Australian Government Slows R18+ Rating Process

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Australian Government Slows R18+ Rating Process

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The Australian government has put the brakes on the process of establishing an R18+ videogame rating because, believe it or not, there's actually too much support for it among gamers.

Oh, Australia. We owe you such a debt. Your spastic flailing over mature videogame ratings has provided the rest of the world with an overabundance of hilarity, and just when it seems like the laughs are about to come to an end you manage to trip over your own feet and give us what may be the best faceplant yet.

The Australian government, as you probably already know, launched a "public consultation" late last year in response to a growing demand for an R18+ rating for videogames. The idea was to collect submissions from the public in order to gauge whether or not demand for such a rating exists and then, one would assume, respond accordingly. Groups on both sides of the debate took up the fight but as you might expect, the pro-gamer side dominated; so completely, in fact, that the country's censorship ministers have decided to delay the proceedings to make sure other people get a say.

That's right, Australia: You supported the R18+ rating too much. You demanded it and now, you're not going to get it.

Because 86 percent of the 59,678 submissions to the consultation came from either EB Games or the R18+ support group Grow Up Australia, the ministers decided that "further work needs to be done before a decision can be made" and have "requested further analysis of community and expert views." The office of Federal Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor agreed that because the process was dominated by "interest groups," a "broader consultation" of the public's view is required, although a rep later clarified that those "interest groups" actually include "34 community, church and other groups" who had made submissions.

"Consultations, by their nature, attract submissions from people who are passionate about the issue," O'Connor said in a statement to GameSpot AU. "Ministers would like to consider other legitimate views from as wide a cross section of the community as possible."

But as Interactive Games and Entertainment Association President Ron Curry pointed out, it's tough to nail down "gamers" as an interest group. "If consultations, by their nature, attract submissions from people who are passionate about an issue - and I assume passionate in both opposition and support - then why bother?" he asked. "Surely the government asked for submissions to gauge the feeling of the wider community, of which gamers make up 68 percent."

The government's reaction is especially interesting in light of the fact that as far back as mid-January, infamous R18+ opponent Michael Atkinson, who at the time was still the Attorney General of South Australia, dismissed the entire consultation process as unfairly biased because the vast majority of respondents would be gamers. Now it's starting to look as though others in government may agree with his position, lending weight to comments he made in early 2009 that he wasn't alone in his opposition to R18+ ratings. "Some other classification ministers are also opposed to an R18+ classification but have not spoken about it publicly," he said at the time. "I'm confident the proposal would be blocked by other classification ministers if I weren't using my veto power." Perhaps there was a little more to Atkinson's words than we gave him credit for.

Whatever the case, keep up the great work, Australia. I normally have to pay for this kind of entertainment.

via: GamePolitics

Permalink

Now it looks like there just coming up with the most random reasons not to do anything. Seems like there back is to a wall.

It's so funny it makes me really really sad.
Even though my country has another whole different problem relate to games (fucking prices >>") it saddens me to no end.

It's a situation of either laugh or cry, I think I'll take the former.

My condolences to the australian gamers, your old old father is square and thick-headed.

its probabaly because the only people to submit comments were Polar opposites. those strongly against and those strongly for a R18+ rating. they probably want a comment from average joe/jill who dont have vested intrests either way

The people wanted it to bad, so they can't have it. WTF?

Well I can see Yahtzee being pissed about this.

Oh boy, here we go again.

samus010:
Now it looks like there just coming up with the most random reasons not to do anything. Seems like there back is to a wall.

Gotta love politics...well, lets hope it dosnt slow it, full stop.

They deserve freedom like the rest of us!

I don't understand ; Don't they want an 18+ rating? Or are they just to lazy? It just seems like stalling.

Allow me to present my opinion in the most eloquent way possible:

GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHYOUMOTHERFUCKERS!

Seriously, this is getting god damn ridiculous.

I don't blame them too much as a public consultation is supposed to involve a cross section of the society and instead they got the opinions of what they see (rightly or wrongly) as a minority group.

Jaredin:

samus010:
Now it looks like there just coming up with the most random reasons not to do anything. Seems like there back is to a wall.

