Friday 11 July 2008

R18+ in videogames and why we will never see it.

A lot of people blame Michael Atkinson's stance on videogames, and he is the only AG who went against the popular vote, and claims that he will again.

But something else I discovered about the process of ratings.

Here is the Classifications and Community Standards report from 2007

This is compiled by Galaxy research to determine if people believe ratings are working and are fair.

Here you can see exactly how many people are polled to see if Australia's classifications are up to community Standards.

I'll spell it out to you - 1,516

1,516 people determine the position of the 7 Attorney Generals when it comes to things like what should be rated, how it should be rated, what kind of ratings should be included, and those 7 AGs then go and make laws based on these findings.


There are over 21 MILLION people in Australia.

1,516 is not even 1% of the population!

And to top it all off, these bastards have the nerve to go and say it's only "a vocal minority" want an R18+ rating for games.

Last time I counted, 3,708 (the amount polled for the widely quoted statistic that 88% of people want and R18+ rating for games) was greater than 1,516.

1 comment:

  1. Hey mate

    Nice find with these reports. I haven't seen them before.

    If I understand stats though, the idea of polling is that you can get a good inference on a population using only a very small sample, as long as the sample is random.

    I don't think there's much in the different sample sizes here. The sheer weight of numbers isn’t important. The main point is that the Galaxy poll took a random sample of the population at large, while the Bond University report was specifically targeting the gaming population. The difference is clear and not at all unexpected.

    As a gamer I personally don't care too much about an R18+ classification. There are, of course, always ways around it. On the other hand, from a censorship/freedom perspective and in the interests of an equal system across all media, I think the only logical position is to have an R18+ rating for games. I haven’t heard any good reason why there shouldn't be. Pollies come up with the old, "oh, but it's interactive so its different... " line. I seriously doubt that actually holds water under proper scientific investigation though. Policy should be based on solid evidence rather than the personal feelings and hunches of people, especially those who have hardly a clue about the topic in the first place.