R18+ Legislation Passes The House Of Representatives

R18+ Legislation Passes The House Of Representatives

R18+ legislation has taken its first tentative steps forward, passing through the House of Represenatives without amendment.

The next step for the bill is the Senate, which will be presented there in the coming weeks.

Jason Clare, Brendan O’Connor’s replacement as Minister for Home Affairs, remained on message, reinforcing the broad messages of his predecessor.

“The R18+ category will inform consumers, parents and retailers about which games are not suitable for minors to play, and will prevent minors from purchasing unsuitable material,” Mr Clare said.

“The reforms also mean that adults are able to choose what games they play within the bounds of the law.”

After a slightly bumpy beginning, with the legislation being sent back to a committee, progress is looking good. The process, however, remains a lengthy one. Once the bill passes through the senate, each state and territory must pass their own legislation in order for an adult classification for games to become a reality.

Still, it’s progress — and progress is good.


    • Well seeing as the comittee pretty much flat out said “Everyone wants this so stop wasting our time on this” (and it took only took about a few days to reply I might add)last time Libs tried to stall it then I rather doubt Libs would try the same tactic again

    • Greens want it more then the government so yeah … with those 2 in the Senate there should be no problem.

  • Boo and indeed Yah

    As long as it doesn’t get screwed around by small minded idiots. I’m so looking forward to a bloody end to this R18+ story…

  • Sabotage is unlikely. The ‘inquiry’ that was held – when shorn of bureaucratese-speak – made pretty clear in no uncertain terms that this was not only a popular, legally-sensible thing to do, but that attempts to block it would be suffer severe political consequences.

    • Unlikely? Maybe, given the history of Australian politicians with R18 games, it’s be a certainty that someone or some government will try to stop it in it’s tracks again to win the ACL vote. The Senate won’t be a be a problem post Steve Fielding (even if the Liberals vote against it, it can still be passed courtesy of The Greens), but just like Atkinson single-handedly held back moves to get a R18 rating for games for years, one or two states could still stop this in it’s tracks. For example, WA could still stick a spanner in the works like they were promising to a while back by refusing to pass legislation regarding R18 games, and stopping the process from continuing across the country.

      And if they’re voted out, another squeaky wheel will take over, and the farce continues. Don’t get me wrong I’ll be very happy if we get R18 games, and it’ll be an notable victory for common sense and freedom of choice in this country. But knowing the history that this matter and Aussie politicians have, I’m not holding my breath.

      I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: We will only get R18 games with generational change.

      • Actually, if this passes in the Federal government, then R18 games are a given, the states (the territories follow the Federal ruling, so they will have the R18 games) can choose to have the R18 rating or not, if they choose not to, then R18 games cannot be sold in THAT state, other states who choose to have the rating can.

        Which means, if it passes at the Federal level, you just have to hope you live in a State with a government who actually wants to leave the 19th century.

  • step 6 of 17 – installing R18+ Legislation in Senate …

    NO ONE PRESS ANYTHING we don’t want it to freeze up, forcing a reboot.

  • This legislation would satisfy 90% of the population, including the wowsers who would limit the number of shakes after you have a wee..

  • The thing I’m worried about is that it seems they are focusing more on creating an R18+ rating to catogorise games that we already let in, but make them harder to get. This makes sense and I agree with it, but for gamers, the more important issue is to allow games that would otherwise be banned and release them as R18+ not just restrict what would have always been released.

    • This. I’m worried also that existing MA15+ games get classified as R18+ but games such as Mortal Kombat and Syndicate will continue to be RC’d.
      It will mean the entire exercise was pointless.

      • I believe if they release new versions of them, with some new content, like goty versions or something, they can be resubmitted. MK9 they kinda just shot themselves in the foot with though.

  • The thing I’m worried about is that it seems they are focusing more on creating an R18+ rating to catogorise games that we already let in, but make them harder to get. This makes sense and I agree with it, but for gamers, the more important issue is to allow games that would otherwise be banned and release them as R18+ not just restrict what would have always been released.

  • Quote “The reforms also mean that adults are able to choose what games they play within the bounds of the law.”
    So they can and most probably will still ban games. So why are we even getting an R18+ if they are still going to ban games? Stupid laws.
    I think Adults should be able to choose which games they play so there should be no banned games, instead of banning them they should be rated R18+.

    • I don’t think having no restrictions at all is a very sensible idea. That level of freedom doesn’t exist in any other form of media, why should games be different? Broadly speaking, we want some kind of equality in availability and classification across all media forms. But there still need to be restrictions. For example, I’m sure some holocaust deniers would love to see an adventure game where their “hero” “discovers” all of the “fabricated” evidence of the Nazi persecution. That would cross a line that the vast majority of society wants to remain uncrossed. Likewise for paedophilia, and any number of other topics. There must be boundaries.

