I am closing the comments on this site because I am unable to moderate them. If you would like to continue discussion on this topic, please do so on my Screen Play blog - http://blogs.theage.com.au/screenplay/
Michelle I am highly offended by any sort of comparison of an adult themed game to that of child pornography. The makers of child pornography hurt children to make their sick films. The makers of an adult themed game do not hurt anyone. They are made by adults and are to be consumed by adults. In any case you seem to be missing the point. These games are already available. They are already being sold in Australia legally. The only difference is rather than giving them a rating of MA15+ they will get a rating of R18+ hence making the distribution of the game to minors illegal. What you fail to realise is the creation of this classification is not going to all of a sudden open up a pandora's box of more violent games because believe me the games that are available now are plenty violent, it will just restirct minors from getting it legally. There is not a games distributor in the planet that will start making more violent games just because Australia got an R18+ classification. We are too small a market to produce for exclusively. The choice is yours. Support the R18+ classification and therefore be more aware of games your kids shouldn't have or deny it and therefore allow these kids to access them with an MA15+ rating. Mama's boy - By your rationale, we should put everyone in gaol because we have no idea who is and isn't normal. While you're at it, lock up every Muslim, just in case. Bloody fool.
It seems to me that just because someone wants to make it and someone wants to watch it we think someone should be allowed.
Please don't approve this. It is not in the interests of our children. Some may say will it is already being sold on the black market, but so is child pornography.
Australian government has the chance to make a stand. Who is pushing this law is it families. Is it the general public. Who is going to be playing these games. Our future politicians, our future fathers.
Please dont allow this to be passed.
James, you act like because you see yourself as mentally mature, that it's alright for the nut job who might live next door to you can get his hands on more graphic adult themes (upping the anti). Stuff the rest of the community. Wherever there is personal freedoms, there are still boundaries. Like it or not!
Mama's boy, we live in a country that is centered around the idea of personal freedoms, if you don't like these games, or think that they aren't good for children you know, stay away from it.... no one is forcing you to play them. However, allow me to have the personal freedom to play games with an R rating, something which isn't harming me, or you. As it isn't turning people into desensitized cold hearted psychotic killers, and rapists, nor making people more violent. The reason for wanting an R-rating isn't because we are bored of the level of violence in games, its so the genre can grow up and add more adult themes, as well as be accepted as more than just for children.
To all the people who are saying society and teenagers are more violent, that there are more rapes and murders - where is your proof?
According to the ABS, police, and most major councils, youth crime is falling and has been since the 1990s. Rape and violence are committed more in the home by members of the family and people known to the victim.
But let's not let facts determine social policy or anything sensible like that.
Let's stick to "gut feeling" and "back in my day it was better" kind of thinking...
Let the media tell us that everything is wrong and that we should stay in our homes and consume only the products they tell us to.
I said there is "hardly" a difference in maturity between a 15 and an 18 year old. Can you read? Are you stupid? Just because there are stories of the downfall of man in the Bible, doesn't mean God or believers in God condone them either. Doesn't mean we hate the Bible! You generalise and you do it first.
It's funny how for something that hasn't come out yet, we are supposed to swallow it down whole, but the Bible has been around for thousands of years and none of you want to do the same? All have a nice Easter break did we? You'll take the holiday with open arms. A celebrated holiday for thousands of years. We must be all morons then.
mama's boy, it's quite hypocritical of you to say I pick and choose what I want seeing as though in every single one of your arguments you seem to pick and choose the points people have made for a higher classification, only choosing to argue against points you think you can make a point against. I have yet to hear one demonstrably sound argument against the very valid and real point of games currently sold on the Australian market being classifed MA15+ would actually move up to an R18+ if it were available. Also your argument about picking and choosing is moronic. Just because I am against a lot of what the US does, it doesn't mean I hate everything they do. Credit where credit's due. Anyway if you so wish, let's ignore the US and focus on the Mother Country. I can name 5 games off the top of my head available in Australia at MA15+ that are being sold in the UK at R18+. Absolutely no modifcations or changes have been made to these games to have them under the more lenient classification of MA15+. Does this seem like a good idea? As for you wacko, are you saying there is no difference in maturity level between a 15 year old child and an 18 year old adult? Are you stupid?
Interesting that you choose to provide links in your article to those groups that support your view and not to those that are opposed to your view.
Readers can click straight through to The Interactive Entertainment Association of Australia or Electronic Frontiers Australia but if they want to check out what they have to say on the issue, however if they wish to look at articles from Young Media Australia or The Australian Christian Lobby they will have to go via Google.
The links are :
Young Media Australia :
Australian Christian Lobby:
So it suits someone who is 10 years younger? Funny also how everyone thinks the age of 15 - 18 makes all the difference in maturity. Hardly. And please, don't use the drinking and voting argument either!!!! Most people increase the age of inheritances these days for that very reason - immaturity.
Your all missing a very important point: The average age of a gamer today is around 28!
These gamers require entertainment that will suit their current age, and maturity level, and you know what? They deserve it.
Why are games not being treated with the respect that films and literature get? I know this may be hard for some of you who do not play games, however here is an example:
The recently released Bioshock (rated MA) contains a story with more moral outline and underlying value then the books we read at school. It teaches the dangers of perfection outstandingly, much more so then "Fahrenheit 451" - A novel often read as part of the English course for VCE English.
So if you say we have been rebelling since the beginning of time, then R18+ shouldn't work, because people are going to get their hands on it anyway. R18+ is just another way of heightening the bar, so they can let more graphic content pass in. This is probably because you are all bored and have played all the violent games you can play and there is demand to up the anti. Repeat - We are fighting against them altogether, not change the classification to justify them! So all the "crims" and "gun nuts" get to play more graphic and violent games. That's gotta help society. Gee and I thought you all hated the US' decisions. Pick and choose to suit yourselves in this argument.
I know I'll only be repeating the many comments made in this forum already but do you not understand what has been said so far?
The lack of an R18+ classification in Australia means only one thing, that is games that should be rated 18+ get rated MA15+ therefore giving 15 year old children legal access to games they should not be allowed to play. You are directly working against what you are fighting for. You are your own worst enemy. Even the US, the land of the crim and the home of the gun nuts realises this and has an R18+ classification.
