Sydney, Australia – Friday, 22nd July 2011 – An announcement today by the Home Affairs Minister that the Standing Committee of Attorneys General (SCAG) has reached an in-principle agreement to introduce an R18+ classification for video games is a welcomed step forward.
Ron Curry, CEO of the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (iGEA), says that today’s outcome is a positive step for the video games industry which has been awaiting an R18+ classification for almost a decade.
“An in-principle agreement for an R18+ classification is a big step towards a robust ratings system that best equips parents to manage their children’s access to appropriate content, as well as enables adults the ability to play games of their choice within the confines of the law,” said Curry.
With eight out of the nine Attorneys-General coming to an in-principle agreement, Curry says he looks forward to discussing the R18+ classification issue with NSW’s Attorney-General Greg Smith who abstained from making a vote today and will consider the issue out of session.
“It is entirely reasonable that each Minister should have taken the necessary time to fully understand the underlying issues and to grasp why Australia so desperately needs an adult classification for video game, and we look forward to entering into a dialogue with NSW Attorney-General Greg Smith.”
“This is the first step in the legislative process and until we can review the final guidelines, we can’t fully assess the impact of an adult rating for games in Australia. We can be confident however that all content will be subjected to stringent classification guidelines and games which exceed an R18+ classification rating will still be refused classification and banned in Australia,” said Curry.
“With an adult rating finally on the horizon, we can now better focus our energy on more relevant discussions around content classification as entertainment formats and content continue to blur.”
The positive news comes off the back of a government-commissioned survey released by Minister of Home Affairs Brendan O’Connor in December last year which found 80 per cent of the 2,226 respondents interviewed support an R18+ rating and that 91 per cent of adults would clearly know that game classified R18+ would be unsuitable for children.