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R18+ Classification for Computer Games - Public Consultation

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"Call me a killjoy, but I think that because this is not to my taste, no one else should be able to enjoy it!" - Marge Simpson (aka meowkitty)

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I don't need to present a case, I don't want it.

Hey Look, everything that is wrong with the idiom that everybody's opinion is valid, and nobody should have to undertake any self-examination or public extrapolation with why they think that way, because that's attacking their opinion.

 

Sigh.

 

Your *only* method of market manipulation to prevent the creation of games furthering violence, if that is your goal, is to reduce the market desire.

Censorship does not mitigate demand. Go and refresh your self on prohibition history and the 'war on drugs' to demonstrate.

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To say that your own personal beliefs should dictate the consumer habits of an entire nation is painfully naive, meowkitty.

 

Furthermore, this isn't about standards, it's about freedom of speech and information, as well as fixing our current, broken, system.

 

The system is broken because:

a) It allows games with high level violence to be rated as MA15+, when they should be R18+, thus allowing access to children who may not be mature enough to play it. If a parent isn't educated about gaming, this leads to them allowing children to play games that they shouldn't be playing.

 

b) It refuses classification to games for silly and confusing reasons, eg. It contains graffiti, a zombie game lets you kill you zombies, or a violent game contains too much... violence.

 

If we have an R18+ classification point introduced, it will mean that games will be better classified for parents to make an educated decision. Every parent knows their young kid can't watch a movie rated R, but at the moment, when their kid wants a game, they see MA and think "Can't be as bad as R", when it is just as bad.

 

The introduction of an R18+ rating point will mean that parents will have that point of reference, and not have to hope for the best.

 

It is good that you understand game ratings, and talk to your kids about it, meowkitty, but the fact is you are a minority of a minority in that respect. The first minority is that you understand and discuss, the second minority is that you don't want an R18+ rating. It's not that the majority of the forum thinks you're wrong, the majority of the population think you are wrong. And also most of the AGs, and also the Federal Government.

 

And also the entire rest of the Western World.

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To say that your own personal beliefs should dictate the consumer habits of an entire nation is painfully naive, meowkitty.

 

Furthermore, this isn't about standards, it's about freedom of speech and information, as well as fixing our current, broken, system.

 

The system is broken because:

a) It allows games with high level violence to be rated as MA15+, when they should be R18+, thus allowing access to children who may not be mature enough to play it. If a parent isn't educated about gaming, this leads to them allowing children to play games that they shouldn't be playing.

 

b) It refuses classification to games for silly and confusing reasons, eg. It contains graffiti, a zombie game lets you kill you zombies, or a violent game contains too much... violence.

 

If we have an R18+ classification point introduced, it will mean that games will be better classified for parents to make an educated decision. Every parent knows their young kid can't watch a movie rated R, but at the moment, when their kid wants a game, they see MA and think "Can't be as bad as R", when it is just as bad.

 

The introduction of an R18+ rating point will mean that parents will have that point of reference, and not have to hope for the best.

 

It is good that you understand game ratings, and talk to your kids about it, meowkitty, but the fact is you are a minority of a minority in that respect. The first minority is that you understand and discuss, the second minority is that you don't want an R18+ rating. It's not that the majority of the forum thinks you're wrong, the majority of the population think you are wrong. And also most of the AGs, and also the Federal Government.

 

And also the entire rest of the Western World.

I like this post, very well thought out and executed, well done sir.

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I just re-read my post - I wasn't trying to bitchy, just trying to convey my points...

I'm being serious.

 

It came across very well and is probably the least personal of the posts since meowkitty posted.

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Bundy: Everyone's entitled to their opinion, even if you feel they're wrong.

 

In short though, I disagree with you meowkitty. You'll always have a choice in what you buy, what you view. No one will sit down and force you to play these violent games. No one will force you to buy these for your kids and let them play it. Also if you or you kids are even remotely savvy, like many other gamers, they'll get a copy through other means as this isn't really stopping anyone from playing these guys, infact they're just not regulating / controlling it with a proper classification system instead saying "well we banned it *dusts hands* my job is done!"

 

And playing ignorant.

