R18+ Successfully Passes Through Parliament

R18+ Successfully Passes Through Parliament

Jason Clare, the Minister for Home Affairs has just announced that R18+ for games is set to become a reality, after legislation successfully passing through the Federal Parliament, having just gone through the Senate without amendment.

“These are important reforms over 10 years in the making,” Mr Clare said.

“The R 18+ 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.

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

The next stage for the R18+ classification is for each separate state to pass their own complimentary legislation, since classification remains a state issue.

According to Jason Clare’s website, this means that, subject to the separate state legislation, we could be on schedule to see our first R18+ for games become a reality by January 1 2013.


    • hot diggity dog! now we can enjoy uncensored art just as the creators intended! i do believe content should be restricted based on maturity, but treating games as any other literary material is just common sense. i’m glad the fun police didn’t invest all that tax free church money to fight this, otherwise adult gamers would get boned.

    • It’s done and dusted and is now legislation (or will be once it becomes active). Now it’s up to each of the states to update their classification laws correspondingly before R18+ games can be sold in that state.

    • Only the High Court could stop it now with a successful legal challenge but that doesn’t happen so much.

    • Well I think it can still be fucked up by individual states as they have to set their own legislation before it takes effect so it’s not entirely dusted until it’s passed in your particular state

      • Yeah, like SA seems intent to go forward with its wacky interpretation of R that involves getting rid of MA.

  • I just hope they rate games properly. I hope we keep G, PG, M and MA and add R18+. I hope they just don’t throw everything in R18+ just because it’s here.

  • I know it’s off topic but is there any word on more GAME store closures? I heard Casula got closed down and I’ve been waiting for something to appear on Kotaku.

    Oh and YIPEE! 18+

    • Yes, the GAME in Wollongong closed as well. I’ve always found them to be more competitive than EB. Would like to know what’s going on.

  • Can we start a Kickstarter to cover the cost of resubmission of L4D2 through classification?? Or perhaps this could start a whole new genre of “previosuly banned” games.

  • I’m not a religious nut, but let me tell you that this will bring about the moral downfall of Australian society! If we allow people to play one R18+ game what’s to stop them from playing two, three or FOUR R18+ games? Maybe even at the same time! What’s to stop them from playing an R18+ game with their dog or cat or even a child watching!? We are in end times people!

    • Steve, you are a sad little man. How can you expect to be taken seriously when you put “not a religious nut” and “we are in end times!” in the same paragraph? Mate, this update has been long overdue and the problem isn’t games having an 18+ rating, its the fact that 12 year olds play them and the lack of regulation at the stores they are buying the games. But guaranteed they will put id checks in place when being bought.

      People who get so upset with this R18+ rating should be happy young kids will have to get parents to buy the games, then the problem is bad parenting and not the fault of the retailers. My only dissapointment with the updated rating system? Is that it took way too long.

      • Uh… Pretty sure Steve was being intentionally ironic. His arguments are suspiciously similar to the arguments against same sex marriage made by religious conservatives.

      • I know sarcasm doesn’t translate too well in writing, but seriously dude… It was quite clearly a joke.

  • I’m kind of in shock, it’s like being told something so good has happened you just can’t believe it. Does R mean I can legally own Mortal Kombat now?

    • No you can’t as there is still an RC rating and it’d still be illegal to own something that has been refused classification.

      Based on what I know on these laws it just means if Mortal Kombat were to be resubmitted for classification it has more chance of successfully being classified given more lenient restrictions on violence. But it doesn’t automatically make games legal.

    • It was never illegal to own it (except in Western Australia), it was just that all means of acquiring it were illegal.

        • It is not illegal to own RC material, it’s illegal to sell it. The only places RC material is illegal to possess is WA and parts of NT.

          However it’s also illegal to import RC material. Though customs usually don’t care.

    • technically not, it’s still RC, and unless it’s resubmitted it will retain its previous rating which was detailed a while ago i’m pretty sure.

      As for state legislation, i have a bad feeling WA will be the one that wants to be different and not implement it. Already had enough trouble getting Sunday trading sorted out :\

  • I want a copy of what falls into the R18+ classification. I’m worried that we will end up with a “current MA15+ games will be rebranded R18+” situation and not a true reform to the system as we have hoped. Negative thinking I know but I won’t truly believe things have changed without proof

  • There’s still an issue here.. there were rumors that R18+ would effectively replace MA15+ and have the exact same classification level as the previous classification. could anyone hunt down the actual final legislation that was passed so we can take a closer look at what we’ve got?

  • I don’t know why people feel so strongly about this.. look at the games that have been refused recently.. Syndicate, MK9, LFD2 I don’t know about you guys but I can live without them the only advantage I see in this is that developers might not remove content in order to get games past the classification board but their is still no guarantee of that.

    • AvP was almost refused classifcation. When I played it I really didn’t see how it was any worse than many of the other games out there violence-wise (gameplay-wise is another thing entirely of course). Fact is where do you draw the line? The current laws are a load of crap.

      Besides MK9 and L4D2 were pretty highly anticipated so for the classification board to essentially decide FOR all gamers out there that they can’t obtain a copy – well it’s kinda frustrating as well as a little insulting to adult gamers.