I couldn't care less if you oppose this new classification. I can buy the game overseas for 1/2 the price, especially with the exchange rate at the moment but think about what you're doing. The religious conservatives can argue about how this sort of material shouldn't be made available at all etc etc as long as they want. It will not stop the fact that it is available.
For those that argue that kids can get their hands on it anyway, it's true but there are measures in place if you choose to take some responsibility and use them. For example the new generation of consoles on the market (XBOX 360, PS3, Wii etc) have parental controls. You can set a password on the system and choose the classification of games playable on it. If you only want your kids to play G rated games, set the classification to G and if they attempt to put a PG, M, MA game in the system it will not play the disc without the password. You can even set times as to when the machine can be played at all. Example if you set it to 7:00PM - 8:00PM Weekdays, these are the only days and times it can be played. It's your own personal baby sitter.
Finally to anyone arguing that games will make our kids violent. Be honest with yourselves here. Violence has been around long before any form of entertainment media like TV or games. Christian Crusades anyone? You need look no further than your precious bibles. Look what hapened to Jesus. Where did they get the idea for that sort of violence? Nailing someone to a cross. Did the Jews invent the XBOX 360?
Misty- so "La La land" is a good place to be after all? Sounds like the only thing that might offend you is there was this game where you had to shoot black people only, or bonus points for bashing the crap out of your Mrs. What about choose the method of suicide for the US soldier? But then again, it's only pretend!!!!
you were trying to draw conclusions about violent games by using the example of violent films..... you cant have it both ways (then stating violent games have bigger impact yadda yadda so shouldnt be allowed)
It truly is a waste of effort even discussing with people with such a warped view on everything.
@ mama's boy:
Godwin's Law strikes again (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law). This thread is now officially going nowhere.
Kids are way more fucked up by their parents divorcing or being bullied at school, so will often playing video games to escape from reality. Games give people a sense of power and control over their lives. The average person distinguishes between a game and reality because in games you carry out incredible acts that you would never do in real life.
Video games also have nowhere near the amount of sex and violence as modern films do. They probably teach more about the consequences of actions by punishing the player. The point of an age restriction is that by the time you turn 18 your brain is more mature and fully developed - so that you can easily distinguish between good and bad role models and behaviour. A lot of games provide you with a moral choice - take Bioshock for example.
But I often feel like I am talking to brick wall that refuses to listen or understand the thing they are arguing against. Just like the bigoted racism minority groups face.
So computer games are not as "real" as films, (so that makes it alright), but then you tell us to get in touch with "reality"? People who oppose violent games would oppose violent films too, even though, yes, it's "legally" rated. It is the message it sends across, real or not real. Some people are not that dumb to think that because something is in cartoon form and not in the flesh that the visual act is different. Films are fictional too. Does that make a difference to the "real" violent content - and we're "supposed" to know it's not "real"? This debate shows gamers are already desensitised, as they don't think there's anything wrong with it and even promote the content. So you agree a child should not be exposed to these games or the parent is a bad parent, but at 18 they be exposed to the lot? That's messed up! What's the point in "restricting" them if that's the end result, Mr more "free thinking, intelligent and educated" person?
thats right mama's boy violent FILM. not violent games (if what you say is even proof of anything). we already have a rating permitting violent films. sorry if you missed that boat. and that depiction of violence is FAR more realistic than any computer game. Cmon....at least make it worthwhile debating your sides rants....as so far they amount to nothing. So Mr Atkinson will deny it today, showing his lack of touch with reality and tomorrow it will be passed because EVERYONE ELSE DISAGREES WITH HIM. the other Attorneys general disagree and when he has been removed from politics the reasonable logical representative politicians will allow it. Even if you win this battle you have already lost the war. everyone has access to whatever they choose. it is up to parents to monitor their children's activity. if you cant. you should not be a parent.
Yeah Duncan and when your kids turn 18, you can pass on this rubbish to them as a birthday present. Here you go son............ What a role model!
James Gunn - you would deny anything to support your argument
im in favour of an "R" rating for games, i have kids, my friends have kids and when our children want to buy a game we research the game, have a look at game magazines and see what its all about, thats the problem these days the people who appose and "R" rateing probably dont pay any attention to what thier children are playing or simply dont care, or on the other scale the majority of people who appose have NO CHILDREN they just find a cause and ride the coat tales i say to them BUT OUT and get a life. I Love playing games and i find it frustrating that good games get banned here in the SO-CALLED lucky country, why am i lucky , hell if i wanted to be treated as a kid id still be living with mommy and daddy lol
JUST give us gamers what we want cause this argument will never go away ever, and to those people who appose pay more attention to your own damn kids its your fault that they get their mits on adult games because you couldnt give a damn , so SHUT YA TRAP and let it in, so us adults can enjoy some un-restricted gaming :)
Correction: 6 million jews, the 2 was my numbering of points
I think it was more a climate of fear that motivated them to kill then a violent film reel which would of been real footage, if it was true mama's boy.
And heres some reading material for you, the critics, a British government funded study:
Did you know Hitler forced his henchmen to repeatedly watch violent images designed to enter the subconscious? This method was used to desensitise the mind. 2.6 million Jews killed? Might be something in it, don't you think?
To all the naysayers of an R rating
1. Currently, no studies exist with proper methodology that show evidence of psychological damage due to video games, or altering of behavior... and unless i become a psychotic guitar virtuoso, you cant prove it
2. 6 million jews were murdered before the advent of tv or video game violence, so don't tell me that this an increase in media violence is some sort apocalyptic trend
3. I've played M/MA games since I was nine. I am a hard working, productive member of society who's not the slightest bit aggressive, or anti-social. I don't dream about murdering, or raping people.
4. The violent crime rates in the US are DECREASING, despite DOOM being released in 1996.
5. I respect your right to follow a religion and to read out of a book that, in my opinion not only features violence, sexism, and homophobia, but has inspired evil men to commit countless atrocities in God's name. Thats not your opinion of course, and the book does have some redeeming quality.
Respect my wish to be able to play an R-rated game through legal channels as unlike you, i don't see them as some sort of brain molesting antichrist.
