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.

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In Australia the R18+ rating for games issue has never been so hotly debated as it is now, thanks to the release of a federal government questionnaire urging Aussies to voice their opinions on the topic. And while there's been plenty of coverage of both the for and against sides of the argument, one vital sector of the games industry has remained silent so far--retailers.

Risen was banned in Australia in 2009.

Australian video game retailers EB Games, GAME, and Gametraders have all now spoken out, confirming that they not only unanimously support the need for an R18+ classification, but that they'd be willing to alter the way they sell adult games to accommodate the new rating if required. This includes possibly moving R18+ games to a separate section of a store or displaying them with generic covers (similar to recently introduced legislation in South Australia restricting the display of R18+ DVDs).

Gametraders' marketing director Chad Polley told GameSpot AU that: "If it has to be done, we will do it, but it would be our preference to place them in their appropriate platform section, up high, out of the view of minors. This is, of course, providing that the cover art is not deemed inappropriate for general public viewing."

GAME concurred with Gametraders, with a spokesperson saying "Although this would not be an ideal solution given our current in-store merchandising, we would, however, fully support and instigate any new legislation the government seeks fit to introduce." EB Games was more reserved saying that getting the submission paper is simply the first step in getting an R18+ rating through. EB Games also believes that an R18+ classification would be beneficial to the Australian workforce. "It would mean more jobs for Australians--as we will be able to sell customers a full scope of games without compromising the quality of those titles compared with their overseas counterparts," an EB spokesperson said.

On top of announcing their support, all three of the retailers are actively supporting the push for an R18+ rating. Gametraders has been advertising banners attempting to educate consumers on the issues surrounding the topic on its Web site for 18 months now, while GAME is offering customers the chance to fill in a survey that will then get sent off to the federal government. EB Games, on the other hand, has teamed up with Grow Up Australia to direct customers to the Grow Up Australia and EB Games official discussion paper response, which, once filled out, gets emailed through to the attorney-general’s office.

Stay tuned for information on other groups that support or block an R18+ rating for games in Australia. In the meantime, check out GameSpot AU's Aussie Games Classification FAQ feature.

Discussion

15 comments
Ztratos
Ztratos

Right, they are banning 15+ games, but anyone can write www()youporn().com and WOHOoo.. Here you got some nice action. If they really care, the only way to prevent it is to shut down the whole web. Bloody morons :P

Electrokah
Electrokah

Seriously though, what is with these stupid jack arses making a mountain out of a mole hill? Just slap a 18+ rating on the games and keep them in a adults only locked case and card people before they buy or even get the staff to open it so they can look at the games. My fragile little mind is flippin WTFs right now at people's retardation.

Electrokah
Electrokah

there should be a rating to keep the kiddy games, like pokemon, out of the view of adults! It offends me and THEY CREEP ME OUT AND MAKE ME WANNA THROW LARGE METAL RED/WHITE COLORED BALLS AT PEOPLE'S FACES!

solidsnake878
solidsnake878

I really cannot wait for the day that we get R18+ and then Atkinson will realise how much of his life he wasted trying to keep his view intact. Give it up, old man!

papouse84
papouse84

Wow, I just had to do a double take. In my submission I didn't bring up any arguments as I assumed everything would have already been said by someone else, so I just wrote down a suggestion, which was to have 18+ games wrapped with semi-opaque black plastic as they do with other adult material. Thought that was a good idea, but it looks like someone else thought of it as well...

stray2615
stray2615

So let's get this straight. The majority of people who have done the consultation thus far want R18+, including parents, myself included (father of 2) and my own parents. The retailers are supporting it. MOST Attorney Generals want this. But because 1 AG doesn't we don't get it. Methinks someone needs to have a look at the current system....

Timmi245
Timmi245

heh finally something is happening. I wonder if the government know that games make more money than drugs...and if Charles Manson played GTA IV.. We should of had this talk last year on 31st October with Bob Deebust, but no...a tool took over called Brendan O'Conner.

Fusion_Master
Fusion_Master

basically, everyone is on board but atkinson.

johnnyauau
johnnyauau

The reason I bought this up because I could never forget this astounding comment. I think the only comment about Australia compare to the rest of the world with exception to Singapore. I don't know if Singapore has an R18+ for games. You have to go there to find out. Anyway I'm happy that the Australian retail stores will be ready to support R18+. All those deleted elements will be restored and games made for adults will suddenly end the ridiculous quest to "save the children" from the dangers of video games.

johnnyauau
johnnyauau

“I think the western, industrialised countries that allow R18+ computer games and the extreme violence that goes with them are just so many gadarene swine going over the cliff, and I’m pleased that Australia has a principled, sensible stand against this extreme violence, I’m happy to stand alone, and international gamers can laugh at us all they like.” That's from Stateline if you go through your search engine with "Michael Atkinson" R18+ with the abc.net. I probably shouldn't forget that international gamers and non gamers are watching as well. I appreciate that the world is looking over Australia. I could hardly believe from the decay around the world, by censoring videogames, he thinks the children will be happy to play those games or more correctly if the highest is MA15+, teenagers, and they're almost mature as 18 year old adults and I don't want to hurt the teenagers reading this but they have to prepare for adulthood and this is the way to go! I live in Canberra and I did the discussion paper response and for the record I'm now 24 since January 28th 1986 and not the best birthday party I ever had. I'm prepare to continue support for this adult rating for the games until election and the aftermath of this moment.

AceBalls
AceBalls

See? This is an excellent example of making sure the restrictions are in good placing. Why can't this Atkinson and his non gamer golf buddies see how serious we'll all be once R18 comes in?

barkera0
barkera0

I work in one of the smallest EB Games in the country and well already have over 100 petitions filled out. The bigger stores must have heaps!

Mist17
Mist17

Thats right, sonic and turambar

sonic0491
sonic0491

This is great. I dont care what he says, this really shows that Mr Atkinson and his few supporters really are a vast minority.

TurambarGS
TurambarGS

This is handy - it directly counters the argument that Atkinson et al. have been putting out there, that an R18+ rating will make games easier for minors to procure. They won't be able to by it themselves and if they bring a parent along, then in-store adjustments like these will make it abundantly clear that the games are not meant for minors. It's also good to have support from retailers, another stakeholder in this debate - helps to break the gamers vs Atkinson mould that Atkinson likes to pretend this is all about.