Jason Clare: R18+ 'An Important Reform... 10 Years In The Making'

In a moment of serendipity, Jason Clare, The Minister for Home Affairs opened the Game-Tech conference, the morning after announcing that the R18+ amendments had passed through the Senate without amendment. He spoke briefly about the decision, and reconfirmed that the target for getting everything up and running is January 1.

"This is a big win for gamers and it’s a big win for the industry," he said. "It's an important reform that has been 10 years in the making.

"It’s a move that helps us compete overseas. Games used to come in cardboard boxes, but that’s all changed now, you can download games now, and they’re in the cloud."

Jason Clare stated that the plan, dependent on each separate state passing its own legislation, is to get the R18+ rating "up and running" in time for January 1 2013.


    Hey, remember that one guy who wanted to get the R rating up and going before the start of 2012?

    So they can stop slapping M15 stickers over the
    R18 ones from elsewhere. Like my aus copy of fallout 3.

    I wanna thank Jesus, and my special lady Marge. We did it baby, woo!

    "dependent on each separate state passing its own legislation"

    This is the part I'm still concerned about. If the various states find a way to keep faffing around and delaying it further I'm sure they'll use it.

    It's also somewhat worrying that each state can potentially have its own legislation on this, and so what you see in NSW may be different to what you see in QLD, for example. SA is the most concerning one given they've basically stated they want to just slap the R sticker on games currently rated MA and be done with it.

    For this to work this needs to be a consistent system across the country. No ifs or buts, no loopholes, no grey areas and no room for different interpretations. Black and white, and every state abides by it whether they like it or not.

    Believe it or not this actualy going to bad for games, many games that would have been MA15+ will now be bumped up to R,publishers like movie studios will self censor to ge the M rating to widen their audience and lets not forget games can still be refused classifcation outright.

      Huh? They already get the 18+ equivalent overseas, so why would anything change now that we are getting an 18+ rating?

      Wrong Boomzilla, it means that MA15 games that SHOULD be r18 will now be rated appropriately....

      You're 14 arent you ;)

      Well that's one view, however the opposite arugment could be made. By including an R18+ rating, it no longer restricts developers in what they need do to have a market at all in Australia. Had L4D2 not been modified, there would be, legally, 0 sales in Aus. However now, the developer is more free to do what they feel.
      The difference between movies and games is that movies are designed to appeal to a broader audience and given that the ticket prices are significantly lower than those of a game, they must. Games appeal to gamers, who are already a diminished audience compared to movies, so they will attempt to appeal to the most vocal gamers, which exceed the age restrictions on M or MA, meaning they are more likely to develop something for this audience and not the M audience.
      This will also keep games that should be R in the R rating and not stuck into the MA rating. In all honesty, CoD and Battlefield should be R games, not crowbarred into MA simply because that is the highest category.
      So whilst they might self censor, which they already do, likely they will continue to make games as they always do. Believe it or not, Australia is not as big a market as, say, America where these developers are aiming, we are almost an afterthought when it comes to development.

    A great day for game kind.

    So when do we get the same version of L4D2 as the rest of the planet?

    JJJ news have been reporting on this all day, which is great. Unfortunately they've been incorrectly reporting that all banned games will now be available.
    I'd hate to imagine what spin channels 9 and 7 and other conservative media will put on it.

    Awesome, so up and running for GTA 5! I'm happy!

    Its still a shame for anyone who owns a copy of L4d2 etc which have suffered alterations to bring the game out here

    Of course currently banned games won't automatically be classified R18+, however they will be able to re-submit the game as a different version and have it classified in it's uncut form. There's nothing in the new legislation what so ever which states games which are currently RC will stay RC no matter what. But it's common sense that they will be able to apply to have their product re-classified. According to classification guidelines the uncut version of say L4D2 would be considered a totally new product.

    Also, some games in the future that would be MA under our current system will likely slip into the R category and some games that would be banned under our current system would also slip into the R category.

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