Media Release

For release: July 18, 2011

 

The Australian Christian Lobby has urged classification ministers meeting in Adelaide this week to wait until the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) completes its comprehensive review of the National Classification Scheme before moving on video game classification reform.

ACL spokesman Rob Ward said today’s news about South Australian Attorney-General John Rau wanting to re-badge existing MA15+ games as R18+ had some merit but going it alone would create inconsistencies across jurisdictions that would further complicate an already failed system.

“Mr Rau’s suggestion wouldn’t address or fix the problems inherent in the existing classification system, such as subjective and ill-defined guidelines,” he said.

“The system also requires proper enforcement mechanisms and consequences for publishers and retailers who breach the guidelines.

“There needs to be a broad approach to the issue of gaming classification and the overall classification system, and ACL sees the ALRC’s review as the best way to bring some much needed change to the system,” he said.

ACL in particular asks ministers to reject the proposal of Home Affairs Minister Brendan O’Connor to use the current R18+ guidelines for films as the basis for rating games because it does not take account of the differences between these types of media and the way they are consumed.

“You can’t equate an R18+ game with an R18+ film because games are interactive and repetitively engage the gamer in acts of violence and sex,” Mr Ward said.

“Allow the Australian Law Reform Commission to complete its comprehensive review and detail how games should be classified and whether they should be introduced into the Australian market.