Australian Parliament Passes R18+ Legislation

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Australian Parliament Passes R18+ Legislation

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Australian gamers are suddenly a lot closer to playing with the grown-ups.

Another day, another step closer to a seat at the big table for Australian gamers thanks to yesterday's passage of legislation allowing for the creation of an R18+ videogame rating in the country. You probably already know this but in case you've somehow missed out, Australia has R18+ ratings for movies - hence the amusing cornucopia of hardcore porn titles on the Australian Government's Classification website - but videogames, since they're just for kids, top out at MA15+.

It's a ridiculous situation that does far more harm than good, because while a number of irredeemable games are just outright banned, a great many more that should be R18+ are instead squeezed into the MA15+ category. The net result is that underage gamers can legally get their hands on more "mature" material in Australia than almost anywhere else in the world, while adult gamers down under just get shafted. But not for much longer!

Jason Clare, Australia's Federal Minister for Home Affairs, announced yesterday that R18+ legislation had successfully passed through the Senate without amendment, clearing the way for it to finally become law. "These are important reforms over ten years in the making," he said. "The R18+ category will inform consumers, parents and retailers about which games are not suitable for minors to play, and will prevent minors from purchasing unsuitable material. The reforms also mean that adults are able to choose what games they play within the bounds of the law."

Individual Australian states must now pass their own "complementary legislation" to implement R18+ ratings, although that's expected to be pretty much a formality, as State and Territory Attorneys-General had already agreed to the reforms at the last meeting of the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General in July 2011. Assuming all goes according to plan, R18+ videogames will be a real, actual thing for Australians as of January 1, 2013.

Source: Jason Clare

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Nice to see Australian gamers will finally be getting over this Barrier Grief.

I look forward to welcoming Australian Gamers to the big table.

Amazing, and all it took was for that pain in the ass Michael Atkinson to step down. I think the next item on Australia's to do list would be to improve that system the old bastard decided to be the monkey wrench in.

To all Australian gamers:

"...your country no longer has a stone-aged view of vidja-gaems"

Seriously. It is about damn time.

...Next up let's try to fix the pricing disparity between different countries in the digital age we live in... (and stop charging the same for digital media that we do for the physical products)...

Excellent!

It's nice to see democracy in action, painstakingly slow action but action nonetheless. At least no one can fault the policy makers for not being thorough.

Anywho, I hope you gamers in Australia enjoy the slew of new, R18+ games that are sure to be coming your way!

I sense hard times ahead for the Australian illegal game import sector.

BehattedWanderer:
I sense hard times ahead for the Australian illegal game import sector.

Well we still have the 50% to 100% markup on game prices to deal with... (looks wistfully across the ocean at Zavvi and ozgameshop)

Whooo! High fives all around!
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The wheels of justice grind slowly but infinitely fine.

Alright! High fives and ice cream all around! :D

Glad to see they finally got this dealt with and now they can play the games uncut.

*deep breath*

dalek sec:
Alright! High fives and ice cream all around! :D

Glad to see they finally got this dealt with and now they can play the games uncut.

BLOOD AND TITTIES AND GORE AND DECAPITATIONS OH MY!!

...now don't anyone spoil the ending of Manhunt for us!

Welcome back to the civilised world.

In case the above gets me into trouble, it is good news on the whole that the previous generation, one completely devoid of an understanding of the motivtion behind the pure ideology of the Games industry are finally listening.

Andy of Comix Inc:
*deep breath*

dalek sec:
Alright! High fives and ice cream all around! :D

Glad to see they finally got this dealt with and now they can play the games uncut.

BLOOD AND TITTIES AND GORE AND DECAPITATIONS OH MY!!

...now don't anyone spoil the ending of Manhunt for us!

Muhuhahaha

Ahem. R+ is not hardcore porn. No there is a seperate category for that, probably X but back in the day it was NVE. Any R+ titles that might seemlike porn titles are porn films with the penetrations (and possibly the engorged members) edited out. X rated material in not legally sold over the counter in any state or territory except Canberra. Now I know all this because occasionally the police who usually ignore it get a complaint from someone and have to raid an adult shop. Obviosly these ocasions are a field day for the media and commentators.

Woooh nice thank god this is finally set in stone although I don't see why people are complaining about the fact that Australian gamers HAD no R18 rating and how we complain about our price tag (ah ah don't say it's because we have a higher minimum wage and cost of living because that's just a cop out)

Twilight_guy:
Whooo! High fives all around!
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The wheels of justice grind slowly but infinitely fine.

That picture is fantastic!

What? The Gillard government has finally done something right? Well colour me impressed.

malakaira:
Woooh nice thank god this is finally set in stone although I don't see why people are complaining about the fact that Australian gamers HAD no R18 rating and how we complain about our price tag (ah ah don't say it's because we have a higher minimum wage and cost of living because that's just a cop out)

It's because game companies have to specially produce games for Australians that work when upside down, and despite rotating the wrong way. Also, it's compensation for all the employees who get killed and eaten by gigantic spiders, or have dingoes take their babies away.

As an Australian I would like to say something...

It's about bloody TIME!

Wow, something that might actually make Yahtzee happy.....

'Bout fucking time.

At least this time it got through, I guess the opposition grew a brain.

This day...
It tastes of victory...
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Go fourth my children, and create this new world of yours...

Mortal Kombat shall soon be mine!

Did it seriously take them over ten years in the making though? Surely you should be able to bang this sort of thing out in a month or two. Why is it taking another 6 months to be implemented though? Are they reclassifying everything that 'just squeezed through' on an MA15+ rating, or are they just going to start from fresh?

Now we have to hope the government looks into the prices of them and forces publishers to lower the astronomical prices a tad...

But this news is great!
But I r not in Australiah...

I am Australian, and I say about bloody time!

Wait, I can hear music, I swear people are dancing in the streets over this!

Sizzle Montyjing:
This day...
It tastes of victory...


Go fourth my children, and create this new world of yours...

Wow, nice that Australia finally decided to move up to the adult table.

OT: That pic is...so hot. I think I need to lie down.

yay!

while its definetly a good thing I don't see many games that have been affected except left 4 dead 2 and Syndicate

This has a weird fascist vibe to it. Is it just me?

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Can't wait till my state takes initiative and actually implements it. This should be good.

What in the..Oh, let me check. Yes, I can see pigs flying. This all makes sense now. I guess congrats is in order.

FelixG:
I look forward to welcoming Australian Gamers to the big table.

Funnily enough a lot of the games that failed to make it to our shores legally weren't really all that mature. Most of the ones that a lot of people actually care about were just edited and reclassified.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_banned_video_games_in_Australia

Anyway it's good to finally get that hurdle out of the way, this was more an issue of proper classification and ensuring adult games don't get bumped down into the MA15+ bracket rather than adult gamers getting shafted.

amazing. it took them more then 2 decades to pass this legislation. now i can buy games without worries when i return back to australia in october. well, still have to wait few months but at least they finally did it.
now if they can drop the prices, that would be even better.

damn, why is this country so slow and behind with everything?

I believe I said it before, when we heard this was a thing, but I'm going to say it again.

FINALLY.

On behalf of all the Australians on this site and everywhere, Thank You for passing this legislature. Also, when the hell are you going to make the games less expensive?

NOTE: I'm not an Australian. I just enjoy seeing unjust laws struck down, and I also don't hate all of them. Yet.

Shalok:
Wow, something that might actually make Yahtzee happy.....

Do you think he will include it in his ZP review this week?

I love the smell of video game rights in the morning, it smells like victory.

Sorry guys couldn't resist. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3ALwKeSEYs finally this place will suck slightly less!

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