Could We Have An R18+ Rating Before The End Of The Year?

Could We Have An R18+ Rating Before The End Of The Year?

Speaking to Gamespot, via its live stream, Brendan O’Connor has stated that he expects R18+ to be implemented in a matter of months. As long as NSW agrees to the amendments – which, pending Greg Smith’s discussions with his own government, is looking increasingly likely.

Regardless of Smith’s decision, however, a spokesperson for Brendan O’Connor claimed that the Commonwealth is willing to override NSW if they oppose the changes. In that case, we were informed, NSW would be put in the position where it would be the only state not selling R18+ games.

Despite the fact that we haven’t had a 100% confirmation of an R18+ rating being introduced, this is more progress than anyone could possibly have expected. It looks as though we could have an R18+ rating in Australia by the end of the year.

“This is a big step forward in the long running debate on classification of computer games for adults,” Mr O’Connor said.

“The introduction of an R18+ classification for computer games will provide better advice to parents and help prevent children and teenagers from accessing unsuitable material,” he said.

“Once introduced, the new classification will also afford adults the opportunity to view material designed for adults.”

“It is a credit to all jurisdictions that the meeting has now been able to achieve agreement over what is a complex matter in classification policy.”

“I thank all jurisdictions for their support for what is not just a practical public policy, but also very popular policy.”

We’re due to speak to Brendan O’Connor in the next hour or so, so stay tuned for more details.


  • Looks like your optimism was justified Mark. This is quite a bit more progress than I expected with the classification review going on at the same time.

  • That would suck if NSW decided not to sell R18 games, but if its finally given the thumbs up, i will be a very happy adult.

  • I’m actually quite surprised that I saw the green-tick Ready logo today and not an entire page of facepalm stories.

  • Fantastic.

    Congratulations Mark, your efforts have been nothing short of phenomenal.

    O’Connor also deserves thanks for being one of the most articulate and methodical government voices in the debate, along with Senator Lundy.

  • This is GOOD NEWS. And based on info from Liberal MPs in NSW, there’s pressure inside the NSW cabinet to vote ‘yes’ on this – hopefully it will be nationwide when it comes in.

  • Unfortunately, much like DNF, this is going to wind up being overdue and underwhelming.

    I’m in the category of “I’ll believe it when I see it” and not a moment less.

  • Look forward to seeing what Brendan has to say, that dude seriously has my respect.

    Its such a nice change having a logical politician lol

  • Awesome. I can pick up my R18 video game with my XXX porn and firecrackers when I do my quaterly run to the ACT. 😛

  • Well, that’d be right! I’ve been campaigning for years on this and the day I officially give up we may finally see a resolution.

    If if happens then I will have to apologise for not giving up earlier!

  • I’m still alittle skeptical about this. Assuming the Federal government does have to override the SCAG, what’s to stop the ACL from turning up the heat on the coalition to intercept them at a federal level?

    • They’ve all agreed bar one, and NSW looks like they might cave in to pressure anyway. In which case the Federal government doesn’t need to step in. Imagine them all as annoying little five year olds squabbling over the toys and O’Connor as the stern father telling them to either share or he’ll take the toys away from them all.

      In the event it did get to the Federal level and had to go through parliament, I think you’d find it’d pass even if the opposition tried to block it. And I suspect they wouldn’t do so, they have more important things to bitch and moan and squabble over, plus there’s a fair amount of support for it in the Liberal party too.

    • Several State Liberal/National entities have actually come out in favor of an R18+ rating (for instance, Queensland’s LNP).

      I don’t think the ACL has much of a hope of motivating the Coalition into opposing R18+.

      And look, Tony Abbot may be a Catholic but in the last election he DID speak out against the internet filter.

      Remember that Michael Atkinson was a member of the Labor Party.

      Short answer is that there are some social-conservative pro-censorship people in both parties, but I don’t think there’s enough ACL-ers for them to use R18+ as a wedge issue. The ACL is a small minority of Christians. It isn’t a sufficiently large voting bloc to motivate the Coalition into pandering on the R18+ issue.

  • Great news regarding the R18+ issues but there are still other issues with the way digital media is classified in this country.

    Why can apps on an iPhone not be subjective to classification, yet the Xbox Live Indie channel is (effectively meaning we don’t get access)?

    Why the double standard?

  • I will absolutely stay tuned to see how this unfolds. But I’m so glad we can see a glimer of hope on this long drawn-out issue.

    Mr O’Connor has really won me over.

  • Of course this won’t actually happen. At the next State AG meeting, NSW will agree to it, but one of the other State AGs will object,abstain or just say “No”.

    Taking turns at being the one we abuse has been working for quite a while now so why would they change it. We can’t expect our democratically elected members of Parliament to upset lobby groups like the Australian Christian Lobby.

  • So everywhere except NSW will have it…?
    Great the sate with 40% of the entire Australian population misses out… again!
    We’ll prob be the last to get the NBN too :'(

  • Mark, feel free to take your well-deserved share of the credit for this (anticipated) victory. Well done, mate.

    Community Kudos for Mark this week, I think… and I have just the prize for you! A copy of either TMNT Smash Up or NBA2K11 on PS2!!

  • Nothing like logging back in expeting to see the facepalm and find this.

    Awesome work gentlemen. Now NSW would be that backward would it? I live in NSW fer crying out loud.

    • I also live in NSW, but they are getting pressured from everyone else, and watching the live stream earlier he didnt seemed like he was going to say no outright.

      But if ervey state except NSW will have R18 for games then we can just import anyways.

  • I just watched the stream. It was very entertaining, especially when they basically said that the Australian Christian Lobby could get knotted on this matter.

  • After watching some of the interview, i noticed that we were told that there was no change to the RC (refused classification) policy.

    Does this mean that games such as Mortal Kombat which were refused classification will still have no chance of being classified here?

    • Isn’t there an appeal process? I am unsure.

      Maybe they could put an extra character skin and release a special Australian edition that would have to be submitted afresh. 🙂

  • I’m going to crack open a beer, and drink it with the knowledge, that as a gamer, I’m no longer being treated as a child.

  • Greg Smiths offices are in the same building as Activisions Asia-Pacific office.

    I realise that doesnt really have any bearing on anything.

  • Ha, funny, I’m a bit annoyed actually considering this will probably go in to effect just before I turn 18 next year. I guess I can wait a few months and know that other Australian adults will be able to make their own informed choices about what games they do and do not want to play without having the decision forced upon them.

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