Finally! The long awaited discussion paper on introducing an adult classification for video games will soon be released for public input. It won’t be released by state and territory Attorney’s-General though. They couldn’t agree on contents of the paper (no surprise). Instead the office of the Commonwealth Minister of Home Affairs, Bob Debus, has stepped in to do it.
It is expected the discussion paper will propose changes to Australia’s current classification guidelines and will include relevant research and literature on the classification of video games. No specified time-line has yet been given for its release.
“Because there was no unanimous agreement amongst all States and Territories about the release of the discussion paper, the Commonwealth is circumventing our requirements for unanimous agreement and will release the discussion paper under their own name,” ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell said today. “The paper will be released shortly.”
Of course, it’s not all good news. While the release of this discussion paper is long over due, the chances of state and territory Attorney’s-General all agreeing to introduce an R18+ classification for games is slim to none.
South Australian A-G Michael Atkinson said today that he’s open for discussion, but his position now is that he’s opposed to an R18+ classification. He said:
‘Let’s see how the debate progresses. Let’s see what concessions gamers and the industry are prepared to make. This would involve the Classification Board applying the guidelines correctly.’
I’ve got a feeling he’s not the only A-G opposed.