Australian Government to debate R18+ video games rating in April

A debate between state and federal attorneys-general may determine whether Australia gets a mature games classification

According to news website Adelaide Now, a debate over the addition of an R18+ video game classification in Australia will take place in April this year.

Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland said the discussion paper could be on the agenda at the next attorneys-general meeting, Adelaide Now reports. State and Federal attorneys-general will meet and consider the discussion paper, as well as submissions from the public, regarding a proposed R18+ video game rating.

Because Australia lacks an R18+ classification for games, any title deemed "adults only" cannot legally be sold. The lack of an R rating for games in Australia has been a cause of mounting frustration among gamers. Video games that have fallen foul of the Classification Operations Board include Left 4 Dead 2, Silent Hill: Homecoming, Fallout 3 and Aliens Vs. Predator.

Earlier in the year, EB Games ran an online poll on its website regarding the introduction of an R18+ classification. 84 per cent (42,854) of respondents voted in favour. Last week, the online advocacy group Grow Up Australia handed in 16,055 submissions to the government, of which 99 per cent were in favour of the change. The upcoming debate could be the first crucial step towards securing a mature classification for games.

Further reading:

Christian Group: Don’t reward R18+ game pirates

R18+ classification for video games finally coming to Australia?

EB Games rallies behind R18+ rating for Aussie video games

Gamers unite for R18+ classification

Aliens Vs. Predator refused classification in Australia

Left 4 Dead 2 Banned In Australia

Banned Downunder: Five games that didn’t make it past the censors

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Chris Jager

GamePro Australia

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