Gamespot is reporting that the long-awaited discussion paper on the introduction of an R category for video games in Australia will be released soon. But it’s not all good news.
The paper, first proposed a year ago and drafted by the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General, is intended to encourage public debate and consultation on the issue of an R18+ classification for video games. However, it’s been a rocky road as seemingly intractable disagreements over its content have threatened to derail the process.
First, South Australian Attorney-General, staunch R18+ opponent and occasional Kotaku contributor Michael Atkinson was accused of deliberately stalling by refusing to supply his feedback on the initial draft.
Then, in a letter to Kotaku, Atkinson hit back, claiming it was his opponents that were responsible for the delays.
Now, as reported on Gamespot, the Federal government has stepped in to end the feud. The paper will instead be released “shortly” by the office of the Commonwealth Minister of Home Affairs, Bob Debus.
While the start of the period of public consultation is good news, the fact our censorship ministers are unable to reach agreement on the paper bodes very poorly for them being able to agree upon the merits of an R18+ rating.