 

Also there are plenty of violent games on the market (including the Australian market) right now, will the R18+ allow more? Well ... maybe. Dead Space 1/2, AVP, God of War series, etc are all violent games that have decapitation, removal of limbs, blood and much violence.

 

So whilst I respect your opinion here, let me be the first of many to say, you're no doubt ignorant on the topic and have no real understanding on what's going on here. Therefore your opinion doesn't have much weight behind it. And not just because I disagree with it.

 

EDIT:

 

Just on your last bit there, I view video games as a form of Art and Expression. Obviously you don't but I do, it has all the characteristics of Art. As a round-about example, it would be like getting Michaelangelo's David out here to Australia, and putting on a pair of shorts because no one would like to see a wang in marble form.

ignorant. good on ya.

I can see you made the point of "Also if you or you kids are even remotely savvy, like many other gamers, they'll get a copy through other means as this isn't really stopping anyone from playing these guys, infact they're just not regulating / controlling it with a proper classification system instead saying "well we banned it *dusts hands* my job is done!""

and ran with it. you ran in the wrong direction.

I've pointed out to the parent of a 12 year old that maybe COD:BO was a bit wrong for their age. but how do you take back a favoured Christmas pressent? (that was their call) I actively check my kids computer, games, downloads and police it, discuss it and do anything but dust my hands of it.

 

 

reread my statement. i'll post it again for the fun of it.

 

"But I don't want an increased amount of violence in the games on the market.

I don't need to present a case, I don't want it."

 

see, as a consumer of gaming product, video entertainment and an adult I have come to the conclusion through many years of observation that there is quite enough violence. while I apreciate that other countries have r+ ratings I am quite happy to have MA as the top in australia because I want to push back at the makers of gore and say, I find your product should have no place in society. you can have your artistic expression but can you let go of the need to out do every thing on gore and sensationalsim and make it good to watch or play.

it's what living in a capitalist society does for us, money talks.

 

I know i'm saying this in the wrong community but do we really need to up the standards?

what makes the MA standard? what makes the R Standard?

 

Want to know why people are calling your views on this ignorant? disagreeing with you? It's because you go "I have an opinion" then you don't back it up.

 

Lets start with your first example. A PARENT buys their child a game (Black Ops) and then goes "oops, guess that's a bit violent for them". Guess what buddy, that game already has an MA15+ rating on it! Now, I'm not there, I don't know all the details, but I'm calling those parents the STUPIDEST PARENTS ON EARTH! Seriously. You can't make up for stupidity, but those parents take the cake.

 

I want to really drive this into you so you know how utterly stupid that example is. The PARENTS, go out and BUY their child this game that has an MA15+ rating on it. How is this anyones fault except the parents? Maybe if adults such as that would start taking responsibility for their actions and their childs lives, there would be less ignorant opinions on topics such as this. Or should we ban all violent games because some stupid parents buy their underage children a game that they've done no research on and can't read the damn label on the game itself.

 

As for you last example. Your opinion, whilst is yours, is a bit in the dark when it comes to why you feel that way. I have been doing Martial Arts for about 10 years now, and I've never been in a fight. And I mean the violent kind, I've been hit, knocked down, bruised and battered and I've done it to other people. That being said I've ALWAYS walked or talked my way out of a real fight. Until you can PROVE that violent video games cause violence in society (and other forms of violence, like Movies, Media and Social activities).

 

As for your question on how things are classified, I'm not going to Google the OFLC conditions for you, you can do that yourself. And whilst you're at it, go look at studies that disprove your way of thinking.

 

 

EDIT - Spelling

 

Thanks, I was a bit rushed this morning so my wording was not too flash. anyway, it's lunch time....

 

yes, I made sure I got as much guilt trip out of the "face palm moment" as I could.

I know violence is in society, and a rating isn't going to change it and I stated I would be quite happy with just an MA for games because of elements that take games beyong simple MA. it's like the difference between old school horror and modern horror. there was implied violence and such, where now it's alot more graphic and i'm sure you do not get that graphic in your local dojo (or appropriate arena) not everything is UFC all the time.

 

TUALMASOK, you're right, I probably am a minority in a minority. from my point of view, i'm comfortable with it. atleast for the minority as you describe it.

