Ruling on Australian R18+ classification delayed
Decision on certificate postponed but community remains hopeful
The decision on whether to introduce a new, R18+ classification in Australia has been postponed today, having originally been tabled for a Standing Committee of Attorneys General meeting in Canberra.
Australia currently employs a games rating system which only goes up to MA 15+, meaning that anything considered unsuitable for that age bracket cannot be released in the territory. A new addition to the system would allow those games to come to market.
"It's disappointing that an adult rating for videogames will be delayed once again despite mass support from the Australian community, whether it is from adult gamers who want the right to play games that appeal to them or parents who want clear guidelines for their children," said Ron Curry, CEO of the Interactive Gaming and Entertainment Association.
"We are however pleased that the industry has been given the opportunity to put forward its arguments for an adult rating and encouraged by the tremendous support the issue has received from the Federal Government, and the active engagement by each Attorney General at today's meeting on the issue.
"We're hopeful that the weight of evidence and the comprehensive research into the matter will ensure an adult rating is introduced when the Attorney-Generals reconvene," Curry concluded.
Several studies and surveys have revealed that the vast majority of the Australian population support the introduction of the new bracket, believing it offers greater personal freedom to mature adults whilst simultaneously protecting children from inappropriate content.
- Public consultation conducted earlier this year found 98.4 per cent of submissions were in favour of an R18+ classification for video games
- A News Limited poll shows 95.5 per cent of respondents vote for an R18+ classification and 4 per cent vote against it
- A poll conducted by Fairfax indicates 97 per cent of respondents believe Australia should introduce an R18+ rating for video games and 3 per cent are against it
- A Channel 7 Sunrise poll reveals 97 per cent of respondents would like R18+ games permitted in Australia and 3 per cent would not
- The Interactive Australia 09 report by Bond University found that 91 per cent of gamers and non-gamers believe the classification should be introduced and that 91 per cent of adults would clearly know that game classified R18+ would be unsuitable for children
The discussion of the certificate was added to the meeting's agenda earlier this week, a decision backed by Minster for Home Affairs and Justice Brendan O'Connor.
Also this week, the iGEA released a video instructing parents in how to correctly set up parental controls and restrictions on home consoles, allowing them to properly control the content their children were using.