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Jeremy Jastrzab
16 Mar, 2010

PALGN, EveryonePlays and GAME Hub

PALGN Feature | Everything you need to know about protecting children from mature games. UPDATED: with how YOU can help.
EveryonePlays - Protect Children from Mature Games.

On 28 February, the Attorney General's office stopped taking public submissions on whether Australia should have an R18+ rating for video games. This public consultation yielded more than 55,000 submissions, which is more than ANY public consultation before it. However, at PALGN, we realise that the process has only just begun.

As such, PALGN, EveryonePlays and GAME have joined forces to keep this debate alive. The debate over the R18+ classification has a long way to go before all State Attorney-Generals agree to amend the current legislation. PALGN, Everyoneplays and GAME are in it for the long haul.

So how can you help?

From 28 February, all the way up until 15 April, you’ll have a chance to sign the following petition:

“As of today, Australia does not have an R18+ classification for PC and video games.
This has resulted in many games receiving a lower classification than they otherwise would.
By signing this petition you believe that Australia should have an R18+ classification for PC and video games.”

By doing so, you'll be taking the first steps towards protecting children from mature games.

Head to the new Everyoneplays website here.

Find your nearest GAME store by clicking here.

Through out the course of our campaign, we'll be providing extensive coverage on the ensuing debate, while showing you the ways that you'll be able to protect children from mature games. It can be hard to keep up with everything sometimes, so we'll provide you with this hub that will give you access to everything that say, write and do. Remember to check back here regularly to make sure that you don't miss out on a single letter written!

All EveryonePlays Articles

Campaign for an R18+ PC and Video Game classification gains momentum. [19]
Ground-breaking petition tabled in the Australian Senate [10]
Auditors give the nod. [10]
WA and ACT Attorneys-General. [0]
Two letters from the Office of the NSW Attorney General. [8]
Tony Abbott: current classification system is “broken”. [8]
Letter from the VIC Attorney-General [11]
More responses from the Attorneys-General. [8]
More than 89,000 signatures recorded. [17]
With only a few days to go, we have a petition update for you. [16]
Atkinson's resignation is only the beginning. [2]
How you can protect children from mature games now. [4]
The other side and just what these studies recommend. [5]
Just what do these stats and psychology studies mean? [21]
EveryonePlays takes to the audio medium. [0]
Now was all that fuss REALLY worth it? [15]
So, who really needs the protection? [37]
Did the Classification Board get it 'right'? [26]
Do you agree with Michael Atkinson’s views? [27]
By looking at some successful and innovative examples, see how you can help protect children from mature games. [8]
The journey towards an R18+ rating, has only just begun. [152]


How YOU can help spread the word

UPDATE: There is just over a month to go and we're still going strong! Even if you've already signed a petition, you can still do your bit to protect children from mature games by spreading word of what we're doing by joining our Facebook and Twitter pages. Also, don't forget to tell all your friends and together we will be able to protect the children from mature games.

Become a fan of EveryonePlays!

Follow EveryonePlays on Twitter!
31 Comments
4 years ago
Read: http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/games/declare-game-over-on-video-violence-degrading-our-kids-20100313-q539.html

Quote
Research suggests exposure to violent games makes people more aggressive, less caring children - regardless of their age, sex or culture. A review of 130 studies on the subject - covering more than 130,000 young gamers worldwide - found exposure to violent video games was a causal risk factor for increased aggressive thoughts and behaviour and decreased empathy.
Quote
Five out of six shops handed him graphic games involving murder, mass shootings, stabbings, drug dealing, sexual violence and child abductions.
What game contains child abductions?
4 years ago
Figure we could possibly use a portal for media insertion as well, and while entirely satire based tonights episode of Good News Week contained the morsel in the "what's the Story" segment on the 55k submissions made to the AG's. Video will be up on 10's site and it would be first segment but I thought that was pretty spiffy press.
4 years ago
RXWAG you seem to be quoting the wrong parts of that article, it's for the R18+ stance. Further to the point the lead researcher in that study states that games AREN'T going to send normal kids on a rampage. As an aside, and I could be wrong, but does Heavy Rain involve abduction?

