Aussie govt to support R18+

Labor Federal Government to advocate for introduction of adult rating for video games Down Under; new survey finds 80 percent of Australians in favour of new rating.

The lack of an adult rating for video games in Australia has long been a sore point for many local gamers, but news from recent weeks has started to bring some positive signs for those wanting the introduction of an R18+ classification for games. Labor ACT Senator Kate Lundy recently voiced her support, while the Federal Coalition has also tentatively stated its desire to see an overhaul of the current system. Now in one of the most positive developments for the issue, the Federal Government has thrown its full weight behind R18+, saying it will advocate for the rating's introduction.

Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O'Connor.

Federal Home Affairs Minister Brendan O’Connor--who as recently as a few weeks ago maintained no position on the issue--has now stated that the Gillard Labor Government fully supports an adult rating for games in Australia. "We want to provide better guidance for parents and remove unsuitable material from children and teenagers. The introduction of an R18+ classification will help achieve that," O'Connor said in a press statement released today.

"We believe that this is the right decision for Australian families and the right decision for parents who want to be able to make informed choices about the games their children play. Children and teenagers shouldn't be exposed to the gratuitous sex, violence and adult themes that are contained in some computer games," Mr O'Connor said. "There are dozens of games that are currently classified as MA15+ in Australia, but in other countries these gaming titles are restricted to adults only. If the new category is introduced, it could result in computer games that are currently classified MA15+ being reclassified R18+, providing a new level of protection for children. Games that are currently refused classification and do not meet the standard required for R18+ classification will remain in the refused classification category."

While the public support of the federal government is a major step forward for the R18+ debate, it does not automatically mean the introduction of the new rating. For an adult classification for games to be introduced, all of Australia's state, territory, and federal governments must unanimously agree on its implementation. These ministers are scheduled to meet next Friday, 10 December, at the next Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (SCAG) gathering in Canberra, where, amongst other issues, they will discuss the R18+ issue.

O'Connor says he will "advocate" for the R18+ rating at the next SCAG meeting. The minister also released the results of a recent government-commissioned Galaxy Survey into the issue, which found that 80 percent of respondents supported the introduction of an R18+ rating for video games in Australia.

The survey--which was conducted in May and surveyed 2,226 people across the nation--found that 91 percent of adults would clearly know that a game classified R18+ would be unsuitable for children. Other findings include that 81 percent of those over the age of 50 and 76 percent of households with children under 18 also supported an R18+ rating. Broken down by state, Western Australians showed 84 percent in favor, Victorians were 82 percent, Tasmania was 82 percent, South Australia 81 percent, Northern Territory 81 percent, Queensland 80 percent, and New South Wales 77 percent, and the ACT was 77 percent.

"This survey also reflects the community feedback that I and many members of the Gillard Government have received from our constituents in recent years," O'Connor said.

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Discussion

47 comments
holdentorana74
holdentorana74

I'd love to see them rate the CoD series as R18+. It would get rid of all them annoying little kids talking **** all day. I doubt it, but I can either hope for an R18+ rating, or for the kids to shut the **** up! lol

velanoma
velanoma

its about time i actually had some one asking why to do this i said straight out theres R rated movies isnt there and they can police it so same as games u think eb games or games or gametraders would jepadise there license by selling these games to some one with out proof of there age

durio
durio

Wow! I was not expecting this so soon... F*****g awesome!

burtonboy05
burtonboy05

At least this seems to be moving in the right direction. If this does go through it appears Mr Atkinson was being far from honest stating that there were a number of AG opposed to R18 and he was simply acting as the lightning rod on their behalf. Who would have a thought, a politician not speaking the truth? Bible bashing jerk.

2x4b96123
2x4b96123

these unanimous decision-making laws should only be applied where there are industrial, horticultural or ecological implications! For something such as a ratings system, the majority of the population support it, a misinformed "for-the-children" do-gooder should not stop much needed social reform from passing!

macca366
macca366

I feel its a good thing on every level. People will be far more wary about what their kids play when games have an R18+ sticker on the them.

SuprSaiyanRockr
SuprSaiyanRockr

Hopefully they introduce this in time for Gears of War 3 and Metal Gear Solid Rising.

Inconnux
Inconnux

about time they pulled their heads out of their rear ends.

sonofsmeagle
sonofsmeagle

*opens steam window, begins download of l4d2* oh yeh let the good times roll

Bruce_the_Ugga
Bruce_the_Ugga

Maybe now I will consider playing Left 4 Dead 2, provided it is FULLY restored to it's gory glory.

