The Federal Government has approved the introduction of an R18+ rating for video games.
The Daily Telegraph reports that the federal Cabinet has approved an R18+ rating for video games. Currently, the highest rating for games in Australia is MA15+. As a result, many games given an adults only rating overseas are available to 15-year-olds in Australia. It has also caused some games to be refused classification, and effectively banned, when they are deemed unacceptable for 15-year-olds.
Before the change can be implemented, Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor must gain the support of each State and Territory's Attorneys-General.
"Children and teenagers shouldn't be exposed to the gratuitous sex, violence and adult themes that are contained in some computer games," said O'Connor.
"Over time, we've allowed games to get into the hands of 15-year-olds that would not have been available in comparable countries; that should not have happened."
For an R18+ rating to be introduced, there must be a unanimous agreement amongst the State Attorneys-General as well as the Federal Government. If one State doesn't agree, the change won't go ahead.