R18+ Discussion Paper Released
The Commonwealth Attorney‑General’s Department has finally released the Discussion Paper on the R18+ Classification for Computer Games. The public are invited to make submissions on the matter up until the 28th of February 2010.
The Discussion Paper outlines some of the arguments for and against the R18+ rating:
Some arguments against including an R 18+ classification for computer games
- Computer games should be treated differently from films given the specific, negative effects of interactivity on players, particularly their participation in violent and aggressive content.
- It would be difficult for parents to enforce age restrictions for computer games.
- Minors would be more likely to be exposed to computer games that are unsuitable for them.
- An R 18+ for computer games would exacerbate problems associated with access to high level material in Indigenous communities and by other non‑English speaking people.
- There is no demonstrated need to change existing restrictions.
Some arguments for including an R 18+ category for computer games
- The R 18+ classification category sends a clear, unambiguous message to parents that the game material is unsuitable for minors.
- Consistent classification categories for films and computer games are easier to understand.
- A new classification will supplement technological controls on minors’ access to age-inappropriate computer games.
- Adults should not be prevented from playing R 18+ level computer games simply because they are unsuitable for minors.
- Consumers access games which would be R 18+ illegally – it would be better if they were legally available with appropriate restrictions.
- Comparable international classification systems have an adult rating for computer games – international parity is desirable.
You can download the entire discussion paper and a template for making a submission from the Commonwealth Attorney‑General’s Department’s website.