i dont get it. I am 19. i can go to a pub and drink, then go to the TAB and gamble. I can then stop of at video ezy and rent R18+ movies. So why aren't these things restricted. Why shouldnt i be able to purchase games rated R18+
We examine the big pro-R18+ groups down under to see what separates them from each other and to see how you can get involved.
Video game classification in Australia is a hot topic of debate at the moment. On one side, there's the extremely vocal South Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson who is anti-R18+ for games, but on the other, there are quite a few small but active groups trying to rally the Australian population in support of an R18+ classification. We've sifted through the Web to find out who the biggest groups are, what they're trying to do to help the cause, and how you can get involved.
While many of the pro-R18+ groups out there are aimed at gamers, R18games.com.au is aimed at an audience who has little knowledge of the issue, if any at all. Founder of R18games.com.au, Tim Colwill, told GameSpot AU that: "The site is primarily geared toward adults, parents, and other non-gamers who are not aware of the importance of the issue and how it relates to them, as the voting public are the people who we really need to reach to make a change." The site started out in August of 2009 when Colwill became frustrated with Australiaís classification system. Instead of complaining to friends, he decided to do something constructive. While it started off bare bones, Colwill put out the call for some contributors and eventually built the site up to what it is today.
R18games.com.au hosts a variety of news stories and case studies that details some of the big games to get banned, what those titles are classified as overseas, and how they were treated locally. On top of that, there's also a handy form letter that you can print off and send to your local member of parliament or state Attorney-General.
While optimistic about change, Colwill is remaining realistic. "If our friends at Gamers4Croydon make it past the finish line--and fingers crossed they will--then they're very good, I think! It will send a powerful message," he said. "But we have to be realistic--ousting Atkinson is going to be a tough fight. With the discussion paper submissions happening this year as well, the odds have never been better, but we have to continue to push for the changes we need."
You can contact Tim Colwill at firstname.lastname@example.org
It's reasonable to say that Gamers4Croydon is the most outspoken of the pro-R18+ groups out there, but that's for one simple reason: Itís actually going toe-to-toe with Michael Atkinson in the upcoming election for his seat in Croydon, South Australia. Croydon is Labor's second safest seat in South Australia--so safe, in fact, that some smaller parties like Family First don't even bother submitting candidates--so it's going to be a hard slog for founding member David Doe and his candidates. G4C was started not long after Left 4 Dead 2 was banned last year when Michael Atkinson challenged gamers to take him on in an election.
Outside of the Croydon electorate, South Australian gamers who are old enough to vote can also vote for G4C in the legislative council. Once the election is over, Doe promises that every spare dollar will go toward the charity Child's Play.
If you want to get involved with Gamers4Croydon you can contact David Doe via the G4C Web site to offer donations, editorial content for the Web site, or help out with door knocking.
Visit the Gamers4Croydon Web site at http://www.gamers4croydon.org/contact.php.
R18+ Games Australia is the newest group to appear and is headed up by Australian video games journo Luke Lawrie, who saw a need for a group of people to educate the Australian public on the R18+ discussion paper. "There was all this talk and no one actually doing anything about it," he told GameSpot AU. Recently, the group organised a rally in Sydney's CBD, where they handed out more than 1,500 flyers and over 80 people filled out their R18+ submission template.
Lawrie's stays levelheaded when it comes to his predictions about Australia's classification system by saying: "To be honest, I think our chances are very small, but in saying that, this year is our best opportunity to try and get something done. With the discussion paper out and the government seeking the public opinion, we are not going to get anything like this again for a very long time."
If you're keen to help Lawrie out at the next flyer handout or offer him assistance with the Web site, contact him on email@example.com
Parodying the famous Soviet symbol of a worker's hand holding up a sickle, Grow Up Australia started its life as a Facebook group in October 2009 and was created by Aaron J Percival. After searching for a good pro-R18+ group on the popular social networking site, Percival found most weren't being active. "I did find more than 30 groups dedicated to the cause. I joined them all only to eventually find that the great majority of them were either inactive or spreading misinformation and hatred," he said. "I resolved to create and promote my own, Grow up Australia. That was in October 2009. The group grew rapidly, and we now have over 10,000 members and our own Web site: www.growupaustralia.com."
Similar to R18games.com.au,Grow Up Australia's Web site has a solid resource of information regarding the R18+ issue. You'll be able to find easy-to-read comparison charts of game classifications in Australia, the US, and the UK. The most interesting thing that the group has done to date is automate the Google doc submission form for the R18+ public consultation process. All you need to do is fill out the form on Grow Up Australia, which will then be automatically sent off to the Attorney-General's office.
You can get involved in Grow Up Australia through its Web site at http://www.growupaustralia.com/contact-us/. But most importantly, Percival said that: "If you're organising or are aware of a related event coming up or some important news, let us know about it so we can share the information."
For more on video game classification in Australia, check out GameSpot AU's Aussie Games Classification FAQ feature.
Well, there are places to educate Australian's about having R18+ for games and why it's needed in the first place. So I'll say it again especially on the comments page that involves this important issue: Submit the forms in a formal, polite way. Answer all questions and be clean in your comments. Don't ever throw abusive emails or threatening mails to Michael Atkinson at all. Vote for Kat Nicholson that's running for Gamers4Croydon and spread the word and give the right message of what we gamers want all along. Lastly, think twice about writing messages here. The Gamespot staff won't hesitate to take anyone of yours out and will put your username on notice without warning. I have to be careful when writing my comments that everyone is going to read. Its important to take this issue seriously and in a friendly kind of way.
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