Gotta love politics...well, lets hope it dosnt slow it, full stop.

They deserve freedom like the rest of us!

This is really bad, but I'm more concerned about the Australian firewall in absolute terms.

What I find especially disturbing about this is that there doesn't seem to be any recourse to the goverment ignoring the will of the people (which seems to be obvious here) and deciding to do whatever the heck it wants to do anyway.

I imagine the point of the delay is in hopes that they can find some way of drudging up statistics to support what they want to happen.

A majority? In my democracy?

leeloodallasmultipass:
its probabaly because the only people to submit comments were Polar opposites. those strongly against and those strongly for a R18+ rating. they probably want a comment from average joe/jill who dont have vested intrests either way

The problem is that the government wants people who have no opinion on the subject to give their opinion on the subject before they make the a decision, when the person who has no opinion on the subject by definition has no opinion on the subject.

In other words, they are saying "We need to know what opinion the person who has no opinion has before we can allow R18 games!"

It is *beyond* retarded. If people didn't phone in, they don't care. If they don't care, they have no opinion to give you. How hard is that to get?

From America, England and any other gaming country to Australia... wow, that sucks balls.

Ok let's toss together a makeshift timeline shall we?

Step 1 - Games are for children! There's no need for a mature game rating.

Step 2 - The people asking for a mature rating are a vocal minority

Step 3 - The people ask for a mature rating are a dangerous, violent, vocal minority

Step 4 - Fine, fine, just to show you how much of a minority they are, we'll hold a vote.

Step 5 - Holy crap, 86% of over 50,000 people want this mature rating thing. Well, um.. I guess maybe we should...

Step 6 - No wait! Over 40,000 people can STILL be the minority! Jeff in accounting just did the math! Let's postpone making 40,000 citizens happy and find enough people to justify our original comments! After all, I'd rather be right than re-elected!

Viva free speech. :(

Australia, your government takes the cake for being completely fucking mental. Your worse than my government, and they attacked a country because of WMDs that weren't there. (Oil)

Wow a lot of people want this! Hold on, before you go ordering that pizza let's see what our families might want, even if they're not invited to the party.

Translation: If a lot of people who want it, then why would you go to the people who have no interest/can make no use of this!??!?!

Crunchy English:
Ok let's toss together a makeshift timeline shall we?

Step 1 - Games are for children! There's no need for a mature game rating.

Step 2 - The people asking for a mature rating are a vocal minority

Step 3 - The people ask for a mature rating are a dangerous, violent, vocal minority

Step 4 - Fine, fine, just to show you how much of a minority they are, we'll hold a vote.

Step 5 - Holy crap, 86% of over 50,000 people want this mature rating thing. Well, um.. I guess maybe we should...

Step 6 - No wait! Over 40,000 people can STILL be the minority! Jeff in accounting just did the math! Let's postpone making 40,000 citizens happy and find enough people to justify our original comments! After all, I'd rather be right than re-elected!

I lol'd. Hard.

OT: Hm... it seems that the opponents to this thing now find that they themselves are the apparent minority. HOW DOES IT FEEL?!

I just had to larf at the fact that apparently the only people they pointed out as opposing it are church groups, and they're not exactly known for being tolerant of material that is even the slightly mature. "THINK OF THE CHILDREN!" and all that.

This just makes a farce of democracy. Those who care strongly about it either way are the only ones who will care enough to respond to this, and they did, and the overwhelming majority came out in favour of R18+ so now the Aussie government are delaying because they didn't really like the outcome. In what world does that make sense?

RelexCryo:

leeloodallasmultipass:
its probabaly because the only people to submit comments were Polar opposites. those strongly against and those strongly for a R18+ rating. they probably want a comment from average joe/jill who dont have vested intrests either way

The problem is that the government wants people who have no opinion on the subject to give their opinion on the subject before they make the a decision, when the person who has no opinion on the subject by definition has no opinion on the subject.

In other words, they are saying "We need to know what opinion the person who has no opinion has before we can allow R18 games!"

