R18+ Games and Internet Censorship


R18+ Games and Internet Censorship

The Federal Government has decided to go ahead with Internet Censorship in Australia. At much the same time, the Government has also announced an intention to consult on whether an R18+ classification should be introduced for video games.  I would guess that these two are related, because the absence of an R18+ classification means that (to quote from the AG’s discussion paper on the R18+ classification):

Computer games that are unsuitable for a minor to see must be classified Refused Classification (RC).

Which would mean that a non trivial number of computer games available overseas would be classified RC in Australia (anything which would exceed an MA 15+ rating), so accessing them (or to websites selling them) will presumably become illegal (?)

It seems like an R18+ classification for games is already a done deal because its absence would cause terrible trouble for the proposed internet censorship regime.  Or maybe this is just co-incidence and access to your overseas computer game store might be suddenly cut off just before the next election.

Rene comments on a mailing list (click link for full email):

However, I don't agree with your conclusion that:
	"It seems like an R18+ classification for games is already a done deal 
because its absence would cause terrible trouble for the proposed internet 
censorship regime." 

Imo, it is not a done deal because there is no way SA A-G Atkinson is going 
to agree to R18+ for games just because the Cth wants to introduce 
mandatory blocking. 

3 Responses to “R18+ Games and Internet Censorship”


  1. 1 Zerahl Torfaas 16 December 2009 at 3:47 pm

    I gave my input on the R18+ classification yesterday via the official comment template. I was amazed and uplifted that this was even anywhere near the cards, let alone on them.

    My mood was immediately turned toward utter dismay when I came upon the news story relating to the Great Firewall. It originally distressed me that dispite all technical and social logic, the government feels it needs to tell me what I should or should not do on the internet. I rationalised it to myself with the point that it’s merely classification for content on the internet, not that bad. It then sunk in that this does not bring parity between what can be viewed on television/film and the internet. Secret blacklists (which arguably will not be secret for long), no way to review content once it has been blacklisted (how can you review something if you can’t access it?) and already the prospect of abuse by politicians (cue firstly Mr Xenophon proposing the addition of gambling content to the blacklist) all spell an impending cloud of doom over the implicit free speech we have come to expect when we interact with the world through this medium.

    A rollercoaster of a news day for digital civil rights, to be sure.


  1. 1 R18+ Games – I told you so « Brendan Scott’s Weblog Trackback on 22 July 2011 at 8:40 pm
  2. 2 R18+ Games – I told you so « Brendan Scott’s Weblog Trackback on 21 June 2012 at 9:48 pm

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