NSW Attorney General Formally Supports R18+ Rating For Video Games

After the SCAG meeting in July, the NSW Attorney-General Greg Smith abstained from voting on an R18+ rating for video games but signalled that, after consultation with his cabinet, he would most likely agree in principle to the rating. Today, Greg Smith has formally stated that he will give his in principle support to an R18+ rating for games in Australia.

"Few people would dispute the value of a classification system that helps keep adult material beyond the reach of children," Mr Smith said.

"With strong classification guidelines in place, an R18+ rating should result in violent games currently rated MA15+ in Australia being reclassified as adults-only, as they already are in many other countries."

The next step for all the Attorneys-General is to work on the revised guidelines discussed at the SCAG meeting. We're expecting that once said guidelines are formalised they will be released to the public - fingers crossed we get the R18+ rating we deserve. We've heard rumblings that there have been some adjustments to the R18+ guidelines, but they haven't been too severe. We won't know for certain, however, until they're finalised.

Thanks ABC!

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Comments

    So this is what progress looks like...

    Next up, Valve releases a re-classified Left 4 Dead 2 GOTY edition. Rejoicing in the streets.

      Pretty sure its mean meantioned that games that have been banned or modified will not be permited or allowed even if we have a classification for it now. (from the classifcation board).

      As much as i want a proper L4D2 version :(

        I;m still going to live in hope of a release unbutchered of left for dead 2. But I reckon they can do a patch I don't think they are classified and if it is then they can classify the patch... maybe I'm purely guessing friends.

        I was under the opposite impression, that any game previously classified can be re-submitted.

        I believe Valve may have said that at the time of L4D2 release.

        They have said that it will not be automatically reclassified but publishers are free to resubmit a game at any time to have the classification reviewed.

        I thought i read somewhere that games RC'd right now, would still be allowed a re-submission for classification under R18+?

        Anyway, this is great news. I just hope the guidelines for R18+ still don't force out too many games. Guess we will see.

          As far as my understanding goes, companies can re-submit their product for classification, but it's costly. Valve would have to be sure that it's worth the output and time.

            Maybe they'll just do a Left 4 Dead 3 and release that uncut. It'd be nice to have a PS3 version now that Valve are on board there.

            I was under the impression companies only got a second whack at it and then that was it, denied. I don't believe you can keep submitting a game over and over. And L4D2 all ready had two runs at the OFLC and got knocked back both times.

            I've got my UK copy so I'm happy.

      God I hope so. Playing the imported version on 360 is NOT the same plus Live fees :( PC or death!

      Maybe Valve need do do L4D2.5 (or L4D3 for us 'goreless' Aussie users.

    'We’re expecting that once said guidelines are formalised they will be released to the public – fingers crossed we get the R18+ rating we deserve.'

    Not bloody likely. It'll be a re-branded MA15+ you can bet on it.

      +1 Since when has either our Government or AG system proved they do what the majority of us want. Get ready for the exact same system with MA disguised as R.

    It's still censorship, and still not acceptable. It's a step in the right direction, but don't stop walking because we get less-evil censorship.

      YES. But I don't believe censorship will go away till atleast our generation if middle aged, assuming things are not to far gone blade runner/ highlander style.

      I hate to sound like a prick, but censorship is necessary and beneficial for our society.

      Personally, I think that it would be better to have zero censorship and diligent, consistent classification and policing. But that would result in a society different to what we have today.

      For better or worse, a lot of gullible people are prevented from doing stupid things by the censorship of certain kinds of materials and communication.

        You are among the worst types of people. Censorship is never acceptable.

        To follow up to the above, what sort of things are you claiming it prevents?

        Suicide? It's not the state's place to tell someone he's not allowed to do something with his own life that does not impinge on the life, liberty or property of another person.

        Euthanasia? See above.

        Censorship does nothing more than give the state more control over us and our lives. Fuck that, think for yourself.

          You're right - we should live in a utopian society where people can read, act on, and do whatever they like without any regulations or censorship being applied to tell us what is or isn't acceptable. Like London at the moment. Great example there of no regulations or advice/guidance from Governments elected to reflect the will of the majority.

          Also, YOU are the worst sort of people for immediately shitcanning someone with an opinion that differs from you. Should that be part of your society? If you don't agree with me, you're a terrible person?

            That's a terrible, stupid arguement. London isn't an example of a society free of control or policing, it's a mother flippin riot, there's quite a lot of policing going on actually, people involved in civil unrest are just being tools.

            SRG is just pointing out, and quite a lot of people would agree, that when it comes to ways in which people enjoy themselves, as long as it doesn't cause someone else direct harm, people should be allowed to do whatever they like.

            Yes, even furries.

            Censorship is and will always be, a government body saying you may enjoy yourself this way, and not this way, due to a perceived moral panic about moral fibre, christian values or some other crap. There's simply no logical, rational justification for censorship.

              I'm sure there's a few arguments in favour of it.

            When someone's opinion is one that is set to restrict MY rights, yes I will shitcan it readily.

      There's a massive difference between censorship and classification. Your post demonstrates a total lack of understanding of politics and the law in general.

        Look at the name of the group that does the classification before emerging from the left side of the bell curve.

        Submitting for classification is mandatory. If something is refused classification by the government censorship board, it is then illegal to sell it. That is censorship. There will still be things refused classification. There will still be censorship.

          er, that should read "look at the site of the group".

