Australia is one step closer to finally having an R18+ rating for videogames, after an in-principle agreement amongst all state Governments (excepting NSW) to support the rating.
The NSW Attorney-General, advised the meeting that NSW would abstain from endorsing the proposal and will consider it out of session.
In a release, Minister for Justice, Brendan O’Connor, said “This is a big step forward in the long running debate on classification of computer games for adults.
“The introduction of an R18+ classification for computer games will provide better advice to parents and help prevent children and teenagers from accessing unsuitable material.”
A telephone survey conducted by Galaxy found 80 per cent of the 2226 people contacted supported the introduction of an adults-only category for games.
Australia is one of the very few developed nations that lacks an adult ratings for games, and this has caused publishers and developers to lose revenue from games that have been refused classification here, but released in other regions.
In other cases, games developers have had to edit their game before it can be approved for release in Australia. Coupled with the expensive process of having a game rated here, Australian gamers have missed out on a number of high profile titles in recent years.
Draft guidelines presented at the last meeting have since been amended and this requires some jurisdictions to seek approval from their respective Cabinets. Once that is achieved the Commonwealth will begin drafting the legislation necessary to introduce the new classification.