The long running battle to have adult gamers in Australia recognised with an R18+ rating has finally been successful. The Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Justice, Jason Clare confirmed that an R18+ category for computer games would now become a reality after it passed the Federal Parliament.
After passing the lower house earlier in March this year, the legislation tonight passed the Senate without amendment. The introduction of the R18+ classification for computer games now brings games into line with movies. It also makes the Australian classifications more consistent with international standards.
"The R 18+ category will inform consumers, parents and retailers about which games are not suitable for minors to play, and will prevent minors from purchasing unsuitable material. "The reforms also mean that adults are able to choose what games they play within the bounds of the law."
The Attorney-General’s Department released a discussion paper on the introduction of an R 18+ classification category for computer games in 2009. We entered almost 60k submissions in response with 98 per cent of these supporting the introduction of an R18+ category. The Bill also has the support of State and Territory Attorneys-General, who agreed to this reform at the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General meeting in July 2011.
The States and Territories will pass their own complementary legislation to ensure that R 18+ computer games are appropriately regulated. Subject to this occurring the national scheme will commence on 1 January next year.