Aussies asked to voice opinion on R18+ game rating

So Says developer Rebellion on the banning of their Alien Vs Predator game in Australia, a country with some of the most restrictive censorship laws in modern western society.

Finally, it seems, the government is asking it’s citizens to opine on an 18+ rating for games, which would conceivably have the Australian government treat it’s adult citizens as… well, adults.

Unfortunately it’s already starting on the wrong foot. They are providing an outline on the pro’s and cons as government officials see them. Number one is very telling:

What SPECIFIC NEGATIVE EFFECTS, You fuckers? Show the Australian people the SCIENTIFIC evidence of such. Oh, what’s that, there isn’t any? That’s not news to the rest of the civilized world. So what is this based on? Some wrinkled conservative imbecile’s opinion?

How about the right that exists in all modern free western societies? That adults have the god damned right to choose their form of entertainment, that the government has no god damned business telling grown, intelligent and functioning adults what they can or cannot see, read or play with?


Only one of the arguments on either side makes any sense.

As opposed to the ease with which they can enforce age restriction on the internet or even DVDs? How the hell is it more difficult to stop a kid playing a game for 8 hours than it is to stop her watching a 3 minute YouTube video or a 2 hour DVD?

Because of course foreigners and blackfellas are stupid, subhuman savages and need to be treated exactly like children. An argument that’s not just dumb, it’s actually offensive.

More likely than what? Certainly not more likely than seeing exactly the same material on the web.

Clearer and less ambiguous than putting big red letters on the box that read “game material is unsuitable for minors”?:rolleyes:

Easier than what? Easier than inconsistent classification categories? Easier than no classification at all? I honestly have no idea what this means.

So would cutting off offender’s hands. So what?

Shit, this actually makes sense.

  1. Comparable according to whom?
  2. So what? How is this a valid argument for anything? It’s an argument from popularity and nothing more.
  1. How the hell does a number printed on a box *prevent *piracy? Does the RIAA know they could prevent piracy by simply printing a number on CD cases?

  2. “If we make it legal to import this shit, people importing it won’t be doing so illegally.” Well d’uh. Adults are already able to access restricted drugs and that an R18+ would actually prevent smuggling and illegal importing.
    Bloody hell, is this really the quality of public “debate” in Australia ATM?

Well I assume the point regarding piracy is that the only way people can play certain games at the moment is to pirate them. If piracy is the only way to play a game then surely making the game available in stores will reduce piracy.

  1. This flatly contradicts the previous sentence, that people are purchasing the games internationally.

2)If the game is legally unavailable then the manufacturer makes no money from it anyway, which makes piracy a truly victimless crime. It’s hard to see how the manufacturer would even have a legal case, since they can not possibly have lost any income form the piracy. IOW the whole argument boils down to making an apparently harmful act legal in order to prevent people engaging in harmless act.

  1. If a game can be readily pirated, it will be anyway, base on demand. If it is illegal to possess the game then it is also presumably illegal to advertise it. Thus it’s more likely that making the game unavailabe will decrease piracy.

These are some seriously flawed arguments.

Pirates tend to download over P2P/torrents. That means they’re uploading at the same time as downloading. Basically it means Australians would be helping to seed new games, allowing people in other countries to download it easier.

I can kind of see the argument but it’s a very weak one. As far as I’m concerned the only argument needed is that adults can decide for themselves if they want to play it TYVM.

Decisions like this are always based on the mistaken assumption that video games are for kids, this same problem applies to cartoons and comics. The average gamer is actually 35 years old, and that number is going to keep rising as people who grew up playing video games never abandon them much like previous generations stuck with TV and radio until they died.

This bloke makes some sense.

The lack of an R18 rating doesn’t stop all that many games from being sold in Australia. What happens is that games that should probably have an R18 rating end up with a MA15 rating so having an R18 rating SHOULD make both sides of the debate happier.

Blake, those arguments are a summary of a summary. If you read the discussion paper itself you’ll see that they are a restatement of the common arguments the government is aware of. The paper briefly discusses the opposing views on whether violent games have a greater impact on people than violent films.

PDF discussion paper.

Sorry for the triple post, I’m puting thoughts down as I read the paper. Blake I suggest you actually read it before flying off the handle. For example, the argument that an R18 rating would make it clearer that the content is unsuitable for minors is based on the fact that an MA15 rating actually means adult supervision is required for the content, an R18 rating unambiguously indicates that minors are not permitted to view the content at all. So at present there are no