Game guidelines drafted for R18+

AUSSIE gamers can rejoice at last after the Federal Government has offered its draft guideline for R18+ games to be released in the country.

The gaming community has lobbied long and hard for games to be classified in the same manner as other media to allow adult content back on the shelves and out of children's reach.

Gladstone gamer Gerard Salonen is one of many long-time advocates for the move, which has most recently received support from new Tasmanian Attorney-General Brian Wightman.

“I'm glad the Government is stepping in this direction although I feel it should have happened a lot sooner,” Mr Salonen said.

“We're the only developed country that doesn't have a modern classification system and its introduction means it will be a lot more difficult for the wrong games to reach kids.”

The current Australian MA15+ maximum rating means explicit games are either heavily censored or refused classification and not released here at all.

Assigning an R18+ rating would allow for more violence and sex simulations in games and lift restrictions on language and themes for adult players.

The proposed regulations would cover realistic sex simulation, drug use without context for justification, sexual violence and nudity, however games may still be refused classification if deemed too violently offensive or promoting criminal activity.

Couchwarriors president and Australian Cyber League organiser Philip Pretty said a new classification would segregate content more effectively than the current outdated system.

“In the USA there were games classified 21+ that were released here as MA15+,” he said.

“The law was originally there to stop this type of content getting to younger people, but really it was allowing people to access content they shouldn't since games were classified incorrectly.

“It was a matter of time before they acknowledged that video games are a large form of media and should be moderated properly just like everything else.”

While the move has been recognised as a positive step for classification reform, the draft guideline has come under criticism in several areas due to its ambiguity. For information http://www.r18games.

R18+ Restricted


The impact of material classified R18+ should not exceed high.


There are virtually no restrictions on the treatment of themes.


Violence is permitted except where it offends against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that it should not be classified. Sexual violence may be implied, if justified by context.


Sexual activity may be realistically simulated. The general rule is “simulation, yes; the real thing, no”.


There are virtually no restrictions on language.


Drug use is permitted.


Nudity is permitted.


Note: Computer games that exceed the R18+ classification category will be refused classification.

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