New R18+ guidelines drawn up
Posted: 26.05.2011 15:13 by Comments: 14
A new draft of the R18+ classification has been released by home minister Brendan O'Connor through the Australian Federal Government. The new guidelines closely match those in place for Australia's film industry. The new R18+ rating removes restrictions on bad language, drug use and nudity; in contrast, the current guidelines forbade the classification of any adult-themed games.

O'Connor's draft claims that the R18+ rating will allow "virtually no restrictions on the treatment of themes", and violence in games "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." As far as sex, the draft says, "Sexual activity may be realistically simulated. The general rule is
'simulation, yes - the real thing, no'"

Of course, "standards of morality, decency and propriety" is still troublesomely subjective, while "simulation, yes, the real thing, no" is comicly inept for videogames, where everything is simulation. You may be able to tell when live actors are actually performing sexual acts, but when can you tell a videogame character is actually having sex?

"The Gillard government wants to provide better guidance for parents and remove unsuitable material from children and teenagers. The introduction of an R18+ classification will help achieve that and will also bring Australia into line with comparable nations," O'Connor stated, "This issue has been on the table for many years, without the necessary progress to make a change. Weve recently seen several states publicly express their support for an adult only rating for games and Im keen to reach a unanimous decision at the July meeting."

Rather than banning games, why not punish stores for selling mature games to underage children? Or put the onus of raising children on the parents?
Source: Gamasutra
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By PowerJack (SI Elite) on May 26, 2011
That draft looks good to go.
By Thibby (SI Core Veteran) on May 26, 2011
Omg this is ridiculous.
By FoolWolf (SI Elite) on May 26, 2011
The real thing no?
How old do you need to be to be legally allowed to have sex in Australia?
Sounds almost as the debacle with the latest DOA - that will be halted in Sweden due to problems with the "new" child pornography law - makes more or less any parent having pictures of their kids into criminals...
By herodotus (SI Herodotus) on May 26, 2011
"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."
That's the sticking point right there, as you pointed out Jonah. That's the loophole to allow it to become subjective for censors, and begin endless debates over what is morally acceptable. With morals today being re-written almost annually, that's going to be a tough standard to go by, and a flawed one.
Ripping heads off in "MK"? I'll bet that's not morally acceptable to the OFLC.
I'd say Activision will get a sharp shock when the legislation becomes Law, as I'll bet "CoD" is rated [R18+].
By neilmike (SI Core) on May 26, 2011
no wonder nobody wants to live there anymore...only joking!! lol
By Eversor (SI Elite) on May 26, 2011
Some is better than nothing.
By K3Spice (SI Core) on May 26, 2011
Ugh... Australia is a fail for gaming....
By Eversor (SI Elite) on May 27, 2011
They are getting a little better.
By herodotus (SI Herodotus) on May 27, 2011
It's a great country, but the politicians leave a lot to be desired. Hell, I wouldn't even know who I'd vote for anymore. Don't like the PM, hate the Opposition and think the Greens are a bunch of ego junkies.
Ah well, there always the beaches...and the women (best looking in the world; no argument)...and the snakes, spiders, sharks...and video game developers ("LA Noire" rocks).
By FoolWolf (SI Elite) on May 27, 2011
Not so different from the rest of the world. Austalia not that much worse then any other country shaken with teh hibbie jibbies over new-morality shakes.
we have it in Sweden - but here it is the child-pornography law that have gone a muck.
Remember when Greece (if for nothing else the corrupted country called Greece...) outlawed on-line gaming?
Americans go ape over sexual in game content. British MP's talking about games and shows the same enlightenment as a troglodyte would have...

People are stupid, and people are ignorant. Politicians no less then anyone else - you need to write them and tell them when they act like troglodytes - the ones opposed to you certainly writes and moans to them...
By bosnian_dragon (SI Core) on May 27, 2011
Hahahh I mean what? r18+ on video games but not on freaking soap/shampoo/whatevergirlzlike commercials? I just saw a topless woman swimming in a pool, in a commercial for shampoo! I live in Europe and it's quite crazy to see naked people just like that on TV and no one seems to care about it. But when it comes to games all governments attack the industry SO HARD. I wonder what is the problem with games? Is it maybe that many games are eye openers? I've played so many games that made my political attitude quite different from those who teach us "democracy" every day. Maybe that bothers current politicans? I will mention just one game that made my eyes open WIDE, and that is The Longest Journey (and Dreamfall).
By herodotus (SI Herodotus) on May 29, 2011
Hmmm, parents (and therefore Govt's) must be fine seeing a kiddie lounging on the sofa watching a topless bird swimming. However, seeing junior sitting upright (with his hands busy) and a topless girl on-screen...screeeeech.
By bosnian_dragon (SI Core) on May 29, 2011
Hahha :D yeah, it depends where are his hands getting busy, on the keyboard or somewhere lower xD
By FoolWolf (SI Elite) on May 30, 2011
Well, thats called sexual development and perfectly normal and healthy. Seeing good looking things of the opposite sex should entice both women and men - thats after all one of the meta plots to life. Too bad that it has gotten a taboo and made it a forbidden fruit - that leaves as always - the bead elements to be the guides since the majority of grownups treat young people like offenders... Really stupid. Anyway - good to have a R18+ in place - at least that makes it possible for some people to experience more "mature" media and games.