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51 comments so far

- December 10, 2010, 5:14PM
- December 10, 2010, 5:26PM

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- December 10, 2010, 5:16PM
Jeez I feel pretty pessimistic on climate change action, if this one is so immediate and seeming cut and dried ( ie not controvertial for most voters! ) 80-90% minimum of the populace want it( 96% for by the SMH survey so far ), no proof that it is detrimental( what makes us so different to the rest of the western world? ), but Oz governments fail to deliver yet again……

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- December 10, 2010, 5:19PM

dks
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- December 10, 2010, 5:10PM
They certainly don’t support this part of the “wider community” and the 98.4% (that seems pretty wide) that recognise this move for what it is – something that’s increasingly well overdue. They can take their dark age beliefs back to the dark ages. Who are the Australian Christian Lobby to tell me what I can or can’t play?

Jecka
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looks like this will be their strategy (delay, delay, delay). what an embarrassment! oh well, australia still being held by a bunch of backward politicians.

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and once again the leaders of our country demonstrate how utterly incompetent they are.. ..

| Sydney

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| Sydney

And once again, the churchies, oops I mean “people” have spoken.
They don’t give a damned about what the Australian community wants. This decision only proves one thing: Politicians only interest in one view, and that view is of their own view. Politicians still treats mature Australian adults as little kiddies.

- December 10, 2010, 5:15PM

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| Ivanhoe

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Gamers have today been left disappointed after State and Territory Attorneys-General failed to unanimously agree on lifting the ban on R 18+ adults-only video games in Australia. State and Territory Attorneys-General, along with the Commonwealth’s, met behind closed doors in Canberra this morning to discuss whether video games should have an R 18+ adults-only video game classification. But gamers have been left disappointed after Commonwealth Censorship Minister Brendan O’Connor announced this afternoon that State and Territory Attorneys-General had not reached the unanimous agreement required.
I agree with ST of Sydney … not that it will stop me obtaining games baned in this country … HOW DARE these INDIVIDUALS hold up something that the AUSTRALIAN PUBLIC wants … WHO GIVES THESE PEOPLE TO RIGHT TO CHOOSE ON OUR BEHALF !! The right should be taken away from the states and handed to the federal govt! SIMPLE AS THAT !!!!!!!! All these people do is encourage us gamers to buy overseas … I never voted for these people! I am DISGUSTED WITH THESE INDIVIDUALS!

Very happy to hear that we won’t be geting the r rating anytime soon. We need to protect kids from idiot parents who refuse to heed classification warnings and think that as video games are kid’s toys (as they should be) they’re all safe to play with.

Poll: Should Australia have an R 18+ video game rating?

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I propose a referendum on removing classification decisions from the states. It is a federal issue, not a state one, and it is sad that it only takes one conservative state to stymie the introduction of a better classification system.
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- December 10, 2010, 5:16PM

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- December 10, 2010, 5:07PM
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Various surveys have been done, and in December 2009 the Commonwealth Censorship Minister Brendan O’Connor called for submissions from the public on whether Australia should have an R 18+ rating. In a media release, Council president Elizabeth Handsley said that it was “evident many of the public rightly wanted greater protections for children from the impacts of very violent computer games”. But Atkinson resigned in March. The Twitter “hashtag” used by most users to discuss R 18+ in Australia was the number one trending topic on the social networking website throughout the day. State and Territory legislative amendments may also be needed, for instance, they may wish to apply specific offences and penalties for selling R18+ games to minors,” a spokesperson for Commonwealth Censorship Minister Brendan O’Connor said before this afternoon’s announcement. The consultation process found 98.4 per cent of the more than 58,000 respondents backed the move. But she said the public had “been misled as to what it means to create an R18+ classification for games”. Curry also believed that the concept of “tweaking” a game that should be adults-only so that it could be “wedged” into an Australian MA 15+ rating was silly. Yesterday afternoon, O’Connor released [PDF] an international comparison of video games, showing the difference between Australian ratings and those for the same gaming titles overseas. The views of the CEO of the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association Ron Curry, three professors, two religious groups – the Australian Catholic Media Council’s Peter Ingham and the Australian Christian Lobby’s Jim Wallace – and that of the director of the Classification Board, Donald McDonald, were heard at the briefing today, which began at 10am. This has meant that video games have either been rejected (and therefore banned from sale in Australia) by the Classification Board or modified by the company releasing the title to tone down anything in it which may get it rejected from a classification of MA 15+ (the highest rating available), such as excessive violence. He believes that video game classification needs to have an R 18+ rating to cater for the rising age of people who play video games. CEO of the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association Ron Curry has a different view. Furthermore, the federal government has released a paper which shows that many games which have been given adults-only ratings in other countries are released in Australia at MA15+, meaning kids are exposed to potentially more violent content under the existing regulations. “Bureaucrats in the Attorney-General’s Department have been too quick to dismiss credible academic literature which shows a link between violent interactive video games and aggressive behaviour.”

