Proposed Australian R18+ ratings category detailed

Wednesday, 25 May 2011 07:00 GMT By Brenna Hillier

The office of Australian federal minister for home affairs, Brendan O’Connor, has released draft guidelines for proposed changes to Australia’s games rating system.

Gamespot reports the introduction of an R18+ category is proposed, with the following guidelines:

  • Virtually no restrictions on themes
  • Violence except where it “offends against the standards of morality, decency, and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults”
  • Implied sexual violence, if justified by context
  • Realistically simulated sexual activity
  • Virtually no restrictions on language
  • Drug use and nudity are permitted

The current highest rating, MA15+, would also see modification, reining in some excesses at the upper end of the spectrum. The caveats listed are:

  • Strong and realistic violence should not be very frequent
  • Sexual activity must not be tied to rewards or incentives
  • Interactive drug use that is detailed and realistic is not permitted
  • Nudity must not be related to incentives and rewards

If accepted, the proposed changes would mean developers are no longer forced to censor games or risk being refused classification. On the consumer side, games with extreme content would be less likely to appear in the MA15+ category.

The nation’s attorney-generals have viewed the proposal, and are expected to give a decision at their next quarterly meeting in July.

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