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Australian R18+ Video Game Guidelines Revealed
Australian R18+ Video Game Guidelines Revealed
May 25, 2011 | By Mike Rose

May 25, 2011 | By Mike Rose
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    8 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing



The Australian Federal Government has released draft guidelines for a reformed video game classification system, which supports the introduction of an R18+ rating.

The new guidelines, released by [PDF] home minister Brendan O'Connor, are similar to those in place for the film industry, removing restrictions on bad language, drug use and nudity. The current guidelines forbid the classification of any adult-themed games.

The R18+ rating will allow "virtually no restrictions on the treatment of themes", and violence in games "except where it offends against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that it should not be classified."

On the topic of sex, the draft says, "Sexual activity may be realistically simulated. The general rule is
'simulation, yes - the real thing, no'".

O'Connor said, "The Gillard government wants to provide better guidance for parents and remove unsuitable material from children and teenagers. The introduction of an R18+ classification will help achieve that and will also bring Australia into line with comparable nations."

"This issue has been on the table for many years, without the necessary progress to make a change. Weve recently seen several states publicly express their support for an adult only rating for games and Im keen to reach a unanimous decision at the July meeting."

The government will decided whether to take on these new guidelines in July.

Last month, South Australian Attorney General John Rau said that the state was finally ready to adopt the long-proposed R18+ adult rating for games, but only if the lower MA15+ rating is eliminated and all games in the category pushed into the new, higher rating.

However, this new draft has both the R18+ and MA15+ ratings available together.


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Comments


E Zachary Knight
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This is excellent news. I hope all goes well in July and that Australia can join the modern age.

Joshua King
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It is good news and fingers crossed for us antipodeans but you didn't need the sanctimonious last part.

Tore Slinning
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So can we rename Med-X to morphine now in F3 ;)

Rodolfo Rosini
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Mayb I'm late to the party here, but in Australia you can buy porn movies, or a book that describes in gory details two people having sex like ravid rabbits but heavens forbid no game that depicts sex? WTF?

Joshua King
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Very late dude. :) Had to get Mortal Kombat through the post.

Scott Southurst
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You can buy Movies rated up to R18+ - X-rated movies are only available in the ACT (unless that's changed). And no - you can't buy games that depict sex, because that would make them not able to be classified as MA15+ which is our highest rating atm - hence the entire point of the article and discussion. It stems from the antiquated idea that all games are for children, and that no adults play games.



As Joshua has pointed out games are sometimes refused classification because of their content. Mortal Kombat is labelled a prohibited import and he risked a very large fine (upto $100,000) for importing it.



That's the law, it's yet to be changed and this is a step in the right direction. This whole saga has been going on for 3+ years now.

Alexander Bruce
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You're late to the party. This has been going on for many many years, and everyone has said that it's ridiculous, every single time there's been news about it.

Wylie Garvin
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Currently, many games that deserve a rating higher than MA15+ end up not being rated at all (meaning there's no legal way for Australians to buy them, although they can still import them through various grey channels). There's also an undesirable effect where some games which probably shouldn't be played by 15-year-olds still end up getting MA15+ instead of being refused classification.



Hopefully they will adopt the system with both ratings and simultaneously fix both of these problems: Games meant for adults will then get the R18+ rating, minors will no longer be able to buy them, but retailers will be able to sell them to adults (and get the money for the sales, instead of that money all flowing out of the country for imports like it does today), and borderline games that were a little too adult for a MA15+ to be appropriate, will now get the more appropriate R18+ rating. Everybody wins.


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