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.