R18+ games legislation passes!!
Ok so this is HUGE news for all of us gamers out there.
Just today, the Australian Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Justice Jason Clare said that an R18+ category for computer games is now a reality after it passed through the Federal Parliament.
The legislation had actually passed through the Senate without amendment, unlike the usual kicking around a good idea gets.
So now we have classification for games much like we have for movies, and brings Australia in line with more international standards for classification.
“These are important reforms over 10 years in the making,” Mr Clare said. “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.”
So what does this mean for us gamers? Well, it means that adult gamers in that 18+ bracket won’t have to either pirate or buy from overseas and get imported, a full proper version of a game because it is too violent etc.
“The reforms also mean that adults are able to choose what games they play within the bounds of the law.”
This bill hasn’t been recently in the making, Australian citizens have been fighting for this for years now to get an R18+ classification for games such as Left4Dead 2 (http://www.kotaku.com.au/2009/11/whats-cut-from-aussie-left-4-dead-2-and-how-to-uncut-it/)
This has been floating around the government for the last 3 years when the Attorney-General’s department released a discussion paper on the introduction of an R 18+ classification category for games in 2009.
So with the national scheme commencing as of January 1 next year, states and territories will be able to make their own complementary legislation to ensure the R 18+ games are appropriately regulated. One imagines that means you will probably start getting ID’d at your local EBGames etc when you try to buy certain games.