Home Affairs minister Jason Clare has made good on his promise to move quickly on Australia’s proposed R18+ ratings category for games.
Clare introduced a bill proposing an act to amend the current Classification Act (PDF), which if successfully passed through the Lower House and the Senate could go into effect as early as New Year’s Day, 2013.
The bill would introduce a federal R18+ ratings category for games in addition to current classification categories, but does not give guidelines for what content each category would cover.
However, past comments from state attorneys general and former Home Affairs minister Brendan O’Connor have indicated support for draft guidelines which allow for stronger content in the new R18+ category than is currently permissible under the MA15+ label. Combined with reinforcement of the MA15+ category’s guidelines, classification reform could result in both more consistent enforcement of current strictures to protect those under 15 and the sale of games currently refused classification, such as Syndicate.