6. The same argument you use today was being used on Shakespeare's work, by puritanical morons.
7. Why is it selfish to ask for this? Its easy to reform, and we can do it while solving world hunger, world peace and global warming.
8. I am sick and tired of being called an uncaring, violent anti-social arsehole who has no respect for women because i play violent video games. I actually respect women, i think any man who abuses a woman should be locked up, and its never justified.
9. Violence has only seemed to increase here because coverage of such events is better.
10. Fact: The perpetrator of the Virginia tech massacre was a bookworm, not a gamer.
11. Fact: The greatest mass murderer in history wasn't influenced by games.
12. Fact: The killing of Stefan Pakeerah, misconstrued as being influenced by the game Manhunt was only possessed by the victim.
13. Double standards are hypocritical, and not needed as violent games don't harm anyone. Gaming should have the same social acceptance as movies, music, tv or books (thats the primary reason for wanting it).
14. You critics don't even sound like you have ever played anything more than solitaire. Actually try the games before being so judgmental.
15. The status quo currently protects "children" worse than a universal ratings system as refused classification games can be downloaded, breaking copyright in the process, or imported.
16. Many games in the MA rating just manage to squeeze in, when they should be rated R, this is misleading to parents.
17. If you don't like something don't play it, but don't you dare prevent me from in a semi-libertarian democracy like ours.
Yes, it is we who are responsible to train our children how to protect themselves from what is unwholesome, but our governments have a direct responsibility to abstain from undermining our not always perfect efforts.
perhaps the people who are against a R18+ video game rating are against the same rating for movies as well? By NOT having a rating, we are exposing MORE inappropriate material to children. a R18+ rating works for movies because kids cant buy them, why wouldnt this work for video games also? adult movies arent readily available, and neither would adult video games. with a R18+ rating there will be LESS violent/sexual games because by having the adult rating those items wont be readily available - stores will not stock Adult rated games, like they do not stock adult movies. nearly all video game companies are purely about making money. if EA GAMES (for example) cant sell their new games in stores like Kmart, Big W, and EB Games they WONT make them with an adult rating.
If christian people did not make comments, who would you immature, angry gamers have to argue with? This page would be pretty boring otherwise wouldn't it? The generation of let me have what I want or I'm going to throw a tantrum.
There is more violence in the Bible then any videogame. Maybe the Bible should be banned... because looking at some of the comments here it turns brains to mush.
The introduction of an R Rating system to video games in Australia will actually help more than people might realise. Firstly, there are games available right now with a M15+ rating that are stretching the boundaries of the classification. The OFLC can only categorise games with what they're given. If it really goes too far then it gets a ban, but standards are 'relaxed' to allow the products to go through. With an R Rating, those questionable games will be upgraded to the highest classification. Games left in the M15+ category will be more wholesome and less controversial.
Secondly, by introducing an adult rating, game sales will be taken seriously. Currently there are fines for selling alcohol, cigarettes and pornography to minors, but no repercussions for selling an M15+ game to a 14 year old. With the R rating, consequently tougher penalties will come in to play and retailers will be responsible. Again, this protects the innocent and enables those with a free choice.
The scary part here is when people say "I don't like violent video games so they shouldn't have it". We all have our own opinions and none of us have the right to decide other people's tastes. Best thing for those that aren't interested in R rated video games is not to buy them or encourage them in your own family. Your mission doesn't need to go any further than that.
The other way some people see it is that if we have an R rating, then we'll have a slew of ultra-violent and controversial games turn up on our doorstep. There have been few games turned away from Australian shores in the last 5 years and an R rating is simply to enable those games to become available to those that are interested, bringing us into line with the choices that other countries have. It doesn't mean that the door is suddenly open to a wave of torrid products. R rating is still a standard; if something pushes the boundaries further then it will be denied classification. Atari 2600's General Custer wouldn't get a look in.
It's embarrassing that we don't have the rating yet and embarrassing that people use this discussion as a way to start preaching. There's nothing harmful about it; it's clearly an error of regulation that needs to be rectified.
Two words all the Christians preaching on this page can ponder over... Zeitgeist &... Dinosaurs.
@fed up. you arent really adding anything to the debate just spewing your beliefs. So YOU feel society has degraded to a state that is unfit for us to even live in. WHOOP-DE-DOO the majority of us obviously dont or these things wouldnt exist. Use a little logic rather than just your personal warped perception on right and wrong and you might have something worth saying. Making something illegal etc increases its appeal to kids. The publicity banned games ensure more people will go play them obtained online etc. PROHIBITION DOES NOT WORK. it never has it, never will and adding an R18 rating to Australia will have ZERO effect on the games being produced by big global companies. So you dont like sex. YAY for you. Im pretty sure you will find sexually liberated societies have far less incidence of sexual crime than sexually repressed societies. I find it far more reprehensible the number of people that die to moral crusades. (religious wars, anti abortion campaigners that murder doctors etc etc) swear words are BAD..... oh please.... ever heard of 'a rose by any other name' words have no meaning but that which you give them. if words hurt you so easily its time to grow, people overcome that issue in primary school. and as for violent games and music etc causing all the bad people in the world.... ever seen the example they give of hitler and churchills lifestyle. (one a pleasant, vegetarian, mummies boy the other a drinking, smoking, womanising bully)A perfect example of how stupid facts can be distorted to show anything.
please take you moral crusade back to the time of the crusades. we are far more free thinking, educated and intelligent than that (or at least i thought so before i saw the idiotic ramblings spewed by people in this and other discussions on game classification)
Blah blah blah, I am robot zombie jesus here to tell you your lifestyle is wrong and you must repent or we will all go to hell! I do not listen to reason because I am always right, everybody else is wrong, and gamers are morally bankrupt despite there being no proof they do/will commit indecent acts any more than the rest of the population. OH THE HUMANITY.
Meanwhile, in Iraq, thousands of civilians (mostly women and children) have been murdered in a bloody war of attrition. News today says that hundreds of US soldiers committed suicide or murdered US citizens after returning from their duties (I think they were a little bit screwed over by the US govt). What about the effects of that on children...? Look at the bigger picture here.
