Back in July, the state Attorney – Generals agreed in principle a R18+ classification for video games as they become a more prominent form of entertainment. However, the New South Wales Attorney General Greg Smith abstained from the meeting, despite the general attitude within the NSW Cabinet being positive to the idea.
Today signals the official backing of all Attorney – Generals in principle as Greg Smith announced that the state of NSW will agree to the R18+ rating.
Mr Smith had this to say in a statement published on the ABC website. I should point out that his reasoning to back the measure actually makes complete sense:
Few people would dispute the value of a classification system that helps keep adult material beyond the reach of children.
With strong classification guidelines in place, an R18+ rating should result in violent games currently rated MA15+ in Australia being reclassified as adults-only, as they already are in many other countries.
So what is next? The state AGs will now discuss the guidelines and draw up a draft that will be sensible and effective. That will happen at the next SCAG meeting. It is expected that these draft guidelines will be based on the MA15+ rating but more restrictive so that games rated for adults only overseas will be rated the same here. It will also be possible that some games, like Left For Dead 2 (uncut) and more recently Mortal Kombat, may be re-submitted once the Commonwealth introduces the rating. Just don’t expect to know the details until the AGs finalise them.