in the words of Kryptonian007 ....Anyone against the R rating for games is very closed minded and a dictating pain in the neck.....

Kryptonian007
Kryptonian007

Anyone against the R rating for games is very closed minded and a dictating pain in the neck.

Kryptonian007
Kryptonian007

When will the R rating, going to finally be an Official rating for games, I'm getting sick of waiting as I do not want Duke Nukem tainted by Politically Correct thugs. Hurry UP! dag nab it!

Genocidal96
Genocidal96

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

TheFluffyPanda
TheFluffyPanda

Technically banning R 18+ games should do the same for movies... but noooo, because the government wouldn't want an uproar they can't handle with avoidance and ignorance like they do every public matter that doesn't seem important to them. Just like the opinions of the tax payers who keep them running... Ignorance is bliss huh...

Eazeryder420
Eazeryder420

Is the Australian Classification board full off little kids? Like seriously! Its almost as if they want to ruin good games by destroying them to give to little kids which is way worse then allowing a R18+ rating. They barely get of the rid of violence in games anyway. Sure theres less blood and limbs being ripped of but your still killing someone or something. My little cousin plays Dead rising 2, Hes 11, I told aunt that the games isnt suitable for him cuz hes to young but she doesn't know cuz it may have a 15+ rating but people don't think that rating anything. If it had a Black R18+ label on it then the parents would care. But you know my little cousin is already desensitized from all the other games hes played that are meant to have the R18+ rating but have a MA Rating.

UnderGraduated
UnderGraduated

I think its time we stopped living in the dark ages :/ come on australia

Chrome_0001
Chrome_0001

A list of members of the Parliament of Western Australia AGAINST R18+ Let them know what you think WA!!! SOURCE: http://www.ag.gov.au/www/agd/rwpattach.nsf/VAP/%283A6790B96C927794AF1031D9395C5C20%29~R+18plus+status+report.pdf/$file/R+18plus+status+report.pdf Graham Jacobs MLA Minister for Water and Mental Health, Mr Michael Sutherland MLA Member for Mount Lawley, Hon Helen Bullock MLC Member for Mining and Pastoral, Hon Nick Goiran MLC Member for South Metropolitan, Hon Helen Morton MLC Member for East Metropolitan, Hon Liz Behjat MLC Member for North Metropolitan, Mr Frank Alban MLA Member for Swan Hills, Mr Joe Francis MLA Member for Jandakot, Mr Tony Krsticevic MLA Member for Carine, Hon Michael Mischin MLC Member North Metropolitan Region, Mr Vincent Catania MLA Member for North West, Mr Peter Abetz MLA Member for Southern River, Mr Ian Britza MLA, Member for Morley

ferus_prime
ferus_prime

On several fronts, I'm for R18+ games. Number one reason is, Most games that are R18+ (Or NC17) are released in Australia unedited as MA15+. Fable 2 has some, fairly questionable scenes (The infamous dead baby in the crib for example) that I wouldn't have understood as a 15 year old. Reason 2. Editing is pathetic. Left 4 Dead 2 for example. Neutering a game makes it less appealing. After importing it (From New Zealand, a smaller country that's evidently got more sense than us) I asked an EB games staff member how many they'd sold. 'Not a lot, because everyone's heard it's been edited.' was my answer. Agreeably, boycotting someone taking the soul and point of the game out of it is good, but if the law takes money away from the developers... Reason 3. Australia's media allows everything BUT video games. Artwork, books and TV are given adult ratings and are kept out of children's hands... Or introduced properly (Michaelangelo's David for example). I've read books that anyone could have picked up off the shelves (In the 'young teen' area of the library!) that had sex and violence that surpass GTA. Seriously. It's 2010. We've gotten past how TV, Metal, Punk, Grunge and all that is warping our children, do we have to be so backwards? If a naked statue is art when introduced properly, cant a violent or sexual video game be respected as something a child isn't ready for yet. An R18+ rating shows we have some common sense and at least know how to explain stuff to our kids.

mull20641
mull20641

Hmmm.... has anyone considered that maybe developers don't want an R18 system in certain cases? Let's use COD for an example. A massive portion of the people who play COD are underage. If the next COD was exceedingly gory and was given a R18 then it would be illegal for anyone under 18 to play it. Sales would plummet (It would still probably get an M17 in USA). But, if the developer toned it down a bit so it was MA15 sales wouldn't be affected. MA15 means nothing to underaged gamers

marionoro
marionoro

Maybe it isn't that bad that excessive gore is toned down?

eBentl
eBentl

My largest issue with the R18+ debate is this. There appears to be this notion that with an R18+ rating all these horrible games depicting rape etc. will flood the Australian market and we shall thus be corrupted. Firstly, most games which have been banned are not THAT ultra violent and rape is rarely if ever an issue. Secondly, games will still face the classification board and thus can still be banned if they exceed what is deemed fit for the community (not that this should happen)

