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.

With industry surveys showing that the majority of Australians support the introduction of an R18+ classification for games in Australia, most Aussie gamers would have naturally assumed that those results would be replicated in the federal government's public consultation into the issue. A preliminary count of responses received has vindicated that view, with a Senate Estimates Committee Hearing last week unveiling that out of 1,084 processed responses thus far, only 11 had been anti-R18+.

Most Aussies have shown support for R18+ so far.

Helen Daniels, Assistant Secretary of the Copyright and Classification Policy Branch, told a Senates Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee in Canberra last week that as of February 1, 2010, the government had received 6,239 submissions into the R18+ public consultation. Of that figure, the Classification Policy Branch had only processed 1,084 so far and found that only 11 were against R18+. Of the total number of submissions, 5,465 had been sent in via e-mail, 447 by fax, and 327 by post.

The government's public consultation process is aiming to find out the Australian public's view on the introduction of an adult classification for games in Australia and was launched by the Federal Attorney-General's Department in December last year. Submissions for the process will close on February 28, 2010. A spokesperson for the Federal Attorney-General’s Department told GameSpot AU last week that the results of the public consultation would be distributed to all of Australia's Attorneys-General to "inform their decision whether Australia should have an R18+ classification for computer games." From there, all of the Attorneys-General will need to unanimously agree on its introduction before it can be passed as law in Australia.

While the positive response to the consultation may come as no surprise to gamers, those on the other side of the debate were tipping a similar result. Outspoken anti-R18+ advocate South Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson told GameSpot AU earlier this year that because R18+ was an issue that most Australians didn't care enough about, the responses to the public consultation would be skewed towards gamers.

"I don't think the discussion paper presents a fair and balanced view of the issue without pictures of the games that would be rated R18+," Atkinson said. "I think the majority of the population are unfamiliar with these games, and without images, they won’t be able to imagine them in their mind's eye. They’ll have no idea how violent or sexually depraved they are, and what kind of torture, drug use, and blood spatter they include.

"I also believe that very few people outside the gaming community will have a say in this public consultation, which will mean an overwhelming response in support of R18+."

Stay tuned to GameSpot AU for more information on the public consultation process. Meanwhile, check out GameSpot AU's Aussie Games Classification FAQ feature.

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Discussion

91 comments
R_evolution_Jay
R_evolution_Jay

Atkinsons opposition to the new rating is one of the MAIN reasons if not the MAIN reason Australians are pirating games so much! (they constantly whinge on DVDs with those ads saying that us pirates are destroying the Aussie economy from pirating...), maybe the games company should realize this and have a go at him more than they have...

fatpumba3
fatpumba3

I saw posters at EB Games Eastgardens that said "GROW UP AUSTRALIA R18+" :)

MrFreshPies
MrFreshPies

Good to see the people are having such an influence in this way

zaprct
zaprct

@geoff-uk123 The hardcore gamers have an uncensored experience of games, but only because we resort to illegal importing from the UK and/or illegal downloading.

geoff-uk123
geoff-uk123

I hope the R18 rating becomes available. The Aussies deserve the uncut, uncencored experience of a game.

Rikstah
Rikstah

maybe he doesn't realise that majority of R18 games in Australia would be ones that were bumped up from the old MA15 maximum rating rather than an influx of banned games

R_evolution_Jay
R_evolution_Jay

Quote from G4C candidate: "85% of the MA rated games in Australia were NC 17 rated in America. More than 50% of those were rated 18+ in Europe under the PEGI system" I really didn't think it was THAT much, amazing and shocking to most parents also I read, funny how these facts stay under the radar when Atkinson blabs away... lets see his opinion on this statistic! Source: http://games.on.net/article/8091/Community_Interview_Gamers4Croydon

MarkZoR
MarkZoR

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MarkZoR
MarkZoR

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MarkZoR
MarkZoR

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R_evolution_Jay
R_evolution_Jay

@Shinkada Yep, totally agree, he needs that BS to fall back on, what else does he have after all right? and he will blow it off, it doesn't contain all the graphic images of gore and rape photos he so wanted to put in to show people that that's all these R rated games will be apparently...

Shinkada
Shinkada

If Atkinson spread the word then he wouldn't have "only gamers signed it" to fall back on. He needs his excuse so the old fool can still vote no even when the survey comes back with ~5% opposed. I'm in support of this survey, and I've already signed it AND gotten everyone I know to sign it, but there's still a damn good chance Atkinson will just blow it off and vote no anyway. =/

tigertechie
tigertechie

This guy has just set himself up as a target, Aussie gamers will take their revenge, and i'm surprised he's even alive! I signed up to enter the battle at EB Games, so i've done my share!

