A recent report indicates that the South Australian Attorney-General, The Hon Michael Atkinson MP, has dug in his heels and refused to make the discussion paper on Australia's lack of an R18+ rating for games public.
A spokesperson for the Victorian Attorney-General, Rob Hulls, has said that “it now appears unlikely that there will be unanimity from all jurisdictions to proceed further at this stage with introducing an R18+ category for computer games.”
The article notes that “Mr Atkinson has opposed the introduction of an R18+ rating for games for many years, telling parliament earlier this year that he knew it denied Australian adults choice but was necessary to help restrict children's access to 'potentially harmful material'”.
The article also notes Mr Atkinson's reliance on the unfounded assumption that “Games may pose a far greater problem than other media – particularly films – because their interactive nature could exacerbate their impact”. Atkinson continued, saying that “The risk of interactivity on players of computer games with highly violent content is increased aggressive behaviour.”
I have now launched EFA's campaign to introduce an R18+ rating for games in Australia.
We call on each of you to let your Attorney-General know that we do not think that the fate of Australia's classification scheme should be determined by one state politician's unfounded beliefs. The public debate on this issue has now been cut short, without sufficient reason. It is now time to call upon the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General to make the discussion paper public, and see what Australians really think about an R18+ rating for games.