To bring everyone up to speed on the issue. Australia is the only first world country to not have a Mature rating for it’s Video games. This is equivalent to the ESRB’s M or PEGI 18. Now the problem is that under Australian law if you don’t make the cut for their R15 rating, then you get classified as Refused Classification (RC). This prevents the legal importation and sale of the game. This makes it so if it’s not deemed suitable for a 15 yr old then no one gets to play it.
Now for years there has been a movement to get the R18 rating created. It has huge popular support but for the longest time has been blocked by Former Attorney General Micheal Atkinson. To change the ratings system require unanimous consent of all the Attorney’s Generals. Well Atkinson is retired now and his replacement was in favor of the rating. You would think this would be able to pass very quickly then. But delay after delay has been met as at least one Attorney’s General has been missing from their voting meetings since then.
Now it seems that even the politicians are getting tired of the delays.
Home Affairs Minister Brendan O’Connor says after a decade of debate, it is crunch time.
“We’re becoming the laughing stock of the developed world, where we’re the only country that doesn’t have an R18 classification level for video games.
“I foreshadow that if there is not a consensus around this issue, the Commonwealth will certainly be considering other options because we cannot continue to have an outdated classification system that’s actually, in my view, causing harm to young people.”
O’Connor is hopeful that the next meeting in July will finally see the vote. All I can say is I’ll believe it when I see it.
For all our coverage of the issue go here.
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