R18+ video game decision not a done deal

06/12/2010

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) says Censorship Ministers should not be swayed by pressure from the Commonwealth Government and the commercial interests of the computer gaming industry as they consider keeping in place the ban on extreme and interactive violent video games this week.

ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace said the Home Affairs Minister Brendan O’Conner’s support for lifting the ban on violent interactive video games was not in the interests of children or the wider community.

“This Friday’s meeting of State and Commonwealth Attorneys General is not a done deal and State Ministers should be free to make up their own minds based on the academic evidence and the concerns of parents without undue pressure from the Commonwealth," Mr Wallace said.

“Bureaucrats in the Attorney General’s Department have been too quick to dismiss credible academic literature which shows a link between violent interactive video games and aggressive behaviour."

Mr Wallace said as there is acknowledgement from both sides of politics that the classification system is broken and not serving the interests of parents and children, the idea of using it to legalise more offensive and potentially dangerous material 'makes no sense'.

“Most parents are already deeply concerned about the influence of existing violent media on their children and would be opposed to opening Australia up to extremely violent and interactive computer games," Mr Wallace said.

“It is naive to think that introducing an R18+ rating would keep this material out of the hands of kids and the Government’s support for such a rating today should not be construed as a child protection measure."

“These interactive games have been Refused Classification for many years with bi-partisan support and this should remain the case because they invite the gamer to participate in extreme acts of violence.

“Protecting children and maintaining some semblance of civil society means a line must be drawn somewhere.”

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