 

wether the rating system is goign to work or not I'll just have to be more diligent because this is more than about just My buying habbits. the kids get vouchers, other parrents have them over and have made different lifestyle choices for their kids.

The kids mother is very anti guns, next thing I know they have exposure to FPS at age 12 at a fiends place. FFS.

I'm down the shop and the shop keeper was on GTA:3 (ish) and says "oops, better tun that off" and turn the sound down on the fuck and shit lyrics and then starts to show off his head shot prowess. I said to him "dude, are you sure of your priorities"

 

And that's it really. no one but the game shops and parents with a view to parent will actualy poilce the MA15 R18 rating as it was intended to be after it's in country.

and by then the colt from old regret will have gotten away.

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And that's it really. no one but the game shops and parents with a view to parent will actualy poilce the MA15 R18 rating as it was intended to be after it's in country.

and by then the colt from old regret will have gotten away.

You are right in that no one else will police it aside from the responsible parents and the retailers, but what an R18+ will do, as has been stated before, will simply reinforce to parents who are uneducated on the matter, that violence or other equivalents is prevalent in these games, and is not suitable for children. Parents who allow their kids now to play these games, will more than likely not let them if this regulation is passed. Because…

 

Kids watch MA15+ movies, so naturally, parents believe the MA15+ games should be fine for them. I don't personally hear of many parents allowing (that is renting / purchasing) their kids to watch R18 films, so I'd expect the same with games.

 

How does that not make the most sense in the world??! -_-

Edited by Brock

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For the rest of it, parents should read the fucking packaging and do their own research rather than blaming those evil game developers.

sorry for cutting your post down, it had lots of good points but I wanted this one.

 

are developers making to the market, community standards, or to out do some one on what is seen at a key market metric?

not sugesting they are evil, as such, just too busy looking at market demographics and not community sentiment. there is no excuse not to know if a game is not going to make the cut in Australia. it's like designign a car and being surprised it does not meet ADR and then harping about how backwards the design standards are. they know the rules, play by them.

 

"Call me a killjoy, but I think that because this is not to my taste, no one else should be able to enjoy it!" - Marge Simpson (aka meowkitty)

 

<marge simpson voice of disaproval> "mmmm" </marge simpson voice of disaproval>

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sorry for cutting your post down, it had lots of good points but I wanted this one.

 

are developers making to the market, community standards, or to out do some one on what is seen at a key market metric?

not sugesting they are evil, as such, just too busy looking at market demographics and not community sentiment. there is no excuse not to know if a game is not going to make the cut in Australia. it's like designign a car and being surprised it does not meet ADR and then harping about how backwards the design standards are. they know the rules, play by them.

Actually, that's one of the problems. The developers don't know what the standards are, because the CRB is inconsistantly trying to squeeze R18+ games into the MA15+ rating. So it's a wild guess as to whether a game will actually make it.

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"Call me a killjoy, but I think that because this is not to my taste, no one else should be able to enjoy it!" - Marge Simpson (aka meowkitty)

 

<marge simpson voice of disaproval> "mmmm" </marge simpson voice of disaproval>

 

Really? You really can't see how your stance is exactly the same as what Marge said?

 

Do you honestly feel that because something isn't to YOUR taste that NOBODY should have access to it?

Edited by SquallStrife

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And that's it really. no one but the game shops and parents with a view to parent will actualy poilce the MA15 R18 rating as it was intended to be after it's in country.

and by then the colt from old regret will have gotten away.

You are right in that no one else will police it aside from the responsible parents and the retailers, but what an R18+ will do, as has been stated before, will simply reinforce to parents who are uneducated on the matter, that violence or other equivalents is prevalent in these games, and is not suitable for children. Parents who allow their kids now to play these games, will more than likely not let them if this regulation is passed. Because…

 

Kids watch MA15+ movies, so naturally, parents believe the MA15+ games should be fine for them. I don't personally hear of many parents allowing (that is renting / purchasing) their kids to watch R18 films, so I'd expect the same with games.

 

How does that not make the most sense in the world??! -_-

 

This exactly.

 

Claiming that introducing an R18+ rating won't solve anything is unfounded, as it will be adding an additional classification point above MA15+. This doesn't mean that R18+ games will be available for kids. It means, in a retail sense, that games that are R18+ will legally be prevented from being sold to people under 18. Under the current legislation, an MA15+ game can be purchased for a child. This will stop that. Added protection +1.

