Fr Richard Leonard SJ (pictured), Director of the Australian Catholic Office for Film and Broadcasting, has "cautiously welcomed" the legislation that will introduce an R18+ classification for computer games from January next year, reports Catholic Communcations.
Movies, books, videos, television and other forms of entertainment in Australia are all subject to R18+ or Adults Only classifications. But until now sexually graphic and violent computer games have slipped through the net with MA15+, the highest rating such games could receive.
The result has been that much of the material that should receive an Adults Only R18+ classification has been shoehorned into the lower MA15+ category .
But finally the Government has acted and a Bill to pass R18+ classification of computer games was passed last month with the new legislation taking effect from January next year.
"In an ideal world the sort of material included in R18+ or higher classifications for films or computer games would never be seen in a civilised democracy," Fr Leonard says.
"But this is not an ideal world and in the real world in which we live, such material unfortunately is produced and is available sometimes legally and often illegally, within our society."
With more than 92% of Australian households playing such games, Fr Leonard and the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) decided rather than call for an all-out ban, which would be impossible to achieve, consider instead how access to such material, at least by children, could best be restricted.
FULL STORY Cautious thumbs-up to R18+ classification of computer games (Catholic Communications)