The first steps are being taken to prepare Australia’s Capital Territory to introduce R18+ games when the bill is passed.
The ABC is reporting that the state’s Attorney-General Simon Corbell will progress a bill which will actually allow the new R18+ laws (which are expected to be passed by 1st January 2013) to take effect.
Corbell said: “This is part of a national reform that will allow adult gamers to view R18+ material in the same way that can already be done for film and printed material.”
Interestingly, the article also suggests that some content which had previously been refused classification would become available under the new regime, althoug this has been nixed by attendees of the SCAG meetings on both the pro and anti R18+ sides of the fence. The notion that some MA15+ games would be re-rated as R18+, however, does carry some weight.
The Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (iGEA) still have some grave concerns about the conclusions being reached by politicians, most notably that the guidelines for the new R18+ classification still include language which presumes (without evidence) that videogames carry a higher impact than other media, leaving some small provision for their still being discriminated against.
Corbell raised concerns about content available online, but believes that the ability for parents to look up the content locally and see a result which clearly states that some content is only suitable for adults, is the best measure we can hope to take to help educate people.
Ron Curry, iGEA CEO, told the ABC: “We can look down and go ‘hey, what’s that big black sticker, that’s telling me that this content isn’t appropriate. Even though they may not be able to have that online, at least there’s that recognition, at least there’s a way of going out and finding out if this product is acceptable for your child or not.”
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