It’s hasn’t been officially announced, but its looking more than likely that Australia will be getting an R18+ rating for computer and video games by the end of the year! The Australian censorship ministers met today as a part of the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General, coming to an almost unanimous decision to include an R18+ rating for video games in Australia.
The only state who hasn’t agreed yet is New South Whales, who has abstained from the R18+ vote, as NSW Attorney-General Greg Smith wants further amendments to be made. After this announcement, Western Australia and Victoria followed suit and stated they were seeking further amendments to the R18+ guidelines. This had delayed the process of an 18+ rating, because the National Classification Code requires the unanimous agreement between all nine federal, state and territory censorship ministers.
Brendan O’Connor has stated that the Commonwealth is willing to override NSW if they oppose the amendments. If this is to occur, it would mean NSW would become the only state in Australia not selling R18+ computer and video games. Furthermore, the ACT and South Australia plan on going alone and placing an 18+ rating regardless of the other states in the near future. South Australia plans on going a step further and also abolishing the MA 15+ rating in order to make the difference between classifications clearer.
The state of New South Whales is most likely to announce their decision within the next few weeks, and if they agree the R 18+ rating will be approved nation-wide. If not, it seems the country will still go ahead with the rating approval and just have it prohibited in New South Whales. This is an exciting time for Australian gamers everywhere!