We Could Be Waiting At Least Two Years For An R18+ Rating

We Could Be Waiting At Least Two Years For An R18+ Rating

Despite the fact that Brendan O’Connor claimed we would have an R18+ rating in place before the end of 2011, David Emery, the Manager of Applications at the Classification Branch has claimed that we may be waiting at least two years before we see R18+ games on shelves.

At the Politics of Play debate last night, Emery went into detail on the process required to legislate an adult rating for games, a process so burdened with bureaucracy it led Dr Jeff Brand to claim it was as strong an argument as any for government being removed from dealing with issues of Classification.

“There is legislation that’s been put to Parliament about the changes,” said David Emery. “What happens next is a long process again — it’s probably going to take another couple of years before you’re actually going to get an R18 that you can apply for, like a conventional classification that you have today.

“It’s got to go to Parliament, then there’s changes that have to be made subsequent to that — to the Classification Act — to allow for people who have had a game that has gone to the classification board and been refused classification to then be resubmitted in some form. There also needs to changes made to each state and territories classification act, that needs to go through the exact same process that I’ve just described, except on a state level.

“All of those things take ages,” he continued. “There are lots of delays. The answer is that it’ll probably be another couple of years before we’ll be able to accept an application for an R18 game.”

After the last SCAG meeting, Brendan O’Connor claimed that he had hoped to have an R18+ rating in place by the end of the year, although it is possible he was discussing the revised guidelines, which were discussed at the SCAG Meeting.

But according to Emery said process may take at least two years, and with the entire Classification Board on the verge of what could be seismic shift in its responsibilities, with the Classification Review still in process, this success of this bill could be dependent on a number of outside factors.

Australia will have an R18+ rating — but we may just have to wait a little longer than expected.


        • ^ Truth. Don’t believe him? Check out the major parties stance on voluntary euthanasia, gay marriage, school chaplaincy and Labor’s stance on mandatory internet filtering.

          The ACL has both major federal parties in their pocket.

          As I’ve been saying for a while now: We will only get r18 games with generational change. I wish it wasn’t the case too, but that just the way it is.

  • Hmmm… after doing a bit of business law last trimester, which also touched on legislation, i actually had a really horrible feeling that something like this could happen.

    Changes in legislation is such a horrible and long drawn out process with decisions having to pass through both houses of commonwealth and/or state government. One house the initiating party, the second the house of review.

    This can actually be potentially tied up for even longer, especially if one or more parties choose to do everything in their power to counter the proposed changes, adding, removing or adjusting clauses to force it through the same process over and over.

    It’s long, boring and very VERY annoying.

    • “but we may just have to wait a little longer than expected”

      Probably should be read as “hoped” then “expected” for those of us who’ve studied basic law and/or observed government in action. (hehe, inaction)

  • Let’s try and get the ball rolling by getting an analysis to research how much money they’ve lost due to a lack of an R rating and how much money they’ve lost due to importing that’s never stopped “illegal” games.

  • I would have assumed it will just sit on someone’s desk for months at a time…

    …like every bit of paperwork.

  • It just won’t happen, they agreed to make the changes just to shut gamers up but have no intention of doing it. When the 2 years are up, we’ll go back to the old policial game of 1 AG being against the changes (how many elections will be held in the next 24 months?) and the others will shrug and say there is nothing they can do.

  • Before everyone gets defeatist about this, again, look at the positives.

    All states AND the federal government have finally agreed on these changes.

    The review board welcomed the changes.

    There’s massive documentation about how this will streamline the process for all governments.

    However, like with anything, these changes do take a bit of time to draft and get through parliament. It’s not like you can expect any government to say “Well, on our schedule we’re due to debate and pass the bills allowing us to pay teachers/tax other people/do all the things we put forth in the budget – but let’s shelve that and work on this instead”. While a lot of people would like this, if they did it with this issue (which to be honest is a small issue on the grand scale of things), other issues would also treated the same way.

    There’s a lot of red tape, but at least there’s PROGRESS.

    A change of government federally or state is highly, highly unlikely to just undo all the work and agreements and memorandums that these governments have already signed – it just doesn’t work that way. Also, keep in mind that we have state governments from both sides of politics signing up to these changes, so if one was to be elected and suddenly break ranks, there’d be massive pressure from the national body they represent to pull their heads in.

    Besides, this is one guy’s opinion. O’Connor wants this stuff finalised ASAP. I’m sure there’ll be pressure to get it done, get it done right, get the laws written up correctly, and get it done now.

    Always keep in mind – the politicians agree with these changes. The ACL might not, but the Governments do. It’ll happen.

  • And by this point, GTA5 will be out, with its appropriate censorship and MA15+ rating… the ACL will declare ‘THE R RATING IS A FAILURE!’ and the media will jump on the bandwagon like a bitch in heat. Just watch, it’ll happen.

  • So we’ve finally got the attorney-generals to stop dragging their feet on the issue only for them to hand the issue over to another group of political red-tape-lovers who will drag their feet for years too.

    Can anyone else smell a rat?

  • Makes me think The Joker himself is in charge of all this! And, yeah, I dont actually care anymore either – imports ahoy *salutes skull & crossbones*

  • For fuck’s sake Government, I’ve been TRYING HARD to get the money back from piracy to the Aussie games industry, but you sure as hell make it hard!

    So much easier for all of those pirates to just pirate than for you to get a damn classification in gear!

    Tempting me to shut down my group as well!

    R18 Games Australia:


    Been posting since roughly 2009-2010. I’ve been invested in this since the 1993 removal of R18 and X18.

  • Brendan O’Connor was just talking about his ‘hopes’ when he said “in a matter of months.” The Government doesn’t operate on hope.

    It is true though; it is a matter of months. A lot of them.

  • I still want to know why the government should have any say with classifications period? I say the board should be run by an independent board. The government can’t make up it’s decisions on gay marriage and asylum seekers what chance in hell does video games have?

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