Australia Agrees to an R18+ Rating for Adult Games

Lyla Katz

SYDNEY — Australia’s Classification Ministers have moved one step closer to introducing an R18+ classification for computer and video games.

Gamers and retailers have been lobbying for the classification for nearly a decade and are celebrating the move to an adult category in the video game industry.

Federal Minister for Justice Brendan O’Connor described the in-principle agreement as "a big step forward."

"The introduction of an R18+ classification for computer games will provide better advice to parents and help prevent children and teenagers from accessing unsuitable material," he said.

Game Developers Association of Australia CEO Antony Reed says his group "absolutely welcomes the move" which will "establish Australia as a sophisticated destination for investment."

“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,” said Ron Curry, CEO of the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association.

“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,” he said.

A government-commissioned survey released last December found 80 percent of the 2,226 respondents interviewed support an R18+ rating and that 91 percent of adults would clearly know that game classified R18+ would be unsuitable for children.