Read The New R18+ Guidelines, And Prepare For Disappointment

Read The New R18+ Guidelines, And Prepare For Disappointment

The new guidelines for the R18+ rating have just been released, giving us a concrete idea of what the new adult rating for video games will look like. It’s difficult to tell precisely how these will be implemented by the Classification Board when the rating comes into being in 2013, but at first glance, it does not look promising.

To begin with, the issue of interactivity increasing the impact of violence — yep, that old chestnut — rears its ugly head.

Interactivity is an important consideration that the Board must take into account when
classifying computer games. This is because there are differences in what some sections of
the community condone in relation to passive viewing or the effects passive viewing may
have on the viewer (as may occur in a film) compared to actively controlling outcomes by
making choices to take or not take action.

Due to the interactive nature of computer games and the active repetitive involvement of the
participant, as a general rule computer games may have a higher impact than similarly
themed depictions of the classifiable elements in film, and therefore greater potential for
harm or detriment, particularly to minors.


Interactivity may increase the impact of some content: for example, impact may be higher
where interactivity enables action such as inflicting realistically depicted injuries or death or
post-mortem damage, attacking civilians or engaging in sexual activity. Greater degrees of
interactivity (such as first-person gameplay compared to third-person gameplay) may also
increase the impact of some content.

And it looks as though some games that were banned previously in Australia, without an R18+ rating, would most likely be banned under the new R18+ rating. Particularly with relation to in-game drug use.

Computer games will be Refused Classification if they contain:
(i) illicit or proscribed drug use related to incentives or rewards;
(ii) interactive drug use which is detailed and realistic.

It’s too early to make judgements — we’ll have to wait and see precisely how the Classification Board applies these guidelines — but the R18+ rating, at this stage seems to share similarities to the previous MA15+ rating.

You can read the new guidelines in their entirety here.


        • This! 100 times this! I’ve been saying this for years. Sure, it’s about damn time we get an R18+ rating, but it’s not going to do much good considering it’s way to easy for minors to get a hold of them. Retailers should be too afraid of getting caught to risk selling them to minors. I was 4 years old the first time I played Mortal Kombat. Sure, I didn’t BUY it at 4, my parents had it on the Amiga and I found it one day, but I used to rent MK2 and MK3 when I was around 10 and nobody tried to stop me and I’m sure if I went into a store with a fist full of cash they would have sold them too me as well. I can see what they’re afraid of, but what they need to do instead of denying us adults of adult content is focus their energy on making sure only adults can purchase it.

          • actually times have changed and they do actually care these days. I’m 23 and I look at least 18 yet I got asked for ID recently when purchasing an MA 15+ game. I laughed at the clerk and showed him my gold license but seriously wtf.

      • It is illegal for a guardian to allow a child under the age of 18 to view R rated material. MA rated material is OK for people under the age of 15 with a parents consent, this is the major difference in rating.

        • It’s illegal but it’s not really illegal. No cop is going to show up and fine you/arrest you for showing your child adult content.
          At least that ‘s how I remember it being last time I checked

          • I’m sure if a parent was regularly sharing pornographic material with his or her young child then child services would get involved if they were informed. I would hope the same would be true of gratuitously violent content which is also inappropriate and could have a serious repercussions on a child’s development.

          • There’s an big difference between an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie and an Porno – which is X-18+ by the way.

          • By adult content, I did not mean pornography, as Hyperthx points out it’s not all about porn. There are some violent scenes in games/movies that would be R18+. Showing a child these (child including 17) would not necessarily harm their development. At 17 I was as mature as I was at 18 and as I am at 19, the difference? Almost nothing.

    • Well, considering MA15+ is a RESTRICTED catagory, and kids get there hands on them, then it makes a bit of sence. Tho, what I want to see is a site set-up to HELP paretns work out all this shit without the legal mabojumbo

  • Still better than the current system where they take games rated R18 overseas and slap an MA15 label on them (proper banning only the graphic dismemberment and the drugs – which leads me to ask, can we take limbs off now?).

  • God, I really hope they treat R18 like R18. There has been a lot of good people working hard for this. It would be mega lame to see their efforts fall short.

