R18+ Scheduled To Kick In January 2013

R18+ Scheduled To Kick In January 2013

It’s been a long time coming — today the Federal Minister for Home Affairs, Jason Clare, introduced the R18+ bill in parliament and announced that it is expected to come into effect early 2013.

In his second reading of the R18+ legislation in parliament, Clare said: “This will bring the classification categories for computer games into line with existing categories used to classify films, and make the Australian classification regime more consistent with international standards.”

“This reform has been a long time coming. Agreement to introduce an R18+ category has been reached after ten years of negotiations with the states and territories. Over these ten years the Australian computer game industry has grown–along with the number of Australian computer gamers.”

Clare said that the legislation will first be introduced at a federal level and, if passed, states and territories will follow with their own legislation.

According to GameSpot AU, the bill requires the support of at least two cross-bench MPs to make it through the Lower House. To pass the Senate, the bill will require the support of either the Coalition of the Greens.



    • Buy online get it through customs anyway. This bill is nothing spectacular just means they’ll be way over the top and rate something over the hedge r or something.

      • I think you are missing the point here. It’s not about game content being censored/banned, it’s about what is appropriate for children. People need to be aware of the content they are supplying their children with, as most of them don’t have a clue (and why would they?) What was once seen as a “child’s play thing” is just another form of media, and with the average gamer age of 30, this age group is being catered to. Restrictions need to be put in place to make parents aware that it is not appropriate.

  • BWHAAAAAAAA????????????????????????????





    I don’t.


    I just…

    *cries tears of joy….*

  • And the award for Understatement Of The Year goes to… Jason Clare! Lets look one more time at his award winning performance

    “This reform has been a long time coming”

    It sure has Jason sure has…

    About feckin time too

    • Know how I know you read News Ltd media?

      The Greens have been in support of the R18+ rating longer than any other currently registered political party.

  • Getting this passed in the Senate is a no brainer, the Greens are anti-censorship so it’s pretty easy to count on their support. It’s just a matter of getting things done in the lower house because too many politicians on both sides are in league with the ACL.

    At least members of the Coalition will cross the floor, so there’s still a fair bit of hope. Especially on a rather simple piece of legislation like this one (it’s not one of the big ones being fought over with soundbites, so the opposition will probably just let it slide).

    • Just read the article and they say that the cross-benchers include the independents and Adam Bandt (Greens). I thought they meant there weren’t enough numbers with them involved for some reason.

      I’d bank on Bandt simply because the R18+ thing lines up neatly with the Greens’ position on censorship, which just means someone like Wilkie has to join in as well.

      Things look pretty good from an armchair commentator position.

  • It wont come into effect till 2013? Why? It should happen ASAP. Guess it will give the government time to put a adult tax on R rated games.

    • In all fairness there are some games that SHOULD be rated R18 that get shoehorned into MA15, which is part of the problem. However, the proposed system for rating something R18 will also allow games that would otherwise be refused classification – basically everything is on the table except for graphic sex/sexual violence and graphic drug use that is linked to a reward. For example, I imagine we can potentially see someone shooting up heroin (such as we have seen before in movies, e.g.: Requiem for a Dream, Pulp Fiction), but not if it gives them any in-game bonuses. Any substance abuse linked to in game rewards will be purely implied such as in Skyrim yougain stamina for drinknig alcohol but there’s nothing shown that romanticises or glamourises the use, so it’s basically implied.
      When Fallout 3 was being classified there was originally an animation to go along with injecting chems, but they ultimately removed this as it would’ve been too graphic (they were also going to rename stimpaks ‘morphine’ – which is why it was originally refused classification in Australia).

    • They said they’re bringing video game classification in line with movie classification, so if that’s true they’d have to do the same for movies.

      Which means that A Clockwork Orange and Orgazmo will be banned.

      • > basically everything is on the table except for graphic sex/sexual violence and graphic drug use that is linked to a reward

        So basically excluding what us adults want and should be able to see. What a fucking waste of time.

        • What? I’m an adult and don’t want or need to see any of those things. Well, graphic sex I’m ok with, but I don’t need it in my games. Seriously, you want graphic sexual violence in your games?

