Australian R18+ debate: waiting on “silent majority”

Wednesday, 20th October 2010 08:28 GMT By Justin Kranzl


The key ministerial roadblock to a R18+ rating for games in Australia – Senator Michael Atkinson – stood down from the front bench half a year ago. Yet Australian gamers of any age still cannot legally play games with content judged beyond a MA15+ rating.

Politicians now are citing the need for further consultation with the community before deciding whether to create a R18+ rating for games – something that would bring interactive entertainment in line with the existing rating scheme for film and TV content in the country.

GameSpot AU reports the Australian Federal Government opened up the issue to public consultation late last year, receiving 59,678 submissions – 98.2 % of which were in favour of a R18+ rating.

Despite the seemingly overwhelming support, Home Affairs Minister Brendan O’Connor is now saying quality of submissions is as important as quantity.

“Classification ministers agreed at that meeting that further work needs to be done before a decision can be made, including ascertaining the views of the silent majority,” said O’Connor.

“It is not just the weight of numbers that need to be considered. It is also the strength of arguments on each side.”

“Ascertaining the views of the silent majority” sounds like a pretty tricky proposition by definition. The argument is not likely to impress the vocal majority who made submissions supporting a R18+ rating – an unusual alliance that includes retailers, publishers and gaming communities in its ranks.



  1. Crysis

    Ah politics, all talk & no action, this should have been sorted out years ago, only one fool was standing in the way, now he’s gone, they’re STILL talking, even though i’m only 17, i support an R18+ rating, mainly just so games come in un-edited, but to be honest, most 18+ rated games are OK for most people 15 years & over, i mean all this stuff restricted to 18 years old & over is just hyperbole & unecessary, should be generally up to the parents, then again, i guess we need guidelines for those with no common sense.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Gheritt White

    Love that pic – “Strong bloody violence: put it back on the bloody shelf if yer bloody underage, cobber”

    #2 4 years ago
  3. James Mac

    It’s bigger that that.

    Classification is also tied into the proposed mandatory internet filter…

    They mean to say lobby groups… till lobby groups have had their say.

    Personally, I’m of the opinion that decisions are made by the people who show up. The period for submissions was 3 months. The people who responded gave a damn about the issue, if you didn’t respond… then you probably didn’t.

    #3 4 years ago

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