This weekend I attended and spoke at a rally organised by Ethan Watson in favour of the introduction of an R18+ rating for computer games. Many thanks to Ethan for organising the event, and thanks to the 50 or so people who turned up to show their support.
Photos courtesy of Andrew Wade.
The next step in this campaign is to pressure the Commonwealth Minister for Home Affairs, Brendan O'Connor, to release the discussion paper. If you have not already, please take the time to send a letter showing your support. Once this is done, we will work on putting together a submission that addresses the concerns of Australian gamers.
The two main points that I wanted to get across on Saturday are relatively simple, but important. We need to refocus this debate by ensuring that everyone understands that interactive entertainment is an evolving and important legitimate expressive medium. I think an R18+ rating is important for two main reasons:
- An R18+ rating empowers adults and parents to make better decisions about the games they want to play and the games they want to allow their children to play.
- An R18+ rating for games, consistent with ratings for films, would enable Australians to create more complex and expressive stories that deal with adult themes - games are not just for children, and we do significant harm to freedom of expression by limiting the material that we deem acceptable in games to that which we find acceptable for children.
See our campaign page on our wiki for more details about how you can help.