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New Australian R18+ Proposal Drafted

May 26th, 2011 by jonahfalcon · 2 Comments

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A new draft of the R18+ classification has been released by home minister Brendan O’Connor through the Australian Federal Government. The new guidelines closely match those in place for Australia’s film industry. The new R18+ rating removes restrictions on bad language, drug use and nudity; in contrast, the current guidelines forbade the classification of any adult-themed games.

O’Connor’s draft claims that the R18+ rating will allow “virtually no restrictions on the treatment of themes”, and violence in games “except where it offends against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that it should not be classified.” As far as sex, the draft says, “Sexual activity may be realistically simulated. The general rule is ‘simulation, yes – the real thing, no'”.

Of course, “standards of morality, decency and propriety” is still troublesomely subjective, while “simulation, yes, the real thing, no” is comicly inept for videogames, where everything is simulation. You may be able to tell when live actors are actually performing sexual acts, but when can you tell a videogame character is actually having sex?

O’Connor stated:

“The Gillard government wants to provide better guidance for parents and remove unsuitable material from children and teenagers. The introduction of an R18+ classification will help achieve that and will also bring Australia into line with comparable nations. This issue has been on the table for many years, without the necessary progress to make a change. We’ve recently seen several states publicly express their support for an adult only rating for games and I’m keen to reach a unanimous decision at the July meeting.”

Rather than banning games, why not punish stores for selling mature games to underage children? Or put the onus of raising children on the parents?

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Herr_AlienNo Gravatar // May 27, 2011 at 2:31 am

    R18+ on violence:
    Violence is permitted except where it offends against the standards of morality, decency and
    propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that it should not be classified.”

    I personally don’t like their definition for what’s allowed in terms of violence for R18+. It’s very ambiguous, and it will lead to the same discussions we had until now.
    Or worse, it will lead to a handful of people selecting what’s R18+ and what’s RC depending on their personal taste and/or “gifts” received from publishers …

  • 2 Herr_AlienNo Gravatar // May 27, 2011 at 3:11 am

    Since I can’t edit my comment, here’s a second one:

    There something that it seems everybody forgets: writing rules is one thing, enforcing them is something else.

    There’s a law here in Romania that forbids stores to sell cigarettes to minors. If you believe that it actually had an impact, slap yourself in the face.
    It didn’t. Because stores are interested more in profit. Because law enforcement has other things to worry about than a kid buying cigarettes (or R18+ games). And, perhaps, because there’s an incentive (in terms of increased sales and bribes) to look the other way around.

    My question is, why do we expect the government to fix our problems?

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