Despite the fact that Brendan O’Connor claimed we would have an R18+ rating in place before the end of 2011, David Emery, the Manager of Applications at the Classification Branch has claimed that we may be waiting at least two years before we see R18+ games on shelves.
At the Politics of Play debate last night, Emery went into detail on the process required to legislate an adult rating for games, a process so burdened with bureaucracy it led Dr Jeff Brand to claim it was as strong an argument as any for government being removed from dealing with issues of Classification.
“There is legislation that’s been put to Parliament about the changes,” said David Emery. “What happens next is a long process again -- it’s probably going to take another couple of years before you’re actually going to get an R18 that you can apply for, like a conventional classification that you have today.
“It’s got to go to Parliament, then there’s changes that have to be made subsequent to that -- to the Classification Act -- to allow for people who have had a game that has gone to the classification board and been refused classification to then be resubmitted in some form. There also needs to changes made to each state and territories classification act, that needs to go through the exact same process that I’ve just described, except on a state level.
“All of those things take ages,” he continued. “There are lots of delays. The answer is that it’ll probably be another couple of years before we’ll be able to accept an application for an R18 game.”
After the last SCAG meeting, Brendan O’Connor claimed that he had hoped to have an R18+ rating in place by the end of the year, although it is possible he was discussing the revised guidelines, which were discussed at the SCAG Meeting.
But according to Emery said process may take at least two years, and with the entire Classification Board on the verge of what could be seismic shift in its responsibilities, with the Classification Review still in process, this success of this bill could be dependent on a number of outside factors.
Australia will have an R18+ rating -- but we may just have to wait a little longer than expected.