Australian Attorney General Shouted Down Over R18+ Rating Issue

Recently GamePolitics reported on a move to create an R18+ rating for video games in Australia.

The idea is popular among Aussie gamers since adding the new classification would offer grownup consumers additional gaming choices. A number of titles which qualified for sale in the U.S. market, for example, were banned Down Under because they failed to meet the mark for Australia’s current highest rating, M15+. These include Marc Ecko’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure50 cent: Bulletproof and Blitz: The League.

Predictably, not everyone in Australian politics agrees with the proposed change. But, as reported by news.com.au, South Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson (left) was shouted down in Parliament last week while arguing against adoption of the R18+ rating:

Mr Atkinson is the most vocal opponent to a R18+ classification for games… During the speech, Mr Atkinson began to describe five games that had been banned in Australia. As he was describing drug use in the game Narc, he was cut off by raucous interjections and returned to his seat.

The text of Atkinson’s speech explains his objections (it’s about the children!), and includes the following:

I do not want children to be able to get their hands on R18+ games easily. I understand that the lack of an R18+ classification denies some adults the chance to play some games, however, the need to keep potentially harmful material away from children is far more important…

 

Proponents for the classification say the latest technology allows gaming platforms and computers to be programmed to allow parental locks. Today’s children are far more technologically savvy than their parents. It’s laughable to suggest that they couldn’t find ways around parental locks if R18+ games were in the home…

 

I contest any idea that it is necessary for games to include material of this kind and that a game is more interesting to an adult because it contains extreme violence, explicit sexual material, instruction in crime or characters using illicit drugs…

GP: Unfortunately, we don’t have any news on which members of Parliament interrupted Atkinson’s speech or why they did so…

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