Sydney gamers take to the streets over R18+

A group of Sydney residents set out to inform the nongaming community about the issues surrounding Australia's classification system.

Australia has earned itself a negative reputation when it comes to banning video games, and 2009 did little to help the country shake it off. Not only were several high-profile games banned, but the much-lauded R18+ classification discussion paper was pushed back time and time again, before its eventual release in December.

With the discussion paper having done the rounds of the gaming groups, Luke Lawrie from R18+ Games Australia is organising an information day in Sydney's CBD at the Queen Victoria Building, on the corner of George and Druitt Streets, on the 9th of January. The aim of the day is to educate Australians outside of the gaming community about the lack of an R18+ classification, with Lawrie telling GameSpot AU that they will be specifically targeting older people who are less likely to know about video games.

The event has no sponsors backing it and is entirely done out of love, with Lawrie personally putting over A$300 towards printing information sheets and forms. So far he expects around 10 people to help but said if more people turn up, he'll be looking at expanding to other areas of the city to try to spread the word.

Click here for more information on the event.

To find out more about the R18 + debate in Australia, be sure to check out GameSpot AU's extensive feature on the topic.

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Discussion

59 comments
XYLag
XYLag

poor guys, i really feel sorry about the fact they cant play good and violent videogames

hottittiz
hottittiz

Who the hell in the right state of mind would prefer a nanny nation, a person who is not capable of thinking critically and wants mommy to make choices for them is the answer. USA FTW for now, but not for long because idiots like that are in the white house!

wbezuidenhout
wbezuidenhout

And I prefer a country where I can make my own choices, not where they are made FOR me... "Democracy" and "Freedom" indeed. BRING ON THE R18 RATING!!!

Nexus7Alpha
Nexus7Alpha

welcome to the great nanny nation! wenisman, I prefer nanny nation over guns on streets nation, AKA: USA!

H0rr0rG4m3r
H0rr0rG4m3r

Us Aussies REALLY need that R+18 rating for video games.

bendall01
bendall01

I would rather an R18+ category than not have an R18+ category. At least we have choice then, rather than no choice.

tigertechie
tigertechie

It's stupid, parents walk with their kids into a store and buy them a MA15+ game, because it says MA not R, because even some parents wouldnt play R, but cause its MA, they let their kids play it. We aussies need to change a few things!

Reiken37
Reiken37

So 11 people in Australia are going to hold an event to attempt to create an R18+ rating. Well, at least we know there are SOME grown up gamers in Australia, because frankly, if it were my country pulling this bull, I'd create an entire gamers union and push out the "Soccer Mommy Protection Agency".

wenisman
wenisman

I thought we were a democracy but alas we are held to ransom by one or two ancient bureaucrats who are so out of touch with the world they hold up progress. i truly hope this gains momentum and brings about change, however I dont think it will. unfortunately Australia punishes everyone because there is one parent who wont monitor what their child is doing... and we cant have one child play a game. welcome to the great nanny nation!

YonScodGatsey
YonScodGatsey

@ tootank and everybody else I guess I had the exact same problem working in a game store, with the same game. A parent would walk in with a 5 year old and buy GTA San Andreas because they didn't consider the rating as it was only MA15+ which shared its rating with other games which were weaker in content and themes. I actually had an argument with a parent who said we did have an R18+ rating in Aus, so i challenged him to find 1 game with it on. He searched the store for about 30 mins before he said "well then nothing must be bed enough to be given an R" I saw him again 3 days later, he was returning San Andreas because of the whole prostitute bashing, cop killing, drug running, car jacking etc. thing. San Andreas was squeezed into an MA15+ rating because of money and yet Marc Echo's: Getting Up got banned for "realistic crime"... pathetic. Which I maintain is one of the funniest things I have ever read. So good luck, i know the date has passed, but good luck in the future too, I hope you inspire more people to do more.

CelestaD
CelestaD

Good luck with this, hopefully it does some good and they finally change things.

ToRNiO
ToRNiO

Well done guys and girls.. hope this event took off and we got more supports on board.

ToRNiO
ToRNiO

Well done guys and girls.. hope this event took off and we got more supports on board.

badboysa
badboysa

Great More Aussies Trying to get a R18+ for Games Good Job

macca366
macca366

Thanks Lawrie. I'll hold the fort here in Melbourne =P

SkeletX
SkeletX

good job guys keep it up ! and Australia.. grow up soon will you

cvmart
cvmart

Best of luck guys, I wish I could help you guys more from here in Perth. I've done my submission and hope a lot of people do too, Australia has to wake up to the 21st century games aren't just Pacman and River Raid anymore. Keep it UP!

SoyFish
SoyFish

May the force be with you Luke!

lordallanon
lordallanon

Good Job Guys Finally Someone is doing something and this will certainly help the R18 classification come into our rating system

Payback7
Payback7

Great work guys!! - I've been handing out as many submissions as I can at work. I've got several 'non-gamers' to fill them out and believe these are the people we have to convince. So far I'm getting a very positive response and hope this happening all around Australia - keep up the great work gamers!!

giort08
giort08

I wish I was in Sydney to help out. Awesome work guys!

