Fix The R18+ Video Game Rating In Australia

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This is a message to all video game aficionados!


The Australian Classification Rating System is not working in an efficient manner; there are portions of which that require updates to reflect the times we live in.

Video games (specifically those that fall into the R18+ category) are being classified in a different light to those in other mediums such as movies, television and literature of the same themes.


Themes depicted explicitly which are deemed acceptable in one medium are banned in video games. This is due to the outdated view that interactivity increases the impact of these themes on adults.


I ask that you sign this petition, spread the word on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and Tumblr, or write a letter to your state representative for Senate. Should you reach out to our officials you should ask for a change to a more mature and adult friendly system which, by design, will allow our government to protect our children while allowing adults to view the media they wish to consume.


Below I have outlined the changes I believe need to be made to the classifications system:


1) Allow R18+ video games to depict and have the themes of drug use linked to incentives, the depiction of sexual violence in context and the removal of a requirement that the media does not cause offense against morality.


2) Apply an exception for G through MA 15+ ratings to allow the classification board to create and enforce temporary rules to deal with unexpected issues (such as loot box scandals). If the rules are deemed effective they can be added permanently to the classifications of G through MA 15+.


3) Invest into automation of the rating system to streamline the process and results. Similar to the IRAC system which has been tested however, have it run ratings for all , rather than online games only.


4) Input an extra penalty for supplying R18 + video games to minors. Recommend the same penalties as supplying pornographic materials to minors. This is to prevent adults purchasing restricted games and giving them to minors.


5) Updates to the Refused Classification guidelines to work with the R18+ guidelines proposed above to prevent contradictions.

My recommendations for changes to the guidelines are as follows:


R18 + Category:
THEMES
There are virtually no restrictions on the treatment of themes.
VIOLENCE
Violence is permitted.
Actual sexual violence is not permitted.
Implied sexual violence that is visually depicted, interactive, not justified by context is not permitted.
SEX
Depictions of actual sexual activity are not permitted.
Depictions of simulated sexual activity are permitted.
Depictions of simulated sexual activity that are highly explicit and realistic are not permitted.
LANGUAGE
There are no restrictions on language.
DRUG USE
Drug use is permitted.
Interactive illicit or proscribed drug use that is detailed and realistic not justified by context is not permitted.
NUDITY
Nudity is permitted.


Refused Classification:
CRIME OR VIOLENCE
Detailed instruction or promotion in matters of crime or violence.
The promotion or provision of instruction in paedophilic activity.
Descriptions or depictions of child sexual abuse or any other exploitative or offensive descriptions or depictions involving a person who is, or appears to be, a child under 18 years.
Depictions of:
Actual sexual violence.
Implied sexual violence related to incentives and rewards not justified by context.
SEX
Depictions of actual sexual activity are not permitted.
Depictions of simulated sexual activity that are highly explicit and realistic are not permitted.
Depictions of immoral practices such as bestiality.
Gratuitous, exploitative or offensive depictions of:
Activity accompanied by fetishes or practices which are offensive or abhorrent;
Incest fantasies or other fantasies which are offensive or abhorrent.
DRUG USE
Detailed instruction in the use of prescribed drugs.
Material promoting or encouraging prescribed drug use.
Interactive drug use which is detailed and realistic not justified by context.



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