  • If you read the content of the R18+ rating I really can’t see much in there which wasn’t already getting into our MA15+ games. So I guess they basically fixed the fact that MA15+ stuff was being underclassified, but video games are still restricted to the same ghetto they always were in the eyes of the government, as a lesser form of media which can’t be allowed to be as expressive as its peers. 🙁

    • to be fair, most of the argument for an R18 rating for games was that games rated MA15+ weren’t appropriate for minors. The argument was rarely about adults not being able to access more graphic content.
      What you see in this report is basically what was being asked for in all of the petitions.

      • Yep, it was always going to turn out this way because of how the debate was couched. The tune changed from “we need an R18+ rating because we’re adults” to “MA15+ is broken and getting the wrong content” and it picked up traction as a result, but the reason for that was because the system was obviously not working.

        Now that problem is fixed but we’ve probably screwed ourselves out of ever getting a real 18+. 🙁

  • “as a general rule computer games may have a higher impact than similarly
    themed depictions of the classifiable elements in film, and therefore greater potential for
    harm or detriment, particularly to minors.”

    I’d really like it if they could post the references to the peer reviewed published papers that this supposed finding comes from…

    • they really aren’t making a definitive statement, go back and read it again. They admit that it’s a generalization. There aren’t any studies to prove whether they do or don’t have a greater impact, and the government is playing it safe by saying that there is a possibility of strong er impact.

    • Here’s a link to one article which might shed some light on the issue:

      The idea that personal interaction is better for learning information and behaviours is surely not controversial. The entire concept of “learning by doing” is based around it, after all.

      That’s not to say we should bar responsible adults from violent or sexual content in video games, and an R18+ rating is well overdue, but the fact that interactive activities, not just video games, have some conditioning effect on people’s behaviour greater than passive activities isn’t, I think, particularly contentious.

      • I considered offering a link myself, but having done so before, I know that no amount of evidence will convince people otherwise, even though I think its possible to think interactivity does enhance the effect AND that adults should have access to violent games.

      • Yeah, I totally agree with you. I’d like to see a coherent argument that disproved the above theory, but I’m yet to come across one. This is one of the reasons I avoid military shooters, but still watch the occasional war film. I feel more involved in the video game than the film, and the violence in the former can make me feel particularly uncomfortable.

      • Only if the children concerned are left to get their life lessons from such sources, rather than their parents.

        Unfortunately, “Get off your arse, and learn some actual parenting skills” doesn’t make for a vote-winning slogan. Not when it’s easier to go on A Current Affair and blame ‘society’ for your kids being stupid.

    • Not surprised, after the 18+ rating was passed the ACL effectively said that the R18+ rating should be what the current MA15+ rating is. Just this just means that Adult Aussies will continue to Import\Pirate games as they have before.

    • It’s a victory to all those people who were concerned about children playing inappropriate games and for those parents who will now find it easier to identify inappropriate content

      • Explain that comment with the understanding that we’re talking exclusively about the content of R18+ games that parents should not be buying for their children regardless of content. Or do you consider the possibility that someone underage might illicitly see the content of an 18+ game reason enough to censor all games?

        • I think he is saying now its got an R18 on it, parents will know its NOT for children and wont buy it for them, rather than how it seems now where they see MA and think it cant be that bad cos its only MA.
          That’s how I saw his comment anyway.

    • Fixed:

      “Policy implemented by our terrifying ACL overlords has traditionally dictated that video-gamers (henceforth referred to as ‘godless heathens’) be forced to ‘eat shit’.

      In attempting to look like bringing our country into line with other countries, we have elected to replace the shit with ‘muffins’, per the request of the godless heathens.

      Please be assured that despite the fact that these are shit-flavoured muffins, topped with shit and filled with shit-chunks, we have weighted the composition, shape and texture of the muffins, such that they are technically more muffin than shit.

      We hope this appeases the godless heathen community.”

    • Which is what people asked for really, the claim made by gamers was that the game classification system was outdated and needed a reform to protect children from adult content.

  • 1st person vs 3rd person. WOW. I am now going to only drink alcohol, take illicit drugs and murder in third person. Thanks for the heads up fun police!

    • They define it as real-world drugs or realistic drug use right there.

