Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) today urged state governments to continue the momentum for classification reform, following a lack of agreement by the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General to establish an adults-only classification for computer games. Currently, computer games that would be rated above MA-15+ are banned for sale in Australia.

"This is a reform that has overwhelming public support and is long overdue," said EFA Chair Colin Jacobs. "For over a decade, games have been treated differently to movies, causing dozens of popular titles to be banned in Australia. It's high time this situation was remedied."

Changes to the classification code require unanimous agreement by the states. The issue of creating an R-18+ category for games was discussed today at a meeting of Australian attorneys-general, with the state representatives instead agreeing to consult on potential impacts to the MA-15+ category.

"We urge the state governments to listen to their people and remove any obstacles to this reform," said Jacobs. "The research shows we can give adults the choice to consume entertainment appropriate for them, while actually enhancing the ability to protect children. Seeing this change through is really a no-brainer, and Australians gamers have waited long enough."

- Ends -

Below is:

- Background information
- Contact details for media

Background:

* Background on the decision
- http://bit.ly/giMQKA

* Electronic Frontiers Australia
- http://www.efa.org.au/

About EFA:

Electronic Frontiers Australia Inc. (EFA) is a non-profit national organisation representing Internet users concerned with on-line rights and freedoms. EFA was established in 1994, is independent of government and commerce, and is funded by membership subscriptions and donations from individuals and organisations with an altruistic interest in promoting online civil liberties.

Media Contact:

Mr Colin Jacobs
EFA Chair
Phone: 0402 631 955
Email: [email protected]

Mr Stephen Collins
EFA Spokesperson
Phone: 0410 680 722
Email: [email protected]

7 comments

  1. Was it the WA Attorney General who voted against?

    The whole process seems terribly undemocratic.

    Comment by Mikel on 10 December 2010 at 22:23
  2. We don't know who - apparently more than one A-G blocked consensus. We are going to try and find out.

    Comment by efa_oz on 11 December 2010 at 06:42
    • Oh well, it's time for gamers to mobilise again and politically assassinate another attorney-general.

      Never thought I'd have to type that sentence.

      Comment by Dane on 11 December 2010 at 08:41
  3. Getting all the states to agree on anything has always been incredibly difficult. Look at the health reform deal: after all the effort and money spent, the Victorians are talking about going back on it because they changed government, and the WA govt. have blocked it from the beginning. Because ordinary Australians don't want health reform. No matter how much they say they do. No matter how many of them die while the bill is delayed.

    {sigh} We need a secure online citizen voting system. Then we can bypass all these Extremely Important People who think they know better than everyone else.

    Comment by Clytie on 11 December 2010 at 15:45
  4. The thing that is being overlooked is that the whole system is a FABRICATION by those who think they know better than ordinary Australians. The System is only a convention, it is not Law, it is not part of the Constitution. At anytime any of the Governments could decide to ignore a COAG decision and make their own Censorship Laws (the Feds have already done this in part with their racist Territories Intervention).

    If COAG were truly about uniformity, and not a pathetic excuse to foist wowserism on us, then the States would cede their Censorship powers to the Commonwealth and ensure total uniformity.

    Comment by Womp on 11 December 2010 at 19:46
  5. Sorry but could someone link me through to some information on what exactly happened on Friday? As far as i can gather the AGs put off making a decision. But there are so many questions: Till when? Why? Who? Was there external pressure? What’s this new MA15 straw-man argument?

    I usually come to EFA for updates on what's going on, but this is post is fairly vague.

    Comment by Trevor on 13 December 2010 at 08:26
  6. Hey Trevor,

    We've been trying to find some behind-the-scenes info. In any case, more info will be up mid-morning.

    Colin

    Comment by efa_oz on 13 December 2010 at 08:30