ToxinZA
ToxinZA

Thank you Big-Ted. I owe you guys one

Big_Ted
Big_Ted

Hey Guys & Gals, Just to keep you updated on the good fight, I participated in the event today handing out pamplets and trying to teach people about the dilema we face in Australia with Classification for video games. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and doing my part to try to educate people about this issue. To all those other gamers who are busy collecting trophies and achievements, get your submissions in to government before the dead line of 28 Feb 2010. The link is http://www.ag.gov.au/gamesclassification so lets get the wheels moving! Tell your friends!

Azuki
Azuki

@saint0814 Because the old man in charge thinks games are entirely different to movies, that the simple fact they're interactive increases their impact 300%, he also thinks most people who play games are children.

perrybeeinoz
perrybeeinoz

I am in Melbourne but it is about time things get changed, the politicians already restrict us adults what we can and can't do, why should us adults have these restrictions put on our gaming industry for the lack of parental input by parents not doing their job raising their children, it's up to those parents to restrict their children, not at the cost of gamers.

witide
witide

I'm in the city today, so might be there for support. Hope all goes well!

saint0814
saint0814

I don't understand why the rating systems are so hard. Why can't the same standards for movies and television go for games?

Muteki_X
Muteki_X

Would be there if I could; good luck guys and keep up the good fight.

poopinpat
poopinpat

Good luck! Straighten out the ratings system over there and we will see you online!

RockZillaX
RockZillaX

I'm on the Gold Coast but I'm there in spirit!

tootank
tootank

just a story regarding classifications in Aus... I used to work at a game store, kids under 10 would pick up a copy of GTA San An and take it to the counter with their mum. the convo is usually as follows... tank: "Ma'm I just want to make sure that it is ok for your kids to play this game, it is rated MA15+" mum: "oh, it's only MA15+? that's ok then. it's not like it's rated R." tank: "actually, Ma'm, this game is very violent and contains a lot of foul language, it is rated R18+ in other countries" mum: "Really? why isn't it rated R here?" tank: "that's because we don't have a R rating for games..." mum: "oh..." then the mum will stop the kids from buying the game and the kids choose something like lego star wars instead. we need a R18+ classification in Aus, being a sales i see too many parents making rushed decisions and getting whatever just so they can get out of the crowded store during the christmas rush.

tootank
tootank

i'll see if i can drop by. if i can't, gluck guys.

olthof
olthof

Wish i could attend but i can't. Good luck to all the dedicated people trying to raise awareness to this important issue.

TheGreyArea
TheGreyArea

affirmative action! well done to the guys who've taken time and effort to protest this. I've sat here and thought how unfair so many classifications and restrictions were put on you over the last year or so. Well done, and GOOD LUCK with any further movement to bring your games classification back in-line with the majority of the rest of the buyers world

NicotineKid
NicotineKid

I would definitly support him if I could.

St_muscat
St_muscat

If only it was held in Melbourne, then I'd join in :)

Gladestone1
Gladestone1

Some how you guys should try an get the us news involved..It couldnt hurt an could spread a message to help..Its all about freedom isnt it..You guys are a FREE nation...Why shouldnt you be FREE to choose what you buy..If you bring it to the american attention it could help..Put the american gamer behind you guys, like us at gamestop already are..Do any thing an any thing to help your cause protest..Do it like the 60s here in america..Do it large an get every gamer out there..

GWA17
GWA17

to be honest i don't know why they ban games because its not like we're going to go out and chop peoples heads off because we think their zombies or something and the game is rated 18 anyway so what does it matter.

illmatic87
illmatic87

Might I add they couldn't have done it at a better day, it will be packed in Sydney tommorrow as there is a large city festival happening, It would have been nice if they somehow managed to voice out on one of the stages

hampton2003
hampton2003

Yeah! fight the good fight! We support you guys! Good Luck!

illmatic87
illmatic87

Seems like a fairly late notice, anyway it should get a good amount of attention now that it is up on Gamespor, but I'll be dropping by briefly to check out how these dedicated champions are doing.

johnnyauau
johnnyauau

Well now R18+ for games is growing in momentum in Australia. It would be silly for me to say they should make a movie out of this but it is slowing going out into the public. There's a few more weeks left. I'll reiterate once more: Sign into submission before February. Answer all questions and be polite in your comments. Do not be prognosis negative, even towards Michael Atkinson. That will give the impression that games influence gamers to be bad and will make R18+ much harder to reach. Lastly, if you live near Croydon, South Australia, vote for Games 4 Croydon. They'll be campaigning more than just the ratings issues. I can't stress enough that damaging emails, death threats and other insults towards Michael Atkinson doesn't help at all.