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Today was to be the announcement of an Australian R18+ rating for games – or lack thereof. Today it is a lack, because unanimity is required, and one State Attorney General held back.

If we accept that a ratings system for films, television and suchlike are necessary to protect children, then it is likewise necessary to have parity by applying the same ratings categories to games. The average age of gamers is now 35 – the same average age as that of film-goers.

Every month a number games that would rightly earn an R18+ rating (if one were available) and be restricted from sale to minors are instead categorised as MA15+ and permitted to be sold to under-18s.

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What’s baffling me just at the moment is government ministers who seem to have no idea how the laws that they’re tinkering with work, let alone interact with each-other.

Apparently both Julia Gillard (Australia’s current and 27th prime-minister) and Senator Stephen Conroy (current Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy) are ignorant of how Australia’s classifications and ratings systems actually work, and how the legislation actually applies.

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