          What you’re looking for is an X rating for games. Try Japan.

    • Unless you are joking, go do the research.

      Seriously, this rating is long over due and has been held back by only a handful (and that is being generous) of people who did not do proper or full research.

    • I’m sure you’re just making a joke here but this is actually good for the ‘think of the children’ group. There are many games currently rated MA15 which should be in a R18+ category.
      I imagine (hope) that R18+ will be handled much the same as cigarettes and alcohol, that is, you need ID to purchase it.

  • In the midst of this fantastic news, I’d like to draw everyone’s attention to the article pic, and remind them of it’s awesome. It still gets me every time, Samus, Snake, high five. Epic is defined right there. Love it.

  • I have one complaint about this, 10 years. It has been closer to 20 years. The no R rating started in the early 90’s.

    Oh sure most of us we’re still in high school, and where under 18 at the time.

    I have little faith in our policians at the moment to do something for the people rather than doing something to keep in power, but I think I might allow myself to beleive this.

    • It wasn’t really a negotiation either. More of a hostage situation where the hostage taker refused to even consider handing anything over.

    • Hang on, this adelaide now article is from Feb 3rd, 12 or so days ago. Either Kotaku is slack in posting news, or no-one important actually reads adelaide now.

    • “If the outcome is that a number of games that are currently refused classification are allowed classification, it will mean children will access a whole range of stuff that is currently considered not acceptable for even adults to access,” Dr Cupit said

      A piece of spin worthy of Shane Warne.

      The material is not considered unacceptable even for adults at the moment. It’s considered unacceptable under the current system which doesn’t consider adults. Considering the argument has been that it should be acceptable for adults to access this material, I really do find this quote rather amusing.

      Well played.

    • “If the outcome is that a number of games that are currently refused classification are allowed classification, it will mean children will access a whole range of stuff that is currently considered not acceptable for even adults to access,” Dr Cupit said.

      For the love of life! Does this joke of a doctor know what a parent is?

  • After the numerous setbacks over the years, I don’t think I will celebrate just yet. There ALWAYS seems to be some kind of hitch to these things that halts progress.

  • Twenty years.


    And i was there for the whole damn haul! 11 to 31!
    (Well, by 2013. You know what I mean.)

  • typo last sentence “To pass the Senate, the bill will require the support of either the Coalition of the Greens.” i think it meant “or the greens”

  • R18+ in name only. So long as it’s a Government appointed board and not a self regulatory system which classifies media nothing will truly change. This bill will pass because it’s a nice and tidy way for both parties to wrap up the issue without seriously alienating consumers or ‘family’ groups.

    • Only if the developer resubmit it for reclassification (and why would they? that costs them money) or someone submits a complaint (e.g.: if a concerned parent noticed lots of blood or some boobs in God of War they might complain and the board would then say “hey, you’re right, this should be adults only!” and reclassify it. I imagine then retaillers would have to go around with a spool of R18+ stickers.

      Or they’d tell the old bat to shove it.

  • I am happy for everyone one else who has been waiting for this R 18+ rating but I am turning 15 in December this year and i have never been allowed to play games over the M rated classification. This is i guess really annoying for me since i have waited my whole life to actually play a game like Grand Theft Auto and bask in it’s glory(my mother is completely against these kind of games). So i guess i’ll be waiting a few more years to play these games, which for me really sucks.

  • This comment will probably be buried and missed, but still..

    Is there somewhere we can read the actual amendment?

    I heard some tool from ACL on the radio this afternoon saying that the current M15+ rating will be the new R18 and that new guidelines for M15 is whats being introduced.. essentially that no new content will be allowed through..

    This would be counter productive of course, as games that are denied classification in Australia only would continue to be denied.. we’d have made no progress and still be a pain in the ass to developers the world over forcing edits and such to make it into our R18 category.

    I don’t think anyone wants an R18 if it means the same issues just under a higher classification level.

    Any clarification would be appreciated.. perhaps a Kotaku article explaining the proposed amendment is needed..

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