Its Here (Almost): R18+ Adult Games OZ
An R18+ classification for video games has just been approved by the Senate, meaning internationally available games with adult cert. can now be accessed by Australians.
Previously the only rating was R15+ meaning any titles deemed to hold an ‘adult’ rating due to violent or extreme images were banned in OZ, or given a lower rating, meaning youths could get their hands on them.
Internationally an 18+ adult classification has been in place for years, leaving Oz gamers out in the cold.
Many gaming titles were even edited (with violent and sexual images chopped) to be allowed for sale here including Grand Theft Auto III and The Getaway.
The video games industry has today welcomed the introduction of an R18+ classification, which passed through the Senate with bipartisan support yesterday.
The change in the classification law follows 10 years of lobbying by retailers and consumers.
“The reforms also mean that adults are able to choose what games they play within the bounds of the law,” said Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare.
However, it not a certainty just yet, as after Commonwealth approval it is now up to the states to give final nod to the new classification scheme.
But while this legislation is a “true milestone”, the success of an adult classification for games will depend both on states and territories following suit, warned Ron Curry, CEO, Interactive Games & Entertainment Association.
“Key to this rating has always been the notion of harmonisation and ….we need to be cognisant that we still require the timely support of all states and territories as well as workable guidelines to underpin a successful classification system.”
|And “it would be very counterproductive to start splintering the classification system now that an R18+ rating has been passed by the Senate,” Curry warned.
The changes are due to come into effect on January 1 if all states approval is received.