The fireworks have exploded and 2013 is a reality — and with it, Australia gets an R18+ rating for video games. So what happens next?
Well, if the scaremongers are right, we’ve already exploded in a sheer orgy of blood, guts, breasts and gerbil frottage, because that’s what the R18+ crew wanted all along, right? It’s certainly the image that News.com.au’s gone for, based on its choice of stock image. But is that the reality?
Hang on a second — I’ll go and check outside.
Nope, all still good.
While it’s true that January 1st saw the formal introduction of the R18+ legislation in Australia — except for tardy Queensland — the practical reality is that we’re unlikely to see any R18+ rated games on the shelves for a while yet; that’ll be the province of game submitted from now on, or (although this is rather unlikely) games more than two years old that get resubmitted for classification. So those hanging out for a dose of Mortal Kombat or Marc Ecko’s Getting Up will probably be left hanging — although in the case of Getting Up, you missed nothing; having played the review code back in the day, there’s no point in reclassifying that one.
Still, if you’ve got any left over champagne from the festive season, it’s still a good reason to pop some corks and celebrate; as Aussie gamers we’ve just passed a very significant milestone indeed, although the challenge as to whether we’ll see fewer games denied classification, or a shifting of the MA15+ goalposts remains to be fully seen.