      • You’re right, there never was a banned game that I wanted to play. BUT it was insulting. It was telling us that our hobby was childish. That it did not deserve the same consideration as other entertainment media. Finally. the religious nuts kept gloating about how much power they held over us, claiming some sort of moral superiority.

        In reality, good R18 games were sold here as MA15, everybody and their brothers know this. Which., in practical terms, was worse.

        I’m getting the first R18 game that comes out, as a memento.

      • All the classification board did was tell you that those games weren’t the type our parliament wanted us to play (and every parliament we’ve elected since the mid 90s).

        They only apply the classification scheme: they don’t create them. That’s why it was up to parliament to change the scheme.

    • And thats the short sighted thinking that let this issue drag on for so long..

      It’s simple. R18+ means that we have a *correct* rating for games for adults only. There are *many* games out there that really should not be in the hands of 15 year olds but get shoehorned as MA15+ because its the only “adult” rating AU has had. In the same way some games just get banned or altered because of a lack of this adult rating.

      It’s about making sure that when someone buys a game they can make an informed decision on the product on its suitability for the age of the person purchasing it. It goes way beyond just game’s getting banned. And besides just because those games are not to your taste does not mean no body else enjoys them either.

    • At least you could always import them without worry of having them confiscated and possible fine. So it’s not totally meaningless. Generally I don’t mind ordering online anyway except on the rare game that I want to play from day 1 and “can’t wait”.

      Now if only online prices (and IMO particularly Microsoft Points) were to drop. No way around those sometimes.

    • I’ll go you one better. I’m not going to be convinced until I’m actually holding one in my hand. 😛

  • Yes!!
    Thanks Mark for keeping us all posted and for forming a level headed and reasoned voice representing gamers throughout this whole process! 🙂

  • I’ve supported bringing in an R18+ rating, but I’ve never actually been interested in the games that would be classified under it. Kind of makes me want to buy an R18+ game just because I can, now.

    • Same, its not like they banned all games and its something that should never have been a problem or had to get legislation for. If we wanted a banned game, you could just import or play another game. I played Left for dead that got censored and was peed off with the censorship but could still play the game so wasnt a huge issue. Mite do the same and go buy a R18 game just because can soon lol .

  • Doubleplusgood news, indeed. Given that Doom 4 is expected to hit next year the introduction of the R18+ legislation is perfect timing.

  • As much as I enjoy the R18 coming to aus, I really don’t like the way the SA government has handled it by completely getting rid of MA so R can come in.

  • “The next stage for the R18+ classification is for each separate state to pass their own complimentary legislation, since classification remains a state issue.”

    Your tax dollars at work ladies and gentlemen.

  • This demonstrates the power of people acting collectively towards a common goal.

    Congratulations to us all, and may we all take this lesson of personal empowerment with us for the rest of our lives.

    With thanks to Brendan O’Connor (and staff), Jeff Brand, Ron Curry, David Wildgoose, Aaron Percival and Chris Prior. We did it.

  • SHHHH……Can you hear that? That’s the sound of a bunch of butthurt Christians being belted by Jim Wallace.

      • I don’t think he meant all Xtians, just the ones lying and using flawed logic to argue against the R18+ rating.

        Probably no “extremsists”, either, just conservatives.

  • The classification identification system in Australia is shirt. They should change it to how most of the world is…g, pg, 12, 15, 18, (and x I think). What is with all that mature audiences bullshit?? As if anyone cares what the government “recommends”.

  • Great news, especially in light of many popular online stores now refusing to ship 18+ games to adults down under. What a shame. I guess it was worth submitting all those submissions, and signing all those petitions after all. We win. Woohooooooooooo!

  • Fuck you Atkinson, does this mean I can import that Japanese rape game I’ve heard so much about now?

    • ““The draft R18+ guidelines as originally proposed would have matched the R18+ guidelines for films. This was clearly never in the interests of the community”
      Are you joking? Seriously? WTF?!
      How is this not good for the community? Someone, please help. I think I’m having an aneurism

    • Congratulations, you just stooped to a lower level than them. This is the kind of response they to egg out of the people who support the R18 rating.

  • “These are important reforms over 10 years in the making,”

    I do not mean to be rude, but there were not 10 years in the making. They were *blocked* for over 10 years by one AG who did not want to be open to faces or other peoples views.

    • I like how people are still bringing Atkinson into this. hasnt he been retired for 3 years or something?
      yeah sure, he delayed it as best he could & was doing it for the wrong reasons, but since he’s been gone, things have moved pretty fast (in a legislative sense).

  • 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.

  • I bought a crippled copy of L4D2 through Steam a year ago, not knowing it was crippled… how long before I can play L4D2 as Valve intended it to be played!!??

    • Unless Valve resubmit the original for a third time (they submitted it twice), most likely never as the uncut version is RC-ed.

      Contrary to popular belief, it has been made clear by Brendan O’Connor (I could be wrong, feel free to correct me) that even if R18+ is introduced, RC games remain RC games until they are resubmitted again. They will not be automatically classified to R18+.

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