Australian Capital Goes R18+

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Australian Capital Goes R18+

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Residents of the Australian capital of Canberra will be the country's first citizens able to legally purchase R18-rated videogames thanks to legislation being introduced this week.

The days of the name "Australia" being synonymous with peals of derisive laughter are drawing to a close and it's the Legislative Assembly of the Australian Capital Territory that's pulling the string. The ACT, a self-governing enclave within New South Wales that encompasses the Australian capital city of Canberra, is introducing legislation this week that will implement R18+ ratings for videogames. It will be the first Australian territory to make the move following federal legislation creating the classification, which will come into effect at the beginning of 2013.

"This is part of a national reform that will allow adult gamers to view R18+ material in the same way that can already be done for film and printed material," said ACT Attorney General Simon Corbell. "But at the same time it will also provide protection to parents and children by giving parents better guidance about what material is and is not appropriate for people under the age of 18."

The new rating will mean some big changes for the Australian videogame market. Some games that were once censored or banned outright may now be brought to market in their original form, while others that were previously squeezed into the MA15+ category will be re-rated at the higher classification, putting them out of reach of younger gamers. And although the new rating will no doubt have its share of detractors, Ron Curry of the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association says it's a big improvement over the current situation.

"We can look down and go, 'Hey, what's that big black sticker, that's telling me that this content isn't appropriate'," he said. "Even though they may not be able to have that online, at least there's that recognition, at least there's a way of going out and finding out if this product is acceptable for your child or not."

Source: ABC News

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Its so sad that it took them this long. Say what you will about the US but at least our freedom of speech/expression isn't hung up in red tape.

Australia has grown-up in more than one way today.

Definitely good news for Australian gamers.
But on his idea of "Hey, what's that big black sticker, that's telling me that this content isn't appropriate" - we have a big red 18 notice on games here in the UK, and parents typically ignore it entirely because their 9 year old really wants GTA (or equivalent), so ... good luck with that.

On a separate note, is anyone else a little creeped out by "ACHIEVING A JUST AND SECURE SOCIETY"? Sounds like the motto of a totalitarian 1984/V for Vendetta type dictatorship-but-we-promise-its-for-your-own-good thing.

DVS BSTrD:
Australia has grown-up in more than one way today.

It's said that their heart grew three sizes that day.

Anyway, this is probably the best thing to come out of nowhere in a long time. Cheers, mate.

9thRequiem:
On a separate note, is anyone else a little creeped out by "ACHIEVING A JUST AND SECURE SOCIETY"?

I'm not surprised. The military will be mobilizing it's takeover of Hutt River any moment now.

Wait, there's a sensible politician still left? When the hell did that happen?

As a non-Austrailian: seems legit.

At last! Welcome to the civilized world Australia :P

Another victory for video games. I hope this trend continues far into the future.

9thRequiem:
On a separate note, is anyone else a little creeped out by "ACHIEVING A JUST AND SECURE SOCIETY"? Sounds like the motto of a totalitarian 1984/V for Vendetta type dictatorship-but-we-promise-its-for-your-own-good thing.

Wasn't there something in a game along those lines? For some reason I can picture some vague authoritative figure saying that in a game.

well about fucking time congratulations to the gamer population of Australia... there might finaly be some room on your beaches now

Yay, welcome to the 21st Century Australia, here's your complimentary cupcake and party hat.

In other news, I believe this is appropriate in more ways than one:

Antitonic:
Wait, there's a sensible politician still left? When the hell did that happen?

I can shed some light on this. It's not that the ACT government is 'sensible', it's just that the ACT is really just a piddly strip of land around the nation's capital and only holds some 300 thousand citizens, so the ACT 'government' is really just a glorified local council. As such, they're all made up of wanabees who can't break into Federal politics, and thus spend all their time doing things that make them feel like they're up with the big boys, like having a human rights charter, dedicating public art to themselves, legalising gay marriage, and now this.

So yes, there's a lot of benefit to their actions, but they're not motivated by common sense, only a desperate desire to have their name attached to something.

Congratulations, gamers of Canberra.

Hopefully this is just the start of things moving in the right direction for Australia.

I am from Australia, and all i can say to this is...
It's about fucking time!

Does this mean I can legally buy Mortal Kombat now?

I can haz Mortal Kombat now????? Wooohooo :D

So who`s up for a road trip to Canberra

Azmael Silverlance:
I can haz Mortal Kombat now????? Wooohooo :D

So who`s up for a road trip to Canberra

Porn, Fireworks and Video Games, stock up. Seriously you'd need gruesomely violent video games if you had to live in Canberra. The roundabouts, dear God the roundabouts.

Fappy:
Say what you will about the US but at least our freedom of speech/expression isn't hung up in red tape.

Would someone please inform this person about SOPA and PIPA... (-/)-) ... *facepalm*

It's about damned time we were allowed an R18+ rating in this country... or at least, the beginnings of one... I'd never understood just how Gears of War 3 was allowed in, when they banned Moral Kombat 9... Don't get me wrong, I love Gears :D But, it just seemed a little unfair ><

I just hope they'll supplement it with a proper fucking advertising campaign to advertise WHY we need this.

Enraged mother: "WHAT KIND OF SICK PERVERSE STORE IS THIS!? I bought this here game for my son, and it's full of disgusting language and horrible, horrible violence!"

