The Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Justice, Jason Clare, might just be the new hero for Australian gamers, having introduced legislation to establish an R18+ rating for video games.
This will mean that Australia’s classification system for video games will brought in line with the existing system used to classify films. More importantly, it will bring Australia’s classification system in line with those used overseas – systems which already incorporate the equivalent of an R18+ rating.
As it stands, the highest rating a video game can receive in Australia is MA15+. Therefore, any game that exceeds that classification is refused a rating and will not be made available in the country.
Since 2009 there has been a stronger show of support for the R18+ rating to be introduced. When the Attorney-General’s Department released a discussion paper on the matter, of the 58,437 responses collected, 98% were in favour of the rating.
While this is good news for Australian gamers, the legislation is not scheduled to come into effect until January 1st 2013. But hey, we’ve waited this long, what’s another few months?