According to an article earlier today on the Sydney Morning Herald, the censorship ministers will be discussing giving an R18+ rating to games at the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (SCAG).
At the moment, the highest rating a game can have in Australia is MA15+ and there is almost no ID checking taking place to ensure that purchasers are over 15. As the highest rating is only MA15+, there are games that get banned, though if anyone wants them, they are always acquirable from overseas anyway, or, some games that really should have an R18+ rating get through under MA15+ even though they really shouldn’t be.
The Howard Government avoided this. So it intrigues me, that the Rudd Government, with their plans to attempt to censor the internet, are looking at removing the strict censorship laws on games. The strictest in any Democracy in the world.
I have no interest in the games that get banned, and for that matter, I have no interest in the majority of the ones that don’t, but as I’ve said to people before, if movies can have an R rating, why can’t games? They are effectively the same content, just consumed by the audience in a different fashion.
I’m all for the R rating on games, why? As I said, there is a lot that slips through under MA that should be under R, and by the sounds of it, ID checks will be required for them, so content that should not be available to minors will not be openly available to them like it has been. In addition to that, the higher rating provides more for parents to go off of when choosing what to allow their kids to play and since things that should be in R, not MA will be in R, it will be easier for parents to determine what games are definitely not suitable.
Plus the hypocrisy of the government will amuse me. That’s just a bonus though, not really a reason.
It does of course have to be approved by the Commonwealth as well as all the attorney-general of each state and territory, so who knows what will happen.