R18+ classification for video games finally coming to Australia?

Attorney-General's department invites the community to have its say

The Australian federal government has released a discussion paper summarising the key arguments for and against an R18+ classification for computer games. You can download the full report from the federal Attorney-General's department Web site.

As the paper states, submissions are currently being sought from the community on whether the Australian National Classification Scheme should include an R18+ classification category for computer and video games.

"This is your opportunity to tell the Australian and the State and Territory Governments your views before they consider whether the current situation should be changed," states the paper. “The ministers responsible for censorship have considered the issue [of an R18+ rating for games] on a number of occasions. Before these ministers consider the matter further, it is timely to consider the views of the community.”

Because Australia lacks an R18+ classification for games, any title deemed "adults only" cannot legally be sold. The lack of an R rating for games in Australia has been a cause of mounting frustration among gamers, but all that may be about to change.

While this does not necessarily mean that Australia will receive an R18+ classification for games, it is the first encouraging sign to come out of the Attorney-General's department in some time. As early as last month, South Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson stated his intention to appeal against Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2’s MA15+ Classification because the game awarded points for “massacring civilians.” (As anyone who has played the game will know, Modern Warfare 2 does not allow players to gain points by massacring civilians.)

Two weeks ago, the hotly anticipated Aliens Vs. Predator was refused classification in Australia due to 'violence that is high in impact'. In explaining its decision, the Classification Board cited a long list of objectionable material, including "explicit decapitation and dismemberment", "spinal columns dangling from severed necks" and "stabbing through the chest, throat, mouth and eyes".

It was the latest in a long list of games to run afoul of the Classification Operations Board, including Left 4 Dead 2 ('Left 4 Dead 2 Banned In Australia'), Silent Hill: Homecoming ('Silent Hill: Homecoming banned in Australia'), and Fallout 3 ('Fallout 3 banned in Australia').

Interested parties have until close of business 28 February 2010 to lodge submissions. You can make a submission by downloading and completing the submission template. Submissions may also be mailed to the following address:

Classification Review
Attorney-General’s Department
3 -5 National Circuit
BARTON ACT 2600


If you have an interest in seeing an R18+ Classification for video games in Australia, now is the time to have your voice heard.

Follow GamePro Australia on Twitter: @GameProAu

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Jager

GamePro Australia
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?