back to article Western Australia considers ban on R18+ games

The Australian State of Western Australia (WA) is reviving the country's vexed games classification debate, with a new report suggesting the state government should consider banning games currently carrying an R18+ classification. The suggestion is contained in a report from the Joint Standing Committee on the Commissioner for …

  1. rjmx

    Ah, Western Australia. Lived there for 25 years, nice place, nice people, but they keep electing stupid governments.

    1. Steven Roper
      Thumb Up

      "...but they keep electing stupid governments."

      And in what way does that differentiate the people of WA from every other Australian state?

    2. Persona non grata

      In their defence...

      They are the only types of governments available on the ballot paper.

  2. Winkypop Silver badge


    See title.

    I guess mail will be opened at the border now....

    And woe betide anyone who downloads a game....

  3. dan1980

    ". . . the document asks “whether the current regime adequately protects children and young people from harm caused by exposure to adult or inappropriate content”."

    Okay, I think I've figured out where you've gone wrong. The 'regime' is not supposed to protect children from such things, parents are.

    Easy mistake to make. Apparently . . .

    Classifications are there to help inform parents so they can make (more) educated decisions about content they haven't seen yet, without having to sit through it first. There are also numerous 'guilty mum' sites around the web that review all manner of content including books, TV shows, movies, websites and video games and provide information for other parents to use when deciding whether something is suitable for their child.

    Given that R18+ games (and movies) aren't legally available to children, banning them entirely is effectively saying that the government doesn't trust parents to, well, parent.

    I am don't have kids myself, but on behalf of all my friends who do and indeed on behalf of my parents, fuck right off.

    Yes, kids, if determined, will get hold of such content but if they really are that determined, they will do so regardless of whether you make it illegal in Australia or not. Just as kids can and do get hold of other restricted content or indeed substances. Banning something nearly never works - at least not the way its intended to.

    Ban a game and kids will download it just to say they've played it. This happened back when I was a teenager and we'd talk up games that were clearly not that great - I remember Phantasmagoria as one - just because they were banned.

  4. -tim

    This worked so well in Victoria

    The attempt to get rid of the games managed to drive almost a billion dollars of game R&D out of the state.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Do they plan on building a great wall of Australia around WA state boundaries?

    With every car/truck getting searched for R 18 games. lol

    Buy interstate and get it shipped over, Just like we did when there was no rating we bought overseas then shipped here.

    1. dan1980

      Re: Dumb

      Of course, but then these kinds of things have nothing, really, to do with 'protecting the children' and everything to do with foisting the prudery of a small but comparatively loud group onto the rest of us.

      What they really want is to prevent everyone from playing these games, just as those same people would love to prevent adults from looking at pornography.

      The existing laws that restrict sales of adult material (and substances) to minors are there to protect children from inappropriate games and movies and drinks. If they aren't working as well as people would like then the correct answer is to look at how those laws are being applied.

      A law can only be effective if it is enforced* so before you decide to slap a new law on, make sure the ones you have are actually being used properly. Yes, sometimes the laws require work to enforce but that is the price you pay for laws that are FAIR.

      I liken this to the alcohol laws in NSW. They see a problem - that there is 'alcohol-fueled violence' (I hate that term) so they make new laws and new restrictions - bottleshops closing at 10pm, lock-outs at 1am, last-drinks at 3am - rather than asking themselves why the existing laws and regulations aren't working.

      The correct question to ask is: "how are people getting SO drunk at pubs?". That would lead to an examination of the methods aimed at preventing that happening and you'd soon find that RSA was failing, with pubs selling alcohol to people clearly well past their threshold.

      Instead they talk about 'pre-loading' - boozing-up before going out. Huh? If someone gets to a pub already over the top then they shouldn't be served. End of story

      Unfortunately, monitoring and enforcing these laws and regulations takes effort and, moreover, a genuine desire to achieve the best outcome for all. Neither governments nor police forces really care for that. Far easier to put ridiculous blanket laws in place that affect EVERYONE. It also ties in nicely with the very vocal tut-tut, mum-sy, 'youth of today', something-has-to-be-done crowd that seems to have unfettered access to our politicians.

      * - At least with enough regularity and severity that it acts as a deterrent.

      1. P. Lee

        Re: Dumb

        Its nothing to do with prudery. I've never seen so many sex shops in average suburbs as I have in Oz (admittedly, Victoria).

        This is all about politicians seeking to be seen as relevant, which is (ironically) the fast-track to being irrelevant.

        Let them go ahead with a pointless, almost unenforceable ban and show themselves up to be irrelevant.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    These days

    politicians wanting to ban and censor stuff do it just to show their voters how concerned they are about all the bad things in the world.

    They know people can find and download everything they want and then some on the internet. And if they censor the internet, people use proxies to get it.

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