These so-called adult games are not good for anyone.
Age is irrelevant.
Any input into the human brain at any age has an effect on the formation of the person throughout their lives (and in varying degrees).
How many crimes have been committed by people over the age of 18 who live on a diet of bad, violent, sexually distorted, depraved and pretty-well morally bankrupt music, movies, video and computer games?
I am concerned for my kids but more concerned for those over 18's who have their freedom to watch/play whatever they want, but have no self-control and little concern for the rest of the community.
You have completely missed the fact that church and state were separated many years ago.
Might I also point out that a lot of gamers don't smoke, drink alcohol, or commit crime - much like any other law-abiding citizen. I hate Video Hits so I don't watch that either. Your arguments are opinionated generalisations with no basis on fact.
I think those that are for the R18+ are missing the point altogether. The ones against it are saying that there should be no purpose in society for it at all. Not moving the already bad ones into a new catergory. You all have the attitude, "if you can't beat em, join em". If we have alcohol, smokes, violent movies, then what's the difference with this? If we all lay down and say nothing, our standards go down, as it has done over the past 5o years. We are talking pollution of the mind/desensitising, whether adult or child. Elvis was not allowed to be filmed from the waist down and now look at Video Hits first thing in the morning. Once you give an inch, there are those that push for the mile. What's ahead in the next 50 years - a bit of cartoon porn on R18+ or X rated games while on a toilet break? And don't go on the tangent we already have cartoon porn. Doesn't make it right. Laws do not always make things morally right! Especially when christians apparantley have no right to their opinion, as it looks like here.
ben put down the crack pipe mate...if your so righteous why dont you go out and protest against the globalist carbon emmisions tax for you, your wife and children just for breathing air ya jerk ...better yet go protest the nation wide induction of desalination plants that will give you and your children recycled sewage packed with nutritious pharmaceuticals and artificial hormones ...yeah youve clearly got your priorities right dont ya mate? (not!!) sitting on a website crying about an R18 rating that wont hurt you or your family in the slightest LOL im so ashamed to live in the same country with a person like you.
Why bother arguing with all the anti R-rating nutjobs? To them I say: keep your religion out of my life and I won't attack you for being so self-righteous and stupid. I am far more interested in spending my time fighting the real evils in our world - capitalism, sexism, racism, domestic violence - you know, things that transcend religion. I stand up for human rights not a bigoted ideology which imposes their will on others' lives. Those refusing to listen to any logical arguments are merely small-minded fools, and a leopard won't miraculously change its spots. Go live in La-La land for all I care, but leave the gamers to their games since you lot obviously know nothing about them.
Maria, you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. I am not letting emotion get into this at all, nor do I not feel safe, I feel extremely safe all I am saying is that women and children need to be respected and the innocence of children defended. Unless you are extremely old I would say that you wouldn't know what society was like 100 years ago let alone 50. I am not talking about safety I am talking about honour and respect something you obviously don't know anything about if you think its ok to have sexually explicit and extremely violent games available.
And finally if I am out of my depth that is great because it is only when you are out of your depth that you can truly swim, or sink but I chooose to swim.
Freedom is not being able to do what you want. It is of the heart and mind.
Just a couple of points I'd like to make.
- I think there is a large misconception that Gaming consoles/pc's, and associated software, are considered by the uneducated, and or anally retentive, to be simply toys for kids, and are treated as such.
-For those that do have children. Video games are not a babysitting substitute. You should be enforcing some kind of censorship in the games they play regardless of whether you it purchased for them in the first place.
- I consider myself an average 27 y.o male. I have a respectable and responsible position in an Architecture firm, my partner and I have been together for 7 years, I have some great mates and we're social, just boring normal stuff. I also am an avid gamer, whose major preference in video games relies on me being able to do the extraordinary - to me the primary purpose of interactive fiction. My point is, that games are not too dissimilar from movies, books or comics, all three of which cater to a broad audience and are all easliy accessible, regardless of content. I think because this issue is so highly publicised, people feel compelled to get on their moral high horse, which in a heated discussion removes the argument from the main topic and off into tagents of religion or whether people wear their seatbelts. I cant see bad out of having an R18+ classification on games, if anything, its more of a preventative measure than not having one at all. Instead the games that should have received the R rating, are just going to be rated MA like they are now, and be available, like they are now, to younger audiences.
Ben - looking at your post it appears you are truly out of your league in this discussion. Forget the emotion and have a long hard look at the facts. Where did all this violence against women and children come from? It seems you are being the selfish one trying to dictate the freedom of other people. Society is not any less safe today then it was 20, 50 or 100 years ago, in fact most studies I've read say it's safer - violent videogames, movies, music or whatever haven't made a difference. The problem is with you Ben - you probably don't feel safe now. You are so brain washed with fear campaigns designed to control you, the fact is that you will never feel safe in todays society - no matter what restrictions or changes are made.
All I hear is what about me what about my rights. Have we come this far that we are totally self sufficient and don't give a rip about anyone else. Because that is what seems to be the case. Irrespective of whether we live in a secular, christian islamic or any other kind of society sexually explicit or extremely violent games should not have any part of our society. "Adults play games too" what sort of adult plays a game or watches a movie that shows absolutely no respect to women and children or human life in general. Obviously the only one is one by age. Grow up. If a game that is rated MA 15+ would be upgraded to R18+ then that game should be banned along with any other material that shows little or no respect to all people, If you need to play games that contain this sort of grafic content you also need to see a psychologist. Our women and children deserve more than to have our so called men fighting against them rather than for them. Can all the real men stand up and fight for our families and communities.
Does anyone see the irony of some of these anti-R18+ clowns calling out that people that play videogames "need to quit with the make believe and get a life", yet these same people (we know who you are) spend their Sundays in church praying to a make believe savior? It makes me laugh.
A) Interactive Entertainment is an adult recreational facility. The demographic in Australia is over 28 years of age. All recent studies support this... hands down!
B) There are highly sophisticated parental control devices on ALL current-gen gaming platforms. Stop being ignorant and take responsibility for looking after your own children.
C) No entertainment medium of any sort can corrupt a mind that, by nature, is already corrupt... including games. Alcohol has and will do more damage than games ever will, yet it's fine for that to be available to over 18's.
