- Tony Abbott and the R18+ rating
- The Australian Labour Party's National Broadband Scheme
“I think that the best way to handle this is to accept that our current classification system is broken.”
This statement was made before Kevin Rudd was deposed, and has been given attention by Kotaku, PALGN and the Australian version of Gameinformer magazine (Stead, 2010: p37). It should be noted that this was in reference to the classification system as a whole, and that Mr Abbott, if elected as Prime Minister, would not be involved in the decision process. The Opposition Leader has since stated that he "would be happy to look at an R18+ rating for games," but it should be noted that all he could really do (as far as I have read/understand) is lobby for the Standing Attorneys-General to consider review of the current classification system.
Perhaps more importantly, very few worthwhile games have actually been refused classification for sale in Australia (if you read this PALGN article, you can see that I would argue that no quality games have been refused classification). Those that are initially refused classification, are often modified for release in such a way that does not void the impact of the title as originally intended (Fallout 3 for example). The only exception to this statement of course is Left 4 Dead 2. I am still at a loss as to how the game was initially refused classification. I fully support the view that an R18+ rating is required for games in order to protect children, and inform the decisions of parents. This issue however, should not decide an election (and I am in no way naive enough to believe it would).
On the issue of the National Broadband Network, I may have access to high speed broadband but I know that there are plenty of Australians who are not so lucky. It's amazing how much of a difference 100 kilometers makes in terms of connection speed and bandwidth allowance (compare Gold Coast to Lennox Head, the difference is astounding). Hopefully the NBN will lead to greater competition in the sector and empower consumers with more choice, but we will need to wait until the scheme is properly implemented before judgements can be made. Ideally, Australians in metropolitan, rural and remote areas will have access to a high quality service that would lead to the proliferation of StarCraft II in the land down under. I have a dream that any Australian can one day prioritise their build cue in order to avoid a Zerg rush, no matter where their opposition is based.
I'm not saying vote Labour. Their adoption of the Coalition's racist border protection policies is a sickening affront to what I believe is the luckiest country in the world. What I am saying is: Vote.
Dutch note: All my references, bar the Gameinformer quote are hyperlinked. For those wondering -
1. Stead, C (Editor) (2010). The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Gameinformer. Issue 8, p37.