The Attorney-General’s Department is set to receive an influx of submissions from people who support the introduction of an R18+ category for computer games into the Australian classification system. The submissions were made via an online form provided by Grow up Australia, an independent group advocating the introduction of an adults only rating for games.
Grow up Australia will contribute 16,056 submissions from people who used their online form. The bulk of the submissions were collected during a partnership with EB Games during which Grow up Australia posters were displayed in all of EB Games’ 250+ Australian stores. A link to the online submission form was also provided via a banner on the EB Games website during the campaign.
Australia is the only developed nation without an adult rating for video games despite the average Australian gamer being 30 years old. In December 2009, the Attorney-General’s Department released a discussion paper calling for community feedback on the issue.
Aaron John Percival, Gamer activist and one of the founders of Grow up Australia, said “support for the introduction of the R18+ rating has been overwhelming with ninety-nine percent of the submissions made through the website in favor of the change”.
The co-founder of the group, Jake Edwards, added that “with less than a week until the deadline for submissions, there is still opportunity for people who want to get involved to make a submission directly to the Attorney-General’s Department”.
To make a submission to the Attorney-General’s Department, log on to: http://www.ag.gov.au/gamesclassification
The submissions will be sent tomorrow so that they will be received before the deadline of the 28th of February 2010.
 Interactive Australia 2009, National Research prepared by Professor J. Brand, Bond University for the Interactive Entertainment Association of Australia, 2008, <www.igea.net/category/industry-research
The Grow up Australia Online Discussion Paper Submission Form is no longer available. You can still make a submission directly to the Attorney-General’s Department. Submissions close 28th of February.
Thank you to all those who have participated and to
EB Games Australia for getting involved in this important issue.
- Grow up Australia
Grow up Australia!
EB Games Australia has joined forces with Grow up Australia and thrown their support behind the introduction of an R18+ rating for video games.
Grow up Australia posters are prominently displayed in every EB store across Australia and a petition is available to sign. In addition to their in-store campaign EB are providing a link from their website to Grow up Australia’s online Submission form so that their customers can participate in the Governments Public Consultation: An R18+ Classification for Computer Games.
The online submission form will be available until the 14th of February.
South Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson has committed to repeal unpopular amendments to the South Australia Electoral Act 1985. The amendments would have made it illegal for people to anonymously comment on the upcoming state election online.
The decision to repeal came after harsh criticism from online news sites, bloggers and everyday Internet users who posted comments about the issue.
Atkinson can be seen apologising in an online video.
The amendments that are to be repealed by Atkinson were highlighted in this post.
[EDIT]: South Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson has committed to repeal these unpopular amendments.
Amendments to the South Australia Electoral Act 1985 that came into effect on the January 6 will mean that anyone wishing to post a comment about the SA state election will be legally required to include their real name and postcode. The restriction will only apply during the election which extends from after the writs have been issued until 6pm on polling day.
Many supporters for the introduction of the R18+ for games debate are hoping for SA Attorney-General Michael Atkinson to lose his seat in the upcoming election as he is strongly opposed to an R18+ for games and has the power to veto the change.
The change to the act was included in a number of amendments that were made last year and was supported by the Opposition. The part of the act that has been changed is quoted below with the changes emphasized.
116—Published material to identify person responsible for political content
(1) A person must not, during an election period, publish material consisting of, or containing a commentary on, any candidate or political party, or the issues being submitted to electors, in written form, in a journal published in electronic form on the Internet or by radio or television or broadcast on the Internet, unless the material or the programme in which the material is presented contains a statement of the name and address (not being a post office box) of a person who takes responsibility for the publication of the material.
(a) if the offender is a natural person—$1 250;
(b) if the offender is a body corporate—$5 000.
(2) This section does not apply to—
(a) the publication in a journal (including a journal published in electronic form on the Internet) of a leading article;
(b) the publication of a report of a meeting that does not contain any comment (other than comment made by a speaker at the meeting) on any candidate, or political party, or the issues being submitted to electors;
(c) the publication in a journal (including a journal published in electronic form on the Internet) of an article, letter, report or other matter if—
(i) the name and address (not being a post office box) of a person who takes responsibility for the publication of the material is provided to the publisher of the journal and retained by the publisher for a period of 6 months after the end of the election period; and
(ii) the journal contains a statement of the name and postcode of the person who takes responsibility for the publication of the material;
(ca) the publication of a letter (otherwise than as described in paragraph (c)) that contains the name and address (not being a post office box) of the author of the letter;
(d) a news service or a current affairs programme on radio or television or broadcast on the Internet;
(e) any other prescribed material or class of material.
(3) In this section—
journal means a newspaper, magazine or other periodical.