 

Furthermore, the legal protection for children can be extended to punishing the parents, or anyone else that allows a person under the age of 18 to play a game rated R18+. This includes retailers who sell the R18+ games to minors. As an angry parent, if you find that another childs parent are letting yours play an R18+ game, you report them to the police, and they get in trouble. There is no proviso for this under current legislation. Added protection +1.

 

Existing games that should have been rated R18+ can then be reclassified at their proper point. This means that current games can then be reclassified to protect the children that are wanting to play them. Added protection +1.

 

Horrible games like RapeLay will never make it into the Australian market, as they actually breach other laws and legislation. It's the same rules for other forms of entertainment, you can't glorify that kind of heinous shit and expect it to come out as "art". It caters for a perverse market that is not legal in Australia. Added protection +1.

 

meowkitty, the classification system you support is the very same one that recently declared Duke Nukem Forever safe for kids to play. Despite the high level drugs, sex, nudity and adult themes. The rest of the world rated it R18+. We didn't - We think it's kid safe!

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"Call me a killjoy, but I think that because this is not to my taste, no one else should be able to enjoy it!" - Marge Simpson (aka meowkitty)

 

<marge simpson voice of disaproval> "mmmm" </marge simpson voice of disaproval>

 

Really? You really can't see how your stance is exactly the same as what Marge said?

 

Do you honestly feel that because something isn't to YOUR taste that NOBODY should have access to it?

 

no dude, I was making a joke.

like when homer is away with mindy and has the stretched marge t-shirt on and the dude is cleaing the floor and the machine sound like mark's hmmm, or disaproval. that seemed like too long a tag so i condenced it.

 

if you look up a bit further you will see I conceed I am in a minority group.

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Fair enough, but it doesn't explain the rationale you are using to justify your stance, nor does it show that you are aknowledging, or understanding, the points we are making in reply.

 

Throwing your hands in the air and declaring "I'm a minority, I can't explain my stance, just accept it" does nothing to further the debate in a constructive manner.

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if you look up a bit further you will see I conceed I am in a minority group.

It has nothing to do with being in a minority group.

 

The majority of people probably don't like snuff films, doesn't mean they have any place stopping them being made, or me from viewing them.

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if you look up a bit further you will see I conceed I am in a minority group.

It has nothing to do with being in a minority group.

 

The majority of people probably don't like snuff films, doesn't mean they have any place stopping them being made, or me from viewing them.

 

You dirty dirty boy!

 

Lets get you out of those clothes...

 

Bow chicka wow wow

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As far as I see it, an R18+ classification is required due to a number of reasons.

 

1. On the whole the 'games' classification in Australia is most certainly outdated and has not progressed to accommodate recent (or even past) titles correctly. Europe and the US adopted policies that cater for games that should be restricted to adults to protect minors a LONG, LONG TIME AGO. The ESRB was founded in 1994 whilst PEGI was established in 2003.

 

The Attorney-Generals of this country have been sitting on their hands for more than two years despite the National Classification Code stating that "adults should be able to read, hear and see what they want".

 

Case in point: Mortal Kombat - the new release is the ninth iteration of the franchise and has a massive following. The violence is a draw card in this game, and what has made it so successful over the years. But, I have never seen or heard of anyone try to perform a fatality on anyone. Yes it is over the top blood and gore, but as an adult I can recognise that this violence is comical and is not related to what happens in everyday life. Children on the other hand may view the content differently and thus should be restricted from viewing and interacting with such content. Here, an R18+ classification would categorise this title as adult related material and be restricted from sale to minors. MK has been rated M by ESRB and 18+ by PEGI and the BBFC.

 

Second Case: Left 4 Dead 2 - This game has exactly the same content as its predecessor, Left 4 Dead, but was refused classification because of blood and gore from killing zombies and had to be dumbed down to meet MA15+ 'standards'. How can this happen when the exact same content in an earlier game, of the same title, was given MA15+ status without an issue from the OFLC? Because there is a grey area and no clear definition as to what constitutes a violent game. L4D2 has been rated M by ESRB and 18+ by PEGI and the BBFC. The edited version has been rated MA15+ by the OFLC.

