R18+ update from Ron Curry, CEO, iGEA
As you well know,in the realm of video game classification, much of the last 10 years has been focused on working towards a classification system that includes an adult
rating. And now that the legislation has passed through Federal Parliament and
the new Guidelines for the Classification of Computer Games guidelines have been agreed, an R18+ rating will be a reality on the 1st of January 2013 – the focus has shifted towards the practicality of adjusting to an R18+ category.
As someone who has been involved in the discussion to date, we wanted to give you a quick update on what’s been happening behind the scenes from an industry perspective, in order to roll out an adult rating.
The Classification Branch has already held meetings with major retailers to discuss their obligations
when the new classification category takes effect. During these discussions, the Classification Branch sought the guidance of retailers prior to producing appropriate signage as well as training material for staff, so that informed measures could be put in place in preparation for the new classification category. Retailers involved include EB Games, JB HI-FI, Harvey Norman, Dick Smith Electronics, Big W, Ebay Australia, Kmart and Target. As January 1 grows closer, iGEA will also work directly, and through our members, to remind
retailers of their obligations when selling R18+ content.
The classification notice required to be displayed in stores explaining the classifications and symbols has recently been revised and is in the process of being approved by the Minister for Justice The revised notice will be distributed to retailers as soon as it is finalised.
Next month (November), the first round of information sessions will be held by the Classification Branch in both Sydney and Melbourne for video games assessors to ensure that there is a comprehensive understanding of the new Guidelines for the Classification of Computer Games. The training dates can be found here: http://igea.wpengine.com/2012/10/information-sessions-for-new-guidelines-for-the-classification-of-computer-games/
From iGEA’s perspective, the successful inclusion of an adult classification involves the cooperation not just of Government and the games industry but also parents and retailers. iGEA is focused on providing practical information to help parents manage children’s access to appropriate levels of content in the home and we will continue to provide regular and relevant information such as blog posts,
educational videos and research papers.
Finally, here is an update on where the different States and Territories stand in relation to changing their enforcement legislation to recognise the R18+ category for computer and video games as of 22 October.
- ACT and NSW – R18+ legislation passed
- SA, VIC, WA, TAS – Legislation introduced to State Parliament, but yet to be passed.
- NT and QLD – Legislation not yet introduced
iGEA will continue to monitor passage of legislation in those states and the territory yet to pass legislation and exert any pressure where possible.