          It actually mentions "censorship ministers", for christ's sake.

            Again, you don't understand the difference between classification and censorship (incidentally, it's the Classification Board that classifies media. There's no such thing as a Censorship Minister or a Censorship Board, they're just made-up titles). Classification is pretty well unanimously seen as necessary and good. The Classification Act sets out reasons why media will be refused classification, but the Classification Code has as one of its primary tenets that:

            Under the Code, classification decisions are to give effect, as far as possible, to the following principles:
            (a) adults should be able to read, hear and see what they want;

            To argue that classification is the same as censorship is childish and pointless. While it remains to be seen whether the new R rating for games will be on the same footing as the equivalent rating for film, to say that any kind of rating is censorship is just wrong.

    Finally!!!

    I'm just waiting for the catch... its all too good to be true

      Same, don't count your chickens just yet gamer people.

      I don't like the fact the ACL and the ACCM haven't been going as barkers over this decision as expected, and the rumbles about changes to the R18+ guidelines scares me. Maybe the objectors have won this behind the scenes.

      Or to put it another way, what if we get an R18+ and nothing changes, Mortal Kombat type games still gets RCed due to the 'interactive nature' of the violence.

      I'll pop the cork when I know the nitty gritty details.

        I'll pop a cork when I get ID checked trying to buy the "first R18+ game" to be put on shelves :P

    Mortal Kombat please :(

      Easy. Repackage the game with all DLC (Skarlet, Kenshi, Rain and Freddy w/ Klassic Kostumes), put Freddy on the cover and called it "Mortal Kombat: GOTY Edition". There you are, problem solved!

      I'm with you. I really want to get this game.

        I have it ! It's great!

    Finally but I am still appalled at how long such a landslide people's demand takes this long to work out in government.

    It's sad to think we pay for such drawn out processes and government workers.

    Any private company in any industry would simply be losing their customers.

    Governments are a whole different beast I suppose. Now someone make an adults only game taking out our frustrations on the pollies and we can vent virtually ;-)

      Just play the likes of Doom and imagine your choice beurocrats in place of the ememies.

      There is no need to waste money on developing a full blown game when the imagination costs nothing to run.

      Some private businesses are no better (see Harvey Norman and Gerry Harvey's refusal for a decade to have any significant online presence and then he complains he can't compete).

      What do you expect?,
      if people keep voting for the same right-wing conservative controlled political parties (Labor/Liberals).
      I quite frankly, am amazed that we finally seem to be making progress on this issue, but don't kid yourself it is only because of the rise of the Green's vote -who fully support a proper R18+ rating- that this issue finally is getting some traction.

    From my point of view it looks like Greg Smith was either just being a difficult prat to be heard or realised that it won't get him any favors publicly so he's gone along with it.

      or you know quite possibly it worked like real politics does. He can't say yes without a party consensus. They can't have a party consensus without a cabinet meeting and discussion.

      And they only just took NSW over and the basketcase it is. As much of a gamer I am, there is many more things to fix in NSW before R18 which is what they focused on. Now they have had a chance to discuss it, and came to the conclusion of backing it.

    Hopefully this is finalised soon we are lacking behind other countries and missing out the best quality of games

    Hey guys, you might not have seen me much lately. I just got back from my trip to hell. It was strangely chilly...

    A victory for common sense.

    It wont matter if its MA15+ or R18+, things will only change if the criteria for what is needed to be met for each classification is changed. I'm holding off the celebrations until we get an official word that R18+ will actually allow for more 'adult themes' blah blah blah than the current MA15+. Otherwise we are only completing half of the concept, making it more 'difficult' for younger gamers to a hold of the higher classifications games, not the stop games getting RC because of excessive violence, nudity, sexual themes, adults themes issue. But this is progress non the less!

    its a step in the right direction for those who are mature to play such games. im a 20 something gamer myself and even after playing violent games since my highschool days, i didnt turned out bad at all. its all about educating yourself to know the difference between fact and fiction. unfortunately youll have families who buy such games for their kids who think it would be alright then they complain that their child has done something stupid.. shops should regulate how they sell such games though, just saying how it is

    Well, could have discussed this with his cabnit PRIOR to the scag meeting?

    Gaming is where it is at right now. I am an adult I want to be told I can't play games because they're 'too violent'. They need to get this R18+ rating happening as soon as possible, and not a redesigned Ma15+. I hate to say it, but I wonder why so many games are being pirated. We can't get the game legally here, so we are resorted to getting it illegally, so really the government is doing nothing but making the game industry lose lots of money.
    I hope we get R18+ soon -.-

    good. Now to fix the pricing of games.

    I'll believe it when I see it.

    Personally I find the 'all censorship is bad' stance some people here are taking to be a bit bizarre.

    The Attorney General should concentrate more on fixing the court system rather than politicising gaming. The justice system is a game, and now getting out of jury duty is a national sport. The whole system is broken. Judges get lifetime appointments and are not investigated or accountable for stupid decisions. Sentences are out of touch with community standards. Evidence is “withheld” from juries for being too prejudicial, even though it is relevant. There is no search for the truth, and the rich get better results because they can afford better lawyers. Overall, the whole court system is a game. Mr Smith should fix this game first. This clip pretty well sums up how the system has failed everyone except the lawyers http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHFa30pD3N8

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