      To put it simply, if it’s something that is readily and legally available or does not actually exist – so for example, Max Payne’s painkillers – then it’s cool. You can’t interactively snort lines of coke or take morphine to regain health. What really clinches it usually is ‘incentives or rewards’ which you can interpret as ‘has an effect on the gameplay’.

      That particular rule is so inconsistently applied though that god knows what it actually means in practice.

      • Isn’t that how Fallout 3 was banned the first time round because they had real life drugs and scenes of drug use? So really, Fallout 3 would STILL be banned under the new adult rating.

  • Just order from overseas, that’s what I do. I’ve still got the recent Mortal Kombat game, Kollector’s Edition, sitting in my house in the open. I mean this has to be the most legal offence you can commit. F*** the authorities, it’s legal.

  • So all this hype? all this long drawn debating and waiting, all amounts to nothing? that simply MA15+ is now the new 18+?

    This is as ludicrous as the whole Dead or Alive Dimensions re-classification from PG to M which makes no difference in the slightest..

  • I thought the whole fricken point of this review was that the R18+ classification would be universal across all media?!

    Someone makes a game version to TRAINSPOTTING, it gets RC’d, but the film is available everywhere. With the exact same themes….



    So much for sense and transparency. Jesus Christ.

    • A game can’t be banned based on its themes.
      Drug use is also certainly not seen as a reward in Trainspotting, this is a poor example. You could see your character take drugs in a cut scene, however a ‘press A to inject heroin’ function would not be permitted.

      • Fair enough on the ‘press A to inject’ call. But what is the difference between shooting heroin and shooting an innocent civilian in the face. Pretty sure the second one is the worst. I remember going to a bar in GTAIV and although I didn’t actually press a button to make my character take a swig I fully understood what he was doing when he was in there. Maybe something like “Inject Heroin, press A”. Then you press A, then your character dies from some dodgy needle. Fun of injecting = removed.

      • From the Wikipedia entry on games RC’d in Australia, the game Contenet Under Pressure:
        “Originally released with a MA15+, Federal Attorney-General Philip Ruddock used his power to later appeal the decision to get it banned for high impact themes involving the glorification of graffiti.”

        • If you read the guidelines you’ll see that under the new regulations games cannot be refused content based upon their themes.

      • If you only watched the first half of Trainspotting, you could actually come out of it thinking taking drugs could be pretty fun (ie: physically rewarding)

  • Due to the interactive nature of computer games and the active repetitive involvement of the
    participant, as a general rule computer games may have a higher impact than similarly
    themed depictions of the classifiable elements in film, and therefore greater potential for
    harm or detriment, particularly to minors.

    There are two issues that I have with this.

    First of all, there is an assumption that interaction increases “impact”. This has never been demonstrated. It sounds like it should be true and everyone has just run with it.

    Secondly, it assumes that repetition universally increases impact. While repetition can increase impact, it can also lessen it by removing the original context that made it impactful in the first place. Does anyone really think that the fatalities in Mortal Kombat stand out to anyone after seeing them fifty times? What about those brutal finishing moves you do in Assassin’s Creed? Do they really sit with you after you’ve seen the exact same animations hundreds of times over a few hours?

    It’s a shame that people think that they’re applying common sense when really they’re just not thinking critically.

  • Due to the interactive nature of computer games and the active repetitive involvement of the
    participant, as a general rule computer games may have a higher impact than similarly
    themed depictions of the classifiable elements in film, and therefore greater potential for
    harm or detriment, particularly to minors.

    There are two issues that I have with this.

    First of all, there is an assumption that interaction increases “impact”. This has never been demonstrated. It sounds like it should be true and everyone has just run with it.

    Secondly, it assumes that repetition universally increases impact. While repetition can increase impact, it can also lessen it by removing the original context that made it impactful in the first place. Does anyone really think that the fatalities in Mortal Kombat stand out to anyone after seeing them fifty times? What about those brutal finishing moves you do in Assassin’s Creed? Do they really sit with you after you’ve seen the exact same animations hundreds of times over a few hours?

    It’s a shame that people think that they’re applying common sense when really they’re just not thinking critically.

      • It desensitises you to the violence depicted in the games. I’m yet to see any evidence of people being desensitised to real violence through exposure to virtual violence without them already having some sort of mental illness.

