Australia: "We want an 18+ Rating Classification for video games!"
This group is designed to help push the nation-wide effort leading to the creation of an R18+ classification for video games in Australia, which is to be introduced nationally in 2013. This group primarily collects and publishes news stories from various websites relating to the R18+ classification for the Steam Community.
From a report dated in 2010, the average age of the 'video gamer' in Australia was believed to be between the ages of 28 to 30. The entertainment medium which emerged in the late 70's which was aimed towards children is today enjoyed by gamers of differing ages with games designed for different age groups.
Games which are designed for adults contain content that is generally unsuitable for children and young teenagers. These unsuitable elements might include quantities of excessive gore, blood, drug use, sexual situations and an extreme amount of coarse language. Due to the lack of an Adult classification for video games in Australia, these games are generally required to be slightly censored in order to satisfy the next possible classification: Mature Audiences (MA15+).
The problem that arises through this censorship is no matter how much or what content is removed, the video game's adult preferences lingers. The sale of MA15+ rated products is not restricted, which means any age group is allowed to purchase them.
An R18+ classification is a restricted classification. Sale of R18+ classified media to minors is prohibited by law and acts as a clear indication to parents what content is present. While Australia has this classification for various media, it does not have one for video games. This is due to a complete oversight by the Attorney-Generals in the early 90's who believed that video games were not realistic enough to require an adult classifciation.
Today, game developers have long since recognised the adult audience in video games and produce content designed for adults. However when these games come to Australia they are banned due to a classificaiton system that is out of alignment with Australia's hugely growing video gamer society and industry. In 2009, Rob Hulls, Victoria's Attorney General has gone on record on the matter by stating: "It seems inconsistent that Australians are allowed to view 'adult only' films, but not computer games with equivalent content'.
Whether you're a 'casual', 'hardcore' gamer, a concerned parent or otherwise. We hope you jump on board and help us make Australia introduce an R18+ classification for video games.