In the wake of senator Kate Lundy's support for an R18+ rating, the Federal Government has announced that it wishes to pursue the implementation of a new video game rating system for Australia.
Several news websites have reported that Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor is supportive of the move, and wishes to make a push for a new rating at the next Standing Committee of Attorney's General on December 10.
In discussing his stance, Mr O'Connor has indicated that such a measure would prevent many games which should be classified as R18+ slipping under the radar as an MA15+ title.
"Children and teenagers shouldn't be exposed to the gratuitous sex, violence and adult themes that are contained in some computer games," he said in a statement.
"If the new category is introduced it could result in computer games that are currently classified as MA 15+ being reclassified R 18 +, providing a new level of protection."
Such support does not guarantee that a new rating system will be introduced following the next SCAG meeting, as there must be unanimous agreement amongst the State Attorneys-General. Additionally, Mr O'Connor has also stated that the new rating won't lead to bans on previous games being overturned, such as the unedited version of Left 4 Dead 2. However, O'Connor has also stated that he wishes for adults to be able to make up their own minds on the games they play, so long as they conform with legal boundaries.
âWe need a classification system that protects young minds from any possible adverse affect, while also ensuring that adults are free to make their own decisions about what they play, within the bounds of the law.â
No matter what happens after the next SCAG meeting, PALGN will keep you informed on any further developments in the R18+ issue.