Today was to be the announcement of an Australian R18+ rating for games – or lack thereof. Today it is a lack, because unanimity is required, and one State Attorney General held back.
If we accept that a ratings system for films, television and suchlike are necessary to protect children, then it is likewise necessary to have parity by applying the same ratings categories to games. The average age of gamers is now 35 – the same average age as that of film-goers.
Every month a number games that would rightly earn an R18+ rating (if one were available) and be restricted from sale to minors are instead categorised as MA15+ and permitted to be sold to under-18s.
If the classification system is in place and adhered to for other media, then the present situation is both unjust and unfair, and exposes minors to material that the system itself insists is unsafe for them.
According to Gamepron, “The Attorney-General from Western Australia, Christian Porter, apparently told the committee that he would have to meet with his cabinet before making a decision on the matter.”
Good heavens! Porter had weeks to arrange that prior to today’s session.
How many games that would normally earn an R18+ rating will find their way into the hands of minors before the Attorneys General are able to vote on this matter again?