Super1Minion
Super1Minion

Hmm, we have R18+ for movies, but why not for games. How come other countries have R18+ games, without any stories of violence. If they think we will become 'more violent' playing R18+ games, why don't they just 'ban' R18+ movies as well, because more people watch movies than play games. (Not that I'd actually want it, but it's just a point) After all, there are kids who watch R18+ movies but they never get violent. Besides, kids might be too scared to see the scary stuff, or might not get the objective, along with the fact there are already many games made for kids. I'm not 18 yet, but all the games I might lose when we get the rating, it will be worth being unable to get them when I turn 18.

tas18267
tas18267

when people make there only argument "R18+ interactive video games are more likely too affect vunrable childeren and adults in negetive ways" they need to figure out that it's rated R18+ so any parent can say to them selves "wait a minute this must be rated R18+ for a reason I better not let my child play this." its all about trusting the australian comunite and if the kid hires or buys it with out the parent knowing there are these great new things called content locks. my parents are happy for me to go out and hire and buy the most "inapropriet"(air quouts around inapropriet) games you can buy beacuse they trust me to know fiction from real life and im 13 any way i hope they learn that all there doing is making people really mad by refusing an R18+ rating

wogboypaul
wogboypaul

thank the lord above, there's hope!!!

Falcon084
Falcon084

Please look at my blog Help Change The Gaming World. The Government is asking us Aussies to fill out a poll on a site I have listed there {the second one} we have until the 28 of Feb, so get voting.

kozanecki
kozanecki

Hi everyone. We have recently deleted a number of posts made in response to this article, having deemed these posts to be inappropriate. Whilst we encourage debate and discussion amongst our readers, we do not condone the making of offensive statements about individuals. Anyone abusing the Talkback facility will have their comment(s) deleted and may have their account suspended with immediate effect, and without further notice. Thanks for your understanding and co-operation

SaberSpellSword
SaberSpellSword

I just posted a 2000 word post on the 7pm Project forum that is specifically aimed at non gaming Parents. It discredits EVERY single positive point they have for not giving us an R rating and it also explains all the good points about bringing an R rating to our shores. It has direct links to the survey to make it easy for people and i also added a little note at the bottom for the 7pm project team asking to put this issue on the show. If they actually air this thing, then it will make the issue known to non-gamers nation wide! To read the post for yourself, head to http://7pmproject.com.au/forums/thread.jspa?threadID=119872&tstart=0 If that doesn't work go to 7pmproject.com.au then "forums" then"local news" then click on the forum titled "!!!IMPORTANT!!! Help protect your children from harmful content!" Notice how I didn't put any referance to gaming in the title and i also mentioned that their children are in danger (which is true to a point mainly coz of their ignorance). If THAT doesn't have the non-gaming parents of the nation flooding into the forum, NOTHING will.

coen4
coen4

R18+ games should be allowed in Aus because like as if kids are going 2 play R18+ games without permission where is he gonna get the game from he cant buy it unless his over 18 its just stupid and the dubed left 4 dead 2 i was like dammmmmitt the american one is apparently 2 times better than the aus one and most of the time it just ruins the online play for aussies who are versing americans or others but still if people want the game that bad there gonna get it over seas like the R18 block in Aus is just stupid lol

BT8897
BT8897

I agree with what SaberSpellSword said below. When people are buying games overseas we are not helping the Australian economy

BT8897
BT8897

they need to know that a 10 year old kids parents wouldnt let them play a R rated game. Adults should be able to choose their own entertainment and im sure we dont want a toned down and censored version of the game. Also it's not like we dont order them online with full content anyway

xX_m477h3w_Xx
xX_m477h3w_Xx

im from australia and i reckon having an R18+ rating is better then having censored games eg. Left 4 Dead 2

evan321456
evan321456

man I'm only 14 and most of my games are MA15+ plus I Pre-ordered AVP Survivor I wont become a killer when I'm older

kyletm2003
kyletm2003

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

kyletm2003
kyletm2003

I'm not Australian but i would like to give a bit of my opinion. The most notable problem here is the older classification system. The 1994 guidelines need updating before any new changes can be made. In case the Australian government hasn't been paying attention, games have changed quite a bit since then. A system should be introduced that forces the government to review current game content and adjust classification of games based on new information every few years. that way old guidelines don't get in the way. Games change, and opinions of them by powerful people shouldn't be the dividing line that prevents advances that are good for the public. Geez, i should move and run things in Australia, this comment makes me look like id do a better job then the guys over there that have been doin this stuff for years...

Vaultboy-101
Vaultboy-101

Plus im 13 and i preordered AvP hunter edition and the guy at game just let me also all of my games are at least M and up. Im not going to become a murderer because i played a violent game.

