The federal government made its position on an R18+ rating for video games quite clear last year in the lead up to the December 10 SCAG meeting. But David Ramli at ARN managed to get Communications Minister Stephen Conroy to personally endorse the rating, although his reasons for supporting it leave a bittersweet taste in the mouth.
“I’ve always argued we should try and have across platforms one system, ie it should be platform neutral,” he said. “That’s why the argument around Internet filtering becomes particularly ferocious because I argue it’s just another platform, it’s not mystical.”
So where Minister for home affairs Brendan O'Connor wants to “provide better guidance for parents and remove unsuitable material from children and teenagers,” Conroy believes that an adult classification for video games is appropriate because all types of media - including the internet - should be classified exactly the same.
Of course, Conroy's endorsement doesn't actually help the process of overhauling the classifications system happen any faster. Chances are we'll be waiting until at least the end of this year, if not next year to see where the classifications review takes us.