It is *beyond* retarded. If people didn't phone in, they don't care. If they don't care, they have no opinion to give you. How hard is that to get?

i completly agree with you. most people are indifferent to everything that goes on within society. its only when the media sentionalise things usually to a negative when the illinformed average joe/jill gets indoctrinated with the wrong idea and opposes something from a ignorant perspective.

its what i fear for the discussion, its going to allow time for the very very very VOCAL minority that have a hold over most of western civilisation aka the religious groups paranoid fear mongerers to mount thier publicity campaigns against the legislation.

i fear push comes to shove, gamers wont take action, or take negative action themselfs. like those throwing insults and death threats at the previous attorney general of South Australia.

We want positive rolemodels and voices out there, not slander and derrogatory comments on forums about how fucked the system is. get informed and explain why it is fucked. not just yell and scream that it is and throw every insult under the sun at the government.

The anti R+18 lobby will just use that as fuel and say this is why we need to ban this shit permently and go further, games have rotted thier minds and turned them into agressive idiots with the mental maturity of a 10 year old

The fuck is this shit?!

I'm sorry, let me get this straight...They said they wanted the R18+ rating, the consultation was overwhelmingly in favor of the introduction of said rating...and now the censorship ministers are being morons and saying they want the opinion of people who didn't give enough of a shit to respond the first time they asked?

To quote Yahtzee in his Halo Wars review: "BULL FUCKING SHIT!"

Notsomuch:
A majority? In my democracy?

It's more likely than you think.

Irridium:

I lol'd. Hard.

OT: Hm... it seems that the opponents to this thing now find that they themselves are the apparent minority. HOW DOES IT FEEL?!

Yes but they are a very vocal minority that has influence across most of western civilsation. just look at every stem cell/genetic/abortion debate. the Religious groups paranoid fear mongerers start vomiting thier negative rhetoric all over the media saying its immoral and unethical.... unfortunatly it rubs off on the people in power and they think its the consensus of the population.

it is very easy to Say no to something and produce arguements against. providing positives for change is always hard. just look at our politcal systems, hardly fuck all gets done. too much of a "just say no approach"

leeloodallasmultipass:

Irridium:

I lol'd. Hard.

OT: Hm... it seems that the opponents to this thing now find that they themselves are the apparent minority. HOW DOES IT FEEL?!

Yes but they are a very vocal minority that has influence across most of western civilsation. just look at every stem cell/genetic/abortion debate. the Religious groups start vomiting thier negative rhetoric all over the media saying its immoral and unethical.... unfortunatly it rubs off on the people in power and they think its the consensus of the population.

it is very easy to Say no to something and produce arguements against. providing positives for change is always hard. just look at our politcal systems, hardly fuck all gets done. too much of a "just say no approach"

Yeah... I know. Hopefully all this does is stall the R18 process, instead of killing it outright.

So if I understand that correctly the Aussie gov. wants postpone proceedings because only people the proceedings would affect voted on it and they want to know the opinions of people it won't affect? My brain hurts.

Irridium:

Yeah... I know. Hopefully all this does is stall the R18 process, instead of killing it outright.

yeah i hope also, as i mention in my post a few posts before my previous post... OoOo confusing. just scroll up haha

leeloodallasmultipass:

Irridium:

I lol'd. Hard.

OT: Hm... it seems that the opponents to this thing now find that they themselves are the apparent minority. HOW DOES IT FEEL?!

Yes but they are a very vocal minority that has influence across most of western civilsation. just look at every stem cell/genetic/abortion debate. the Religious groups start vomiting thier negative rhetoric all over the media saying its immoral and unethical.... unfortunatly it rubs off on the people in power and they think its the consensus of the population.

it is very easy to Say no to something and produce arguements against. providing positives for change is always hard. just look at our politcal systems, hardly fuck all gets done. too much of a "just say no approach"

leeloodallasmultipass:

RelexCryo:

leeloodallasmultipass:
its probabaly because the only people to submit comments were Polar opposites. those strongly against and those strongly for a R18+ rating. they probably want a comment from average joe/jill who dont have vested intrests either way

The problem is that the government wants people who have no opinion on the subject to give their opinion on the subject before they make the a decision, when the person who has no opinion on the subject by definition has no opinion on the subject.

