Australian R18+ to be reality Jan 2013?

Australia’s long running battle for an R18+ rating in video games just went one step further, when the bill was finally introduced into parliament. In Australia, films can receive an R18+ rating, but videogames cannot. Any game found unsuitable for a MA15+ rating is either severely edited before release, or refused classification. The most recent game that failed to receive classification was Warner Bros’ latest Mortal Kombat, banned for its strong violence.

Jason Clare, Australia’s Federal Minister for Home Affairs, believes that the bill could come into effect in January 2013 if it successfully passes through parliament. Many feared what would become of the bill when he replaced previous minister Brendan O’Connor, but he has expressed his desire is to continue supporting it.

When speaking in parliament, he said, “This will bring the classification categories for computer games into line with existing categories used to classify films, and make the Australian classification regime more consistent with international standards,” before continuing to discuss that many Australian gamers had been waiting up to ten years for the ratings introduction.

When asked by GameSpot AU why the rating would not be introduced for 11 months, Clare’s office said that, “Clare worked in consultation with Australian states and territories to come up with the January 1, 2013 introduction date for the R18+ classification. There were two reasons for the January 1, 2013 introduction date: firstly, to allow for the time it will take for the R18+ bill to pass through both the House of Representatives and the Senate before becoming law; and secondly, to take into account the time it will take all states and territories to draft complementary legislation surrounding the introduction of R18+ for games.

Do you think Australia needs an R18+ rating for games? Does this legislation affect you? Do you think it’s likely to happen in early 2013? Let us know in the comments below.

Sources: source 1

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