Today the NSW Attorney-General Greg Smith announced that he agrees in principle to the introduction of an R18+ in games, meaning that all Attorneys-General are now in favour of an adult rating for video games in Australia. In a statement just released, the Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O'Connor claimed he was "delighted" with the news.
“I am delighted that NSW has decided to support what is not just a practical public policy, but a very popular policy,” said O'Connor.
“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.
“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.”
According to the released statement, the Federal Government are preparing to legislate to introduce the R18+ rating.
One caveat in the statement did sound a little worrying - a claim that the updated R18+ guidelines would "recognise the unique interactive nature of computer games". It will be interesting to see precisely what amendments have been made to the original guidelines and in what areas.
We've heard rumblings that some compromises have been made in order to get the R18+ rating through, but the changes aren't too severe. Hopefully said guidelines will be released to the public soon.