Australian R18+ Game Rating Still a "Couple of Years" Away

Andy Chalk

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Nov 12, 2002
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Australian R18+ Game Rating Still a "Couple of Years" Away


It sounds like Australian gamers won't have an R18+ videogame rating for a couple more years.

When it comes to videogames, Australia is like the good news/bad news joke that just keeps on giving. And while it's inevitable that the punchline will someday be delivered, that day may be further off than most of us expected. Despite the obvious failings of the current Aussie rating system and all the progress that's been made toward correcting it - which is to say, toward establishing a proper rating for mature games - a function R18+ category could still be a couple of years away.

Back in July, Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor said an R18+ rating for games could be just "a couple of months [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/111825-R18-Coming-to-Australia-in-A-Couple-of-Months]" away but the reality, according to David Emery of the Australian Classification Branch, is that it will almost certainly take a lot longer than that.

"There is legislation that's been put to Parliament about the changes," he said. "What happens next is a long process again. It's probably going to take another couple of years before you're actually going to get an R18 that you can apply for, like a conventional classification that you have today."

"It's got to go to Parliament, then there's changes that have to be made subsequent to that - to the Classification Act - to allow for people who have had a game that has gone to the classification board and been refused classification to then be resubmitted in some form," he continued. "There also needs to changes made to each state and territories classification act, that needs to go through the exact same process that I've just described, except on a state level. All of those things take ages, there are lots of delays."

Emery's sad tale may not come as too much of a surprise to those with a passing familiarity with Parliamentary democracy, but it's still a disappointment. Australian gamers want an R18+ rating and more to the point, Australia needs one. And it'll get one - but not just yet.

Source: GamesIndustry [http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2011-10-28-australias-r18-two-years-away]


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UltraXan

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Epic FAIL. Come on, Australian government, it AIN'T. THAT. HARD. This is a trivial matter, why the hell is it taking so long?
 

The Virgo

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"Australian R18+ Game Rating Still a "Couple of Years" Away"

I love they make it sound like an R18+ rating is like a cure for a disease, in that scientists have to develop it and test this new rating system, then test it on a small group of people, monitor them to see if they start dying or becoming emos or whatever and then release it to the public.

Hey, Australia, adding a game rating IS NOT THAT DIFFICULT TO IMPLEMENT!

Jeez!
 

ZeppMan217

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UltraXan said:
Epic FAIL. Come on, Australian government, it AIN'T. THAT. HARD. This is a trivial matter, why the hell is it taking so long?
That's bureaucracy for ye.
Also, aussies have bigger problems. Like games that cost twice the american price.
 

Thaluikhain

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UltraXan said:
Epic FAIL. Come on, Australian government, it AIN'T. THAT. HARD. This is a trivial matter, why the hell is it taking so long?
Probably because it's a trivial matter. There's not much concern in government over this because there's not much concern in general over this. Much more serious things like the GFC, war, QANTAS being torn down and the jobs sent overseas, the Carbon Tax and so on get people's attention in the way that videogames ratings just don't.

Also, these sort of "morals" issues are always a bit awkward. On the one hand you've got large masses of people that don't really care, on the other you've got a small but angry crowd of naysayers. Better for teh numbers to slightly annoy large amounts of people than infuriate anyone.
 

Lizardon

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I doubt this is a high priority for our government at the minute. The Gillard government is barely staying afloat, and the Greens hold a lot of power. I'm surprised this is even being discussed.

And I would imagine a lot of backlash from conservatives you don't want our children to be corrupted when an 18+ rating is introduced. The last thing the government would want is to lose any remaining popularity they have.
 

GoddyofAus

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DVS BSTrD said:
GoddyofAus said:
DVS BSTrD said:
"Couple of Years" Away= when Michael Atkinson gets voted out.
...Uhhh, he's been gone for quite awhile.
Oh... well who IS holding it up then?
Nobody, in fact this year has seen massive strides towards the rating. 2011 will be remembered as the definitive year for the Government even deciding there will be an R rating.

The only thing holding it up now is Parliamentry technicalities, which goes to show the arrogance and selectivism of Democracy in Australia that Legislation that was announced only a year ago (Carbon Tax) will get through Parliament before this year is out, and yet an issue that has dragged on for over a decade has to wait 2 years.
 

Andy Chalk

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It's actually not a trivial matter at all. As I understand it, implementing the R18+ rating requires changes to the constitution, and those are an absolute nightmare to put through. Even when all parties effectively agree on what needs to be done, the nuts-and-bolts process of making it happen is a multi-stage affair that takes an awful lot of time to complete.

It's a shame in some ways that somebody can't just snap his fingers and make it happen, and two years is a bit on the unreasonable side for something that's already been so thoroughly hashed out, but that's the nature of the system. And as annoying as it can sometimes be, it's actually a pretty good system to have.
 

Vie

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Could somebody stick a gear lever into the Australian parliament's collective arses, and shift them out of neutral?

Or at least shove Atkinson's severed head off of the clutch pedal.

[Your Captcha of the day is: 1865-1916) ialaryk. Hum, gonna go look up that time span and see who it's about...]
 

RicoADF

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The Virgo said:
"Australian R18+ Game Rating Still a "Couple of Years" Away"

I love they make it sound like an R18+ rating is like a cure for a disease, in that scientists have to develop it and test this new rating system, then test it on a small group of people, monitor them to see if they start dying or becoming emos or whatever and then release it to the public.

Hey, Australia, adding a game rating IS NOT THAT DIFFICULT TO IMPLEMENT!

Jeez!
Changes to the laws and constitution plus the laws of multiple states and then laws to allow previously banned games to be re-evaluated, yer that takes time for a government. I'd rather this tho then a system where there was no regulation.
Besides, while technically its not in yet, games are getting in as MA15+ alot easier, eg: Payday: The Heist is not censored at all, even tho L4D2 had to be due to the police and violance.
 

samsonguy920

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Andy Chalk said:
It's actually not a trivial matter at all. As I understand it, implementing the R18+ rating requires changes to the constitution, and those are an absolute nightmare to put through. Even when all parties effectively agree on what needs to be done, the nuts-and-bolts process of making it happen is a multi-stage affair that takes an awful lot of time to complete.

It's a shame in some ways that somebody can't just snap his fingers and make it happen, and two years is a bit on the unreasonable side for something that's already been so thoroughly hashed out, but that's the nature of the system. And as annoying as it can sometimes be, it's actually a pretty good system to have.
As frustrating as it sounds, you are right, Andy. If any legislation could be rushed through at the snap of the fingers, it would create too many disasters to count. These are changes that are supposed to hang around for a long time without any need to revisit them. Better to make sure that a change like this is laid down as solid as possible.
 

Coldster

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Scrumpmonkey said:
Once again the Aussie Government seems to have the issue Completely Upside down . I mean how topsy tervy is their judicial/legal/parlimetary system that they have to spend so long effectively sat playing with their Dingos? It Fosters resentment from gamers who have had to put up with a Sheepish pro-ratings lobby and the innefectiveness of their government, at the moment if someone wants to play a game uncensored and in its original glory they effectively get treated like a Convict since importing those unrrated or banned games is illegal.

...
...

Kangeroos!
I see what you did there...and there, and there, and there too. Bravo.

OT: Well I am optimistic that it will get there sooner than "a few years". Surely they wouldn't want to delay this any further...OR WOULD THEY!? =O