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The Debate Continues on Introducing R 18+ Classification for Computer Games as the Deadline Approaches

Australia (News4us.com) March 04, 2011

The Debate Continues on Introducing R 18+ Classification for Computer Games as the Deadline Approaches

The Debate Continues on Introducing R 18+ Classification for Computer Games as the Deadline Approaches

Minister for Justice Brendan O’Connor says July will be the time for Classification Ministers to decide on introducing an R 18+ classification for computer games.

“Australians who’ve been following this debate will know that this issue has been on the table for many years, without the necessary progress to make a change,” Mr O’Connor said.

“Last year the Gillard Government declared its position and it’s time for all States and Territories to declare their hand on this issue.

“The introduction of an R18+ classification for computer games will provide better advice to parents and help prevent children and teenagers from accessing unsuitable material,” he said.

At today’s Standing Committee of Attorneys-General in Wellington, draft guidelines for the classification of computer games were tabled. The guidelines were requested at the last SCAG meeting in December.

The draft guidelines:

•  provide appropriate safeguards to restrict the availability of material that’s unsuitable for children

•  address the difference in nature between films and computer games, especially in terms of interactivity

•  ensure that the Refused Classification category is retained.

The introduction of an R 18+ classification must be agreed by all State and Territory Classification Ministers. No final decision could be made at today’s meeting as the New South Wales government is in pre-election caretaker mode.

“I anticipate that my State and Territory counterparts will further consider the draft guidelines and seek their Governments’ position on an R 18+ classification before the next meeting in July,” Mr O’Connor said.

“When making their decision, I urge State and Territory Governments to consider the value of an adults only rating in helping to protect children from unsuitable content as well as the strong public support for this move,” Mr O’Connor said.

A national telephone survey conducted by Galaxy last year showed that 80% of the 2,226 people contacted said they supported the introduction of an adults only category for games.

The next SCAG meeting will be held on 21 and 22 July in Adelaide.

For more information about classification visit www.classification.gov.au.


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