Considering the fact that a larger set of recommendations are currently being drafted for all classification issues, the chances of a final decision being reached during the upcoming SCAG meeting in March were already slim. But now, with Gamespot reporting that the NSW Attorney General will not be attending the meeting, further delays to the decision have all but been confirmed.
As most of us are probably already aware, all AsG must unanimously agree on an R18+ rating for things to move forward, and with NSW AG John Hatzistergos declaring himself absent as a result of the NSW state elections, it will be impossible for Australia to do so.
Post the December 10 SCAG meeting, Brendan O'Connor announced that a set of draft guidelines for a new set of ratings for video games would be presented at the upcoming meeting in March, but considering the meta review currently being undertaken by the Australian Law Review Commission, it was always unlikely that a final decision would have been made on that date. Even Brendan O'Connor was forced to admit, during an earlier conversation, that we may have to wait until December until the broader review was completed.
That being said - there is good news. Grow Up Australia, a well organised group led by Aaron Percival, has informed us that both the ACT and TAS Attorneys General have spoken out in favour of an R18+ rating.
It appears that an adult rating for video games is now currently at the mercy of bureaucracy and circumstance. Regardless - the signs are good and, as we mentioned in an earlier feature, by the time a final decision is made, it will probably be implemented in tandem with a complete overhaul in classification in this country.
Now, it seems, we play the waiting game.
Aussie R18+ decision impossible in March [Gamespot]