South Australian’s Urged To Back R18+ Video Game Classification

South Australia ( April 21, 2011

South Australian's Urged To Back R18+ Video Game Classification

South Australian's Urged To Back R18+ Video Game Classification

The Minister for Justice Brendan O’Connor today called on South Australia to back the Gillard Government’s proposal to introduce an R18+ video game classification.

Australia does not have an adult only rating for video games, unlike most other comparable nations. That means sexually explicit and violent games are available in Australia under an MA15+ rating.

“We want to provide better guidance for parents and remove unsuitable material from children and teenagers. The introduction of an R18+ classification will help achieve that,” he said.

“This is the right decision for Australian families and the right decision for parents who want to be able to make informed choices about the games their children play,” Mr O’Connor said.

Minister O’Connor today visited major computer game retail chain EB Games in Adelaide to draw attention to the many titles that would most likely fall into an adult classification – if one existed now.

“There are dozens of games that are currently classified as MA15+ in Australia, but in other countries these gaming titles are restricted to adults only.

“If the new category is introduced, it could result in computer games that are currently classified MA15+ being reclassified R18+, providing a new level of protection for children.”

“Games that are currently refused classification and do not meet the standard required for R18+ classification will remain in the refused classification category.”

Mr O’Connor said that the July meeting of the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General will be decision time for the States and Territories, after years of inaction.

“This issue has been on the table for almost a decade, without the necessary progress to make a change,” Mr O’Connor said.

“The time has come for State and Territory Attorneys-General to represent their constituents’ views at a national level and lay their cards on the table,” he said.

A 2010 national telephone survey by Galaxy showed that 80% of the 2,226 people contacted said they support the introduction of an R18+ classification for games.

In South Australia 81% of those surveyed were in favour of an adult only category for games.

The national survey, which was commissioned by Attorneys-General, also found that:

•  91% of respondents said that adults would know that a game classified R18+ is clearly unsuitable for children

•  81% aged over 50 agreed that there should be an R 18+ classification for computer games

•  76% of households with children aged under 18 thought that there should be an R18+ classification for computer games.

This followed the results of public consultation, in which 98% of the almost 60,000 people who made submissions supported the introduction of an adult classification.

“Children and teenagers shouldn’t be exposed to the gratuitous sex, violence and adult themes that are contained in some computer games,” Mr O’Connor said.

“With the next Standing Committee of Attorney’s General meeting in Adelaide on 21 and 22 July, South Australia has the chance to lead the way on this issue.”

“I hope the State Government will reflect the views of South Australian families by supporting this change in the interests of parents and their children.”

At present, an R18+ classification for computer games can only be introduced with the agreement of all Commonwealth, State and Territory Ministers.

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