NSW backs R18+ rating, everyone breathes relief

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Image from Mortal Kombat

Australia’s quest for an adults only rating has finally come into fruition with NSW agreeing to adopt the rating in principle. The state was the only one that abstained from voting when a meeting between the state and territory Attorneys-General agreed in-principle to adopt a R18+ rating for video games.

NSW’s support ends doubt that Australia could get an adults-only rating for video games, and put the entire system in line with current restrictions on film and DVDs. In addition, if it did make it through parliament – and assuming NSW Labor follow their federal counterparts – it will pass.

In a statement to the ABC, the office of the NSW Attorney-General, Greg Smith, said that it was given Cabinet approval.

“With strong classification guidelines in place, an R18+ rating should result in violent games currently rated MA15+ in Australia being reclassified as adults-only, as they already are in many other countries,” he said in the statement.

The full copy of the statement can be seen below:

NSW GIVES IN-PRINCIPLE SUPPORT TO R18+ GAME RATING

The NSW Government has given its formal support for the introduction of an R18+ classification for computer games, according to Attorney General, Greg Smith SC.

Mr Smith said after a meeting of Federal and State Attorneys General in Adelaide that he expected NSW would join the agreement.

Cabinet has now given its “in-principle” support for the introduction of the R18+ rating.

“Few people would dispute the value of a classification system that helps keep adult material beyond the reach of children,” Mr Smith said.

“With strong classification guidelines in place, an R18+ rating should result in violent games currently rated MA15+ in Australia being reclassified as adults-only, as they already are in many other countries. ”

Mr Smith said he would work with other Attorneys General on draft national guidelines that have been developed for a new ratings system. It would be important, he said, to ensure any proposal was in line with Federal and State Ministers’ agreement to not dilute Australia’s Refused Classification category.

Passage of the classification change will mean that games such as Mortal Kombat will finally reach retail stores, of course restricted to adults over the age of 18 due to the graphic content. In addition, games rated adults-only in other countries, such as in Europe and in America, will be rated accordingly.

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