The Attorney Generals of Australia finally agreed to release a discussion paper on whether or not an R18+ rating will be added to the currently existing ratings board. The paper will be made available over the Internet and will ask opinions on a number of issues relating to the introduction of the R18+ classification for video games. Hope it works. Good luck mates.
Those of you living in Australia and those sympathetic to the plight of down-under gamers should be glad to hear this bit of news: Australia’s Attorneys-General finally agreed to release a discussion paper on whether or not an R18+ rating will be added to the currently existing ratings board (it only goes as high as MA15+ at present).
Victorian Attorney-General Rob Hulls, whose department drafted the discussion paper, said during the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (SCAG) meeting in Brisbane that the public will be consulted before the end of this year. The paper will be made available over the Internet and will ask opinions on a number of issues relating to the introduction of the R18+ classification for video games.
Naturally, there was some resistance from (and this should come as no surprise) South Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson who alleged that the discussion paper was biased and should be changed before it’s made public. No word of how this will affect their end-of-the-year deadline and while I personally think we can expect more delays, the Attorneys-General have yet to revoke their end of 2008 declaration.
You may recall Atkinson as the Attorney-General singlehandedly responsible for why the public discussion is going to be held now and not back in March when it was first slated to proceed. He withdrew his support for the previous discussion paper and it was subsequently not released to the public.
A spokesperson for the minister said that Atkinson “gave consideration to the draft but was unable to support the release of that document.” No reasons were given as to why.
Being the cynical, jaded, angry, bitter, person that I am, I think any action is ultimately futile so long as Atkinson remains a member of SCAG. The final vote boils down to the Attorneys-General anyway and Atkinson merely needs to continue to oppose the R18+ rating to prevent it from ever seeing implementation. Still, it’s a chance and that’s something Aussie gamers haven’t had in a long time regarding this matter. Good luck guys. Don’t let me get your hopes down.