Deadline For R 18+ Discussion Paper Submissions
Post by Steve Farrelly @ 04:37pm 22/02/10 | Comments
The deadline for submissions to the discussion paper for the introduction of an R 18+ rating for videogames is upon us, and we at AusGamers urge you to get involved. Read on for more information on how you can have your voice be heard...
Australians are sitting at an incredible cross roads right now. While we live in a relatively free country, various impediments obstruct our defining real-world self in the online space. We also have, for better or worse, a track record as one of the hardest countries in the world to rate media for classification for eventual consumer consumption. While the Classification Board, a redefined OFLC (Office of Film and Literature Classification), are responsible for ensuring any media entering the country is appropriately rated with G, PG, M, MA 15+, R 18+ or X 18+, one medium in particular is lacking in a definitive rating - videogames.
It's no secret among the thousands of people who peruse AusGamers, and various other gaming entities on a daily basis, our beloved medium has no R 18+ rating, all at the behest of a single Attorneys-General, one Michael Atkinson. But thankfully due to public demand a discussion paper regarding the topic has been made available for public consumption and interaction, and it's something AusGamers firmly believes in.
Over the past few months we've rallied behind the issue; urging others to take part and arm themselves with knowledge of the topic, and this week it's more important than ever as submissions for the discussion paper will come to a public close on February 28.
The Commonwealth Government has released a discussion paper which briefly summarises the key arguments for and against an R 18+ classification for computer games. Censorship Ministers have considered the issue of an adult classification for computer games on several occasions. However, they have not undertaken public consultation on this issue.The last line in that official delineate of the public consultation is the most important part, and it's with this impetus we undertook our own submission draft, as collaborated with the EFA (Electronic Frontiers Australia), to pose an intelligent and comprehensive response in hope the Attorneys-Generals who view the drafts better understand, from our position, that is the position of professionals working directly within the industry, the need for an R 18+.
That being said, the more weight we have behind our own submission the better, and so with less than a week to go before the public consultation option is drawn to a close, we strongly urge any and all reading this to equally submit their own arguments. There is an official template available directly from the government-hosted site for the discussion, but you can also read through our own submission to help you better understand what it is we're rallying for.
Bear in mind, when considering your arguments, that the issue itself has many layers that go beyond a simple call for violent or explicit games to be allowed in this country. The right to free speech, the right to choose, the need for stronger measures in protecting children from accessing inappropriate media; empowerment of parents in information regarding the nature of games their children have access to, ensured distribution of excessive products unable to be classified MA 15+; unhinged development and vision from an artistic and creative level, and beyond.
This is your opportunity to educate the government and help them realise gaming is not an idle pastime for children through intelligent arguments for an R 18+ rating for games, and remember it's counter-productive to be juvenile in your submission, no matter how fervent you are in protest to Michael Atkinson.