Greens hit pause on Aussie R18+ push

Party decides against tabling a private member's bill for R18+ for games in Australia; wants to avoid "pushing people back into a confrontational position."

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The Greens Party has been quick to take advantage of its newfound power in Australian politics following its decision to support Labor in forming a minority federal government. In the past month, the Australian Greens announced its intent to introduce two private member's bills--the first regarding euthanasia, and the second regarding same-sex marriage. However, another issue the Greens Party feels strongly about won't be getting the same push: the introduction of an R18+ classification for games.

Despite strongly proclaiming its support for an R18+ rating for games before the previous federal election, the Australian Greens has decided against introducing a private member's bill in parliament to push for the legislation needed to bring in the classification. Instead, the Greens are choosing to focus on the outcome of the upcoming Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (SCAG) meeting in December before making future decisions on the party's plans regarding video game classification.

Green senator Scott Ludlam says he won't push for R18+ in the lower house.

For the Greens' private member's bills to pass (and therefore become law), a majority of MPs in the Lower House and senators in the Senate need to vote for it, which has become an easier prospect in the Lower House given the Labor Government's minority status (that is, requiring the support of the Greens and two Independents to govern). For the bills to be successful, the Greens would need the support of either the Labor Government or the Coalition. This opportunity also means that the Greens could table a private member's bill to pave the way for the introduction of an R18+ classification for video games; however, the party has decided against doing this for fear it would upset Labor and the current progress made on the issue through SCAG.

Speaking to GameSpot AU, Australian Greens Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam said that the party still considers R18+ an important issue, but it is not convinced a private member's bill is the way to garner support for the classification's introduction.

"I'm not convinced [a private member's bill] is the way to go," Ludlam said. "The government would certainly oppose it, and it's not easy to conclude that the Opposition wouldn't either. Even if we achieve the support of the Independents, we still wouldn't be able to pass the legislation until next July and we'd find ourselves in a quagmire of other issues before then."

Ludlam believes adding extra pressure on the government with a proposal to introduce R18+ for games would inhibit the progress made by 2009's R18+ public consultation, the results of which showed an overwhelming community support for the classification.

"We have a successful R18+ public campaign process right now. I think we should keep putting pressure on SCAG to come up with a cooperative agreement and avoid pushing people back into a confrontational position. We don't want to throw a hand grenade into the progress that is being made."

When pushed on the nature of this progress, given the government's backtrack over the issue earlier this year, Ludlam said it is no longer a case of "if" but of "when."

"The frustration is obvious, but this is how community campaigns work. SCAG was overwhelmed by the R18+ submissions, which were coherent and intelligent. We cannot be discouraged by this; if they want more consultation, this is what we have to give them."

"The debate has certainly shifted. [The Greens'] job now is to make sure R18+ for games happens quickly--the last thing we want to do is provoke a confrontation between the government and the states when what we actually want is a harmonisation of the classification system."

Despite this, Ludlam said the Greens will keep the idea of a private member's bill in mind.

"We'll certainly keep the proposition for legislation; however, I feel the best course forward for the Greens right now is pushing SCAG to make headway on the issue. Gamers shouldn't get discouraged. If SCAG does call another public consultation, we have to be there with a louder, more coherent voice."

The R18+ for games issue has been confirmed for the next SCAG meeting, which is scheduled for December 10 in Canberra. Stay tuned to GameSpot AU for more news on R18+. For more on video game classification in Australia, check out GameSpot AU's Aussie Games Classification FAQ feature.

Discussion

57 comments
S3rialThrill3r
S3rialThrill3r

To tell you the truth, this issue doesn't really affect me because I import my games anyway. However, I do not like the idea of my home being the laughing stock of the world. Why is Australia so backward when it comes to anything related to technology? Furthermore, do not simply blame the government for all of the setbacks. Society itself is also to blame. There does appear to be much support for the introduction of an R18+ rating, however, I've also encountered people who still believe that games are the domain of children. How are we to convince them?