MurderMode
MurderMode

This is just nonsense and counters what this Atkinson is trying to achieve. An R18+ rating would prevent minors from playing graphically violent games. How does an R18+ rating allow games about rape and racist killing into the market? If those kind of games come into the country they can still be rated unacceptable and banned from public sale the same way they are banning commercially acceptable titles at the moment. Atkinson is just seizing the opportunity to get recognised for something. Our country's government spends too much time attention seeking in a childish manner, I really wish there was a way to overhaul the system so Australia could start moving forward in a logical and good-willed sense... and not just from this gaming perspective.

R_evolution_Jay
R_evolution_Jay

Here's a funny thing Atkinson seems to hide under the question radar IMO, IF he is SO bothered by the fact that gamers will skew this discussion paper and the results to be 99% PRO R18+ introduction, then WHY doesn't he get off his lazy whining arse and spread the word about this paper to the people he is SO convinced should be seeing it? and will all apparently vote NO to the R rating? quite simple really, he's scared they might actually grow a brain and vote against him to protect their kids from his BS views... I mean if he wants the right people to fill this paper out why doesn't he pass it on to them then? Apparently he has all this time to *cough* slander G4C doorknocking to the elderly, yet cant do this? it's probably the most obvious question really... yet nobody ask him that

Azated
Azated

That guy is really funny. He says that it will all be positive responses because most of Australia doesn't care, and that's because it doesn't affect them at all. I cant believe that guy is still alive, let alone in government. He needs to grow a pair and actually play one of these games, instead of saying they're all evil and marks of the devil.

Azuki
Azuki

Wow he really is still completely oblivious, most of the games he's talking about have been on store shelves for years. Condemned, Gta, Fear, God of War, the list of games that should have been R is near endless.

Abecale
Abecale

Guys you should read the news more, Atkinson is already in hot water, we dont even have to do anything, he is doing it all himself. Apparently he passed another new law that forces you, if you go online on some government opinion site, to leave your address and name as mandatory if you leave a comment. Or else you get fined. Now he isnt so well liked haha.

heyorange
heyorange

"Michael Atkinson told GameSpot AU earlier this year that because R18+ was an issue that most Australians didn't care enough about, the responses to the public consultation would be skewed towards gamers." "I also believe that very few people outside the gaming community will have a say in this public consultation, which will mean an overwhelming response in support of R18+." I find these statements by him mute because this is afterall aimed toward gamers. Why would non gamers care. They are not buying the products. If games have an R18+ rating its obvious there would be some kind of violence, sexually explicit scenes; so if people are worried stay away. But let the gamers decide what they want to buy and not buy. Not some douche.

DamnClown
DamnClown

I'm a pro-R18+ gamer, see my rant against Jim Wallace if you don't believe me, that being said I do often wonder wether or not we deserve a 18+ rating when certain individuals leave death threats under Michael Atkinson's door at 2am because he refuses to budge on the R18 issue, I think as pioneers of future gaming that we really need to stop and say to those few gamers that do stupid things like that "Hey, you really think that threatening a man and his family is gonna get us an R18 rating?" I remember being one of those angry people at one point (See Soldier of Fortune 3: Banned in Australia for more details.) and all it did was make me anti-social and ruin my day due to all the uncool vibes I was letting off. I know Michael Atkinson won't change his views as much as everyone else but you really need to calm down and think about what's more important (And if need be buy the game off Amazon.) it'll make your day a little easier to get through in my opinion.

Vaultboy-101
Vaultboy-101

We should have the chioce not stupid atkinson. I will always remember the day he was finally kicked off his seat. Hopefully.

bendall01
bendall01

Seriously if anyone wanted to make an enemy of thousands of people.....that was the way to do it....what a dou**e.

dunnowhathuh
dunnowhathuh

atkinson needs to get out of the damn way. He knows nothing about anything. I'm willing to bet he doesn't know what all these games look like himself. Gamers are the only ones qualified to make any sort of decision about this, not some idiot politician who THINKS he knows better.

johnnyauau
johnnyauau

R_evolution_Jay, Michaal Atkinson has a few weeks left in him. I personally don't know what an Attorney General does but it's really fancy having a lawyer like politician, going around, blowing his power against R18+ wide open. He's old fashion, trying to scare people that people playing violent games turns them into GTA killing machine or something like that. Anyway, he's totally one note, thinking the old scheme is working to his favour. I agree with you that he needs to be put away for good. The process would of been simple if there is a vote instead of the need for attorney-general unanimous support as one.

shivLasers
shivLasers

So wait 28 days later comes out MA15+ and L4D2 gets banned? If a person went on a murderous rampage and killed a bunch of people, and blamed it on a clockwork orange, then no one will start petitioning for R18+ movies to be banned, but if it was grand theft auto then you can consider rockstar sued. Also anyone who murders people and blames videogames are probably just using companies like rockstars as scapegoats to get a reduced sentence or get sentenced to a mental institution.

