The Australian Capital Territory will be the first to Australian region to introduce legislation in support of an R18+ ratings category for video games.
ABC News reports the ACT government will bring the proposed legislation before the Legislative Assembly as early as this week.
“This is part of a national reform that will allow adult gamers to view R18+ material in the same way that can already be done for film and printed material,” ACT attorney general Simon Corbell said.
“But at the same time it will also provide protection to parents and children by giving parents better guidance about what material is and is not appropriate for people under the age of 18.”
The ACT is the first Australian territory to move on supporting legislation for classification reform since the Federal Government proposed an amendment to the Classification Act earlier this year.
The Federal legislation has passed through the House of Representatives and is headed for the Senate; if passed there, individual states and territories will need to ratify the amended act in their own legal systems. The new ratings category could go into effect by January 1, 2013.
Currently, games considered to have content higher in impact than is acceptable under the MA15+ category as refused classification, making it illegal to sell them within Australia. Under the proposed legislation, a new category will allow for higher impact content – but also revise current category guidelines to ensure more consistent application, keeping adult content out of children’s reach.