The focus of the article is clearly one on the retailers, that there needs to be stronger enforcement of the ratings system.
4 years ago
Sin Ogaris wrote
RXWAG you seem to be quoting the wrong parts of that article, it's for the R18+ stance. Further to the point the lead researcher in that study states that games AREN'T going to send normal kids on a rampage. As an aside, and I could be wrong, but does Heavy Rain involve abduction?

The focus of the article is clearly one on the retailers, that there needs to be stronger enforcement of the ratings system.
Yeah I realise this, the article is for R18+ but if stores aren't going to enforce the classifications now I can see some politicians taking the stance that R18+ wont make any difference to the situation and younger people will still be able to purchase them from most stores......No?

It still does say in there that research found that violent games can have an adverse effect on children....there problem born psycho to begin with they just need a trigger...
4 years ago
Hmm... they must have been referring to Heavy Rain. Though that is a bit unfair to lop it with the rest of those things, especially since it's justified in the context. Not to mention, the player has not control over it, as it's part of the story.
4 years ago
RXWAG wrote
Sin Ogaris wrote
RXWAG you seem to be quoting the wrong parts of that article, it's for the R18+ stance. Further to the point the lead researcher in that study states that games AREN'T going to send normal kids on a rampage. As an aside, and I could be wrong, but does Heavy Rain involve abduction?

The focus of the article is clearly one on the retailers, that there needs to be stronger enforcement of the ratings system.
Yeah I realise this, the article is for R18+ but if stores aren't going to enforce the classifications now I can see some politicians taking the stance that R18+ wont make any difference to the situation and younger people will still be able to purchase them from most stores......No?

It still does say in there that research found that violent games can have an adverse effect on children....there problem born psycho to begin with they just need a trigger...
And that's why we should be campaigning for an education campaign to go along with an R rating as well as the same laws for selling R rated games as they have for the sale of tobacco or alcohol at POS, in other words, if you get busted seling an R rated game (or movie) to someone under 18, BAM! $5000 fine (for individuals, companies should have much harsher penalties if there is a consistent problem).

I'd also like to see research that compares increased violence in contact sports with increased violence due to video games. I'm pretty sure you'd find contact sport has a larger influence on violence than violent video games do, and they're not about to outright ban aussie rules or rugby or ice hockey.
4 years ago
RXWAG wrote
What game contains child abductions?
could be referring to bioshock.
3 years ago
If you truly cared about the wellbeing of children then you would ask to remove 15+ games. As long as they're on the shelf then they will be at risk.
3 years ago
yosh64 wrote
If you truly cared about the wellbeing of children then you would ask to remove 15+ games. As long as they're on the shelf then they will be at risk.
You're right. Might as well remove films, books, magazines, alcohol, cigarettes, pharmaceutical drugs, motor vehicles, electrical outlets, and everything else that might hurt children while we're at it.

The right outlook isn't one that hastily band-aids the situation for the now. Its one that thinks about society as a whole, and sets up a system for the long term. One that benefits everybody. Its the only way to move forward.
3 years ago
*and in the media then they will be at risk.
3 years ago
If a game is on a shelf, then what is the child at risk of?

The shelf falling over?

The child tripping over uneven flooring on the way to look at the shelf?
3 years ago
A13x wrote
If a game is on a shelf, then what is the child at risk of?

The shelf falling over?

