NSW set to derail upcoming R18+ decision

The NSW Attorney-General's department says it will not vote on the introduction of an adult classification for video games at this week's SCAG meeting.

Many Aussie gamers are looking upon this Friday's Standing Committee of Attorneys-General meeting (SCAG) as D-day for gaming classification in Australia, with all nine federal, state, and territory censorship ministers voting on the introduction of an R18+ classification for games.

Despite high hopes that a consensus will be reached, leading to Australia subsequently introducing an adult rating for games, it now appears that the decision will be delayed again, with at least one attorney-general planning to abstain from taking part in the R18+ vote.

In May this year, GameSpot AU canvassed the opinion of all nine federal, state, and territory censorship ministers on the issue of R18+ for games. The poll revealed that six out of nine states and territories--the federal government, Tasmania, Queensland, South Australia, Northern Territory, and the ACT--were in support of introducing the adult rating for games in Australia. The remaining three states--NSW, Victoria, and Western Australia--declared they would make their final decision in the lead-up to the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (SCAG) meeting this Friday.

Now, the NSW Attorney-General's department is declaring that the NSW Attorney-General Greg Smith will not be voting on the R18+ for games issue.

"We're not going down a definitive route," a spokesperson for Smith told GameSpot AU. "More work needs to be done on this issue. We want to wait to see the results of the ALRC [Australian Law Reform Commission] classification review."

If Smith takes this position at the SCAG meeting on Friday, it will mean the R18+ for games decision will once again be delayed. For an adult classification for games to be introduced, all of Australia's state, territory, and federal governments must unanimously agree on its implementation.

The ALRC review is currently under way and is not set for completion until at least early 2012. The review will look at broader classification issues, with a view to update Australia's current national classification scheme.

GameSpot AU will be reporting live from the SCAG meeting this Friday. For more on the issue, visit our previous coverage.

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Discussion

70 comments
Daemoroth
Daemoroth

Once again proving that 'unanimous' means 'minority rules'. Seriously, do away with the ridiculous unanimous requirement and let DEMOCRACY rule!! Absolutely pathetic! FFS!!!!! Screw the attorneys-general and their opinions - they're supposed to REPRESENT the people who put them there, so start representing your people's opinions, and stop trying to force your archaic ideals down our goddamn throats!! /rant over. and looking at opportunities to emigrate. @zaiderules, if you have a PS3, import it from play-asia. Got my collector's (Err... kollector's :P) edition at launch (FedEx), even though it said 'Mortal Kombat' on the package.

gameking5000
gameking5000

@TBoneTony We voted the labor government because of Labor's impotence in city violence and public transport issues. They're far more important than the introduction of R18+.

TBoneTony
TBoneTony

This, renewable energy and gay marridge. The majority wants it, but politicians would rather have a screaming match than to run a country. And no wonder we have got a hung parliament.

TBoneTony
TBoneTony

Not surprisingly we Victorians are also dumb, we voted out the Labor government with an Attorney General who was supportive of it, for a different one. So it is not only NSW fault, it is also Victorias too.

TBoneTony
TBoneTony

I am moving to Canada. Final Straw Australia, you politicians are so worthless you would all rather fight and act like school kids. You people don't even deserve to be in power for they way you all talk about stuff and no action ever gets achieved.

sammyd1234
sammyd1234

if u cant tell the difference between a game and reality then u must be retarded, and movies have r18 and look more real then games so why cant we have r18 games which looks less real because its all animation, like this if u agree.

zaiderules
zaiderules

2012 i want mortal kombat now :(

isshiah
isshiah

i'd love to say i'm surprised, but i'm not. this unanimous decision stuff will always get in the way...someone will always change their mind or back out.

boags24
boags24

Another delay? Now this is just getting ridiculous...

suhinho
suhinho

unfortunately the aussie government will drag this issue as long as they can to make it seems like they are doing something infront of the majority of the populace which are non-gamers.. apparently the years people spent trying for the r18 rating werent enough...

OJ_the_LION
OJ_the_LION

...You're kidding right? I'm not Australian but that Smith guy needs to go away already. I'm sure there's some footage of him with a prostitute somewhere, someone hurry and find it.

raynimrod
raynimrod

*sigh* Embarrassing and disgraceful.

SpasmGazm
SpasmGazm

office@smith.minister.nsw.gov.au No use arguing about it here. If he doesn't at least get the email messages, then he should get the hint if we send enough.

kymmyp2010
kymmyp2010

How dare this Attorney General subvert the will of the people. As a 35 year old player of games, I would like this attorney general to explain his actions as a representative of the Australian people. Vote this guy out at the next election. Anyone who is unable to understand the relationship between modern technology and society, then are a dinosaur that should not be involved in today's government

t-for-tom
t-for-tom

More work needs to be done? This thing has been going on for years!

cheater87
cheater87

Well that's a stupid idea. Reminds me of when the MPAA was G, PG and R or X. They added a PG 13 rating FOR A REASON. Because some stuff is too much for PG. M15 should stay and R18 should be there for stuff MORE THAN A M15 rating!!!

