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Post by Steve Farrelly @ 12:31pm 13/12/10 | 38 Comments
Last Friday's epic meeting of the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (SCAG) in Canberra to discuss, among other things, the introduction of an R18+ rating for videogames, saw the AGs undecided on the issue, prompting the Minister for Home Affairs, Brendan O'Connor, and the SCAG to agree to draw up new guidelines for a revamped classification system, study the affects of an R18+ introduction on the current MA15+ and RC ratings and reconvene, armed with knowledge of the issue at hand, at the next SCAG meeting in early 2011.

While not having the R18+ voted in unanimously on the day, it was still worded by the Minister as a "step in the right direction" to the rating's introduction and, if anything, proved that the AGs needed more education on the issue.

Staunch opponent of the R18+ initiative, the Australian Christian Lobby, has ignored this "step in the right direction", however, releasing their own Media Release, claiming victory by stating "the Australian Christian Lobby has welcomed the decision of the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General not to provide an R18+ Classification for games".

The release goes on to quote panellist Jim Wallace as saying that "it is clear that the meeting failed to get support for the R18 classification", however, as mentioned in the opening to this post, and as confirmed and clarified by the Minister for Home Affairs, there was no clear outcome barring the need for more information to make a more informed, and mature decision on such a decisive issue. Unfortunately, hyperbole like this is, in fact, the antithesis to the overall outcome of last Friday's meeting.

"The claims that the MA15+ rating for games contains a number of games that should be classified higher is simply admission of a failed system," Wallace said.

attorneys-generalr18+ ratingr18+scagaustralian christian lobby

Latest Comments
Posted 12:39pm 13/12/10
may have won the battle, but the war is far from over
Posted 12:50pm 13/12/10
If anyone from the ACL even bothered to read the Bible they'd see that Christian's should stay away from political affairs. That's probably asking too much of them, though, they're clearly unable to comprehend logic seeing as they are opposed to a classification system that offers more protection that will still have the RC rating that will stop unsuitable content from being sold in shops (yet freely available online!).
Posted 12:59pm 13/12/10
Let's see if I get a reply..
Posted 01:00pm 13/12/10
“The claims that the MA15+ rating for games contains a number of games that should be classified higher is simply admission of a failed system,” Mr Wallace said.

With this quote in mind from an SCAG panellist, maybe the ACL press release title should be amended:

"ACL welcomes refusal of R18+ classification for games status quo decision on broken classification system."
Posted 01:06pm 13/12/10
I no longer find their lack of knowledge on the subject laughable. The closed mindedness of the ACL is pathetic.
Posted 01:09pm 13/12/10
If the ACL had their way only G rated material would be legal for sale here.
Posted 01:19pm 13/12/10
Ridiculous interpretation of the result - doesn't matter which side you're on!

Dazhel's would be a much more realistic interpretation.

The ACL stance is bizarre. I think they are too emotional about the issue because the lack of logic in their approach dooms them to failure from the very beginning!

Someone should make a parody of this page with an ACL twist so it would say:

G - Mild content. No holding hands or kissing
up to
X18+ - Adult viewers only. Depicts imagery of birth of children to married parents, glasses of wine with dinner and staying up past midnight.

I think this video has an important message.

Posted 01:16pm 13/12/10
may have won the battle, but the war is far from over

The war won't be over until Christianity is seen as a mental illness which sees believers in institutions and straight jackets.

Oh snap, too far?

If only we could get Religious material reclassified R18+. Then I wonder how they'd feel about the R18+ rating :D
Posted 01:31pm 13/12/10
Just as well, how will Rodd and Todd live!

somebody think of the children!
Posted 01:53pm 13/12/10
As a christian myself, I must say that the ACL are simply retarded.
Posted 01:57pm 13/12/10
These c**** have obviously not read the bible, in the end we all find out that god plays quake!
Posted 02:09pm 13/12/10
Right, so the ACL are gloating over a neutral outcome? Wow, that's intelligent.
Obviously they don't know the difference between "Undecided" and "Refused".
Posted 02:10pm 13/12/10
These c**** have obviously not read the bible, in the end we all find out that god plays quake!