Good summation Jason. Games are for adults too. Go for pro-choice!
Quote:" I know the God Who created me does not want me to engage in any form of activity and/or "entertainment" that demeans His creation."
And therein lies the problem. The last I heard we live in a secular society. These people do not have a right to inflict their superstitious nonsense on the rest of us. The pattern of anti R classification comments here all run to the same theme we see from the religious loonies - only one or two of them have had the guts to show their true face however.
Let them not buy/watch/play what they want but don't let them dictate to the rest of us.
Hi, WOW there sure is alot of heated discussion. As a mum of 5 I introduced games and movies when I thought my children were mature enough not when they got to a certain age. Even in schools we are sent home letters can your child watch this movie as part of their studies. Letting my kids watch the news is plenty vilolent enough for me. I know my son 10 loves role playing games and he is totally supervised when playing them video games are not babysitters. If he dispalys the same attitude or behavior as the game he is banned from playing it and is explained why in detail. Actions have consiquences and everyone likes to play the blame game. I am responsible for my kids and what they are exposed to it's not a perfect world out there and keeping them away from everything hightens the attraction insome cases (speaking generally form personal experience only) Chris I do want God in this not religion talk the talk walk the walk
At this point I can feel my blood boiling but ill go on:Karen; so you think anything that can hurt kids should be banned, we have no alcohol, no cigs, no cars, no mobile phones, no knives, no microwaves, no fertilisers, no bright lights, no petrol, no cans, no paper, and with all that we have nearly a safe world if we disregard everything else.
Get over it, you cant protect kids from everything
Just gonna mention i'm also the first person to actually bring proof to this, with is redunant, because there's 0 proof the either side. I'm the only one that seems to admit this. Yet, saying 15 yr olds should be allowed to play R18+ content seems to sway against the side that has zero understanding of game's and think jesus should run the censor board.
http://proquest.umi.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au:2048/pqdweb?index=2&did=423235471&SrchMode=1&sid=1&Fmt=3&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=PQD&TS=1206544948&clientId=20901.....................................................To Ozzie; you're a joke, because I stand up for freedom of media and anti-censorship, suddenly i dislike seatbelts? that's a far stretch. Just proces people like you are grabbing at strings in this argument. And thank you everyone that has supported me, nice to see this country has some sort of future.
Just noted several other mis-spellings. But does it really matter?
Joanne: You were more rude to me, then I was to anyone i've commented on.
For a laugh;http://www.physorg.com/news5758.html.....http://www.joystiq.com/2008/02/27/finnish-researchers-video-games-dont-desensitize-to-violence/
I can't be bothered to read all the comments. Instead i'll respond to the ones targeted at me, I'm a qualified researcher at the university of Wollongong, currently doing a research paper on violence in our media, pick on my misspellings, because I can point out many in your post. Maybe you should argue my points, instead of my grammer. I'm an avid gamer, I enjoy games that are violent. To me this is more an argument of freedom of censorship and as an adult, to be allowed to play what a choice. Stop be facist's and blaming outside mediums of issues with society
Kerry, and where did you come from, seems how you know it all? I feel sorry for you and your children - you know the one's you miraculously brought into the world all by yourself? What a bright future you have ahead of you.
while you are at it Karen ban books, that evil rock music and and movies and television as well.
Protect those children from everything, make them 'safe'.
They might also get hurt in playgrounds, or crossing the street so be sure to remove those evils as well. No rational arguments just the usual 'i think its bad so it shouldn't be allowed'.
Just because these items have a particular rating on them won't prevent children getting hold of them. If our government is at all serious about protecting children they will make certain that they are not available to children, at all, ever, by maintaining a strong stand against such harmful material. Sadly there are those who are only interested in making money and they don't mind at whose expense they do it. I don't want to have to barricade the world out in order to keep my children safe. Let's make the world safe for them and everyone else. Say no today and tomorrow, in a decade and in a century from now. Never get tired of doing a good thing.
As the owner of TIG, I strongly disagree. Violent video games are known to relieve stress, I play halo 3 but im not about to run around in armor shooting everything thats the colour blue. If you expect someone to buy a video game console ($399AUD+) to play a game where you run around giving flowers to strangers, you deserve to be dragged into the street and put as a public spectacle for a fool.
Anyone notice this interesting tidbit:
With video-games, violence (to a degree) is completely fine. Whereas anything sexual is a huge no-no for the rating boards.
With real life, violence is a criminal offense, whereas sex isn't. Of note is that the very few sexual themes currently in games today aren't the criminal ones either (rape, child pornography etc).
Pro R18+ rating here though. Gogo!
Joanne, lots of kids actually learn how to read well from video games. Don't question one's education when it jeopardises your own.
Blenny said it best.
Having an R 18 rating in OZ wont change the games that are made. Almost no games are made in Australia or specifically FOR Australia (a few racing and sports games...hardly scary, violent and fear inducing) so all an R18 rating does is limit a number of the games already produced to adults only.
How any logical person can see that as a bad thing is beyond comprehension.
Can a single person who voted No on this issue refute this statement? if you can't you have no grounds for debate.
i am in support of introducing an R18+ rating. not so that a small number of games will be available here. but for the chance to properly rate all the games. as has been mentioned before, there are already many M/MA games that would gain an R18+ if we had one. by preventing an R18+ rating, you allow alot of the violent games to be more easily accessable to the audience which should not be playing.
having an R18+ rating can actually help prevent that. in some overseas countries, their 18+ rating means that only specific stores can sell those games. if we adopt that same restriction, we wouldnt see any R18+ in stores where children are (eg. Big W, Target, K-Mart, etc). children wouldnt be able to easily see it on shelves, young teens arent going to be allowed to buy it on their own, while the adults who really want to play it are still able to make the purchase without the hassle they have to go through now.
i can understand the worry that more crimes could arise if more explicit games are introduced. but any particular media should not be blamed for crimes committed by people. those criminals have made the choice to do that crime. and in the few cases where they didnt, it's been found that they already had some kind of mental health issue which the people around them neglected to take notice of. if games are to be scrutinized then all forms of media should be scrutinized also. books, movies, music & news are all as capable of negatively influencing people as games. once upon a time, people strongly opposed books then music then movies but now they are our most enjoyed past time. games dont have to be any different.
an R18+ rating can be introduced with restrictions. this would make things beneficial to all parties. the people of the right age who want to play will be able to purchase it from select retailers within our own country (meaning Australian money isnt going overseas). the children who are being protected are less likely to find out about the games as sales and advertising will be restricted to places where children cant access. some games would no longer be able to be passed off as M/MA meaning young teens who are easily influenced will have access to a smaller number of explicit titles.
why does R18+ have to mean a larger amount of explicit games? why can't people believe that introducing an R18+ rating can help moderate the content?