PrimusTool
PrimusTool

@johnnyauau I played GTA3 and House of the Dead 2 all the time with my friends when I was 12. Politicians have made it sound like kids playing violent video games are going to cause the apocalypse since Mortal Kombat game out and yet homocide is actually down in the USA (The only statistic I checked). We need to stop treating teenagers like they are babies. GTA is pretty tame compared to High School.

Elite39
Elite39

Typo, I meant I'm now 21*.

Elite39
Elite39

And don't bull me, I've been playing real violent games since I was around 5, I'm not 21. I'm not having nightmares, ahahaha. Pathetic old parents, they think kids can't see violence otherwise it'll mess them up, that's bull.

Elite39
Elite39

Whoever disagrees with me are just brainwashed government ****s.

SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

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

MfKiNg360
MfKiNg360

AHHH **** AUSTRALIA IM MOVEING TO AMERICA WHEN EVER I GET THE MONEY (im 13) I GOT A ****ING LONG TIME TO SAVE :D BLOODY **** I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR R18+ SINCE I WAS 9

johnnyauau
johnnyauau

Relax Elite39. It wouldn't help if they just charge in demanding the R18+ must go on now. Not after the submissions we gamers put in. If SCAG wants more convincing we'll be ready but if they decide to finally put that rating in, problem solved. Honestly, the reason why we need R18+ for example, would you allow a person who's thirteen to play like House of the Dead Overkill or Grand Theft Auto 4? There's no problem with eighteen year olds but exposing your child to extreme violence and horror could leave it with nightmares. It's a line between kids and adults. Rightly or wrongly, if you have a family, you wouldn't think that Scarface or The Godfather would be something that your kids would've hyperthetically enjoy (no record of that happening yet). So that's why we need R18+.

Elite39
Elite39

Why the **** do we need R18+, the game is NOT REAL LIFE! The game's made out of scripts and ****, who's dumb enough to believe it's real? Retards...

Elite39
Elite39

****ing government! So now they're focusing on banning games and ****? **** that! **** the government!

o0ONecrosisO0o
o0ONecrosisO0o

@oOneon_neonoO I think your missing the point mate well atleast what i get out of R18 is that without we will miss out on some games or they will be censored down to a level such as M15 so if we were to get R18 it would allow us to get un changed content and games that would of been outright banned I think its also good becuase it can help monitor younger people playing instead of just tonning a game down that is still as violent just not as graphic then that will protect them and allow us older ages to enjoy games that are free from all that over editing

Puddle_of_Sid
Puddle_of_Sid

I'm really sick and tired, I mean REALLY sick and fudging tired, of having some stupid rule somewhere say I don't have the ability to CHOOSE WHAT I DO AND DO NOT WANT TO SEE

oOneon_noenoO
oOneon_noenoO

I dont have to worry about R rated games anyways cos i just turned 18 xD

wawasjohn
wawasjohn

Euthanasia and same-sex marriage who wants that

wogboypaul
wogboypaul

but look if worse comes to worse... go on ebay and play asia.. its legal anyways.. and 360 owners make sure u get PAL ENGLAND OR REGION FREE!!! they dont cut stuff out on that

wogboypaul
wogboypaul

corrupt.. they promise things they cannot be bothered accomplishing.. i cant believe i voted for the greens.. this is complete bs that they screw everyone around like this.. seriously. if the greens make more of an effort to push marijuana to be legal.. then we know how australia is really going to go down.

rofeta
rofeta

sandgroper is right. Better to see if they can get anything out of the SCAG meeting first. Even if they did put up the bill now it would probably not get through the Senate anyway. The Greens would probably get the backing of Labor (given the lower house situation) and Xenophon, but the Liberals will probably vote against it and that leaves the power in the hands of Family First and they will never support the introduction of an R18+ classification. The best chance for the success of the bill is to wait until this current Senate expires next year, the Greens will have the balance of power in their own right and the bill will have a much higher chance of passing.

