As the first step in the long road to an Australian R18+ rating for video games, this week the Australian Capital Territory Canberra will become the First to introduce the rating. This decision follows legislation, submitted to the Australian lower parliament in February, to introduce the rating for video games nationally in early 2013.
Up until now, any game found unsuitable for a MA15+ rating was either refused classification in the country or heavily edited before release. Back in February Mortal Kombat was refused classification due to its use of strong violence.
“The [Australian Capital Territory] will be the first jurisdiction to progress a bill giving effect to the Commonwealth’s decision to implement the R18+ category in Australia,” said ACT attorney-general Simon Corbell.
According to corbel several titles will be upgraded to R18+, and many previously unreleased titles will finally see a release in the country.
“This is part of a national reform that will allow adult gamers to view R18+ material in the same way that can already be done for film and printed material,” he said.
“But at the same time it will also provide protection to parents and children by giving parents better guidance about what material is and is not appropriate for people under the age of 18.”
Ron Curry from the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association says some unrated material will still be able to be downloaded from the internet, but the change will help parents.
“We can look down and go ‘hey, what’s that big black sticker, that’s telling me that this content isn’t appropriate,” he said.
“Even though they may not be able to have that online, at least there’s that recognition, at least there’s a way of going out and finding out if this product is acceptable for your child or not.”
Source: ABC News