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.

    All these years and only NOW is it in the house.

    So close, yet still so far!

    They dangle it infront of our faces, hopefully it comes through!

      Edit: Just read the last line, it still has to pass the senate... so it could still get knocked down even now.

        and with the coalition constantly opposing everything the labor party proposes just on principal (and vice versa), this is by no means guarenteed.

          As long as the Greens support it (and I'm pretty sure they do) it should be fine.

            That's how they work. Oppose everything and then come around next election 'LOL labour did nothing vote for us"

        The Greens will almost certainly support it.






    I don't.


    I just...

    *cries tears of joy....*

    2013 damn it thats to soon lets push it back to 2021 :D That should work.

      If they don't push it back the AU games media will run out of things to write about! Then we'll have to go get real jerbs or something! D:


        Oh don't worry, there's still going to be heaps of "OMG Gaming corrupted my kids/destroyed my marriage/forced me to become a criminal/killed my neighbours brothers girlfriends cousin in an internet cafe in seoul" type stories.

        If anything, the sudden appearance of games rated R will cause an explosion of histrionics linking gaming to any number of unpleasant things that happened to occur in the last month of the story being hacked together.

        If you manage to not knock yourself out from the facepalming, those things are comedy gold.

          ohh yes i look forward to that ever so much.... someone please hold and would someone please think of the children!!!?!?!

            please hold me*

          The Herald Sun is a big opponent on this bill, and they don't even try to hide it. Anytime they make a report about this bill, they pull out bogus statistics and interviews from "concerned parents" to show how violent games can make your children into blood thirsty murderers and rapists.

            Old media always opposes things that benefit new media. It's just the way it is.

              I think this sums it up well for them


        nah the industry will always have David jaffe :p

        i thought it meant that you would have to train the other 1/2 of your staff that 1 sentence isn't fucking good enough

          You should probably know that the Australian staff are completely independent of the US staff. So those guilty of the one sentence articles are over in America, doing their thing, trying to just nab page views while the Aussies (Mark and Tracey) are doing actual journalism.

          The US content just gets reposted here.

        Immigants! I knew it was them! Even when it was the bears, I knew it was them.

    This makes me moist

      Um. Have I clicked onto the wrong site again? >.<

    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

    Please Greens pass this through the senate. Do something right for once in your political career.

      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.

    Does this actually mean anything though?

    Will they just rate MA15 games as R18, and still ban R18?

      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.

    im.still using a tunnel to.buy games.from.OS because.its.cheaper

    but yay


      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.

      If you wanna check out other stuff oike this, the artist was BrokenTeapot on DA

    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.

    Looks like the "Won't Someone Please Think Of The Children" news stories have already started http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/entertainment/r18-video-games-set-to-get-the-nod-in-australia/story-e6fredpu-1226262377616

      Don't worry, it's only the Advertiser

        Actually, it's cross posted from the Herald Sun.

      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?

    Progress is slllllooowwwww :{

    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"

    I just heard Mark Serrels on Triple J news. Good to see/hear this is finally getting some positive coverage.

    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.

    Does mean that previous games rated MA 15+ (that should be classified R 18+) will be reclassified?

      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 wonder how many games will get the banhammer between now and Jan 2013...

    I expect Ninja Gaiden 3 to be the next banned game...

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