Movies and television in Australia have long been rated on a scale that included a special category for above 18s, but video games have never had access to it. That’s about to change after parliament today voted to introduce an R18+ category which would come into effect from January in 2012. The gaming industry in Australia has been forecasted to be worth $2.5 billion per year by 2015 – a rate of 10 per cent growth a year. A Bond University study found that nine out of ten Aussie homes has a gaming device (whether a console game or otherwise). Previously, games that were deemed to graphic, violent or ‘adult’ were banned from sale here or re-produced with extra offending content removed, such as happened in the roaming Grand Theft Auto titles which allowed game characters to have sex with prostitutes. So, is an R18+ category long overdue, or a bad idea?
Doubt has been cast over the long-running narrative that then Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard was pushed, or ‘dragged’ into rolling then PM Kevin Rudd after factions pulled support. But now claims have emerged the devastating internal polling (which showed Julia Gillard’s personal standing was much higher than Rudd’s) was handed around to MPs by Gillard herself, in order that they be convinced a push for her as PM was not only worth it, but must happen. Labor MPs confirmed the information. Fairfax reported: “It also raises questions about the Prime Minister’s claim on the ABC program Four Corners on Monday that she had no specific recollection of the polling. The MPs are now prepared to speak on a background basis because they are disenchanted with her leadership, angry at her level of candour in her public comments this week, and no longer prepared to support her in any party ballot for the leadership. This stuff of Gillard’s that ‘I only tumbled into it on the day of the challenge’ is patently untrue,” said a caucus member she had lobbied before the coup.