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Australian government: No conclusive link between violent games and aggression

Australia is well-known for its unforgiving censorship of violent games. The country's government-controlled rating system lacks an 18+ category for videogames, meaning that every game must fit the criteria of the legally-restricted MA15+ category. But those days may soon be over.

The introduction of an 18+ rating for games has been discussed for years in Australia, and recently the proposal has become the focus of government inquiry. The outlook soured last year due to opposition from South Australian attorney-general Michael Atkinson, but the contents of a new report suggest that the Aussies are making progress.

Federal Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O'Connor summed up the review of existing research, saying, "The review found that evidence about the effect of violent computer games on the aggression displayed by those who play them is inconclusive." Breaking news. He continued, "From time to time people claim that there is a strong link between violent crime or aggressive behavior and the popularity of violent computer games. The literature does not bear out that assertion."

O'Connor stressed that Australia needs to continue to "protect young minds from any possible adverse affect," but that adults should be "free to make their own decisions about what they play."

The R18+ game rating is currently being mulled over by Australia's "classification ministers," who we imagine have big mustaches and dusty mahogany desks. Yeah... and they've alienated their spouses and families in recent years, as the burden of this decision has erased all expression from their faces, leaving behind quietly severe husks of sun-worn skin and eyes enfolded by rings of tired flesh. Each day, as setting sun dims the walls of their disorderly offices, they seek advice from stinging swigs of liquor and sit motionless while the future of Australia's game classification system loops and spirals through their exhausted psyches like nagging horse flies.

We hope these noble men and women make the right decision.

[Source: Gamespot]

Dec 1, 2010

23 comments

  • EarlyGrayce - December 5, 2010 1:23 p.m.

    The problem with the Australian system is that so far the Federal Government has allowed the States Attourney Generals to make the decision and it had to be unanimous but South Australias AG is a religious ass and stopped the R18+ classification. The Federal Gov allowed submissions and out of around 60,000 98% wanted R18+ due to most games that would be in that classification reverting to MA15+ and being available to children rather than only adults. Enough of my ramblings, it seems we may have won.
  • somerandomchap - December 3, 2010 8:29 a.m.

    I live in Australia, and i don't really think we need an R18+ rating at all. It's stupid, because every game that whould go into the R18 classifcation is just put in unchanged into MA, it's redundant that we would need an R classification and restrict all the gamers under 18 that want to play Gears.
  • Overlord153 - December 3, 2010 2:07 a.m.

    Can I have 18+ rating now kthanx bye! Am I the only one who remembers the "threat"
  • EroticInvisibleMan - December 2, 2010 11:31 p.m.

    @Sharkbot Chuck Norris the radical Christian? You can have him.
  • Sharkbot - December 2, 2010 6:20 p.m.

    @malakal But you aussies also die with a stingray stab...just saying. We still have bad-ass americans, like Chuck Norris. He is the definition of a perfect man.
  • Clovin64 - December 2, 2010 11:55 a.m.

    Good to see one country is considering the actual evidence, rather than just making the assertion that violent videogames make violent people.
  • malakai - December 2, 2010 9:55 a.m.

    one correction (I'm aussy so this isnt racist) they wrestle crocodiles while wearing a cowboy hat and stroking the worlds manliest stubble, chewing beef jerky and making all women in 1 km radius orgasm by burping, AND THESE ARE OUR POLOTICIANS THE REST OF US ARE AT LEAST 40X MANLIER so yeah screw america and your action movies us aussies are the defenition of manly
  • JMAN1156 - December 2, 2010 4:14 a.m.

    When will people realize adults should be free to do what ever the FUCK THEY WANT TO as long as it doesn't hurt other people, INCLUDING VIDEO GAMES! If someone wants to play a super violent (or stupid sex) A+ game, they should freaking sell it to the adult, instead of banning the game or what ever consoles do to not have it published.
  • shadowreaper72 - December 2, 2010 3:28 a.m.

    Maybe there is hope for the austraian people. And us as well since our damn government might take the same path of censorship as well.
  • Hydrohs - December 2, 2010 3:19 a.m.

    Tyler, I really appreciate your description. Without it I wouldn't have been able to get a clear mental image.
  • Bonesqaw - December 2, 2010 3:17 a.m.

    That's correct. Now please STFU haters
  • NightCrawler_358 - December 2, 2010 3:01 a.m.

    Thats really cool. If they think that videogames make people violent... i'll shoot them! I kid i kid, don't come to my house.
  • alexthewhite - December 2, 2010 2:49 a.m.

    Maybe Yahtzee will finally shut about this and make with the funnies.
  • EnragedTortoise1 - December 2, 2010 2:10 a.m.

    About 2-3 years late to the party.
  • Sy87 - December 2, 2010 2:07 a.m.

    Well its a stepping stone. At least its some good news for our fellow games down under. Now if only our government stop wasting my tax money of stupid court cases. Last I check this was a free country not an oppressive government that ban everything free.
  • bonerachieved - December 2, 2010 1:49 a.m.

    Finallyyyyyyy
  • Fenny12 - December 2, 2010 1:41 a.m.

    Crikey.
  • GamesRadarTylerWilde - December 2, 2010 1:40 a.m.

    Please do note that nothing has yet changed in Australia - the addition of an 18+ rating for games is still being debated.
  • oryandymackie - December 2, 2010 1:37 a.m.

    Good to see that Australia isn't sitting on the fence on this one.
  • Edderz1989 - December 2, 2010 1:33 a.m.

    When the day comes that people like this are laughed at for thinking that "violent games = violent people". I will personally walk up to them shake there hand before abruptly flicking them on the nose Scooby doo style.

Showing 1-20 of 23 comments

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