I think this what Corinthians 9:25 is talking about, eSports:
(25) Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

Proverbs 12:27 also discusses pro-gaming:
The lazy do not roast any game, but the diligent feed on the riches of the hunt.

Clearly a metaphor about pwning n00bs.
Posted 02:17pm 13/12/10
Oh Pinky you mother f***** I love it, you have really made my day
Posted 02:20pm 13/12/10
lol Herbal. It's amusing because every reference to 'game' is about wild game and hunting. I think the Bible is telling us we all need to own rifles and hunt more often. How anyone can see massive slabs of the Bible as being relevant at all anymore is beyond me.

In R18+ news if anyone wants the transcript of the SCAG press conference Gamespot just uploaded it.

Posted 02:37pm 13/12/10
f*** i hate the way Australian politicians talk, why can't they just be like "yeah mate we've got no f***** idea aye, were just gonna f*** off down the pub and then go back our wives ay cobba"
Posted 03:27pm 13/12/10
... more importing games then... australia loses....
Posted 03:35pm 13/12/10
^ isn't that hogfathers avatar?
Posted 03:39pm 13/12/10
Nice vid Pinky & good noises coming out of the AG office.

Basically, 'We can't make a decision yet because the proposed framework is still being drafted, but there's in principle support for an addition of a new R18+ rating because ESRB M17+ and AO18+ & PEGI 18+ games are slipping through as MA15+ here'.
Posted 03:40pm 13/12/10
^ isn't that hogfathers avatar?
Yeah hogfather is a space marine who took a photo of himself, edited the image it to make it look cartoony and uploaded it as his own avatar.

How dare anyone else use it. Yeah, good one.

p.s. ACL FTL
Posted 03:56pm 13/12/10
I really do hate religion and religious people. Their ignorance and sheer stupidity is just to much to deal with. So as a result we are forced to live life according to their moronic rules for morons. I will have even more ammo to throw at the worthless pricks when they come knocking at my door. Religion sucks.
Posted 03:56pm 13/12/10
hate the way Australian politicians talk

brenden o'conner was pretty good i think, just the way he answered some of the questions annoyed me in that he wouldn't give a straight answer but did well not to look ignorant while seeming to be complaining that he doesnt actually know and the political game goes about twice as slow as the education administration processes...

also wahts RC and ACL?
Posted 03:57pm 13/12/10
also wahts RC and ACL?

Refused Classification (i.e., banned from sale in Australia) and Australian Christian Lobby (although they don't appear to represent any Christians that I know).
Posted 04:01pm 13/12/10
Dirtyape,views like that are no better than those of the ACL.
Posted 05:18pm 13/12/10
Dirtyape,views like that are no better than those of the ACL.

Actually sounds like he has some serious tolerance issues and may need to seek help. Fancy being that intolerant and grouping people in the same bucket like that in this day and age!
Posted 05:58pm 13/12/10
Isn't the whole point of religion to group people according to their beliefs? :p
Posted 06:33pm 13/12/10
ahh buddy its my avatar ok!
Posted 06:34pm 13/12/10
his is different anyway :)
Posted 08:20pm 13/12/10
I will once again make my obligatory post stating that I am a Christian and do not in any way support the ACL. I wish they'd make their name something more suitable like "People that Wish to Parent and Control the Australian People Lobby"...maybe a little too long though.

Christianity is about teaching people about God (if they let you) and letting them do what they want with their lives. The ACL seems to be some form of modern day Crusaders; forcing people to share their beliefs, which just isn't right.
Posted 08:44pm 13/12/10
I strongly suspect people are exaggerating the effect the ACL had on this decision (especially them).

There are many better opponents to the R18+ rating; the ACL is just low hanging fruit and a convenient target for our moral outrage, because as a fringe group of religious types that exists solely as a lobby group to push their weird and dated political agendas, they're just easy to pick on. Too easy.

