NSW buckles: R18+ game rating clear for take-off

Not before time

After abstaining from voting at a meeting of Australia’s attorneys-general over whether the country should introduce an R18+ rating for computer games, the government of NSW has decided to support the move.

The NSW government has released a statement saying that cabinet has given in-principle support for the new rating.

"Few people would dispute the value of a classification system that helps keep adult material beyond the reach of children," Mr Smith said in the statement.

"With strong classification guidelines in place, an R18+ rating should result in violent games currently rated MA15+ in Australia being reclassified as adults-only, as they already are in many other countries. ''

The statement says that the states’ attorneys-general will now create draft national guidelines for the new rating. It is expected that these guidelines will then be considered by the review of Australia’s classification scheme being conducted by the federal government.

It’s likely that the new ratings scheme will take until the end of 2011 to come into force.

While this might create a rating under which games like Mortal Kombat will pass muster, it’s almost certain that games depicting drug use, or games perceived as encouraging criminal activity, would still be refused classification, to keep them in line with how the classification system treats other content such as movies. ®

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