He said that there was “acknowledgement from both sides of politics that the classification system is broken” and that the idea of “using it to legalise more offensive and potentially dangerous material” made “no sense”. For a change to occur will require unanimous agreement between State, Territory and the Commonwealth Attorneys-General, according to the federal government. “All Classification Ministers must agree to the change for it to progress. because everyone was aware that there was no chance [of introducing an R 18+ rating] with him against it”. “This Friday’s meeting of State and Commonwealth Attorneys-General is not a done deal and State Ministers should be free to make up their own minds based on the academic evidence and the concerns of parents without undue pressure from the Commonwealth,” he said in a statement. We need to protect children from unsuitable games and we need to make sure that adults are allowed to play the games they want to play,” Kotaku reported him as saying. But the Australian Christian Lobby’s Jim Wallace has said O’Conner’s support for lifting the ban on video games with a higher rating of MA 15+ was “not in the interests of children or the wider community”. The Australian Council on Children and the Media has also been critical of the R 18+ push. If changed, it would allow “adults to be treated as adults” and give a “full toolkit” to parents as to what their children should or should not be allowed to play. “Doing so is not the answer to children’s need for greater protection,” she said. Serrels said that when Atkinson was in power it “meant that [an R18 + rating] was basically not even a discussing point … To date, video games sold in Australia have had to go through a classification system which has only allowed for them to be classified G, PG, M or MA 15+ – but not R 18+ or X 18+, of which films can be classified. If it were agreed unanimously, the Commonwealth would then need to amend its own legislation to create an R18+ classification [and] set the parameters for the new rating. The Australian Capital Territory also supports it. “It could’ve gone better, but there was a lot of goodwill in the room, and everyone agreed that things need to be changed with the rating system. But the Northern Territory, Western Australia, Victoria and New South Wales governments had previously refused to air their views. “If it is an adult narrative, let’s keep it that way.”

Editor of the Australian gaming website Kotaku, Mark Serrels, said the introduction of an R 18+ rating was, until recent times, never going to happen, with the former Attorney-General of South Australia, Michael Atkinson, being vocal about his opposition to such a rating. This reporter is on Twitter: @bengrubb A national telephone survey also showed that 80 per cent of respondents supported an adults-only rating for video games. The comparison found that more than two-thirds of the sample of Australian rated MA 15+ video games were restricted to adults-only in comparative countries, such as New Zealand, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany and Singapore, as well as the Pan European Game Information system that includes 30 European nations, a statement from O’Connor’s office said. “It’s disappointing that an adult rating for video games will be delayed once again despite mass support from the Australian community, whether it is from adult gamers who want the right to play games that appeal to them or parents who want clear guidelines for their children,” CEO of the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association, Ron Curry, said. The Commonwealth has supported the move, along with Tasmania, which said it supported it “in principle”, Queensland, which said it “appears to have some merit”, and South Australia, which agreed that it could be made to work. O’Connor told gaming blog kotaku.com.au that today’s meeting “could’ve gone better” but that there was “a lot of goodwill in the room” among Attorneys-General. Atkinson’s resignation, according to Serrels, “was a big step” forward for the introduction of an adults-only rating, as it paved the way for debate to occur between Attorneys-General knowing that there was a possibility of it actually getting somewhere.

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- December 10, 2010, 5:23PM

- December 10, 2010, 5:15PM
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96% of the population agree an R18+ classification is needed. Good to see democracy at work…