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.

In December last year, Australians were asked to voice their opinion on the introduction of an R18+ classification for video games via a long-awaited public consultation. A discussion paper was made available to the public on the Federal Attorney-General's Web site, detailing the pros and cons of an R18+ for games and asking participants for their opinion on the issue. Now, as the public consultation nears its end date of February 28, attention has turned to the next step in the process.

According the Federal Attorney-General’s Department, once the public consultation comes to an end, the department will compile information on the submitted responses and prepare a report for the Minister for Home Affairs, Brendan O'Connor, and the remaining state and territory Attorneys-General.

A spokesperson for the Federal Attorney-General’s Department would not be drawn on what effect an overwhelmingly positive or negative public response would have, stating that O'Connor and the Attorneys-General would merely use the report to "inform their decision whether Australia should have an R18+ classification for computer games."

The introduction of an R18+ classification for video games will require amendments to three important federal classification documents: the National Classification Code, the Guidelines for the Classification of Films and Computer Games, and the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995. These can be changed only with the unanimous agreement of all state, territory, and federal Attorneys-General. South Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson has previously publically opposed an R18+ rating for games.

O'Connor has told GameSpot AU that he has yet to form a final view on R18+ for games in Australia.

"We are consulting first rather than imposing a change so we have an opportunity to gauge all community views on the subject," the Minister said.

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

25 comments
johnnyauau
johnnyauau

So much for censorship rampage. I can't believe before the election that he would suddenly go "let's reveal out enemies" by forcing them to reveal their names and postcodes but he backed out on the deal, in an embarressing way. Anyway, I checked Crosshair and it's pretty clear David Doe will try to raise awareness by going door to door and various places, getting as many votes as the Gamers4Corydon can. I don't know the population of Croydon but it could be a landslide to David's team by the election.

Azated
Azated

They shouldn't have released it to the public. The only people who vote negative are the people it wont affect, no matter which way it goes. I'm 110% sure everyone it affects will vote yes. Who doesnt want to blow brain to bits with a rocket launcher?

R_evolution_Jay
R_evolution_Jay

I love how FAST he backflipped on the recent censoring laws, trying to get this and himself back out of the spotlight ASAP eh Micky? so the R18 issue wont be brought to light for more people (besides just gamers now) to vote AGAINST you eh?, if he let it run a little more and people started looking into it and him they might find a lot more than he would like... typical slippery government DB tactics, remove it quick! dont make me look bad before an election! :(

amcne_91
amcne_91

"O'Connor has told GameSpot AU that he has yet to form a final view on R18+ for games in Australia. " I think we all know that is garbage. Everyone has an opinion, and regardless of the evidence or public submissions, no one's opinion is going to change.

XtC86
XtC86

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

so_hai
so_hai

God I'm embarassed to live here sometimes. This is not what the ANZACS fought for. They fought for freedom - these beaurocrats are perverting their service to Australia. They're the ones who have to live with that.

spazz212
spazz212

@Scarshi hey wernt they seriously considering changing the flag

spazz212
spazz212

ha looks like well have to go into the secret area in the back of a retailer for r18 games

burtonboy05
burtonboy05

Well his internet laws regarding names and post codes have been canned until after the election as of today. Apparently the back lash on the Adelaide now forum was enough to make him change his tune lol. He said after the election I'll appeal the law and have it over turned. How is the arrogance assuming he's already going to hold his seat? A simple election promis I guess that won't be followed through on. Today he's had his plums pulled out and they've taken a royal beating and he's taken a step back. Hopefully this publicy brings to light the R18 situation which has been pretty quiet other than gaming sites. We need the national media to run stories on this situation and once it has the nations full attention then things might change. I know most gamers know about the situation, but the parents and people buying games and hardware for their children need to know also. Until it makes the national print, or broad cast on television and radio ongoing things wont change much at all.

klasco
klasco

seems like Australia is becoming more communist these days

wenisman
wenisman

unfortunately I totally agree with the sentiments of everyone here... we as consenting adults will never be able to make a grown up decision on how to run our lives. As this whole paper was to "inform the decision" of the attorney generals it was pointless as they already knoe the arguements. Atkinson has already made it clear that he has no intention of changing his stance (either out of pride, misplaced judgment or issues from childhood). the only thing that *MAY* make a difference is if gamers unite and make a stance and hit the government where they will feel it most... in their revenues. if every gamer decided to bouycott the aussie market and purchase overseas until we get an R18+ rating then the govt will change or miss out on $100's of millions in tax (add up the GST, import duty, income tax from the store clerk, etc etc). there is no choice in freedom and certainly no democracy in Australia

SwiftusMaximus
SwiftusMaximus

Unfortunately the Aus government is taking steps to patch Console & PC games that have been imported to bring them in line with Aus censorship. Why? because people mouth off on forums about importing and send threatening letters to officials. wise up.

