Sick of Games Being Banned? The Government Wants To Hear From You

Are you sick of having games such as Left 4 Dead 2 or Grand Theft Auto 4 edited for release in Australia? Do you object to games being refused classification and effectively banned from sale? Do you think Australia should have an R18+ classification for videogames? If the answer is yes, then now is the time to speak up, my friend, because the government is listening.

As most Australian gamers know, the highest rating a videogame can receive in this country is an MA15+, meaning that a game that is deemed not suitable for a 15-year-old to play without their parents supervision is Refused Classification (RC) and cannot be legally sold in Australian stores.

This despite the fact that there already exists a higher rating for films (R18+) and that a large majority of gamers are in their 20s and 30s. In short, games are no longer for kids, but our ratings system is incapable of reflecting this.

Following the release of their discussion paper on an R18+ classification for electronic entertainment, the Commonwealth Government is looking to gauge public opinion on the matter by calling for submissions from all Australians to argue for or against a higher age limit being introduced. This is where you come in.

To have your say, go to this link where you can find both the original discussion paper, as well as a submission template to fill out (they’ve made it very easy) and email back. It shouldn’t take you more than 5 minutes.

If you have more to say there is also a comment section in which you can speak your mind. Of course, coherence and tact is of the utmost importance when commenting.

I found it most disheartening, though sadly not surprising, to hear that Senator Michael Atkinson – admittedly the biggest and quite possibly only roadblock in the R18 debate – received death threats from gamers furious at his unwillingness to even consider a higher rating for videogames. This is not helpful. We need to break down the stereotype that all gamers are illiterate and bloodthirsty shut-ins and this is a good place to start.

This doesn’t help.

So, Gamers unite! If you have ever bitched on a message board about the state of videogaming in this country (as I certainly have) then now is the time to take that sentiment and do something constructive with it.

While it is true that there can be no guarantee that anything will change, it must be acknowledged that this is the closest we have ever come to having the voices of adult gamers heard by the highest authority in this country and if we squander this opportunity now by sitting on our hands, we may not see it come around again for a very long time.

Posted with respect to the work of Luke Plunkett at

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