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Australia delays decision on new ratings system

R18+ standard intended to reduce game censorship won’t be discussed until November

Planned Summer discussions as to whether the R18+ game rating should be introduced to Australia have been cancelled, with November being the next mooted date.

Australia's Standing Committee of Attorneys-Generals (SCAG) had planned to meet in July and debate the issue, but upcoming Federal Elections have put paid to that.

Website Kotaku reports that the meeting will instead take place in Canberra on November 4-5. Progress has been slow-going so far, with the last meeting in May resulting only in an agreement to discuss R18+ at a later date.

MPs in the notoriously censorious nation have been deliberating over a modified ratings system for some time, as current standards mean a large number of violent games have been banned or modified.

Last year, Valve software failed to bring about the release of an uncensored version of Left 4 Dead 2, despite a personal visit and appeal from boss Gabe Newell.

The Office of Film and Literature Classification and a subsequent independent review claimed there was "insufficient delineation" between the humans and zombies in the game.

The eventually released version was thus devoid of "decapitations, dismemberment, wound detail, and piles of bodies." An Australian source recently told GamesIndustry.biz that, despite this, most Australian PC gamers had found it very simple to obtain uncensored versions of the game.

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Alec Meer

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A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.

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