      • It seems less like the argument is that games desensitize us to violence, and more that repetition reduces impact by drawing the game further away from its perceived realism. I mean a movement might seem brutal at first, but after 50 times of the same thing it’s more like watching a mannequin and not being able to not see the strings. Our suspension of disbelief wavers more and the fact that we are directing a character on-screen, rather than “being” that character, is far more evident.

        Well that’s how I feel about it at least.

    • The bigger issue there is the line “particularly to minors.” This is the big problem with all of this. The government STILL treats video games as a “children’s medium” when the average age of gamers have been proved time and time again to BE OVER 21+ YEAR OLD!

      • I’m just a layperson and this was clearly not written for someone unfamiliar with this field to read.

        What I did make out of it was that the interactivity aids learning by performing the actions. Basically, working something out is better than rote repetition. Once it got into the field of aggression and video games, the paper seemed to rely heavily on Anderson’s previous (controversial) papers linking violent video games to aggression.

        I did not see anything that explain the disconnect between performing a violent action virtually with a few button presses and actually performing the action. There are different levels of interactivity.

        Fairly sure this paper was used by the ACL and was dismissed by the government during the buildup to us getting an R18+ classification.

        But like I said, I’m a layperson. This was not written for the layperson and is no doubt open to plenty of misinterpretation from those looking to try and prove their point. That’s why most studies that are cited in the media are often grossly misinterpreted or just flat out wrong.

  • censorship is fucking stupid, notice how they ban anything about drugs? its BS. Not all drugs are bad, L.S.D is 100% safe but yet its illegal because it opened peoples mind and helped start the anti-war and anti-government movement in the 60’s. Democracy doesnt work because its only democratic among a few people, the majority dont have a say.

  • You all jumped on the “we need to protect the children from GTAIV” bandwagon to veil what you truly wanted from the start. Every single person that has commented on this issue (here on kotaku) has never once said “I hope we can do drugs under the new rating”.

    Why are you surprised?

    • Because I had hoped we could do drugs under the new rating?

      I for one aren’t all that surprised. Just bitterly disappointed.

    • Not everyone. Personally I just want the games ratings system and the guidelines to come into line with other ratings around the world. I want a system that treats ADULTS as adults and let’s them make their own choices in their entertainment mediums and not be dragged down by the “won’t someone think of the children” crap that plagues the world today. Children have more rights, protection and choice than adults today. I just want things to be equal.

      • +1

        ” I won’t let my kids watch / play that. It’s too violent and they’re too young to understand right and wrong” = Good parent
        ” My kids are watching / playing this game / video. It’s too violent. I’m going to blame someone else. Now….. where’s my smokes and vodka?” = Parent who should not have children.

    • Nah, not quite. While we acknowledged that under classification was an issue, many were expressing their frustration that gmes with mature content were being refused classification and wanted that rectified.

      I, for one, want more titties.

    • My submission actually called for an update to a system that cater to developing sophistication of content and audiences. But, im not surprised that the underclassification issue got more volume.

      It was a convenient argument that people knew that politicians would listen to.

  • I applaud their sneakiness in their use of the term “may have”. Because they say it that way, they lay the burden of proof at the feet of anyone opposing it. In other words, they never said that it “will have”, so anyone arguing against them must prove that it “will never”, which, due to some small impressionable minority, cannot be proven. The sneaky bastards. One small step for common sense, and one giant leap in the opposite direction.

    • can you prove that it is not damaging?
      What happens if in 12 months time a report is published that states that there is a more visceral effect in the participation of violent video games in comparison to watching a film?

      • The burden of proof lies on whoever is making the positive claim.

        You can’t prove that it is not damaging but you can disprove that it is. The problem is that to disprove that something is damaging it first has to be proven to be damaging.

      • That’s exactly my point – you can’t prove that something never occurs when it is known to occur in a very small number of extremely susceptible people, and you can’t prove that these people are no less susceptible to the same content in more passive forms of media (or rather, you can, but not sufficiently to conclusively relate it to the argument).

        If, in 12 months or 12 years, such a report is published, I will wholeheartedly change my views, but until someone can prove it is a real and present concern, and that it affects a significant proportion of people more than the same content in passive media, I side with the 99.9999…% of normal people that it has never been successfully proven for.