R_evolution_Jay
R_evolution_Jay

"From there, all of the Attorneys-General will need to unanimously agree on its introduction before it can be passed as law in Australia." What's the frickin POINT of this paper then!? we all know this dip Atkinson won't change his opinion and be laughed at forever afterwards no matter what the outcome of this paper... POINTLESS But funny how he will whinge that "MOSTLY gamers sent this in so of course it will be all pro R18+"... well since it's the gamers who will be the ones affected by this WHO CARES! of course it will be sent in by them mainly!

stray2615
stray2615

@ Nickosaurus-Rex The Government isn't listening to us, they are passing these results to people who have already made their mind up about the issue. After this consultation is finished, the info will be passed to Michael Atkinson, he will say "wow that's nice, 11 people agree with me! I better not change my stance and upset those 11 people! I better get started on stopping another freedom people have. Maybe if I make people post their real name and postcode on forums I can stop Australians using the net too!" The fact less than 1% are against the R18+ idea comes as no surprise to me. However, I am a bit disappointed with the relatively small number of replies. We need to get EVERYONE we know to fill this out before shut off, if the number of people voting is significant, and % stays similiar, it MAY change something.

Tronzo
Tronzo

His argument just becomes more obscure every time he opens his ignorant mouth.

Nickosaurus-Rex
Nickosaurus-Rex

I'm surpised... A) The goverment listening to people B) Heading towards a decision based on what the majority thinks C) That I haven't gotten a bill for this survey yet!

Karnya
Karnya

Ummm Mr Atkinson, votes will be skewed by gamers but who are the people most informed to make choices about gaming in Australia?

Payback7
Payback7

OMG Atkinson, if you actaully went out and talked to people you'd get a different picture. I've talked to many non-gamers and from what I can tell they all believe that an R18+ rating should be brought in. I've submitted my submission along with about 10 others from my workplace. Many of which are non-gamers. I've said it before and I'll say it again, not having an R18+ rating does more harm then good. Because you won't vote yes Mr Atkinson the very children you are trying to 'protect' are getting ahold of these games legally. Games like GTA are VERY slightly modified to meet the so called MA15+ rating and alot of kids that should not be playing this game can go and buy it no problem. Anyway - I'm not holding my breath on this one. If it's not brought in I'll be buying my games from overseas and this will just hurt my local gaming stores and the Aussie economy. About time YOU grew up Mr Atkinson. Sigh - I think I've ranted enough. I could keep going, but don't much like beating my head against the wall! :P

wenisman
wenisman

@revla, i totally agree... removing atkinson is more about moving australia forwards as a country and finally letting democracy take its course, the R18+ is just another case en point as to why the old man is no longer fit for office.

wenisman
wenisman

@jmal2578... the govt is trying to censor that, thats what the broadband filtering issue is all about. Obviously the majority of people who voted are gamers, we are the ones affected and for everyone who didnt vote they are not affected or really dont care. So on that regard the vote is skewed but even the polls taken on news.com and by the SMH have shown almost unanimous support for the R18+ It is a very hypocritical stance from the Christians and Atkinson to say games are the root of violence and torture. I seem to recall some events like 'The Crusades', 'Witch hunt trials' and the 'Spanish Inquisition' run by the christians. Now didnt they torture and butcher thousands of people and I am pretty sure none of them played a computer game. "From there, all of the Attorneys-General will need to unanimously agree on its introduction before it can be passed as law in Australia"... this one statement has doomed the R18+ classification as long as atkinson is in power. it is a shame that democracy and the 'majority rules' doesnt really work in Australia, we are governed by out of touch and ignorant individuals.

abdulwhed
abdulwhed

just keeps showing us how ignorant he really is

jmal2578
jmal2578

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AceBalls
AceBalls

"They’ll have no idea how violent or sexually depraved they are, and what kind of torture, drug use, and blood spatter they include." Can you believe this guy? He wanted images posted on the discussion paper so people could see examples? What's wrong with people logging onto the net and checking out these games for themselves? Oh hang on. He's probably referring to incompetent old people who are still receiving the paper on their doorstep every morning. In other words, the majority of his votes.