Store Clerk: "How old's your son?"

Mother: "He's only 13, you sicko!"

Clerk: "But... this is rated R. It's only meant for people 18 years or older..."

Mother: "That's garbage! Everyone knows all videogames are made for children!"

Parents need to learn the differences between games and movies, and that universal child-appropriate content is not one of them.

On a somewat lighter note, I'd pay large sums of money to see the look on Atkinson's face as he's reading about this :D

I am so happy.T_T
My unborn children will sing of this day.

9thRequiem:

On a separate note, is anyone else a little creeped out by "ACHIEVING A JUST AND SECURE SOCIETY"? Sounds like the motto of a totalitarian 1984/V for Vendetta type dictatorship-but-we-promise-its-for-your-own-good thing.

Well thats not the Australian motto really thats the Motto for ASIO or the Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation which is Australias CIA,NSA,FBI,US Marshals all rolled into the one organisation.

Although to be honest about the only reson Australia doesn't try and take over the world is we couldn't be arsed to much trouble and we only end up controlling the idiots we moved to Australia to get away from.

Ah that's what the capital of Australia is... *goes to finish crossword*.

Grats guys :)

Woohoo, now people have heard of us!

But seriously, I'm glad my hometown is the one making this move first. Not sure why it will take 9 months, though.

octafish:
Porn, Fireworks and Video Games, stock up. Seriously you'd need gruesomely violent video games if you had to live in Canberra. The roundabouts, dear God the roundabouts.

Come one, come all.

about,.....fucking..time

now I can wait about 10 years before it gets over here

Oh and btw, we're not "within NSW". Slight error in the article there. NSW is a separate state which surrounds the ACT, but we are not part of it.

Interestingly I wonder how this will affect previous games that Australia didn't get. I wonder if there will be a rush to bring them into Australia. Not to mention how it will influance releases and what impact the Australian market plays, do they go by Canberra, or the rest of the country?

Being in the US I also wonder about regional laws. If you look at the case of Geohot you'll notice that the guy got nailed for possessing marijuana but had a liscense for it from another state which didn't help. If someone in Australia decides to head to Canberra and buy a game that isn't approved in another part of the country, can they be arrested there for making the purchuse, or for possession of the game?

I don't know, when I hear about one city doing this, capital or not, I have thoughts of regional law enforcement deciding to put game stores under pseudo-suerveillance so they can shake down game purchusers who live in their area or travel through their territory. Similar to how police have unofficial quotas of tickets they are supposed to hand out when they town needs money so they harass motorists, or even give tickets arbitrarly.

You know... cop knocks on the door and serves a fine for possessing a game illegal in the current area, which he knows about because he was "informed" of it's purchuse someplace where it was legal and being brought to that residence.

It sounds crazy, but with a hot button issue like this, and all the crazies involved, a slow transition like this seems like it's going to create a lot of problems.

Therumancer:
Interestingly I wonder how this will affect previous games that Australia didn't get. I wonder if there will be a rush to bring them into Australia. Not to mention how it will influance releases and what impact the Australian market plays, do they go by Canberra, or the rest of the country?

Being in the US I also wonder about regional laws. If you look at the case of Geohot you'll notice that the guy got nailed for possessing marijuana but had a liscense for it from another state which didn't help. If someone in Australia decides to head to Canberra and buy a game that isn't approved in another part of the country, can they be arrested there for making the purchuse, or for possession of the game?

In Australia, at least in regards to X-rated material (i.e. Porn), it is illegal to sell it anywhere but Canberra, but not illegal to actually possess it. So, if I were so inclined, I could make the trip to Canberra, buy my smut, and take it back to Melbourne without any legal worries. I'm assuming the same would work for video games, and is consistent with other laws of this nature. (if we were talking fireworks, that would be another story...)

Personally, about damn time! Gonna get my gore on!

I still bet it gets blocked by some idiot at the last minute. Seriously, I don't know what I'd do without being able to make my monthly 'Poor Australia' jokes.

amazing. they finally did it. so i can return back to australia in october and buy games which are mend for adults. victory for gamers in the country down under :D
now they just have to squeeze it through the rest of australia and everything will be fine. then im sure not going every time to the capital to get my self a R+ rated game.

lol, and i guess many people here today learned that sydney is not the capitol of australia. its always funny when people say its sydney, same as with switzerland. everyone thinks its "zürich" but actually its "BERN".

Nooo! Now I won be able to boast about the games have with the 'Banned in Australia' sticker, or 'Uncut!' somewhere under the title!

Still..it's about time.

Hahaha, oh Canberra, trust.

Bloody Canberra.

First time I've seen it described as an "enclave" though. "Shithole" may be more appropriate. Man I'm glad I got out of there.

Now if we can just get rid of the bloody price gouging we will be set.

9thRequiem:
On a separate note, is anyone else a little creeped out by "ACHIEVING A JUST AND SECURE SOCIETY"? Sounds like the motto of a totalitarian 1984/V for Vendetta type dictatorship-but-we-promise-its-for-your-own-good thing.

I sure as fuck am. As an Australian, I find that slogan fucking terrifying.

Now I just have to wait until Melbourne catches up. No longer will we be laughing stock of the gaming world!

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