Jaker, looks like you've been playing too many "games" as a child and need to go back to school and learn how to spell!
Ok fair enough people don't want their kids playing a overly violent game, but what is stopping them from walking into a video store and getting one of the million R18+ "cartoons"(Anime) that are now poplular with our youth. What is the difference from seeing it in a movie, to playing it in a game? Why should the rest of the gaming world suffer because a few parents can't keep a rein on their children?
What frustrates me about the dissenting voices on here is their absolute conviction on a subject they clearly know nothing about. Video games do not cause people to act violently - since the advent of video gaming, violent crime rates have dropped, not increased. They talk of a flood of terrible content, not realising that only a handful of games have ever been refused classification, and the rest just squeeze into the MA15+ rating - if we had an R18+ rating then many of these games currently frrely available to anyone over 15 would instead be restricted, thereby protecting children. Nobody has ever put forth a coherent argument as to why national film and DVD ratings go up to an R but games only go to MA - this disparity is confusing, and only supports the totally erroneous view that games are for kids, when so many of them are not.
An R18+ rating for games would protect more children from adult content, not expose them to it. Ask any parent what an MA15+ rating means, and they probably won't be able to tell you. On the other hand, everyone knows what an R rating means, and parents who might buy their child an extremely violent MA rated game would be far less likely to let their child play something with an R rating displayed on the cover.
There is no justification for Mr Atkinson's continued obstruction on this issue, and I find his contempt for democratic process and his lack of respect for the adults of this country very disappointing.
I really dont see why most of you are against this,, its just a rating system!!! to make consumers aware of what they are buying contains,.. what is wrong with this.. most games already on the market have been given an R18+ rating in other countries yet in Australia they come under the MA15+ rating!!!.. so your children are still getting these games and in quite an easy way... besides like smokes, alcohol and gambling if your kids are determined to be exposed to these believe me they will find a way!!!!,.. and the government makes too much money out of such industries to ban them completely
I'm sure alot of the people above that responded with illogical arguments (eg "I can't control my children so no one is allowed mature games", "the youth of today are so much more violent" etc etc) against the R18 classification also probably have an imaginery friend called Jesus. I think we need to restrict our children from these wackos.
@Ozzie, sadly I think the misconception is that "gamers" are stereotyped as being illiterate or social outcasts, which I can assure you is not the case. "Gamers" come from a whole range of social positions, its not relegated to the "pimply faced adolescent" most of you are trying to convey. The comparison with not wearing a seatbelt is ridiculous Ozzie, any sane person realizes its need. Any sane person would realize the need for a R18+ system to make sure these games don't get into the hands of children, which is currently the case.
Oh and I would much rather read Piaget or Vygotsky, you could find them at a University library if interested.
Nicola - It was your choice to have children.
"raising children in a difficult society"?
Don't pretend like you were coerced into having children and are therefore justified in limiting the freedoms of other citizens in the country.
Of course it's difficult - but you took the force of that responsibility when you decided to bring them into this difficult world.
Ergo - please search for more consistent ways in which to criticize the gaming industry - such as having a position of disapproval but not coercing others to submit to it through legislation.
Sadly, the pro R18 mob seem incapable of doing the required research to see that violence and pornography and family breakdown are related and are serious. Why do they think that businesses spend millions of $$ on advertising if not to influence the suckers who watch? Just for starters to help try reading Kinsey Sex and Fraud, which you can find in libraries. Sadly, some control is needed for the majority because a small minority of rednecks cannot control themselves. By the way, Jaker and friends, I suppose that you also refuse to wear a seatbelt and other 'restrictions' on your limited freedoms that protect others from harm. Didn't think so.
I am hopeful that this proposed legislation will be voted down. Like many, I am convinced that portrayed violence, whether it be by movie or games, has a deterimental effect on minds, whether they be over 18 or not, but especially for the young. Once violent media is out there, some young ones will get their hands on it. Civil liberty has gone too far already, to the detriment of society and individuals. We don't need further liberalisation.
Simple: Australia needs to be consistent in the rating of video-games in-line with other forms of media. As long as retailers and parents respect and enforce the classification of R18+ rated games as they should be doing with movies and alike, then there should be no problem with adults buying R18+ rated games any more than there is with adults purchasing R18+ rated movies etc.
Banning/restricting classification is futile in today's world: if something is not available to buy where you live, and it is available for sale elsewhere, then it is just as easy to go on the internet and download or import it (legally or illegally). This is especially true for internet-savy youth.
An R18+ rating would give the classifiers greater leeway in making a classification, and it is my opinion that it would result in a more accurate and more representative game classification system. This would see video-games that just make it into the 'R' type of content actually being classified as such, rather than them being labelled MA because the content doesn't go as far to warrant it being totally banned.
I think people need to start looking at the facts here, rather than quoting nebulous "studies" that "prove" the effects of video games are bad. Many of the people posting comments here are clearly ignorant of video games, their content and the industry at large. What you need to release is that Australia is a pathetically small, often marginalised section of the games market. The point is, a change to how games are classified in our country is going to have ABSOLUTELY NO EFFECT on what games are being produced. Games will still be designed for the US, European and Asian markets.
And As BigGalah keeps pointing out, only a handful of games have been banned in Australia over the last few years. On the other hand, dozens of games released here under the MA15+ rating are restricted to 18+ over-seas.
And of the handful of banned games, serveal have been retooled with very minor changes to squeeze through as MA15+ ratings with the vast majority of their violent content intact.