Fusion_Master
Fusion_Master

basically if i know a game has been changed in our region i wont buy an australian copy of it. its as simple as that. so this needs to be resolved and its already gone on for too long. its of little loss to those of us who are 18+ as we are smart enough to find other means of getting the 'real' game (import, download, whatever your means of shoving it to the government) but i find it funny that the issue seems to be all about 'the children' and by them not passing this there are games that should be on higher ratings (in their unedited form) that are barely passing through where a younger audience is then able to play them. silly fools.

sbedeus
sbedeus

Our government would like to censor our internet usage and the reason we have no R18+ system for video games is due to Atkinson's belief that it will be detrimental to the youth of the nation. Censorship and democracy, it is beautiful.

Scarshi
Scarshi

Would have better luck changing the Australian Flag and the Anthem than this. Not a question of if but when. Lets just twiddle our thumbs on the joypad to pass the time, eh?

bendall01
bendall01

I really hope that we get an R18+ for games etc... Not that I am into limbs being blown off for no apparent reason but it should be there if I so chose to play such games.

greasemonkey42
greasemonkey42

This is hardly a democracy if decisions aren't based on majority rules, and all the power can be placed in the hands of one man who wants to go backwards while everyone else is trying to go forwards. That man is Atkinson. I hate political loopholes.

danielgreen81
danielgreen81

Atkinson already has his way, he's fighting to keep it as it is. I just don't know why they are letting us entertain the idea of an R18+ rating if he's not for it. It's like he's just playing with us. It really has only wasted our time and energy, and his, and public funds. That's it.

chris_yz80
chris_yz80

did anyone here that atkinson put a law through in SA that from nowish till the election that everything you post on the internet regarding politics has to have your name and postcode on it?

alienmlbyrne0
alienmlbyrne0

I agree with every single comment here so far, there was absolutely no point to this public consultation paper. Atkinson will get his way no matter what we the public say.

stray2615
stray2615

So the whole point of the Public Consultation was to pass the information to people who already knew what is was, and at least one of those people will never change his stance and openly said he will pay no attention to the findings? What a waste of the 30 minutes I spent filling it out. I guess amending 3 federal documents is much too much work. Let's all hope G4C pulls through.

vermitor
vermitor

so agree bought overseas copy of left 4 dead 2 and been region locked by steam :( mates playing unedited version and it sucks ive bought legit and caNT play it refuse to buy the cut up (mauled) edited version curse you australian rules

SL4Y3Rftw
SL4Y3Rftw

I have given up about this **** seriously whats the point R18+ wont be introduced just because of some idiot(s) wants his/her/their way or the high way nothing is more annoying than a politician because this **** will either blame someone else or just **** and complain because a few stupid people go and kill people in real life over a game seriously that aint the video games fault thats the persons fault like that dumb interview with Michael Atkinson and he talks about some mentally challenged kid that thought he was playing Grand Theft Auto in real life. /end of my rant

johnnyauau
johnnyauau

Quite right R_evolution_Jay. I would've of thought he understands the dire state we're in. I've already heard ridiculously, games edited to fit the MA15+, heck I don't know how Playboy Mansion game manage to get through the censors. Typically his sons plays Grand Theft Auto games while he's playing Wii Sports and there's no through line to his concept. But I must say the pressure on Michael Atkinson is pushing to breaking point and there's no way he'll get out of this one. We got Gamers4Croydon and his failed attempt to keep the discussion paper open to public. Add his nonsense and his announcement to election and he has nowhere to go. I don't know what he's doing now but by election, he'll end up stuffing his sorries in a sack, mister. (Seinfeld, The Betrayal)

R_evolution_Jay
R_evolution_Jay

I don't even know why they bothered with this public opinion paper, I myself filled it out and sent it in in December, but in the end the public's opinion DOESN'T MATTER, because one baby won't give up his grudge... Million bucks says Atkinson won't even read it! or if he does he won't bring up any of the positive and VALID arguments relating to why it's good to bring in the R18+ rating... if anything he will only bring up the negative responses by angry soccer mums and old people who are as ignorant as he is on the subject (not to say they all are, just a fair few of them), he will still oppose it even if it was 99% FOR the new rating... all for his pride I'm guessing, he simply doesn't want to get laughed at by the entire gaming community when he gets proven wrong on something he's opposed for so long... regardless of the truth...