NSW backs R18+ for games

NSW Attorney General Greg Smith announces NSW Cabinet has given "in-principle" support to the introduction of an adult classification for video games.

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Last month, Australia's federal, state, and territory attorneys-general agreed to an "in-principle" decision to introduce an R18+ rating for video games. At the time, NSW Attorney-General Greg Smith abstained from the R18+ vote but declared his intention to take the matter back to his Cabinet before formulating a final position.

Despite Smith's decision to abstain from voting, Federal Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O'Connor announced at the time that the federal government would move ahead with introducing R18+ for games based on the support from the remaining states and territories.

Now, it appears Smith's government has agreed to back the other jurisdictions in their support of introducing an adult rating for games in Australia.

In a statement to the ABC today, Smith's office announced the NSW government's formal support of R18+ for games after Smith presented the issue to his Cabinet.

"Few people would dispute the value of a classification system that helps keep adult material beyond the reach of children," Smith said in the statement. "With strong classification guidelines in place, an R18+ rating should result in violent games currently rated MA15+ in Australia being reclassified as adults-only, as they already are in many other countries. ''

Smith also announced he will work with other attorneys-general on drafting the national R18+ for games guidelines that have been developed for the new ratings system.

UPDATE: The Federal Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O'Connor welcomed NSW's decision today.

"I am delighted that NSW has decided to support what is not just a practical public policy, but a very popular policy," O'Connor said in a statement to the media. "The introduction of an R18+ classification for computer games will provide better advice to parents and help prevent children and teenagers from accessing unsuitable material. Once introduced, the new classification will also afford adults the opportunity to view material designed for adults."

"It is a credit to all jurisdictions that the meeting has now been able to achieve agreement over what is a complex matter in classification policy."

According to O'Connor's office, the government is preparing to legislate and introduce R18+ for games by implementing a number of proposed changes to the R18+ guidelines, changes that "will ensure that games containing high-level violence are restricted to adults" and that "games containing extreme violence will continue to be refused classification and banned from sale altogether."

Discussion

15 comments
rcbhappy
rcbhappy

I have been crushing the internet every day about this so called R18+ classification for games and the more I look into it the more I don't like it? because even if this comes in, it is still not a proper or full R18+ rating for games like there is for movies and cinema? these guidelines a bull****! more needs to be done to make it a full rating?

Demonic9ight
Demonic9ight

Still want to go to Australia, hell nooooo!

Daian
Daian

"games containing extreme violence will continue to be refused classification and banned from sale altogether." So basically they can still ban games that they can't swallow. Australia sucks when it comes to being a gamer...

Raxyman
Raxyman

Sucks to be a gamer there...

NBurrows
NBurrows

@cheater2000 & @999realthings Only South Australia want to abolish the MA15+ category and classify everything above an M rating with R18+. However, from what Brendan O'Connor has been saying, banned games like Mortal Kombat may be reclassified as R18+ if they are deemed to contain high-level violence, but not extreme or sexual violence. Mortal Kombat was refused classification because it contained violence that was "higher than strong", meaning that it couldn't be classified as MA15+ (which can only contain strong violence). The flipside to this is that some games that have snuck through with an MA15+ (God of War III, Aliens vs Predator) may now be considered to have high-level violence and be slapped with an R18+.

anshanlord
anshanlord

What a bunch of morons!I'm sick of reading news about these idiots and their ideals!

isshiah
isshiah

tell him he's dreaming....

cheater87
cheater87

@ 999realthings I believe that is what will happen. Also games that are banned such as Mortal Kombat would NOT be allowed to be reclassified as R18 and will remain illegal.

999realthings
999realthings

Let's just hope they don't just make it the current MA 15+ rating into the R 18+ and just continue banning games

BaronSector
BaronSector

Dammit! Now I might not be allowed any of the good games like Assassins creed!

SwiftusMaximus
SwiftusMaximus

Fantastic! Now don't screw up the draft for guidelines.

aussiemuscle
aussiemuscle

He only changed his mind because the Federal government was going to do it if the states didn't. @Gelugon_baat, i don't have a problem with their approach, just the way he was using it as a football to raise his profile.

smooth40
smooth40

Bout time. I had to wait until I turned 33 before the govt felt that I was mature enough to play the same games I have been playing since I was 5 years old.