Still no R18+ rating for Aussie gamers

R18+ classification decision delayed until next year

Australian gamers will have to hold their breath until January, because a decision on introducing an R18+ classification for video games has been delayed until next year.

The Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (SCAG) gathered today to discuss introducing an R18+ classification but unanimous agreement could not be reached.

The R18+ video game debate has raged for years. In 2010, the gaming community has largely supported the introduction of the rating, while organisations such as the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) as well as the former Attorney-General for South Australia, Michael Atkinson have strongly opposed it.

R18+ proponents argue the lack of an adults-only classification for games means older gamers miss out on content that is available in other countries. Detractors claim that the introduction of R18+ will mean children can easily access inappropriate gaming content.

Australia is one of the few developed countries in the world without an R18+ rating for video games.

Left4Dead 2, Alien vs. Predator and Fallout 3 are some of the games that were originally banned by the Australian Classification Board due to content classed as adults only. The games were released after the removal of the offending content.

This year, the federal Government decided to end the stoush once and for all, opening up public consultation on an R18+ games rating through the Department of Home Affairs.

The response was overwhelmingly in favour of an adults-only games classification, which led to the federal Government pledging its support for the introduction of an R18+ rating.

No doubt this is a big slap in the face to gamers who have been looking forward to a final decision on the matter.

Let the waiting games begin -- again.

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Spandas Lui

GamePro Australia
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