DarkDamo
DarkDamo

Whatever. This has gone beyond frustrating and only proves how broken the system and government is. I will just continue importing everything which will lead to to me getting the games 50% cheaper and uncensored.

Cobretti1818
Cobretti1818

The system is flawed. Once again, one man holds the whole country to ransom.

basher76
basher76

This is never going to end. The politicians need to realise that a very lil amount of games actually get banned here and that most games come out here as M15 that other countries rate as M17+ or higher like God of War for f#cks sake. We need an R18 at least to distinguish these violent games properly or dont worry about it stupid politicians, just keep it the way it is and let our kids get them at our low M15 rating.

super_tails
super_tails

And here I thought it would be the other states, not Victoria and NSW (I really did expect WA to be the most difficult state to agree) dragging their feet! Maybe I should go and live in SA, at least they have the irons to do something about an R rating.

zygany
zygany

Pathetic. Kind of feels like telling a lie when I say I live in a 'free country'.

ToRNiO
ToRNiO

Sometimes it really feels sh*t to call my self a proud NSW resident. Get your act together NSW.

dallasanderson1
dallasanderson1

i thought we lived in a democracy where majority rules, why is it not the case with the vote on this for gods sake!

DAMSOG
DAMSOG

It's things like this that make me feel embarrassed to be Australian, rest of the world take note.....not the lucky country....The "Nanny" country.

AceBalls
AceBalls

I'm so over this crap now. It will never end. These AG people are complete morons and are the most corrupt and stupid losers in the entire country. They are nothing but public servant power trippers with no experience in life apart from greed and selfishness. They'll do anything to delay progress on any political topic just to make a point for their indulgences. It's the 'system' on voting that needs to change rather than the 'minds' of these pathetic clowns.

Falcon084
Falcon084

It is a shame we HAVE TO VOTE in Australia. None of them are woth it :(

Richardthe3rd
Richardthe3rd

As sad as it is, when politicians do this, it is a way for them to get publicity and distinguish themselves. If you are the only naysayer, then you make headlines. Politicians; holding back society since society started moving forward.

burgo81
burgo81

@999realthings nope just old farts who are scared of flying hand bags from pissed off mums

999realthings
999realthings

I think Australia is just not meant to get R18+ games, must be the act of God or some force in the universe

joker666_999
joker666_999

Scew NSW Let All The Other States Get R18+ and NSW Keep The Old Way (Witch Is Crap)

burgo81
burgo81

research and results have been coming out the wazzo for the past 10 years, i know what he is doing it is used by lawyers as a method of stalling which he himself is, and hoping that time will pass and people will have to either 1. wait till the next scag 2. give up 3. take it to a referendum basically he is a weak little man who can not make a decision, because if he does not there is one way that we can get around him and that is to lodge a no confidence complaint(god i love how my grandfather was a barrister)

Sinister1811
Sinister1811

I've just about given up on this issue. It doesn't look like things will ever progress. At least, not anytime soon. And that's unbearable.

Sinister1811
Sinister1811

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Sinister1811
Sinister1811

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Aaron__1127
Aaron__1127

Lets just hope the other states do wat they said they would do and bring the r18+ rating into there own states, oh btw worst comes to worst we got rid of one of them how long do you thing this guy will last. Micheal Atkinson left because of all the abuse he was getting im sure it will be the same for this Greg Smith (now the most hated man in Australia)

gawthy
gawthy

Its just a straight forward idea that needs to be put in. I live in NSW vote me in for AG.

SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

Over it and it is embarrassing compared to other developed countries

protaganist20
protaganist20

I did the discussion paper and signed EB's petition well over a year ago now. Sorry to say but I've lost complete interest in this and won't waste anymore time on the matter. I'm just beyond sick of it and learnt with MK how easy importing is.

clixshper
clixshper

Any takers on what state will be next? NT :p? Anyway im loving this Australian dollar economy compared to the USD, can buy lots of good "R" rated games overseas, might have to wait, but i get what i want, at a cheaper price! Us gamers are smarter than the government think we are. If we can make decisions about how to buy cheaper, make choices on making us financially better than why not R games? Anyway im enjoying my Mortal Kombat ;D

Psycho_Hands
Psycho_Hands

First SA and now NSW. Why are they delaying the inevitable?!

trane2
trane2

all we have to do is wait for the baby boomers to die then we shall have our r18+ classification.

FlamingFury
FlamingFury

Didn't see this coming.... -.- Nah I did. I'm ok with it now. I just import games now, so R18+ doesn't really effect me anymore.

Nickeliii
Nickeliii

I'll add that to my list of "Reasons We're Fu%#ed". But wait... I've run out of paper

Vaultboy-101
Vaultboy-101

This guy has made a big mistake. WE finally got rid of Michael Atkinson just so he can be replaced by another bloody idiot. JUST GIVE US THE GODDAMN RATING!!