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Australia Censorship Games Your Rights Online

Australian R18+ Rating For Games? Not Yet; NSW Refuses To Vote 71

UgLyPuNk writes "Just a few hours after the Australian gaming public was confused by the stance taken by the South Australian Attorney-General, they're now getting angry over his New South Wales counterpart's decision. While the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General had planned on making a decision regarding the introduction of an R18+ rating for video games on Friday at a meeting in Adelaide, the NSW Attorney-General has announced he will not vote on the topic at this time."
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Australian R18+ Rating For Games? Not Yet; NSW Refuses To Vote

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 18, 2011 @04:55PM (#36803850)

    Er, the situation in Australia is totally different from what's currently in the US and most other countries -- their highest rating is 15+, which is like T for Teen in the US. They don't have anything higher than that, which means they often get severely gimped versions of games, or worse, certain games don't get released there at all. The 18+ rating would actually be like the US's R rating, which Australia desperately needs.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 18, 2011 @04:59PM (#36803908)

    No, no, no. Please become more informed. As other commenters have pointed out, unrated games CANNOT be sold legally in Australia, not even online. It is a big deal to get a R18+ rating even if brick-and-mortar won't sell it, because it means the end of government-mandated censorship of games.

  • by Spigot the Bear ( 2318678 ) on Monday July 18, 2011 @05:31PM (#36804346)

    In the U.S. we have a similar industry-enforced classification called AO (Adults Only). But it's completely worthless, as no store will carry any AO games. So even if you got the classification, it wouldn't necessarily make it any easier to actually produce an adult game.

    I'm not quite sure you understand what's going on here. The highest game rating in Australia is 15, which is analogous to the highest movie rating in the US being PG-13. Anything unsuitable for a 15 year old simply cannot be sold there. The rating they're trying to introduce in Australia is similar to our M rating for games (i.e. R rated movies). With this rating, games containing violence/language/sex suitable for an adult, but not a 15 year old, can be sold on the market. X-rated games are a whole other issue.

  • by TBBle ( 72184 ) on Monday July 18, 2011 @08:13PM (#36806062) Homepage

    Because they have agreed not to, in order to keep things relatively in-sync. The individual implementations do vary state-by-state. For example, you can't sell or demonstrate RC video games in the ACT, but you can certainly own and play them. In WA (I understand) it's illegal to even own RC material.

    It's a state issue because everything is a state or territory issue except that limited set of things listed in the constitution. (One of these limited things is what makes "customs" a federal issue, which is why the customs rules are tighter than any state or territory's on RC material, but once it's past customs, those rules are irrelevant) So the federal government cannot make a law about classification, the best they can do is create and issue codes and guidelines. Which they do. It's a very similar thing in traffic law. We now have a national traffic law code, but each state must codify (and amend as they see fit) that code into their own law.

  • Re:Face it (Score:4, Informative)

    by dakameleon ( 1126377 ) on Monday July 18, 2011 @09:24PM (#36806710)

    In this case, you can actually blame the newly elected conservatives in the NSW government, possibly trying to appease Rev. Fred Nile & his Christian Democrats in the NSW upper house.

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