Could the Australian R18+ Debate Restart?



Australia’s video game rating system is still not up to scratch according to South Australia’s Attorney General John Rau, who is concerned that inappropriate material is still finding its way to children as games that are rated ‘adult only’ overseas are consistently restricted at a lower level in Australia.

According to a recently released ABC report, thirteen games released this year were restricted to adults only in the United States and Europe – all of which received an MA15+ rating in Australia. With largely equivalent markets between Australia and these regions, Rau worries that the existing legislation is not being enforced properly, or is simply not strict enough in itself.

Some of the titles mentioned include Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Saints Row IV, Killer Dead and Company of Heroes 2. Grand Theft Auto V is notably absent, and is rated ‘adults only’ in Europe, the US, and Australia. Although Rau is content with it’s classification many gamers have taken to Twitter to point out that the rating description is an inadequate representation of the content that makes the game R18+.

Rau insists that the Federal Government should review classification guidelines, but Justice Minister Michael Keenan has stated that the national system is working, and that if South Australia wishes to take any action it will have to happen at state level. Rau will raise his concerns at the next attorney general conference, aiming to try and tighten controls on violent video games.

The R18+ rating was introduced in Australia in January of this year.

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