        All we can go on is the evidence presented to us, and as of yet, all evidence points to negligible effect in all but the very most extreme of cases.

    • Interesting wording in the previous paragraph, tho – they pretty much admit that it’s because “there are differences in what some sections of the community condone in relation to passive viewing … compared to actively controlling outcomes by making choices to take or not take action”.

      Does this mean that action that is necessary to progress through the game will be considered as irrelevant as the choice one has to walk out of a movie halfway through? Or is it just their way of saying that even though there’s no evidence, a sufficient number of people are concerned about it to make it necessary to consider? Unfortunately, I think it’s the latter, but I’m a little cynical after all this time.

      All in all, it doesn’t look that bad, but I find the whole “drugs are bad” thing more than a little odd.

  • In other news, steak is to be banned in Ausfailia because its potentially damaging to babies.

    When did drug use become the big bogeyman? It’s in all the other media… I remember seeing involuntary drug use tied heavily to a benefit/incentive in a movie. No, seriously.. this guy injected someone else while they were incapacitated with stuff that kept them alive! They even named it directly – Adrenaline. I don’t recall seeing any tragedies from kids injecting each other with adrenaline after this, but you know.. it’s still an obvious danger. When are they gonna crack down on this?

  • “interactive drug use which is detailed and realistic.”

    Well there goes my big idea for a Wii U game. It was going to display a pile of cocaine on the tablet screen which you could then use a credit card to divide it up into lines and snort it off the screen. This is how the government is killing the Australian game development industry – they’re stifling innovation.

  • I wonder how many people have actually taken up drugs because of an interactive gaming experience? I’m betting not many, otherwise we’d be hearing about those cases instead of this a priori reasoning about gaming. But we should never let facts get in the way of a good moral panic.

  • Fantastic, Now I can enjoy importing banned games because i get to play them and my wallet doesn’t get f*cked in the ass. Sorry Aussie gaming industry have fun going out of business because of the govenment who are to dumb to understand what an adults rights are. I can see the millions of dollars lost to importing right now.

  • “Impact on minors” Isn’t this whole fucking thing about keeping these games out of the hands of minors and making them available to purchase exclusively for adults? Why does this even need to be considered? Put hefty fines on sales to under-age persons and let adults decide on what they want or don’t want to play for fucks sake.

    How fucking hard can it be for the incompetent usurping politicians to grasp this concept?

  • Stop buying at retail. Eventually publishers will abandon it leaving only digital products that the oflc can not classify or ban as they will not be retailed here. If u spent even one cent at eb or jb you are to blame for this situation continuing.

  • THIS IS NOT NEW!!!!!!!!

    I’ve been saying all along, the the proposed for R18+ was not what we wanted. But no-one cared. Good one.

    The whole time the proposed for R18+ wasn’t a “real” R18+, it’s was simply moving what is currently MA15+ to R18+. They said this in the initial discussion paper, then mentioned again in further documents released.

    • I still think this will be an improvement. In the same way that things that should have been R (and thus RC) got squeezed into the MA rating by the OFLC then over time I think they’ll gradually allow more and more to squeeze into the R rating that would otherwise have been RC previously.

      The other key thing to note is that at least we now have the R rating there, even if we don’t necessarily agree with the guidelines. I’m pretty sure the guidelines can be changed without requiring legislation, so we may also find the guidelines will evolve over time without requiring the same political nonsense that we went through for 20 years trying to get an R rating.

      • Im with you Cameron. All this has done is close the door for further reform. People were so excited for this that they never read what was actually being proposed, or simply ignored it hoping it would get better. And now its too late.

  • To me all it looks like is that most MA15+ games will just get lumped into R18+ and we’ll still see many RC’d games regardless. Just slapping on the R18 to keep gamers happy.

  • I’m cool with this. If a game is banned that I want, I’ll import. Against other issues like asylum seekers, racism, gender equality and education, this just isn’t important. Sorry guys, it just isn’t.

    • Maybe its not important to you. I don’t give two about seekers, racism and gender equality because they don’t affect me. If everyone else in Australia can be ignorant bigots, why not gamers???