In other words, they are saying "We need to know what opinion the person who has no opinion has before we can allow R18 games!"

It is *beyond* retarded. If people didn't phone in, they don't care. If they don't care, they have no opinion to give you. How hard is that to get?

i completly agree with you. most people are indifferent to everything that goes on within society. its only when the media sentionalise things usually to a negative when the illinformed average joe/jill gets indoctrinated with the wrong idea and opposes something from a ignorant perspective.

its what i fear for the discussion, its going to allow time for the very very very VOCAL minority that have a hold over most of western civilisation aka the religious groups to mount thier publicity campaigns against the legislation.

i fear push comes to shove, gamers wont take action, or take negative action themselfs. like those throwing insults and death threats at the previous attorney general of South Australia.

We want positive rolemodels and voices out there, not slander and derrogatory comments on forums about how fucked the system is. get informed and explain why it is fucked. not just yell and scream that it is and throw every insult under the sun at the government.

The anti R+18 lobby will just use that as fuel and say this is why we need to ban this shit permently and go further, games have rotted thier minds and turned them into agressive idiots with the mental maturity of a 10 year old

Please stop saying "the religious groups." That is a form of discrimination, and inaccurate. Communist China is run by Atheists, and they hate Video games too. So it isn't just religious groups. Let's lay the blame where it lies- paranoid fear mongerers who are willing to violate the rights of others based on their own paranoid delusions. Both religous people and atheists fall into that group.

I have never felt more sorry for my Australian Bros and Femabros than i do niw...

"Consultations, by their nature, attract submissions from people who are passionate about the issue," O'Connor said in a statement to GameSpot AU. "Ministers would like to consider other legitimate views from as wide a cross section of the community as possible."

I agree with Mr Curry here. they ASKED for the "public consult" and now that they got it, they wont go with it. Makes me believe that they were never going to do it anyway. So the Ministers of Australia are back-stabbing liars. Congrats, you're becoming more like you brother and father everyday. (by that i mean the US and UK, respectively)

And just really who were you expecting to answer this thing? Pie-baking housewives, whoms kids DON'T play games? Old business men who also DON'T play games? You asked, more or less, GAMERS for their opinion. And now that you got it you've become a thick headed wall!

This is in much the same way of my brother, who will ask me a question and argue when i give an answer. You asked for the opinion, and you got it, if you want to argue don't ask next time. save your breathe for better things, like finding replacements, because all of you(the minsters) are well beyond anything resembling prime and will probably be dead before the real shit hits the fan.

RelexCryo:

Please stop saying "the religious groups." That is a form of discrimination, and inaccurate. Communist China is run by Atheists, and they hate Video games too. So it isn't just religious groups. Let's lay the blame where it lies- paranoid fear mongerers who are willing to violate the rights of others based on their own paranoid delusions. Both religous people and atheists fall into that group.

oh i agree with you. i was refering to the mention of Church groups in the Ministers actual preliminary report, but i tend to get carried away sometimes, especially at 5:40am without sleeping yet.

"paranoid fear mongerers" that is actually a fantastic "label" for all those included in such debates. ill start using it more often to avoid disenfranchising religious individuals i may offend and not at all be directing it at them.

Wow, the Australian government is really quite stubborn about this. It seems like they never intended to allow this rating at all, but they simply put out the venue for public discussion as a farce to make it seem like they really cared, hoping that there wouldn't be enough support.

JUST GIVE THEM THE FUCKING RATING FOR CHRIST'S SAKE

It's just ridiculous now...

PayJ567:

JUST GIVE THEM THE FUCKING RATING FOR CHRIST'S SAKE

It's just ridiculous now...

Amen.

I expect Yahtzee to enable his full-blown rage mode, or else..I don't know what to say.

I'm sorry, plebs, but we are not implementing your rating

What? WHY!?

Uh...Because you want it?

WHAT!?

Yup! That's what...erm...that's what I said! Yes...totally not ad hoc! We planned this, this is the decision! We aren't biding for time for our satanic rituals to come into play

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