So the Standing Committee of Attorneys General is meeting today, and up for grabs is the long-debated adult R18+ rating for games in Australia. We’ve heard no news from the meeting yet, but my hopes aren’t high.
In spite of some pretty fierce public criticism, the South Australian Attorney General Michael Atkinson has maintained his opposition to the rating, and given unanimous support is required, we very much doubt that anything is going to change. Still, we’ll keep you posted as news comes out.
Update: Well, nothing conclusive came of the meeting, but it turned out rather better than I'd hoped for. The attorneys general have decided to enter a process of public consultation on the matter, and are expected to have a consultation paper ready for the next SCAG meeting (the Standing Committee meets three times a year). In its coverage of the story, the SMH notes that a 2005 study by Bond University found that 88% of the population think that there should be an R18+ rating, so it would at least seem that the odds of a public consultation leading to a positive decision are pretty good. But you can be sure, however, that some very loud conservative interest groups such as the Australian Family Association will weigh in on the matter as well.
The details on the method of public consultation have yet to be finalised.