Monday, 16 August 2010

Australian Liberal Party: "We'll Look Into 18+ Rating"

As far as the international gaming community goes, Australia is like the kid that is routinely mocked by its friends because it can't stay out after 7PM and is always being "touched up" by its mum's handkerchief. In short, it's behind the times, not allowing any games that would get the equivalent of the ESRB's "Mature" rating. When asked about it at a public forum in Sydney, Tony Abbott, the leader of the Australian Liberal Party, stated that he was interested in looking at the issue, should his party be elected into power.
"Instinctively I'm with you, and it's something I'd be happy to look at, if we are in Government... If you think there is a problem, I would be happy to look at it."
For anyone that goes "hey, if we just vote Liberal, we'll get 18+, and our government will stop treating us like special needs kids!", hold the phone. For one, it should be noted that Mr. Abbott wasn't even aware that there had been a need for debating this issue, so he's a bit out of touch on it. Secondly, I'm not even sure he can do anything about it. The issue is that it requires the consent of every state and federal Attorney General in Australia, unanimously. Before leaving his job in March, former South Australian Attorney General Michael Atkinson made unanimous approval impossible by not even welcoming debate on the issue, instead turning it into a political issue and sprouting anti-games rhetoric. All it takes is one more Atkinson to scuttle talk like this, and the Liberal Party - or any party - can't really do much about that. In short, it's not Abbott's issue to be talking about, and his saying this at the Sydney forum is likely nothing more than political grandstanding.

It's sad, because it's always sad when a nation's government tells its citizens what they can and cannot handle, especially in a so-called "Western" country.

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