Australian censorship ministers met yesterday to discuss changes to our classification system for video games. While many within the industry and gaming community were optimistic this would see the introduction of an R18+ rating, it appears those hopes have been cruelly dashed.
The Standing Committee of Attorneys-General have agreed in principle to remove the M and MA categories, meaning the highest rating now allowed under the new classification system will PG. All games released in Australia will need to meet the requirements to be suitable for gamers aged 12 and above.
A spokesperson for the Attorneys-General Department said the decision was made with a view to protecting children and vulnerable adults from potentially harmful interactive content. The spokesperson cited titles such as Halo 3 for its full frontal alien nudity, Dawn of War II for the way it encourages aggressive behaviour, and Blacksite: Area 51 for being, well, crap.
The new classification system will be tabled in Parliament in the coming weeks.