GordonFrohman11
GordonFrohman11

I doubt they were really going to do it anyway. Communists like Bob Brown love controlling the public and dictating to us on high because they supposedly know better then us because we don't want to hug the lesbian trees from leftyland.

sandgroper
sandgroper

Obviously it would be premature to introduce a private members bill before the upcoming SCAG which will specifically deal with the issue. It would be a good question to ask them after, but before? Anyone who doesn't see this either isn't from australia, or doesn't have a clue.

Adley123
Adley123

Greens supporting this will make a difference, I just want Left 4 Dead 2 to become uncensored quickly (I just bought it off steam for $6!) The gore makes all the difference.

Deano
Deano

not suprising of the greens, they've always supported controversial legislation simply to try and generate votes. Basically though what they're saying is that it's not worth the effort now that the elections are over. It's obvious they never even cared about the issue

Master_Mikkle
Master_Mikkle

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

dallasanderson1
dallasanderson1

you know this may be lame but i voted for greens primaryly for this! i wont be making that mistake again..sorry australia hehe

sonofsmeagle
sonofsmeagle

ffs the government doesnt ask us if we want ''asylum seekers'' populating camps just outside of our citys and towns and potentialy release them into our community, people who dont have any details with them who could be terrorists for all we know but because they are seeking asylum the government lets em sponge off of our tax paying people. and they do this on a moments notice when for something as simple and harmless as this not only takes a huge push from the people but pretty much a vote (every1 sending in positive papers) just to get noticed and now our only political support is backstabbing us in favor of kissing some redhead mcdonalds clowns a**

Rohan233
Rohan233

HOW HARD IS IT TO JUST PASS A BILL FOR R18+ GAMES!!, Stupid Greens, And Julia the witch Backstabbed Kevin Rudd, we all know it, I knew these retards would never pass the classification

cannibal87
cannibal87

Man i voted for the greens only coz of that f#$king government

Sablicious
Sablicious

Lying scums! Wii be voting the Sex Party come next election, to be sure. -_-

AshTray1986
AshTray1986

How suprising, i dont care how many people disagree with me, the greens are a waste of space in politics, they almost seem like the deliberately back the controversial subjects purely for the fact nobody else is backing them, gay-marriage, euthanasia, R18 gaming, seeing a trend? what their economic policies? oh, they dont have any, what their take on the australian education system? they dont have one, how shocking. If Mr.Brown wasnt batting for the other team I dont even think same-sex marriage would be on the table. In fact every week I seem to see on 60 minutes or whatever tabloid news show you watch, labor and/or greens going back on their proposals made prior to the election. Its disgusting but there is nothing we can do until next election, but the moronic drones who think purely because the LABOR party is called such they represent the working class, give me a break, by those reasonings the Sex party would only support hookers and the Greens would support vegetables. Sorry to go off topic, i wish they would push the R18 gaming, I think adults have a right to a) play violent games without censorship or banning, and b) control what their kids play and shield them from such games at a young age.

Valas_Azuviir
Valas_Azuviir

With all due respect, but I have to call bollocks on this. SCAG calls for another consultation, they get the same result, so they call for another one, till they get the answer they want. It's pretty clear that this is their game plan. Keep on delaying till either the problem goes away, or they get an answer they like. And tossing in a hand grenade would probably solve the whole damned thing a lot more efficiently, than what he's blabbering about. Lessons Nr. 1 for any democratically oriented government. Government must be a reliable partner to the people. And not change the rules midgame, just because they don't like how things are playing out. That leads to radicalization and makes extreme protest parties all the more attractive next time round. Whether it be groups like the Teaparty, PVV, ONP, BNP, FN or FPO. End result is the same. Even more problems than before.

