R18 Coming to Australia in "A Couple of Months"

R18 Coming to Australia in "A Couple of Months"

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After years of screwing around, Australia could have an R18+ rating for videogames in just "a couple of months."

The bumpy ride for grown-up games in Australia may finally be nearing an end. All but one state attorney-general voted to support an R18+ rating for videogames at the today's meeting of the Standing Committee of Attorneys General [which actually took place yesterday, I think, in the trans-dimensional measurement of Aussie-time], the lone holdout being New South Wales AG Greg Smith, who abstained as expected. Nonetheless, Federal Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor said after the meeting that he would introduce the classification at the federal level, at which point it would be up to each state and territory to adopt it.

"This is a big step forward in the long-running debate on classification of computer games for adults," O'Connor said after the meeting. "Once introduced, the classification will afford adults the opportunity to view material designed for adults. It is a credit to all jurisdictions that the meeting has now been able to achieve agreement over what is a complex matter in classification policy."

Despite his confidence, there are still issues to overcome. The New South Wales Cabinet must come to a decision on the matter, although it is considering calling an out-of-session meeting in order to get the question settled quickly. As well, the previously-proposed R18+ guidelines were amended at the meeting, which some jurisdictions involved in the process will have to approve before the federal legislation can be drafted.

But while there may yet be delays in the process, it would appear that the big moment is at hand. Australia will get a mature videogame rating and it will happen relatively soon. I must admit to a certain sadness over the prospect of losing one of my favorite comedy punching bags but on the whole, I'm glad to see our Aussie brethren finally getting the recognition they deserve.

Source: GameSpot Australia, thanks to Radelaide for the tip.

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This is great news!
Even though I'm not quite eighteen yet, this'll hopefully mean that by the time I am, I don't have to put up with a ridiculously outdated ratings system for games.

I don't know if I should be cheering or scolding them.

About f*ing time!!
Congrats all you aussie gamers out there!

YAY!!!!!!!! :)

This is good news :D Hopefully this puts an end to the censorship of Australian Videogames.

Wonderful!

Now they just have the price issue to work out :P

Andy Chalk:

I must admit to a certain sadness over the prospect of losing one of my favorite comedy punching bags but on the whole, I'm glad to see our Aussie brethren finally getting the recognition they deserve.

I'm quite sure our politicians will find other ways to demonstrate their stupidity for you to poke fun at, Andy. It's only a matter of time really.

This is good, And finally that government has gotten their act together! Adapt or perish I guess, and the government has learnt that perish is not as good an option as previously suspected.

And loving the subtle mockery with that just society picture...

"R18 is coming out in a few months."

Translation:

"R18 is coming out in a few months, Valve Time."

The real question is, will R18+ be like AO in the USA, or will it be more accepted? I wonder how many games that used to be rated lower will get a higher rating now, because arguably they let some games in that really should've been R18+...

Bout bloody time.

Unfortunately it's not all good news. It's looking as though rather than reclassifying games that were banned here due to the lack of an appropriate rating, they will remain 'Refused Classification', and instead a lot of games currently rated MA15 will be shifted up to R18. Although it will be different for every state.
Still at least it's a step in the right direction...

As an Australian gamer, I'd like to say about bloody time.

dogstile:
Wonderful!

Now they just have the price issue to work out :P

Yeah, but we can't blame out Government for that. That's just the publishers screwing us.

Galaxy613:
The real question is, will R18+ be like AO in the USA, or will it be more accepted? I wonder how many games that used to be rated lower will get a higher rating now, because arguably they let some games in that really should've been R18+...

Negatory, it is more like the 18 rating from the PEGI system.

Many of us Australians are remaining skeptical about this however. Until I hold an R rated game in my hands I'm not expecting anything from this. No one knows the changes they've made to the guidelines either and the worry is that it'll be the current MA15 rating rebranded as R meaning games like L4D2 and Mortal Kombat would still be Refused Classification. Is that incredibly stupid? Yes. Would it surprise me if they did it? No.

 

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