“We congratulate Australian state and territory attorneys-general for rejecting federal minister O’Connor’s push for an R18+ computer games classification,” FamilyVoice Australia research officer Roslyn Phillips said today.
“The state and territory censorship ministers were put under great pressure to adopt this system, but at least some of them resisted Brendan O’Connor’s illogical arguments,” Mrs Phillips said.
“Mr O’Connor said some games currently rated MA15+ should be in a higher, R18+ category to protect children. He seems to be implying that the Classification Board in his own department has been acting irresponsibly by wrongly rating these games. If that is the case, he should sack the board!
“Mr O’Connor also said that some games rated MA15+ in Australia are rated in an adult category overseas,” Ros Phillips said. “He apparently does not realise that each country has different guidelines. He is comparing apples with oranges.
“He is also ignoring the Galaxy Poll commissioned by his department, which found that most parents believe they would find it very hard to stop children playing R-rated games if this category were introduced.
“If Mr O’Connor really wants to protect children, he should tighten the guidelines for both games and films – and keep the ban on R-rated games. The ban is there because games are more dangerous than passive media such as films. Game players personally identify with the aggressor – acting out the entire sequence of violence, whether it be punching, shooting or raping.
“Research shows that children and adults who regularly play violent games become more violent and less caring,” Roslyn Phillips said.
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