      • Hey look at Stuart! What a facist.

        You really believe that adults are unable to decide what they want to see? Do you REALLY believe that we need someone else telling us what is suitable for our own viewing? I really don’t, in fact I’ll go as far to say that adults are capable of deciding what is acceptable for their own viewing. Pretty crazy huh?

        That is why I love the internet, if I want to read a comic about a super size hitler splitting a grandma in a half with his penis I can, or alternatively if I want to watch two girls shooting feces between each others mouths (and there’s a cup involved also) I can. At the same time, I don’t look at child porn, because I don’t want to.

        That’s the issue, it’s not whether or not it’s acceptable in society, it’s whether or not the government thinks we should be able to see it. Sure our government is fairly easy compared to China and allegedly North Korea (I’m not too sure) but censorship is censorship, and it’s just a tool for control.

  • I wonder if Valve will stay true to there promise of ‘uncensoring’ Left 4 Dead 2 when legislation is passed…

    • Yeah, the funny thing is, once its passed, Valves re-submission will most likely end up with an MA15+ rating which we could have had all along. At the end of the day they’re zombies for gods sake… Setting zombies on fire in the event of a zombie apocalypse would be a pretty standard thing to do….

      • Actually one of the reasons L4D2 was denied classification was (I don’t remember the exact quote from PCPP) because of “The slaughter of infected beings which still retained human characteristics”.
        Which is why it cause such a fuss because when L4D1 was classified it deemed them to be “monsters”, allowing it to retain some of the original game features except for less blood if I remember correctly.

        Also the reason the Riot cop Uncommon Infected was removed was some BS about “Violence towards authority figures”.

        Thats just from what I remember though.

  • So if W.A or somewhere else decides that they are not going to pass it then couldn’t all the other state just pass it and have it everywhere other than W.A?

  • Sweet, an R18+ rating will surely mean that games no longer get banned, and the government will finally start treating adults like adul… what? Games will stilled be refused classification & banned if they don’t fit R18+? :/

    What fantastic progress…..

    • I highly doubt that the average adult would be willing to play a videogame based around stalking and raping women…

    • But at that point it really isn’t deemed moraly fit to play anyway. The terms under what is classified under R18 is reasonable, with only the extremes not fitting into the system. There’s an article on this site somewhere which shows the proposed terms on what is classified as R18 material which doesn’t treat us like children, whilst also not us be some crazed pyschopath.

      • You guys both miss the point completely; a government shouldn’t have the right to tell its citizens that they can’t play a game — a *video* game — because they don’t agree with what it contains. It’s moronic. [The same applies to movies, literature & other medium, but that’s outside the scope of this discussion.]

        My underlying argument is that an R18+ classification would only really help parents who need assistance in determining what games are appropriate for their children; we adults who want increased freedom of choice to play whatever games *we* want — regardless of content — are still going to be left out in the cold.

  • .gov seems to be plodding along pretty effectively. They passed the mining tax last night too. That means for 92% of us economically speaking we’ll be better off … especially us game developers.

    I wonder what next? Complete renunciation of the internet filter? Speedy rollout of NBN to inner cities?

  • The language I’m reading here makes me a little skeptical, unless someone can correct me. Is this a complete rewrite of the guidelines the Classification Board uses when determining the classification of a game, or are they going to just change the “MA15+” to an “R18+”.

    If the former, then yay. If the latter then it’s not really much progress at all. Games like Syndicate will remain RC, and we can’t have “Morphine” in games.

    I’m certainly not advocating a free-for-all in terms of games. I just want uniformity across all media, and to be treated like an adult.

  • The legislation for R18+ has definitely been expanded. Certain things like gratuitous drug use or sexual violence out of context will still be banned, but overall it’s a step forward. This is going by the draft legislation I’ve read. It also says there are no limits on foul language in the new R category, So there are definitely some changes, rather than just making MA games R18. There will also be room for “high impact” material overall.

    As long as it’s not actual child porn or something I don’t agree with banning anything, but it’s a step in the right direction none the less.

  • Note that prior to the legislation passing the House of Reps, the Senate had already referred the legislation to committee (1 March). It was due to report 16 March, however this was extended to the 21 March. Detail of the committee inquiry and submissions made are available at:

    The legislation itself isn’t really that objectional in and of itself, it simply enables an R18+ category for games. The issue is the guidelines, which could result in R18+ being little more than a MA15+ replacement. The senate committee seem to have almost cottoned onto this by asking for examples of what would or wouldn’t be R18+ under the changes. It will be interesting to see what their report says tomorrow.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!