Vaultboy-101
Vaultboy-101

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

shaunismaname
shaunismaname

they should allow r18+ because people put alot more time in these games than what the people review it in i bet they dont even play it and the warriors for ps2 is a very bad game u smash peoples heads in and do graffiti and kill cops they need to rethink what they do because anybody over like 17 buys all their games from the net

Justmatel
Justmatel

I was going to write something almost the same to what SaberSpellSword. I agree with him 100%

SaberSpellSword
SaberSpellSword

I read through the disscussion paper that comes with the survey. there r a few things in there that are a little missleading. here's my opinion: The main argument here is protecting minors. If anything, no R rating is making children more vulnerable than ever. When a parent uneducated in the world of gaming picks up an MA title and looks through its themes, they generally compare it with the film rating system (which does go up to R) and think that it shouldn’t be too bad since they think that there is a rating above it for the most extreme of material. But the content in Australian MA15+ games could be balanced on the edge of an R rated blade and often falls in the R rated category in other countries. To further confuse the parent, there are vast inconsistencies with the ratings in this country. Call of Duty 4 and Ninja Gaiden 2 for example, have the same rating and same content description though one is vastly more violent than the other with no indication for the parent to know

SaberSpellSword
SaberSpellSword

Just a few other points: The absence of an R rating encourages piracy and importing from other countries which hurts the Australian economy “Parental lock systems are not included in older games consoles” this decision will only affect NEW games meaning that this is a mute point. No one makes games for old and outdated systems. “Were an R 18+ classification introduced, the RC category would still exist for games with, for example, gratuitous or exploitative depictions of sexual violence” We aren’t asking for pornography. We just want unwatered down games that aren’t banned.

Charon_the_evil
Charon_the_evil

You know what's funny? 13 year olds like me can waltz into a games retailer and buy the orange box, css, dod, hl2dm, oblivion, half-life, half-life opposing force all at once, and as long as we pay, no one cares. I've been mistaken for being 10 before, but I can buy all these MA / M games and no one bats an eyelid, (begin sarcasm) yes sir micheal atkinson, I am REALLY being protected from violent games. (end sarcasm). besides, I play these games and the only thing that it did to me was (because of dod) cause me to become more intrested in history.

Hoob22
Hoob22

One of the main arguments of the pro R 18+ classification group (read most gamers) is that games are not for children and there are more adult gamers then child gamers. This is true, but any person that has access to Xbox Live can see that it is blaringly obvious that kids under 15 can get their hands on MA games anyway, not having an R rating will not stop this, it is the parents fault.

vecsim89
vecsim89

Don't know what to do....

SaberSpellSword
SaberSpellSword

Has anyone noticed how every time we see Atkinson playing a video game, he's always playing the tenis game on Wii sports with a big goofy grin on his face. He calls THAT gaming?!? The Nintendo Wii is the kiddy-pool of the games industry. lets see you blasting off some heads in something like Gears of War AND ENJOYING IT like a normal gamer and we might start taking you a bit more seriously.

SaberSpellSword
SaberSpellSword

I'm kinda half hoping for a game thats as hotly anticipated as CoD:MW2 to be banned outright in Australia. If MW2 was actually banned from sale in Australia because of the airport level before the game even came out (meaning NOBODY would be able to play it) I'm sure there would have been full on riots. If anything would send a message to the parlement about banning the games we want, that would.

kingdevil2
kingdevil2

Bio thats why theres a guy in the government wanting to ban MW2!

biotyrant
biotyrant

also, why is it that we can shoot innocent air-port civilians in modern warfare 2 and not be allowed to see a zombies corpse for more then a second in left 4 dead 2?

biotyrant
biotyrant

giving Australia a R18+ will finally allow us to play what the rest of the world are playing. After playing the disappointing Australian release of left for dead 2, i have been hoping for a R18+ as soon as possible.

wesam987
wesam987

lol this is so lame.. there shouldnt even be R18+ i think the highest should be MA for games like grant theft auto, left for dead etc..

Grossa14
Grossa14

I read that one of the concerns was the interactive nature of gaming, and that a R+ video could fall into the hands of younger children. If this is an issue, then cigarettes should also be banned, given that these are a restricted product that are physically consumed by younger people. Ratings is all about information, why would you want to restrict the information provided to consumers when purchasing a game for friends or relatives, particularly if they don't know much about gaming. A game that could be rated R+, may pass as MA and the purchaser is not aware that the content is not what they desire. Why penalise law abiding tax paying citizens to somehow try and protect younger people who wish to fragrantly break the law?

Ice-Menorah
Ice-Menorah

Maybe vulnerable audiences should just have a cup of concrete. problem solved.

cdodo
cdodo

i heard that 'prototype' made it into Australia... if that's true... this whole system has some serious inconsistencies. I mean seriously... that game was beyond mindless violence (consuming random civilians??!!?) ... how does that get past and something like 'Left for dead 2' get denied (its only zombies you slicing in half with a frying pan) or worse yet why does a game like 'GTA 4' get through... the whole system = failure

Grandotaku
Grandotaku

I'm tired of being punished because little kids. Who would sell an R rated game to a child? No one(they have laws against selling MA and R rated movies to children) and I'm pretty sure most parents would tell there kids no if they asked for one. So why should games be different. I'm getting annoyed that I can't get games I want or getting them toned down.