Road to R18+ in Australia



So currently the Australian Law Reform Committee (ALRC) is pitching to all nine territory, federal, and state censorship ministers to vote upon the introduction on R18+ classification on video games in Australia at the Standing Committee of Attorney-Generals (SCAG) meeting.
If you aren’t Australian, basically we have a very backwards, dated and conservative classification system particularly on the relatively new medium, which means games that are rated 18+ elsewhere are either banned, dulled down (removal of gore etc) or passed through as MA15+ (currently our highest classification for video games), and this is how it’s always been. We’ve missed out  games like Manhunt, Silent Hill: Homecoming, and most recently Mortal Kombat, and have had games like Left 4 Dead 2 dulled down to the point where it is simply a lot less enjoyable to play than its predecessor.

Sure, there are ways to get these games uncensored, but you’ll have no one to play with online, and it is the principle of it all. These ratings are extremely inconsistent, not only from game to game, but from medium to medium. The conversation is always the same

Them: Video games desensitise to violence

Us: What about every other medium? Films, television, even music has more absurdity in not just violence but also sex

Them: Yeah but video games are unique because they are interactive and you can play as a hooker and rape people and stuff

Us: Have you ever played a video game?

Them: No, I am an adult and have better things to do.

That final line, if I may steal from Ricky Gervais, is the equivalent of saying ‘Look over there!’, then running away. If you don’t even understand the medium you’re classifying, and its effect on millions of people, then I don’t think your’e the best person to represent your position.

Are you ‘avin a laugh!?

So, why did I open this post with “Shit”? Well, the way it works is that every single attorney general (federal, state and territory) needs to vote ‘yes’ for an adult classification to be introduced. And literally as I’ve written this, UNFORTUNATELY, this unanimous decision has not been met, AND IT WAS OH SO CLOSE. ALL Attorney-Generals voted YES bar New South Wales Attorney-General Greg Smith, who did not vote “No”, but stated that he has not come to a final decision, however will come to one ‘ASAP’.

Too hip and alternative to conform to the other states.

This decision was actually a lot better than I’d expected, considering every other state and territory is ready to introduce the new rating, with ACT and and South Australia keen to push through with it even if the decision isn’t unanimous. It all comes down to New South Wales, and hopefully by ASAP he doesn’t mean at next year’s SCAG meeting.


By the way, you know, in Australia, the logo for Dead Island was changed to this?:

Apparently silhouette hangings are more horrific than zombies silhouettes, I wonder what the conversation was like to decide this?


“We can move forward to introduce R18+ now.” says Brendan O’Connor ( Australian Federal Minister for Home Affairs )

What’s even better is that R18+ is ready to move forward at a national (federal) level, and allowing New South Wales possibly to do what it wants. This may be a history moment for gaming in Australia!

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Author: TheCliveShow View all posts by

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