Industry Disappointed by R18+ Delay

  • Decision delayed again after AG meeting
  • Over 95 percent of people want rating
  • All State Attorney Generals have to agree

A decision to introduce an R18+ classification for video games has been postponed today following a Standing Committee of Attorneys General (SCAG) meeting in Canberra. 

“It’s disappointing that an adult rating for video games will be delayed once again despite mass support from the Australian community, whether it is from adult gamers who want the right to play games that appeal to them or parents who want clear guidelines for their children,” saids iGEA CEO Ron Curr.

“We are however pleased that the industry has been given the opportunity to put forward its arguments for an adult rating and encouraged by the tremendous support the issue has received from the Federal Government, and the active engagement by each Attorney General at today’s meeting on the issue.

“We’re hopeful that the weight of evidence and the comprehensive research into the matter will ensure an adult rating is introduced when the Attorney-Generals reconvene,” said Curry. 

The SCAG meeting follows several announcements made earlier this week by Minister of Home Affairs Brendan O’Connor highlighting the Gillard Government’s evidence-based support for an R18+ classification for video games. 

This study is in line with a range of polls conducted in the last 12 months which show mass support in favour of an R18+ rating for games:

  • The public consultation conducted earlier this year found 98.4 per cent of submissions were in favour of an R18+ classification for video games
  • News Limited’s poll shows 95.5 per cent of respondents vote for an R18+ classification and 4 per cent vote against it.
  • A poll conducted by Fairfax indicates 97 per cent of respondents believe Australia should introduce an R18+ rating for video games and 3 per cent are against it.
  • A Channel 7 Sunrise’s poll reveals 97 per cent of respondents would like R18+ games permitted in Australia and 3 per cent would not.
  • Furthermore, the Interactive Australia 09 report by Bond University found that 91 per cent of gamers and non-gamers believe the classification should be introduced and that 91 per cent of adults would clearly know that game classified R18+ would be unsuitable for children.

Despite the majority votes by the community, Australia remains the only developed nation without an R18+ classification for video games and a classification system which is inconsistent across various media.

“While there are some opponents who argue an R18+ rating will only give children access to high level content, this is simply not true.  Content that exceeds the guidelines required for an R18+ classification will still be refused classification and banned in Australia.”  

“An R18+ rating for video games will go a long way in helping parents make informed decisions about the games their children play and also provide more consistent guidelines aligned with other forms of media,” said Curry.