Angel_Belial
Angel_Belial

It sounds like we're finally going to see this happen.

HollowNinja
HollowNinja

I don't even live in Australia and I'm happy about this. Parents need information about games to be able to make decisions as to what games their children should be allowed to buy. At the same time, this classification will allow older gamers to play games targeted at their age group. It's a win-win situation.

selbie
selbie

I'm glad this is finally getting some publicity.

isshiah
isshiah

if any tax hike got an 80 percent approval it'd be rushed in like you wouldn't believe. hopefully this will get passed. it seems people are seeing that the point of this is to get games be better classified so everyone can make proper decisions and not to let children have access to more supposed sex, drugs and swearing.

Tronzo
Tronzo

@thisranks They already have since games here that are supposed to be R18+ have a MA15+ rating here. With an R18+ rating it'll be significantly harder for kids to get their hands on them. Businesses will have to enforce it just like alcohol unless they want to face getting fined.

greasemonkey42
greasemonkey42

I saw dedicated news stories on this on both SBS and ABC news tonight, this is great! Best publicity this issue has gotten so far, I think we are definitely on our way.

thisranks
thisranks

While i see this as a good thing we all know some children are still going to get their hands on the 18+ rated games. If it can get 100% enforcement then i'll be a believer. Don't see that happening, though.

Conno08
Conno08

Although this is good, I wouldn't get my hopes up to much.

HSV002
HSV002

Lets hope the WA National/Liberal Party don't Curupt AG Christian Porter decision on the issue. The West Aus has reported that they (Liberal/National Party) will try to get him to block moves to introduce R18+ Classification.

therealsomeguy
therealsomeguy

my faith in the government has been slightly restored

Ragnarok-64
Ragnarok-64

This is fantastic! Its about time but atleast it is seeing the light of day

CamoBullo
CamoBullo

Freakin' finally. Uncensored version of Left 4 Dead 2, please.

johnnyauau
johnnyauau

Hysteria is getting high isn't it? R18+ for Aussie games is totally inevitable and people against it will end up paying the price. You know, had Michael Atkinson not resigned, there will soon be a total backlash against the SA government and maybe other attorney general who continues to think that games are for kids. About five days to go until the verdict is reached.

AceBalls
AceBalls

There should NOT be a unanimous decision on anything in Australia. All these up and coming monkeys like the current WA examples are just there to exploit this stupid philosophy. R18+ is designed to inform and protect. Bring it in immediately so we can shut down these unpredictable political idiots out there who understand or care about nothing but their own ego's and votes..

thibbledorfP
thibbledorfP

Why can't any of these politicians also state that an R18+ will give Australian adults the respect and freedom to make their own choices regarding games, why is it only 'Oh, won't someone pleeaaase think of the children' sentiment?? Yeah, its important to stop kids getting access to r18+ games, but none of these pollies care about that, they care about getting political points. Why demonize adults who want to be able to make their own choices? Well, at the end of the day, this may lead us to get what we want.

maniaxe613
maniaxe613

This indeed is good news for Australians. Now, more than ever, I am looking forward to moving to the land down under.

marinamanson
marinamanson

His quote sounds like this move will be less about letting the games that currently get banned or censored through, and more about just putting tougher restrictions on games we get anyway. If they are going to keep banning games on the basis they are inappropriate for R18, then we haven't really achieved anything.

benboz
benboz

This is good news.

TurambarGS
TurambarGS

Such typical politicians - only interested in doing the popular thing rather than what they think is right. Most of them were non-committal after the discussion paper responses but a few polls later and suddenly everyone is getting on board. Still, better later than never - here's hoping it actually gets up at the SCAG meeting (it's not over until it's actually over). Here's a link to the ABC online story about the same (currently one of the featured stories on the main page): http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/12/05/3084954.htm

energi_monaro
energi_monaro

Yewww Western Australia - highest favour! Time to bring on the sex and carnage in games ;P

Sagacious_Tien
Sagacious_Tien

Sounds like everything is falling into place then. If the SCAG meeting comes out with a no answer - then all we can state is that they don't serve the people.

Stabby
Stabby

Congrats then to our fellow gamers down under!

mystic_knight
mystic_knight moderator

I bet you my local MP had a say too Go Bradbury.. lol I did raise the issue with him and he said he will try to help it go through. Thank heavens we might actually get a decent release of Left 4 dead 3 should there be one. Now we just need to educate parents on the use of family classification control settings on the consoles.

zaprct
zaprct

It's just a matter of time now.