    • I get your point man, and I agree to a large extent, but just because there are more important issues, doesn’t mean we should forget about the little things.

      • Once you start ranking issues on importance and only addressing the most important one then you only end up doing anything about one single issue. And more often than not that’ll be the issue that you can’t actually resolve anyway. Just because it’s not at the top of the list doesn’t mean it should just be ignored.

  • We warned you. For months there were those of us pleading with gamers and lobby groups to focus more on the rights of adults and less on the protection of children. What started as a good gesture to show that the industry could be responsible turned into the only argument we heard.
    Too much focus on why it made sense for concerned parents. Rarely did we hear about the rights of consenting adults during the campaign.

  • Judge – “Court is in session. Please state your case”
    Parent – “I’m suing because this game is corrupting my 10 year old child”
    Judge – “Where did your child get this game?”
    Parent – “From me. For his birthday”
    Judge – “You are sentenced to 10 years for idiocy. Case Dismissed”

  • The guidelines have said that all along. I don’t know why it’s suddenly news now. They’ve always been obsessed with this anti-drug garbage and “more harmful due to interactivity” shit.

    I’ll just keep importing. Don’t give two shits about this counties censorship laws anymore.

  • Make your opinion count, vote Greens.

    From their web page policy statement :

    51. make the workings of the Australian Classification Board and OFLC more transparent and subject to public review.
    52. ensure that regulation of the internet is transparent, accountable and protects freedom of speech, expression and access to information.

    Probably be crucified for this, but lets face it, another 50 years of doing exactly the same thing will make EVERYTHING better, not.

    They’ve gone 100 years on the war on drugs and it looks like they’ll happily do another 100. How long do you think it will take to get some actual political change on ratings at that rate?

  • This means that games that 15-16 year olds play today might be R18+ under the new guidelines.

    “Bahahahaha I pwned you n00b!!!”

    “Are you old enough to play this game lawfully?”


  • It’s still progress. A lot of the guidelines are similar to the MA15 ones, but there will undoubtedly be more wiggle room and they also can’t RC games due to themes (like graffiti and drug use)… at least, that’s what I’m getting from a brief skim of it.

    That’s enough I think. A lot of MA15 games will probably get bumped to R, but a lot of other games that self-censored or were refused classification previously will get through on R too. It’ll probably take a while for the classification board to sort themselves out… by which point they’ll be irrelevant anyway as digital distribution will be taking the lion’s share of the market and not passing through their classification system at all.

  • It comes down to parenting, if kids want to buy restricted games it is easy, what parents should actively do is monitor their children’s interactions with ALL media.

  • I don’t see anything in that article to support the idea that this means the R18+ rating is a sham. The “interactivity” thing is a relevant consideration to assess the rating of the game in general – it does not apply to R18+ in particular.

    The drug use / incenvtive or reward thing being an automatic RC remains annoying, but is minor. It has nothing to do with why Left 4 Dead 2 was massacred by censors here.

  • I told you all a two years ago. . .
    A R18+ rating will not mean games which would normally be banned can be released. It would mean games which would get a MA15+ rating will be rated R18+ instead.
    Who did not know this? Who thought differently?
    You seriously thought the Australian government would allow more graphic and violent games to be released in Australia? Of course they wouldnt. Its the freakin’ government! Tighter rules, restrictions and restrictions is what theyre all about.

    Suckers, the lot of you for believing otherwise.

  • This whole “oh R18+ is the new MA15+” is demonstrably bullshit, by the way. Compare the new computer game guidelines to the old combined film/ computer game guidelines. Its simply not true. Learn how to read laws.

  • “Computer games will be Refused Classification if they contain:
    (i) illicit or proscribed drug use related to incentives or rewards;
    (ii) interactive drug use which is detailed and realistic. ”

    Sounds perfectly logical to me.
    Say in GTA – no getting paid in drugs.
    And no interactive drug taking – actually preparing drugs and then using them, and gaining stat boosts.

  • For all those claiming “R18+ is just MA15+” look:-

    Old MA15+ guidelines:-

    Classifiable elements

    The treatment of strong themes should be justified by context.

    Violence should be justified by context.
    Sexual violence may be implied, if justified by context.