nightwing2000
nightwing2000

Of course it is the Gamer Community who will be outspoken on the issue. They are, in fact, the educated, intelligent, and competant ones to tell the Truth, The WHOLE Truth, And Nothing But The Truth on the issue. It was the likes of Atkinson himself and the Christian Lobby Group who misinformed, lied to, and deceived the rest of society, telling them not to worry, Atkinson and the CLG would think for them and make the decisions for the rest of society. And since Atkinson and the CLG, among many others, are already ignorant on the issue, and have no REAL opposing view other that diatribe dredged up from their own lack of knowledge on the issue, then that is what they are spreading. They are, in fact, afraid of the overwhelming opposing views to their stance on the issue. Indeed, they have, in effect, told the rest of society to ignore those in support of R18+ because, if the rest of society actually thought for themselves, and took the time to actually READ and RESEARCH, they would see that they have been forced into subjegation and ignorance by following individuals such as Atkinson and organizations such as the CLG so blindly all this time. You don't realize what you've actually lost until you stop listening to those who tell you not to worry about what you lost, and start researching WHAT and WHY you lost it in the first place.

TurambarGS
TurambarGS

Wow. Atkinson just keeps showing us how ignorant he really is. I would wager my computer that he has never played to completion any of the video games he rants about. For that matter, I would be extremely surprised if he has played any game at all. If he's not prepared to get educated on the issue, then he should damn well keep his ignorant mouth shut on it.

johnnyauau
johnnyauau

I now believe Michael Atkinson and the Christian Lobby Group has never either read the clasification guide and play ANY MA15+ games at all. Also for obvious reasons, even Michael's stunt in trying to ban Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 with the civilian killing scene, basically judging violent games on its cover before or after the release. They're so out of date that their mindset is still in the late 1980's. Also there's too many contradictions to count that anyone knows the benefits of an R18+ compare to MA15+. If by miracle that Michael Atkinson runs out of steam or his attorney's patients is running out, than we're no longer be treated like kids or more in a sense, teenagers. Despite Heath Ledger's death, there's still 10 things I hate about him (joke).

BennalB
BennalB

"I think the majority of the population are unfamiliar with these games, and without images, they won’t be able to imagine them in their mind's eye. They’ll have no idea how violent or sexually depraved they are, and what kind of torture, drug use, and blood spatter they include." The truth is, HE has no idea how 'violent or sexually depraved' they are. The guys a fool, who has no problem with porn being available in his country, but genuinely believes that R18+ games are rape / torture simulations. He needs to step down and let someone that understands how the industry works take over.

Jaguar_Shade
Jaguar_Shade

"South Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson told GameSpot AU earlier this year that because R18+ was an issue that most Australians didn't care enough about" So they don't care FOR or AGAINST R18+ games, but that doesn't also bother Atkinson for leading a personal crusade against R18+ games... meanwhile letting these violent games leak into the country under an MA15+ rating. Sorta like saying, no you cant import marijuana, only cocaine.

hawkeye456
hawkeye456

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brendanhunt1
brendanhunt1

if 99% of a vote doesn't convince you, you shouldn't be in politics

DeadlySpartanII
DeadlySpartanII

I can understand why you may want to ban R18+ games, games such as Manhunt is just graphically horrific in my opinion and not much of a loss when it was banned. But there are games that doesnt go above the line (not even close mostly) but rated R18+ like L4D2 and Aliens Vs Predator. Games like these is why I support R18+ in Australia.

burtonboy05
burtonboy05

I'm with you Revla living in SA. The back peddling on that law was comical. The Adelaide Now forum had a melt down so many people were protesting lol. He still claims he's simply the lightning rod taking the flack on behalf of several other AG's who also oppose the R18 classification. How true that is I don't know but he's not going to pass it ever. I hope he and the SA labour party are ousted in the March election but I'm not sure the liberals are willing to pass it anyway should they win. I will never vote for Labour as long as my ar$e points to the ground. If he holds his seat then maybe he needs to be taken out lol. The moron rides around his electorate on his 1950's push bike complete with basket attached to the front in his tweed suit. If anyone see's him please run him down for a bonus 10,000 points!

Cthulad
Cthulad

Does a law like this really apply to those people who are not interested in the Games? Do they need to know "What they are missing". I can see mothers/fathers of kids not wanting something like this, but then they would be educated about games, and it would apply. If you do not play games you don't know what you are missing. Same as T.V. if you don't watch movies, what does a classification of PG-R really mean to you?

SuprSaiyanRockr
SuprSaiyanRockr

@ Hellcat- Pretty much, yeah. This survey shows one of two things. a), most people support R18+ games, or b) people that don't support it don't care enough to vote.

gameking5000
gameking5000

Mmmmm it seems inevitable Australia will someday have 18+ rating. But I'd say not until the Aussie game industry grows larger so more people know more about it and are educated

DigiTM73
DigiTM73

Looks all pointless when you see this. "From there, all of the Attorneys-General will need to unanimously agree on its introduction before it can be passed as law in Australia." Guess who's an Attorney-General, Atkinson, and he is determined to not allow it.

susil65
susil65

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