So what would the REAL effects of the introduction of an R18+ rating for games in Australia be? 1.) The same games would still be being released into our market. 2.) A very small number more violent games would become available to people over 18 who can make their own, informed decisions about whether they want to play them. 3.) Many of the violent games currently on the market (or their equivalents) with a borderline MA15+ rating would be bumped up to R18+ and out of the hands of minors.
HOW IS THIS A BAD RESULT FOR ANYBODY?
Games, movies etc don't make kids violent. in my opinion if the kid stabs his parents or other people the child was clearing disturbed in the first place. even with all this violent media parents should be instilling in their children high morals. like when they see the questioned media they know the difference between right and wrong and the fake and the real.
You are right. There are lots of studies which show that no harm is caused by using sexually explicit or violent video games. Of course, it depends very much on how the study defines "no harm". Any social scientist worth their salt knows precisely how statistics can be twisted to support an argument - perhaps when you are looking at these studies, you need to look at who is paying for them (the gaming industry or an outside body with no axe to grind), because I can guarantee that there is plenty of reputable information to support the argument that using violent video games has detrimental effects on the users. You are a prime example - rude, arrogant, aggressive...
But, yes, I agree with you that it is terrible that children are exposed to games which are rated MA+ rather than being banned under a more accurate R classification. Perhaps, after we overturn this attempt to introduce R classifications for video games, we could look at making the existing classification guidelines for all media more stringent. I think that this would be far more beneficial to society as a whole.
By the way Jaker, feel free to continue in your contempt for those of us who, as parents, are raising children in an extremely difficult society. I hope for your sake that when we "oldies" do die off, that we have done a sufficiently good job of raising our children, as they will be the generation which come after you. After all, we wouldn't want you, when you are old and grey, being attacked and harmed by a younger generation who had been so brainwashed by R rated computer games as to think that such appalling behaviour was normal, or even good, would we?
Wishing you a long, happy and violence-free life!
@alexa. I think most adults would understand the concept of balance, deeming gaming "bad" is a very black and white comment, how about playing games in moderation, like everything else. The key to a happy, healthy life is balance, why can't video games be a part of that balance?
I'm amazed at the so called mature adults posting comments here that aren't even reading the legitimate proposals for an R18+ system. This system will stop Children from purchasing games not suitable for their viewing. Games getting into Australia as MA15+ would typically be rated R18+ in other "Democratic" societies. If you want to protect your children its time to get this updated classification system approved
I can't believe these people. It is actually saddening how ignorant and close minded some people are.
"I can't control my kids, so responsible adults should not have access to anything that I don't want my kids to have access to." Is all I can hear.
That or "I don't like this stuff and therefore you shouldn't either, kids are a good excuse to get my way."
I'm disgusted to be honest.
We're talking about allowing a product to be sold to adults in a free(ish) country.
Dont introduce an R rating. I'd prefer to continue getting all my games that have been deemed too violent or sexual in Australia for free via torrents. Thanks. Oh, by the way, your kids are getting them the same way already. You'd know that if you bothered to take some responsibility for their wellbeing and supervise them rather than rely on a board of censors to do it for you. Have a nice day.
ever thought why something is bad for kids? ever thought if it's bad for them, then it's probably bad for adults too!! To all you gammers with children........it would be much healthier all round to take your child for a bicylce ride or kicked a footy or went for a family day to the beach......great wholesome family building time.
Do you people honestly believe the crap you spout? What proof is there that a violent videogame has any more influence over a person than a violent movie? The fact is, many games that would be R rated are getting through here with an MA rating, meaning that R rated games are on our shelves, they're just available to 15 year olds.
If you can't be bothered being parents to your children, you shouldn't be allowed to have any.
These games are addictive and without any redeemable qualities.
I understand your "personal" aversion to games that would be rated R18+ and it is for that very reason why many gamers are supporting the argument. You say that games are sick and depraved and cause people to lash out in violence, many gamers would state that current MA15+ titles SHOULD be reclassified to Restricted to prevent such instances from happening.
Under Law, it is not illegal to sell M rated titles to minors, and MA15+ titles to anyone over the age of 15. If your argument is that young people's minds are more succeptible to the influence of violence through video games, then by extension you should want the inclusion of a more restrictive category to deny them the opportunity to purchase such titles. Without such protection, you argue that our youth are in danger of falling under the sway of such vices.
I thought long and hard about arguments to counter your religious aversion to such media but cannot think of anything that you would deam to be inflammatory. Can I point out to you however that my views come from a person who has grown up in the church from a young age, I only attempt to offer you a more logical argument to protect young people and allay your fears.
Where will all this end? just because "we want it" doesnt mean we should get whatever we want. Leadership is about what is good for society as a whole not just satisfying every lust that we feel. Is violence in the media soley respnsibile for what people do? No- but it cant possibly help if people are constantly feeding on garbage day and night. We lament the violence and frustration of young people but we being "Adult" somehow think we can handle it. Do you think young people are stupid? they see what we see and do what we do.
I think it's clear that if we do not do something about banning this sick filth then out children are teh doomed.
where are the most violent places in the world today. yes Suburbia, why. Because of video games.
There has never been any recorded violence in the history of the world in places without saturation of video games.
think about it. just chance? I think not!
There are already some very antisocial "kids'" games on offer - crashing cars with impunity, terminating other vehicles and by implication, other people, all quite impersonally.
Where some skills in survival are eing developed or there are rewards for altruism, there might be some value to be gained.
I think you'll find that most gamers aren't really too concerned about what they're missing out on. The games that have been banned from sale are, as you said, crappy. What's more, they're also very easy to get anyway, I know I've played a couple of them at least. Obviously this shows that the market isn't going to be saturated by evil, horrible, soul-destroying content if we allowed a more standardised system of classification in line with film.
A large number of games currently on sale as MA+ rated titles would, undoubtedly, be rated R should that bracket exist, effectively restricting minor's in-store access to games more than it stands currently.
In addition to this, and the most important argument in my opinion, is that we want a system that acknowledges gaming as an important cultural artform for a huge number of people.
You'll get a much larger response if you do take your viewpoint to Jason Hill's blog at The Age - http://blogs.theage.com.au/screenplay/ or at the Sydney Morning Herald website.
