Tuesday, 8 July 2014

More rants: The future of the R18+ rating

Well, this isn't something I thought I'd write in any way shape or form, a post about Australian Politics... I don't like it either and I won't be making this a common type of subject like my reviews, impressions and rant/ opinion pieces, only if it still relates to the content I review on this site in some way shape or form. I'm also making this point here and now, the content of this post is going to be for mature readers as I will be expressing a lot of harsh opinions, nothing I say here is going to be aimed at any one person but a group as a whole and while I will be using Australian terms here (no, not "Australian Slang"), aspects of this can be used in any other country with similar issues.

For people both inside and outside Australia (assuming you have no idea about this country's classification system) the R18+ rating is one of the highest ratings in the Australian Classification system, our version of the ESRB for example. For any form of audio visual entertainment (including cinema, pieces of still art, video games ect) a grading system is put in place to provide a basic idea as to the content said piece of audio visual entertainment may or may not contain and a recommended age barrier to stop kids from viewing things they shouldn't be viewing at their age. The rating goes as follows:

  1. E (Exempt from classification): Generally on educational material and artistic pieces as they don't need to go through the Classification beau before they can be given to the public in some way, shape or form.
  2. G (General): In a nutshell, its for all ages. Any person can see this as it is intended for young kids
  3. PG (Parental Guidance): This is for material that kids would be better off seeing it with some sort of parental figure as it might have content that said parental figure has to explain.
  4. M (Mature): Recommended for a mature audience, need I say more?
  5. MA 15+ (Mature audience fifteen and older): Not only should you be mature, but you should also be older then 15 to view this material.
  6. R 18+ (Restricted to people eighteen and older): In Australia, 18 years old is the age where you are, according to the law, an adult and have access to adult privileges such as drinking alcohol (assuming you haven't before hand...), go to night clubs and get these types of material. people working at the checkouts of stores like EB games or JB Hifi, under law, cannot and will not sell R18+ games, movies and TV shows to kids (make note of this).
  7. X 18+: Pornographic material get this, nothing else
One final piece of backstory you should get about the following issue is this: Any change to the classification system must be a unanimous decision by all the representatives of each of the states of Australia.

So whats the issue? The article is here http://www.polygon.com/2014/6/27/5849098/western-australian-commitee-wants-r18-video-games-banned-in-the-state but i'll provide the basic synopsis of the issue.
"The Western Australian Joint Standing Committee on the Commissioner for Children and Young People recommends in its Sexualisation of Children report that the Classification Enforcement Act should "prohibit the sale, supply, demonstration, possession or advertisement" of R18+ video games in the state." the English version of this statement is that they want to ban R18+ games from being sold or shown in that state along with limiting the showing of sexually explicit music videos. As for games, the R18+ rating for games was released to the public the first day of 2013, we've only had this for a year.

So why am I, a reviewer in Victoria, a state on the other side of the country taking this as a issue? The reason being is because, as I said before, the classification and censorship of any material is a national issue. The committee in Western Australia isn't going to have any luck with this in the state itself simply because, its out of the states hands, they can't do much about it realistically as its a national "issue". As such, they are going to try and impose this on the other states or people in the other states are going to agree with their values and try and do the same things as they are in the other states, meaning that adults such as myself are going to suffer because they are ignoring the bigger issue at hand.

The people in this committee are, quite frankly, bad parents.
I'm not saying this to offend anyone, however, when I read articles like this, one thing stands out to me and its the reason why they're trying to pass this in the first place. "We're to lazy to parent so we're going to make everyone suffer so that we don't have to parent". So what do I mean by this statement?

Parents nowadays are using the TV, the computer, the games console, the phone and the tablet do the parenting for them, most of the time because they're to busy to parent themselves and that fine, I can respect the reasoning behind this but you have to understand that your actually doing more harm them good in the long term, and this is for every parent who does this, not just Australian parents. Because of this, and the fact that more times then not, parents don't enable the parental controls in these devices to help protect their kids (and even then, there are ways around them), children are being exposed to material they shouldn't be seeing at their age, at all. Kids shouldn't be playing Call of duty or Grand theft auto unless their parents think they are mature enough to be playing them and yet, thousands of parents are letting kids play these games even though they know they shouldn't be playing them. Parents should say "no" to their kids when it comes to these things, you wouldn't let your child watch a R18+ movie, so why would you let them play a R18+ game, or even MA15+ for that matter?

As a child, my parents didn't let me see things until they thought I was ready to see them (this included not watching the news at all while 9/11 was still making the front page of news papers). When they thought I was ready, they watched it with me and if they thought they were wrong, they stopped it. When I got into High school and I started getting games on my own, if it was something that I never was allowed to play before then, I'd tell them that "I've been playing (insert game here) for a while now and (continue conversation here)" and to them, if I was telling them about it, I was mature enough to play them and have either good or bad times with them. While its ok to let a child explore things at their own pace, you still have to usher them in the right way, share experiences with them and they should, in time, respect you enough to let you know what was happening, that's how to be a parent, not just letting the TV on its own occupy them. You can't protect a child forever, all you can do is hope their ready to see what the world has (in some way, shape or form...).

If you agree with these, show this to others and let them see this, if you don't agree: let me know. Contrary to popular belief (for some reason) I'm open to comments. Let me know what you think of this and other posts, it actually reassures me that there are actual people reading these posts and not bots just trying to collect data of me. If I offended anyone, please be assured that it wasn't the intention of this post, that was never the intention.Will I make this a common theme, NO, I actually hated doing this as I know that this is a topic that easily offends people and I hope I never do it again. As to why I'm doing this now? The same reason why I'm doing the impressions now, I wanted to finish the Transformers Marathon. As I said earlier today, the next post is going to be Hyrule Warriors.

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