Seven months after the Federal Government released its preliminary report into the results of the December 2009 R18+ public consultation--which found that 98.2 percent of respondents were in support of R18+ for games--Federal Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor has announced the final analysis of feedback from the public on introducing an adult classification for video games.
This final report will be tabled at Friday’s meeting of classification ministers during the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (SCAG) in Canberra and will help inform their decision making. For an R18+ classification for games to be introduced, all federal, state, and territory classification ministers must agree unanimously.
The final report shows that 58,400 people responded to the call for submissions on the proposed new adult-only category, with 98.4 percent voicing support for an R18+ classification.
"These results reflect the feedback that I and other members of parliament have received from the community," O'Connor said in a press statement today. "Bringing the classification categories for computer games into line with those for films will help Australian parents make informed decisions about the games their children play. We want to provide better advice to parents to help remove material from children and teenagers that may contain gratuitous sex, violence, or drug use."
"There are dozens of games that are available to 15-year-olds in Australia that are restricted to adults in other comparable countries. If the new category is introduced, it could result in computer games that are currently classified MA15+ being reclassified R18+, providing a new level of protection for children."
The final report shows that the majority of respondents were males aged between 18 and 24 years who play games on a daily basis and who support the adult rating.
Following the release of the preliminary report in May, classification ministers requested further research to ascertain the views of the silent majority. Last week, the Federal Government released an R18+ classification review, which showed there is no conclusive evidence that violent games have a greater impact on consumers than other media. The government also released the results of a nationwide Galaxy survey, which showed 80 percent of the 2,226 people contacted support the introduction of an R18+ classification for games.
For more on the issue, visit GameSpot AU's previous coverage. GameSpot AU will be reporting on the SCAG decision on Friday.