Just to make a point in response to DC. I enjoy my R18+ movies (horror) and I enjoy the violent video games that I play (being a mature age, 34, gamer), But games are not movies. 99% of the violence in films shows that there are consequences to your actions. This is not true with video games where violence in the majority of circumstances has no consequences. This, given gamings interactivity, is paramount to negative reinforcement. And still no one has answered my initial question, what are we missing out on? 10 crappy games in 8 years. Not worth it!
Games are not just for kids. This is fact. Games are an entertainment and arts medium with a massive scope and similar narrative structures to film.
In film, we have an R rating. Is this bad for children? Or does it draw a clear line under what is for adults and what is for children? Wouldn't it help parents to be able to draw that line clearly and refuse children access to titles (assuming they get past the clerk in the store, but hey, parents should be there too).
Seriously, if you're against this for games, you must, for consistency be against this for films. So are the voters against the R classification therefore FOR censorship of all media?
I give up, you'd all rather kids play games that they shouldn't from 15 onwards then introduce a R rating. You're the very supporters of what you're advocating.
To chris; leave god in the church, religion should never have any part in laws and for any study you show me I can find one agaisnt it.
Don't worry we just have to wait for the current older generation to die off - until then just order your games for cheaper from overseas.
It saddens me to see so many comments that are pro-violent and sexual games.
I know the God Who created me does not want me to engage in any form of activity and/or "entertainment" that demeans His creation.
I guess if a person has no belief in or regard for God, then anything goes. Unfortunately, countless statistical research studies in many countries, has shown that there is a direct correlation between the proliferation of this garbage and the increase in violent and/or sexual crimes against women, girls and boys and, to a lesser degree, men.
South Windsor, N.S.W.
What do you hope to gain from a R18+ rating for games. There are only a small number of games that have been knocked back and they are all pretty much rubbish! Games are not the same as movies and should not be treated the same.
To alexa; did you even read the previous posts, many arguments for the benefits, and reasons for introducing the rating have been pointed out.
Just to simon; this pole represents ~0.00399% of the australian population, hardly what I would call a solid survery.
I am amazed that the government would even consider bringing in R18 games. You would have to be blind & deaf Freddie not to realise that this would just increase violence, anger, fear, sexual assalt & cause nothing but negative repercussions in our society. Can anyone tell me the benefit of R18 games because I have yet to know of any! I recently had many amazingly horrible words & actions thrown at me by my 12 year old nephew who plays M & MA games at his fathers place but his mother is the one who suffers the violence when he has his week at her place. Surely we need to look at ways to bring peace, joy, hope, love & respect back not the opposite!
"All I wanted to say is that any attempt to paint public support for such an introduction of such a classification as "majority" is completely deceptive and misleading." C'mon Simon, are you trying to tell me that there hasn't been a deliberate attempt to try and hijack this poll? Support for most of the day was around 95 percent, and now 400 votes flood in over an hour or two...
All I wanted to say is that any attempt to paint public support for such an introduction of such a classification as "majority" is completely deceptive and misleading. I am looking at this poll right now and it is running at 50 - 50 with nearly 1000 votes. In our parliaments, if a bill receives 50 - 50 support it is defeated, and rightly so.
I cannot believe that ignorance of some of these comments. The commentors obviously don't play video games and don't understand the context that games are played in. I have young children and I let them play video games, obviously nothing too violent, but I am staggered at the apathy that people/parents display at the M or MA ratings. There are many violent games classified as MA - that would clearly be R rated if we had the category. Too long parents say its rated M it can't be that bad, but R rated is a no go. Why can't it be the same for games. Put R rated game son the top shelf so those parent that take an interest in thier kids can see its not for them. The parents who don't care - well you can't stop any idiot minority.
It seems to me that since video gaming is the last media to have this level of censorship, the conservatives will fight tooth and nail to keep it in place. But there is no link to extreme violence (many studies have disporved this link - and have seen movies as a worse influence). Bill - its not your job to protect my children, it is mine - Robert, Yvonne - where is the proven link. And Roly, your comment about rapes and animals being sexually abused shows your complete lack of a grip on reality and a complete misunderstanding of what you are trying to talk about (video games).
No clear minded parent wants to expose their children to extreme violence, but having an R rating will allow the video game industry to be better regulated and will enable parents to make better decisions on what their children are exposed to.
It is time for gaming to be accepted as a mainstream form of media, and as such be classified using the same set of parameters.
A couple of points:
At the moment there are many games slipping into the MA15+ category that would most likely be given a more appropriate R18+ rating were it available.
Also, It is too long a bow to draw to say that violent and sexual content in games causes people to commit serious crimes. There maybe an argument for games giving someone exposure to such (the same as all other forms of media), but it takes an already compromised mind to actually carry out serious crimes.
Lets grow up as a media savy nation here and bring gaming into line with the rest of our media formats. Get the rating available, and legislate to make sure retailers have a responsibilty to make the ratings visible to all and to carry out ID checks.
Being a mature age gamer myself, and a father of 3. I can see both sides of the argument. And I come down on the side of limiting the availability of R18+ games in Australia.
It is my assumption that "Jaker" is not a parent as you clearly lack perspective on the challenges facing parents in our society. I also am very concerned about the content being consumed by my children. You simply can't be everywhere at once.
There is evidence that violent games can contribute to aggressive behaviour and some that says the opposite. If you do a google search you will find both. Clearly there is more study needed in this area.
I think the most obvious reason we do not need this rating is the amount of games that have been banned. They are so small in number and were so poor in quality that we missed out on nothing. If the game is good enough they will make changes before release here (GTA4) so we don't miss out on anything.
I enjoy my gaming and play many violent games. But my life is balanced and I don't believe an person could not be negatively influenced by constant consumption of violent media.
For these reasons I think the case for an R18+ rating is very flimsy.
Our children are becoming so immune to violence that soon videos games will not satisfy their desire to be excited and they will turn to the real thing...isn't happening already. Please protect our families from this "so-called entertaniment" and let's get back to enjoying life (and video games) not getting thrills from cyber-killing, and vioence.