The lights are on
It's been a running joke that a Mature-rated game like Left 4 Dead 2 (above) will be banned from Australia even before it releases, but thankfully this sad-but-true situation may be coming to an end in the country with the possibility of a new video game rating classification.
Previously, the highest a game in Australia could be classified was MA15+, and games deemed beyond that designation simply weren't released. Now the government is backing the introduction of an R18+ rating. This new rating would come with as-yet-unknown criteria, but it is believed that some games previously banned outright may finally find a home under this new R18+ rating.
"We want to provide better guidance for parents and remove unsuitable material from children and teenagers," explained Brendan O'Connor, Minister for Home Affairs, who backs the measure. "The introduction of an R18+ classification will help achieve that."
O'Connor says that some games that are currently MA15+ could be reclassified, as well as those that are currently not rated.
Despite this breakthrough, we don't know if the measure will pass, or what Australian retailers think about the matter. As you know, here in America, the ESRB has an Adults-Only rating, but the existence of the rating itself hasn't prompted American retailers to carry AO-rated titles. In essence, it is a kiss of death.
Hopefully Australia's R18+ rating is instituted and provides a useful outlet for Australian gamers and parents alike.
Email the author Matthew Kato, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.
Well good for them. They been missing out on a lot lately.
I think Australian gamers are crying nerdy tears of joy right now. :]
Hopefully everything works out for the better for the aussies :)
Who's idea was this? I wanna hug them.
Hopefully this will get some more mature games to our friends down under. I can understand wanting to keep certain titles out of the hands of children, but there are some things that just have to be left up to the parents. The whole country shouldn't suffer just because some people are too lazy to raise their own children and pay attention what their kids are into.
Yeah I feel bad for our Australian counterparts and their lack of access to this gens' great titles.
I hope this passes. Not because I live in Australia but because I hate stupid and worthless censorship laws. Especially when they single out games.
Just in time for the new Mortal Kombat. Now more gamers can rip Scorpion in half and drink his spinal fluid before burninating his lower extremities into a black charcoal. The world is right again.
This would be good. It sucks for great games to not see the light of day over there because of those incredibly strict rules.
One step against the hypocrisy of freedom? Please let it be so!
Australian gamers have the right to enjoy everything gaming has to offer. The fact that they haven't done this yet is a shame, but as they say, better late than never.
It's about time, Australia!
Wait, does this mean they can't play games like Fallout or Call of Duty? I haven't really paid attention to this.
I hope they realize that these games are for adults and should only be played by adults, so why ban them?
whenever i think about how cool itd be to loves somewhere other than the u.s., i just remember how bad other countries have it in terms of release dates and game bans, and i feel right at home.