Shinkada
Shinkada

Haaaaahahahah. Are you really surprised? Anyone who can see more than a centimeter in front of their own face realized long ago the Greens' claims to be "pushing for R18+ for games" is nothing more than vote-hunting. Their main points are environmentalism, human rights, and anything else that lets them psychologically pleasure themselves about how much they're saving the world. Harsher laws on industry, abortion choice, gay rights, euthenasia, gender and race "equality" (by which I mean white males saying sorry for their fathers over and over and over again), recycling, "renewable" (see: inefficient) energy... ALL of these, and more, come before any concern for an R18+ rating for games. I dare you - right now - to go onto the Greens' website and look for where it says R18+ rating for games among their policies. Go on, look. http://greens.org.au/, look, it's right there. You will not find it, because they don't care, and everyone with any speck of intelligence realized this long ago and voted for the ASP instead. Face it, the Greens care about games just as much as Labour or the Liberals, that is to say, not at all.

blahblahblah999
blahblahblah999

*sigh* I'm never going to get to have my dream gay euthenasia wedding and LAN party reception.

isshiah
isshiah

nothing is gonna change if they are afraid of rocking the boat.

CrusaderX7
CrusaderX7

Don't let the Greens fool you they are a combination of radical feminists, socialist and radical environmentalists. Do you really expect them to follow through with their R18 promise?

Ragnarok-64
Ragnarok-64

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

SuprSaiyanRockr
SuprSaiyanRockr

That said, it's good to see that the greens haven't totally given up on the issue. I hope that it's true when they say 'not 'if' but 'when''.

SuprSaiyanRockr
SuprSaiyanRockr

I would understand if introducing an Rq8 rating costed millions, or would take up months of time. But it shouldn't. There's no reason they can't bring in the rating and continue to pass bills and discuss policies concerning matters they deem more important.

SuprSaiyanRockr
SuprSaiyanRockr

So much for representative democracy. Not really giving power to the people when every politician thinks alike on certain issues. If this was a direct democracy, we wouldn't have this problem.

Phoenix6359
Phoenix6359

Another reason to hate the Communist Greens, they were quick enough to release "refugees" into society yet when it comes to doing something good for Australia....

shaunn191
shaunn191

Filthy stinking lying hippies, just give us a R18+ rating for games already!

GH05T-666
GH05T-666

They lie, they lied to get into power than change there mind. Same sex marriage but no, R18+ game rating that's dumb. Stupid greens! Very disappointed.

3Z3K13L08
3Z3K13L08

Another reason why our country is so backwards. Man our politicians are stupid.

MinhYD
MinhYD

@ wawasjohn We need an R18+ classification because a lot of great games don't pass the rating system due to "too much violence" or something stupid. They end up getting censored and we get stuck playing a crappy version. Some games don't even get released. I doubt CoD and AC would get R ratings because they aren't as violent as many other games. And pfft, if you're too young for that, too bad. It's up to your parents at that point to decide if you're mature enough to play games with an R18+ tag. And I agree that the Greens are doing the right thing at the moment. Euthanasia and same-sex marriage are far bigger issues. They never said they were going back on the policy, they are just being patient and waiting for the results on the SCAG meeting. It's only another month and a half...we can wait.

wawasjohn
wawasjohn

why do we need R18. if there was i would never of played the cod's, assassin's greed's, army of two. if they made those games into movies they would only be M. they are to strict anyway

axeman87
axeman87

I hope their right in there tactics. I dont really know enough about politics to say more than that, other than the process of changing legislation is a strange and confusing one.

HollowNinja
HollowNinja

Pfft. So same-sex marriage is okay, but having R-18 games isn't?

rockerbikie
rockerbikie

R 18 gaming is more important than sam sex Marriage.

AceBalls
AceBalls

As interesting and cryptic the Green behavior is, I still feel like I've just copped a real hard shoe to the nuts.

TurambarGS
TurambarGS

That makes sense - refreshing to see a politician making sense for once. If they push too hard now, then they risk frightening the rest of the politicians into doing the conservative thing. Almost all of those politicians don't play games and don't have a clue about them - they're the same people who are outraged by stupid, inaccurate stories run by Fox about e.g. Mass Effect, GTA, MoH. Having waited years, sounds like we're going to have to wait a little longer for the political process to do its thing.

cheese00701
cheese00701

Its just pixels in games its not real -_- your only stupid if you immatate an act in a game e.g gta ofcorse who is stupid enough todo that