 

Third Case: How the hell does a game that promotes partner swapping/swinging, lesbianism, spanking, strip teasing and implied sex get a PG rating? We Dare is certainly one out of the box and the

. If there was ever a game that should have been rated 18+ it was this one.

 

2. The average age of gamers in Australia is 30. This is from a census taken in 2008 - three years ago! So the average age has possibly gone up. So why are games still considered primarily as children's past time? I am 34 and have been playing games for a good 30 years, as have a lot of my friends. Why should my gaming choices be restricted due to out of date standards for games?

 

I have a full time job, am happily married and maintain a social and sporting life along with my gaming passion and believe I am a well adjusted and respected 'citizen' of society. I can make decisions for myself as to what is appropriate, I know what is right and what is wrong, and when I do have children of my own I know that will be able to guide them and supervise them responsibly. When the latest edition of MK comes out I want to play it - not have to obtain it illegally because of the outdated classification system I have to 'abide' by.

 

3. I have never been in a fight other than when I was at primary and high school, and I have played 'violent' games throughout my lifetime. Possibly one of the very first was Duck Hunt on the NES, but I don't go shooting ducks for sport in real life. It has never been proven that video games create violence in society.

 

Alcohol is the number one culprit for violence in society. This was proven to me at the recent TOOL concert in Melbourne where no alcohol was served at the venue and EVERYONE was happy and had a great time - no violent incidents there. Yet you see it almost every night because of drunken idiots on the street. Don't get me wrong, I like a drink! But I digress.

 

4. Video Games are an art form. The content, music, scenery can be considered masterpieces in some cases yet it is still treated as a child's domain because of the term 'game'. It is on par with, if not ahead of, the movie industry in terms of story lines and revenue. However, movies have a classification system to protect minors and inform consumers of the content. Would any sane adult allow a child to watch a 18+ (let alone XXX) title? No, because they KNOW what the content holds and the consequences should they expose such material to minors. Why can't games be given a similar classification system such as PEGI or the ESRB?

 

5. Publishers and Developers would invest a lot more into Australia if they had modern classification system for video games to comply with. Australia is considered a second class market because the rest of the world is up to date with its classification policies and so the developers make their games according to those standards. As a developer/publisher why would I make a game for a particular region when I know that I can create adult content for the majority of the world. Netherealm has refused to dumb down Mortal Kombat for Australians because they know they can legally sell it to the rest of the world. Why would they waste their time and money when they can get the returns they are after from the greater market?

 

On the whole, the government needs to get this reform done. It may not solve everything for Australian gamers, but it will certainly be a step in the right direction allowing people to make an informed choice. Without these reforms, we will continue to be a police state where the views of the few do not reflect the whole.

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Wow top post neX, top post. Totally agree with you on all except

am happily married and maintain a social and sporting life

:P

Instead insert "happily single and a bit of a hermit" But I was that before I even had a computer.

:-)

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I have to disagree with your claim that alcohol is the number one cause of violence in the community.

 

I would say it's religion.

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I have to disagree with your claim that alcohol is the number one cause of violence in the community.

 

I would say it's religion.

Don't go there.

 

Alcohol is a regulated substance similar to that of Movies and Games - hence the example.

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I have to disagree with your claim that alcohol is the number one cause of violence in the community.

 

I would say it's religion.

Statistics from the Police crime reports put it down to Alcohol.

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I'm with nEX on this one, apart from the 30 and married with kids bit.

 

The only real argument the anti R18+ have is the "we're protecting out kids" argument, and that argument in itself is out dated and quite frankly innacurate. I think the evidence speaks for itself, with R18+ games innapropriate for children would be taken OUT OF THEIR HANDS!

 

As opposed to the current system that allows it to happen too often..

 

As for the Alcohol comparison its 100% dead on the money, I am also someone who enjoys a drink, Im one of the lucky few that doesnt get angry when drinking, infact if anything I become more mellow but that is NOT very common. Video Games may be more impactful than a movie or a TV show but its been proven a number of times that it does effect a persons behavoir and that it is NOT a factor...

 

Meaning that the only logical and ethical thing to do is to intruduce R18+.

Edited by the_13th

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