Here's what I reckon we should do:

1) Stay informed, by reading this site and others, that are covering the issue. Read things like the literature review that was released earlier this month which concludes, based on the latest evidence, which quite clearly concludes that there is "no conclusive evidence that violent computer games have a greater impact on players than other violent media, such as movies or music videos".

2) Let's just ignore the ACL and continue trying to encourage our politicians to do the right thing by showing that responsible adults and gamers are one and the same thing.

If you simply must get involved with the ACL, their representatives, or their faithful believers, then engage them calmly, politely and factually. Don't fall into patterns of abuse that focuses on their belief.

3) JOIN ELECTRONIC FRONTIERS AUSTRALIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is an entity that will LOBBY FOR YOU directly to politicians on these sorts of issues. They will do ALL the hard work - writing letters, appearing in front of the Senate to talk about things like privacy, going on the radio, debating with Conroy - all that stuff.

If you care about R18 games, then giving money to the EFA is probably the single best thing you can do. $55/year or $275 for lifetime membership.

sign up today!
Posted 09:00pm 13/12/10
Can't someone else do it.
Posted 09:28pm 13/12/10
2) Let's just ignore the ACL and continue trying to encourage our politicians to do the right thing by showing that responsible adults and gamers are one and the same thing.

I couldnt resist trog, its too hard. I made a comment on there press release page saying the government should ban people becoming priests as it obviously turns people into child molesters.

Yes it was childish and pointless but I couldnt resist.

For some reason they moderated my post.
Posted 02:43pm 14/12/10
Oh oh. It gets worse...

Although the nation's attorneys-general decided to draft preliminary guidelines for the introduction of R18+ for games during last Friday's SCAG meeting, it appears Rau is still concerned about the future of the MA15+ category should R18+ be introduced. Speaking to the Adelaide Advertiser yesterday, Rau said he wants to scrap the MA15+ category altogether, saying its scrapping will better inform parents and provide a clear delineation between video games made for kids and those made for adults.

Rau is missing the point - the discrepancy between film & literature classification and games is what creates confusion

@hoggy - didn't I tell you this would happen!!?
Posted 02:55pm 14/12/10
I couldnt resist trog, its too hard. I made a comment on there press release page saying the government should ban people becoming priests as it obviously turns people into child molesters.

That is the kind of idiotic hipocracy I hate the church for. Stop preaching your own bulls*** to everyone else and clean up your own church. (catholic church anyway /)

Here's what I reckon we should do:

BUT WHY should we put up with them forcing their views on beliefs on us. Just roll back and let them go at us? No thank you. I see the point of a well thought out tactical approach but what I don't understand is why its frowned upon to point out the blatantly obvious flaws in their own moronic beliefs.

The anger part of me just wants to see these douchebags get put in their place. I just hope common sense prevails.
Posted 08:15pm 15/12/10
Haha, I like this guy's letter to Rau:

Also, this quote

>Besides, if the latest surveys about the average gamer being a 32-year-old single male who sits at home and plays games
> all day are correct, then what I am proposing is not going to have much impact at all

Is offensive to people who like video games and implies you don't give any thought to this issue. I could easily say 'All politicians are conservative old white haired men who take money from big business in order to stay in power' but this would be an untrue and offensive stereotype that implies I don't care about the political system.

New ESRB app and advertisement for rating games.

Posted 08:38pm 15/12/10
Good article by Mark Serrels on gaming/aggression correlation:
Posted 12:41pm 21/12/10
Source: Gamespot

Today, the Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland and Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O’Connor announced that they will ask the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) to conduct a review of classification in Australia in light of "changes in technology, media convergence and the global availability of media content." In a press statement, O'Connor said that the current classification categories would also be considered as part of the ALRC review.

"It has become increasingly clear that the system of classification in Australia needs to be modernised so it is able to accommodate developments in technology now and in the future," O'Connor said.

There's a good bit of info on the Classification website and a request for comments using the online inquiry form:
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