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.
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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Avatar image for 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

Avatar image for 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

Avatar image for themovi3nut

Bugger them referendum. WE DECIDE!

Avatar image for durio

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

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for 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!

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for SuprSaiyanRockr

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

Avatar image for Inconnux

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

Avatar image for dallasanderson1

excellent smithers!!!

Avatar image for sonofsmeagle

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

Avatar image for Bruce_the_Ugga

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

Avatar image for Angel_Belial

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

Avatar image for Hypereia

Great news to ALL gamers.

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for selbie

I'm glad this is finally getting some publicity.

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for deactivated-590595a6292ce

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

Avatar image for E-i-N-e


Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for therealsomeguy

my faith in the government has been slightly restored

Avatar image for Australians

taken a while

Avatar image for Ragnarok-64

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

Avatar image for CamoBullo

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

Avatar image for robertwarnes91

Hello Metal Gear Solid Rising.

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for 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..

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for Crown_Lager

An interesting article: << LINK REMOVED >> Remember the AG's must be unanimous in their decision.

Avatar image for Crown_Lager

@marinamanson My thoughts exactly.

Avatar image for maniaxe613

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

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for benboz

This is good news.

Avatar image for ChargeMan1991

As the Kool-Aid Man would say "Oh yeah!"

Avatar image for superbuuman

Good to hear, finally! :)

Avatar image for 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): << LINK REMOVED >>

Avatar image for energi_monaro

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

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for Stabby

Congrats then to our fellow gamers down under!

Avatar image for TDragonn

About bloody time!

Avatar image for mystic_knight

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.

Avatar image for zaprct

It's just a matter of time now.

Avatar image for flammable_zeus

Well, better late than never!

Avatar image for blackhuntingcat