Australia to introduce R 18+ category for computer games

Australian Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Justice Jason Clare has introduced legislation that seeks to establish an R 18+ category for computer games.

A report in the government website said the classification would be similar to existing categories used to classify films and would be in line with the move of many countries to introduce a classification system for games.

“The R 18+ category will inform consumers, parents and retailers about which games are not suitable for minors to play, and will prevent minors from purchasing unsuitable material,” Clare was quoted as saying in the report.

The highest legally available classification category for computer games is MA15+, or games that are not suitable for a minor to play are Refused Classification.

Extensive public consultation conducted over the past two years shows strong support in favor of the reform. The Attorney-General’s Department said the discussion paper it released in 2009 received 58,437 responses, around 98 percent of which support the introduction of an R 18+ category.

The federal government’s legislation is scheduled to come into effect on 1 January 2013.