The strong response from Australia’s gaming community to the R18+ issue may have backfired a bit, as the government is now delaying discussion of the issue in order to get feedback from more of the community.
GameSpot notes that Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O’Connor indicated that, “…further work needs to be done before a decision can be made.” When pressed, O’Connor told the publication that “ministers had agreed that a broader consultation of the public’s views was needed following the dominant response from ‘interest groups.’”
While a spokesperson from O’Connor’s office indicated that “interest groups” referenced the 34 community, church, and other groups that lodged submissions in the public consultation, GameSpot wrote that, “given that submissions were dominated by pro-R18+ interest groups (EB Games and Grow Up Australia), the intended meaning seems clear.”
Perhaps the AU government doesn’t understand that gamers now permeate just about every corner of culture, a point made by Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (iGEA) President Ron Curry, who stated, “I’m not sure how the [Home Affairs] minister pigeon-holes them as an ‘interest group’, because gamers cover all facets of society.”
Curry, who also noted that a recent poll indicated that 68% of Australians are gamers, continued:
If consultations, by their nature, attract submissions from people who are passionate about an issue–and I assume passionate in both opposition and support–then why bother?