Australian Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare spent the morning introducing R18+ legislation into parliament – and he’s spent the afternoon writing a very special guest blog, discussing the situation in his own words.
In his presentation to Parliament, Clare explained that “This reform has been a long time coming,” referencing the decade-long struggle for gamers to be given the right to choose adults-only material. His presentation to the Lower House mentioned that “nine in every ten” Australian homes now has a device for computer games, that the average age of Australian gamers is 32, and that women make up 47% of the total number.
His guest blog post puts the situation in simple terms, explaining just why this reform is necessary, and a little more about the process that’s about to unfold.
Today I introduced laws into the Australian Parliament to establish an R 18+ category for computer games.
R 18+ computer game legislation introduced
The public consultation that was conducted over the past two years showed a lot of public support for this reform.
In 2009 the Attorney-General’s Department received 58,437 submissions about the introduction of an R18+ category.
98 per cent of these supported the introduction of an R 18+ category.
At the moment the highest legally available classification category for computer games is MA15+.
Games which are not suitable for a minor to play are Refused Classification.
This will bring the classification categories for computer games into line with existing categories used to classify films.
It will also bring Australia into line with the classification systems in many countries overseas.
The new R 18+ category will inform gamers, parents and retailers about which games are not suitable for minors to play and prevent minors from being able to purchase them.
The Federal Government has worked together with State and Territory Governments on this issue and they will also introduce laws which complement the Federal laws.
Our laws are scheduled to come into effect on 1 January 2013.
More information about the bill and how it will be passed through the Parliament can be found online
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