The child tripping over uneven flooring on the way to look at the shelf?
If the game is placed high on the shelf, they may injure their neck looking up.
3 years ago
That or the despair of MA boxes may scar them.
3 years ago
Name me one game store that physically keeps brand new games in their boxes that they display on their shelves. kgo.
3 years ago
Jarrod, I'm sorry but you are being silly. Yes they are all dangers but each issue is unique and must be given the due respect that it deserves to understand the most appropriate and responsible action to resolve it. Personally I don't think allowing 18+ games will solve anything - it would be better to remove 15+ games or make the whole process more strict. I'm not saying I'm right, but the way I see it is that if 18+ games exist then there is a chance that children will be exposed to them. I believe 18+ games (and films) are not healthy for adults, and if people must play them then they should do so in moderation.
3 years ago
Well I thought the risk would be obvious so I didn't bother to explain. If the game is "out there" then there is a risk of them being exposed to it - I can only speculate but maybe they will see its content in the media, an older sibling may have it, at a friends house, who knows but there are many ways.
3 years ago
GooberMan wrote
Name me one game store that physically keeps brand new games in their boxes that they display on their shelves. kgo.
We do at work, as do other new Dick Smith Stores.

GAME too.

They're in exoskeleton cases fitted with alarms.

As far as risk though, risk of what? Seeing a game that is inappropriate?

What is the outcome of this happening? Is it something bad enough to deny access to adults?

I mean I played Mortal Kombat 4 when I was under 15, and I can't say that I've killed anyone yet by tearing their leg off and beating them to death with it, despite the time I spent laughing about it at the time.

The impact of computer generated violence is just not there.

I was more shocked watching this scene from BBC's Planet Earth Documentary 2 days ago, than any computer game violence, and this is from a PG rated documentary.

3 years ago
yosh64 wrote
Jarrod, I'm sorry but you are being silly. Yes they are all dangers but each issue is unique and must be given the due respect that it deserves to understand the most appropriate and responsible action to resolve it. Personally I don't think allowing 18+ games will solve anything - it would be better to remove 15+ games or make the whole process more strict. I'm not saying I'm right, but the way I see it is that if 18+ games exist then there is a chance that children will be exposed to them. I believe 18+ games (and films) are not healthy for adults, and if people must play them then they should do so in moderation.
None of this negates the possibility that children may be exposed to high rated imagery and content in other mediums that already exist in this country.

As far as I'm aware, Everybody Plays is not necessarily about allowing high rated content to enter the country uncensored. It is about giving our videogame classification scale the range that it deserves. At it stands, the highest rated content in Australia can be played by anybody as young as 15, and I'm sure you'd agree that some of it certainly warrants an adult rating.
3 years ago
That's what makes this all the more important, who here has played a game above their age rating? does the age rating really stop someone who wants to play the game from doing so? I hope so, and I'm sure there are many cases where they have - but there are a whole bunch of other reasons why the rating system is so important that I will not go into. To that, what I believe is that 18+ games do have a significant affect - to what extent obviously depends on the attributes of the individual and the extent of their exposure to the content.
3 years ago
Those who are capable of getting the game when it's on the shelf and unavailable to them (say, at an R18+ rating) will be no less able to get to that content if it ahs been refused classification in Australia.

Granted, there will be a small percentage of sales to minors with any item that requires the consumer be a certain age - but the flipside is to make the item you're banning more appealing by the simple act of banning it.

The only sensible thing to do is introduce an R rating, so that overly violent content stops being rated 'down' to fit the MA15+ rating, and raise parental awareness of video game ratings and the importance of being active with monitoring and educating their children.
3 years ago
I think you both make nice points about the issue that I certainly cannot answer. I have not watched that video clip posted above but I will take your word for it and I would like to point out that it shows how important rating systems are because you just do not know how content will affect an individual and what sort of "shock" it will have on them.
3 years ago
yosh64 wrote
what I believe is that 18+ games do have a significant affect...
You do realise there are no 18+ games within Australia as it stands now?
3 years ago
Yes, I was talking about in general at an individual level and not specifically Australia.
3 years ago
yosh64 wrote
Yes, I was talking about in general at an individual level and not specifically Australia.
Great, so you should also recognise that 18+ games in other countries (such as New Zealand) regularly get shoe-horned into our 15+ category.
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