Great articles on other sites
- Sydney Opal card travel history can be accessed by police
- NBN analysis 'like foxes reviewing the hen house': Clare
- Call made to end inflight phone ban
- Australian government undoing profit shifting clamp down: Labor
- National security law reforms
- Victorian Government calls for contributions to shape Victoria’s digital economy
- Will IBM pip Azure at the Aussie cloud post?
- Competition watchdog should break up Foxtel monopoly: Ludlam
- Susan Sly gives up on the CIO game
- Vic Labor puts its support behind mobile police
Gaming, News - Written by Chillibreeze on Thursday, February 16, 2012 9:52 - 12 Comments
R18+ game legislation hits Federal Parliament
news Jason Clare, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Justice, yesterday introduced legislation to create an R18+ category for computer games. The move will align classification categories for computer games with existing categories used to classify movies and bring Australia into line with the classification systems being used in several countries worldwide.
The Bill amends the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 and makes a consequential amendment to Schedule 7 of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992.
At present, the highest legally available classification category for computer games is MA15+. Refused Classification is used for games unsuitable for a minor to play. Clare stated that the
R18+ category would inform consumers, retailers and parents about games that are unsuitable for minors to play, and also act to prevent minors from buying unsuitable material.
Strong support for this legislation has been evident during wide-ranging public consultation conducted over the past two years. The Attorney-General’s Department received 58,437 submissions in response to its recent discussion paper on the establishment of an R18+ classification category for computer games. Of these responses, 98 per cent were in favour of the introduction of such a category.
The Federal Government has collaborated with State and Territory Governments on this issue, which will introduce complementary legislation. According to the Minister, this follows 10 years of negotiations with States and Territories. The Federal Government’s legislation is scheduled to take effect on January 1st, 2013.
Devices for computer games are now present in nine out of 10 Australian households, according to research conducted by Bond University. The average age of Australian computer gamers is 32, and women comprise almost half (47 per cent) of computer game players. The Australian gaming industry is predicted to grow at a rate of 10 per cent per year and to reach $2.5 billion annually by 2015.
In his speech, Clare said that his predecessor in this portfolio – Minister O’Connor – had also worked on this issue all through his tenure as Minister for Home Affairs. O’Connor had led the discussion on this issue with State and Territory Attorneys-General at the Standing Council on Law and Justice. Clare said that the bill would implement the Commonwealth’s obligations as part of this agreement, and that State and Territory jurisdictions would follow suit with their own legislation later in 2012.
The lack of an R18+ classification system for video games in Australia has resulted in various popular video games — such as Left 4 Dead 2 and Mortal Kombat — being censored for the Australia market or refused classification so that they are unable to be sold locally. Some game publishers have been forced to modify their games prior to release in Australia, meaning some local releases have been delayed.
One organisation to comment on the issue in March last year, when Mortal Kombat was banned from sale in Australia, was the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association, which represents a number of video game manufacturers and distributors in Australia, including heavyweights such as Microsoft, Nintendo, Activision, Sony Computer Entertainment and more. The organisation has for several years been pushing for the introduction of an R18+ rating locally.
iGEA chief executive Ron Curry said the fact that another game “clearly designed and targeted at adults” had been refused classification again highlighted the shortcomings of the current classification scheme.
“As with many other forms of media, there is a demand and place for an adult-themed narrative. We trust adults with this material in other media forms, yet deny them similar access simply because it’s a ‘game’. We would not accept the argument that because it’s “unsuitable for a minor to see or play” that it should therefore be banned in any other media form, so why video games?” he said at the time.
Image credit: Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment Australia
Blog, Enterprise IT - Jul 5, 2014 13:53 - 0 Comments
More In Enterprise IT
- Qld’s Grant joins analyst firm IBRS
- Westpac dumps desk phones for Samsung Android mobiles
- Ministers’ cloud approval lasted just a year
- WA Govt can’t fund school IT upgrades
- Turnbull outlines Govt ICT vision
Blog, Telecommunications - Jul 5, 2014 12:12 - 0 Comments
More In Telecommunications
- Telstra gets $150m for NBN FTTN trial
- How Australia got online 25 years ago
- Palmer pushes for minimalist NBN policy
- NBN debate heats up at IEEE conference
- Spirit deploys 200Mbps FTTB to Southbank
Analysis, Industry, Internet - Jun 23, 2014 10:33 - 0 Comments
More In Industry
- ABC tech reporter founds micro-transactions startup
- Australia’s got ICT talent: So how do we make the most of it?
- ‘Thriving’ Aussie tech incubator scene a ‘mirage’
- Corporate highs: The US P-TECH model for schools in Australia?
- Facebook wants to hide its Australian earnings
Blog, Digital Rights - Jun 30, 2014 22:24 - 0 Comments
More In Digital Rights
- “Rational debate” needed around surveillance
- Web blocking technically impossible: iiNet reminds Govt of undisputed fact
- We like e-readers – but library users are still borrowing books
- Coalition, Labor support new surveillance laws
- Anti-piracy laws will increase piracy, says Budde