Former Premier of the state of Queensland, Peter Beattie, has penned an article forin which he refers to the introduction of an R18+ videogames rating as “a no-brainer.”
Beattie had attended E3 and writes that “I was repeatedly asked by the expo participants: “Why is Australia the only Western country without an adult classification for video games?””
Advocates for retaining the status quo have suggested that not having an R18+ rating helps to keep gaming nasties out of Australia, a view which Beattie refers to as “naive.” He also feels that a clarified ratings system will aid parents in making sensible choices about the games their children are playing: “providing a classification of R18+ gives parents more information, to guide their choices and keep their children away from games with excessive violence, inappropriate language or sexually explicit material.”
“Introducing an R18+ classification for video games in Australia is a no-brainer” Beattie concludes, “It is the only way we will regulate the ever-changing computer and video games industry.”
This is quite a turnaround for Beattie, after his call in 2005 for Fable (yes, Fable) to be banned on the grounds that it encouraged domestic violence.
Australia has struggled with the ratings issue for some time, with the government’s last stated position being thatneeds to be done. This statement came after a public consultation found overwhelming support for the R18+ rating.