R18+ video game campaign

SHOOT ’em up video games and gory blood and guts computer games may soon be completely out of reach to young children due the start of a new national campaign.

National video and computer game retailer GAME and gaming news website PALGN have come together to launch a campaign to introduce R18+ classifications on games.

There is currently a MA15+ classification on video games but that does not stop eager young kids from trying to get theirs hands on these restricted games said Lismore GAME store manager Robert Arthur.

“If kids come in and don’t have ID then we can’t sell it to them but we do get plenty of kids trying still,” he said.

“Parents are worried by the fact they are playing games with violence in it.”

According to an Interactive Australia 2009 study conducted by Bond University, 91 per cent of Australians want to see an R18+ classification.

This overwhelming consensus is also evident in the 40,000 signatures the petition has received since late February.

“We have a goal to let all of the community, all the mothers, fathers, grandparents and teachers know about this petition,” PALGN director Roland Kulen said.

“As for the range of things that can come up in one game, one only needs to think of a R18+ movie.

There are issues of language, sexual innuendo, violence and other things we are all accustomed to seeing in a movie cinema.

“R18+ classification will help classify which are suitable for 18-years-old and over and which are not.

“We are really ramping up efforts and we will submit a petition to every state attorney-general so we get the unanimous support of each and everyone.”

But concerns have been raised that the petition will open up a new classification where games which usually would of been banned because of their content not meeting MA15+ standards will be classified R18+ and available to Australian adults.

The petition is open until April 15 and is available to sign at the Lismore GAME store.

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