The iGEA, which has long supported the introduction of not only an R18+ rating to Australian games, but also that such ratings be brought more in line with other media, has responded to today's release of new R18 guidelines.
And it's not pleased. Here's what iGEA chairman Ron Curry had to say.
“We, along with many other stakeholders, have worked for many years to have the classification scheme acknowledge that adults play and enjoy video games and are due the respect of a classification category that reflects ‘age appropriate’ content for adults. The new guidelines released today show that they have been crafted to try to balance the concerns of those who have resisted an R18+ classification and adults who want to play video games designed specifically for mature audiences and that are readily available in other developed democracies.
“Given the opposition to the introduction of an R18+ category from a vocal yet unrepresentative section of the community, along with a largely conservative group of Attorneys-General, it is no surprise the new guidelines hold video games to a higher standard across a number of categories compared to film and what originally existed for video games.
“As we have previously stated, we are concerned with the acknowledgment in the guidelines that interactivity has greater impact on players, despite the Federal Attorney-General’s office publishing a literature review in September 2010 that found no evidence to support these claims. There will be continued debate about whether the interactivity of video games has a greater impact than other forms of media, and we will continue to refer to the lack of the evidence to support these claims.
Ultimately, we will need to wait to see how the Classification Board interpret and administer the new R18+ and revised M and MA15+ categories. We trust that they will reflect the standards of morality, decency and propriety accepted by reasonable adults, not just the vocal ones."
Damn straight, guys.