R18+ classification passed in NSW parliament

The R18+ classification for computer games has received approval in NSW parliament.

Legislation has been passed in NSW parliament to introduce R18+ classifications for computer games.

The Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Enforcement Amendment (R18+ Computer Games) Bill 2012 is a national bill which will cover computer and video games and builds on Australia’s current MA15+ classification.

“Many parents are rightfully concerned that some games rated R18+ in other countries carry an MA 15+ rating in Australia,” Greg Smith, NSW Attorney-General, said in a statement.

“Some MA 15+ games may now be reclassified as R18+ if they contain material that is not suitable for teenagers under 18.”

Guidelines for the R18+ classification were released last week, with the classification to come into effect 1 January, 2013.

Smith stated the new classifications would not have an impact on the refused rating.

“Even at an R18+ level, actual sexual violence will not be permitted, nor will implied depictions if they are interactive, not justified by context or related to incentives or rewards,” he said.

Games will receive an RC rating if they contain illicit or proscribed drug use related to incentives or rewards; detailed instruction or promotion in matters of crime or violence; or the promotion or provision of instruction in paedophile activity, amongst other criteria.

The classification has been a long time in the making, with a discussion paper on the topic released in December 2009 after years of lobbying from gamers and the local industry.

A total of 58,437 submissions were received for the discussion paper, with 98 per cent of submissions supporting the classification.

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