Hallelujah friends, for this is a joyous day!
In case you haven't heard, a bill has finally been introduced into Australian parliament to allow the classification of R18+ on games!
Years! Years we have been fighting for this - over ten years according to the article in the technology section of News.com.au - and finally it's happening.
It is an actively foolish thing that this country, wherein there is an R18+ rating for film and television, has no such rating for video games - a landscape which contains just as much if not more violence and mature content, especially within the last decade. In the words of IGN's Luke Reilly, “This has been such a tiresome issue for so many years; it’s great to finally have some real light at the end of the tunnel".
Yes, Luke, it is nice.
The main issue seemed to be that people thought young players would "have more access" to R18+ material if the rating were to be introduced, but this concept is ludicrous. They have the same exposure to R18+ films and television, but we still have them. And kids will find a way to sneak in to watch them, too. But for some reason, that is acceptable behaviour for film and TV and not for games. Why?
It seems that the government, and those lobbying against the rating change, see video games as something that only young people do. Something that is juvenile. Something that is not R18+ material. Well, they are wrong. Those people who were young gamers when gaming first came around? They're adults now. They want to play games that are adjusted to their level of maturity. And yes, you can be mature and still play games.
And parents, if you do not want your children playing these games (just like you
didn't want them watching those films or TV series) then it's simple: do not buy it for them. Pay attention to what your children are playing or, better yet, pay attention to what you are buying them. Don't just give in when they want Hack and Slash 4: The Bloodening, if that game has an R18+ rating, it is not suitable for them. If you buy it for them and you don't like it when you discover what it is months later, it's your own fault.
There, I said it.
I'm glad to finally see the government seeing reason on this topic and I hope that this bill passes. Because, honestly, I like to do things legally. I don't want to live in a place where if I want to play the original Left 4 Dead 2 - with all its bloody, gory glory - I'd either have to buy a copy from America, or download an illegal, hacked version. And I don't really want to do either of those things. I want to support the Australian businesses who sell them.
Come on, guys. Let's get this one right.