Those following the local industry will be well aware of recent developments concerning the proposed introduction of an R18+ rating for video games, an issue that had been long unresolved due to disagreements between each state's Attorneys-General. The most recent events, as referenced above, involved all but one state agreeing 'in-principle' to the proposed R18+ rating.
That one state was New South Wales, specifically Attorneys-General, Greg Smith. Though the disagreement was overruled at the last meeting by Federal Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O'Connor, announcing that the proposed R18+ rating would be introduced regardless, ABC News has reported that Attorneys-General Greg Smith has come to an agreement, and is now supporting the new classification system.
At this point, all Australian states are now in agreement for the introduction of an R18+ rating for video games, and work will begin on draft guidelines for rewording the requirements for what would previously be categorized as MA15+, as well as introduce new definition for R18+. It is likely that some previously MA15+ rated games will be reclassified as R18+.
For our readers concerned about games such as Mortal Kombat and uncensored Left 4 Dead 2, which are currently refused classification, Brendan O'Connor has stressed that previously banned games will not be reclassified. However, if either of these games (and others) have not appealed the decision of the classification's board, it is possible for them to do so after the R18+ is introduced, potentially legalising sale in Australia. Games that have already appealed their classification and still been refused are unlikely to be reintroduced under the new rating.