    Sexual activity may be implied.

    Strong coarse language may be used.
    Aggressive or very strong coarse language should be infrequent.

    Drug use should be justified by context.

    Nudity should be justified by context.

    New R18+ guidelines:-

    There are virtually no restrictions on the treatment of themes.

    Violence is permitted. High impact violence that is, in context, frequently gratuitous, exploitative and offensive to a reasonable adult will not be permitted.
    Actual sexual violence is not permitted.
    Implied sexual violence that is visually depicted, interactive, not justified by context or related to incentives or rewards is not permitted.

    Depictions of actual sexual activity are not permitted.
    Depictions of simulated sexual activity may be permitted.
    Depictions of simulated sexual activity that are explicit and realistic are not permitted.

    There are virtually no restrictions on language.

    Drug use is permitted.
    Drug use related to incentives and rewards is not permitted.
    Interactive illicit or proscribed drug use that is detailed and realistic is not permitted.

    Nudity is permitted

    See? Different.

  • Welp, what a complete and utter fizzer. Back to importing it is, but you did try Australia, maybe next time when people above 18 are actually recognized as adults, we will get a, y’know, ADULT rating?

  • I don’t get what the whole MK9 thing is about… you rip someone in half and their is some red splatter on the screen… it’s a cartoon… it’s not traumatising to kids… am I the only 14 year old in Australia that doesn’t giggle like a 5 year old at the sight of a sex scene or gets scared at animated blood on a screen?

    • I don’t know Nicholas. You may be the most mature 14 year old on the planet. The point is YOU’RE A 14 YEAR OLD and shouldn’t be seeing that, regardless of your own self assessment. Hell you shouldn’t be playing MA15+ games now. This debate isn’t about the maturity level of minors in this country, it’s about letting adults play adult video games judges on the same criteria that the adult movies and books are juded on.

  • Seriously i don’t fucking know why i still live here, everything is over priced, people can’t drive for shit and the government is just a collection of pedantic, carebear retards.

  • All these comments like “I will just keep importing”.

    Are you forgetting these same arguments eg protect the children, are coming up in Gov discussions on trying to control the internet at an ISP level. What if they block game sites including torrents ?

    Drug use in games was only an example anyway. This government is still going to ban for all the reasons they did before, shown I think because of the emphasis on child protection and mental health concerns in the new 18+ rating.

    The Aus Gov has shown itself to want to be more conservative than most Western counties in Internet control and censorship. Maybe it’s ideological or maybe it’s an attempt to woo some socially conservative voters.

  • I have long since stopped giving a shit about this. Our government are a bunch of moronic, paranoid, conservative morons who wouldn’t know what the modern era is like if you wrote it on a big tuna and slapped them over the head with it.

    I import almost all my games now anyway due to the ridiculous local prices, so best that we all just kill two birds with one stone and give the finger to the government and anyone else that doesn’t like it.

  • Notice how they use the word “may” like its going out of fashion? That’s because there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that their comments are true (there has been research done IN AUSTRALIA that disproves the popular notion that videogames are connected to real world violence). The ACB is just manipulating wording based on unfounded concerns to refuse classification to videogames.

  • I must say, I actually despise this whole R18+ thing. All you oldies that have been posting on here are talking about complete bullshit. The people who rate these games are a bunch of grey-haired old yahoos who are still living in the 60s, where when you saw a bit of boob was considered porn. Children have matured much more from when they were sitting round the idiot box watching Happy Days with their family in 1975. The Australian Classification Board really needs to tune game ratings down a notch. Before you know it, Super Mario will be turned into an interactive porno just because of it’s rating! It’s ridiculous that the media, the government and the world are telling parents all over that “video games will rot kids brains”. Video games are merely a fun way to pass time, no matter how many sexual references or guns there are in them. Children are not gonna go around shooting people in Fighter Jets just cause they trolled someone in GTA V (which, by the way, should not be R18+ just because of bloody drug use). If they’re gonna rate something, rate the news. Half the violence, drugs, guns, and sexual references are heard about on the news, while the family is sitting around watching. The PEGI and ERB are going around rating games practically by what they see on the cover, and its ludicrous! This rubbish must stop, no matter what.

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