Games R18+ classification advocacy group, Grow up Australia, has gathered 16,055 signatures in a petition supporting the adults-only rating for computer games.
Australia remains one of the few developed countries without an R18+ classification for games. Despite overwhelming industry support for the introduction of such as rating, attempts to bring the issue to the fore have been stymied by South Australia Attorney-General, Michael Atkinson.
The most high-profile figure against an adults-only rating, Atkinson, claims R18+ for games will make it easier for excessively violent games to reach local shores and the hands of minors. Currently, games deemed inappropriate for under 15 year-olds are rejected or censored to fit into an MA15+ rating.
Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) recently conducted a survey and found 50 per cent of video games released in 2009 were inappropriately labelled as MA15+ due to the lack for R18+ classification.
The signatures will be tendered to the Attorney-General’s Department, which released a R18+ games rating discussion paper in December 2009 for public commentary. The petition was a joint venture between Grow up Australia and games retailer, EB Games. During the campaign, posters were displayed at 250 EB Games stores directing patrons to sign the online petition.
“Support for the introduction of R18+ rating has been overwhelming with 99 per cent of the submissions made through the website in favour of the change,” Grow up Australia founder, Aaron John Percival, said in a statement.
The Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (iGEA) and the Electronic Frontiers Australia have already sent in their submission on the issue.
Submissions can be made via http://www.ag.gov.au/gameclassifications before February 28.