R18+ Ratings For Video Games Are Now Live In Australia

It's my pleasure to inform you today that you have woken up in a better Australia than ever. Is it because it's a new year and all the birds are singing in the trees? Maybe. Mostly it's because the R18+ legislation for video games came into effect around the country today, meaning gamers are now going to be treated like grown-ups.

The legislation allowing for R18+ rated games actually came into effect at 12:01am on New Year's Day as the sound of fireworks and cheering helped ring in the changing of the calendar. Despite the early-morning changeover, however, you still can't get your hands on any R18+ games.

That's not because anyone is holding them back from you, though. The simple fact is that there aren't any games currently on the market that are classified as R18+. Time will tell as to the first game to hit the long-awaited classification level.

It's worth pointing out that while the rest of us celebrate R18+ for video games, Queensland is still dragging its feet. It's now the only state that doesn't have an R18+ rating yet. Don't worry though, Queenslanders, it's coming. [Kotaku Australia]

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    Just in time for GTA V! Finally Australia has grown up!

    I forgot that it started yesterday. I'll be interested in seeing what is classed as R and MA. I get the feeling that all COD, battlefield games will be changed to an R.

    So would that mean Midway or whoever owns MK will try to RE-IMPORT MK 9 ?

      It's Warner Bros now and no, they probably won't re-submit, unless they submit the "special" edition that includes all of the DLC.

      They will have to pay for it to be classified. I know Left4Dead makers are getting their games classifieds.....which I don't really care about cause I was able to VPN a US copy to myself :D but still nice to know.

      Does this mean it is now legal to import MK?

    Better Australia than ever? just because of we have an R 18+ rating? pffff, Nanny State is in full effect, we aren't the best Australia ever.

    WTF....this is the first I've heard of QLD not being included in the R18+ classification..... damn it.

      I'm disappointed too. I swear QLD always has to have the most messed up laws compared to other states.

    Does thia mean exsisting games, such as Left 4 Dead 2 will now be allowed to have the full, untouched content? I'm certain Steam can just release and update that will allow it to happen.

    Nothing will change. Banned games will still be banned, new games that would normally be banned will still get banned.
    M15 games get bumped to R
    until theres a complete change of the guards in the classification board. im not holding my breath.

      That's my concern as well games will still be banned.

      um no that's not true, certain elements will get banned, like anything that promotes pedophilia, but violence and drug use (maybe) will be let through.

    What a change an attorney general can make.

    South Australia's Attorney-General, John Rau, was among those who pushed for the changes.

    He says the new ratings bring video game classification into line with the system applied to films.

    "We've actually achieved a good balance where in effect MA15+ has become more restrictive and games that previously would have been in MA15+ are now going to be sitting in R18+," he said.

    "It's a win for the gamers who wanted to have the opportunity as adults to purchase these games, but it's also a win for parents because they can be more confident that games that are age-inappropriate will not be available to people under 18."

    Sucked in Michael Atkinson.

    Last edited 02/01/13 12:55 pm

    Queensland still hasn't caught up theres a shocker thats why Queensland is "The Dumb State" maybe more time planning and less time sleeping with cousins.

      Just a delay in legislation you stupid troll.

    The way I read the wording of the law, there will be little difference between what was alowed in the old MA to what will be allowed in The new R18 rating. Will be nice to be proven wrong on this one.

      The descisions are still made by human beings, but now they substitute 'is this appropriate for a 15 year old?' with is this appropriate for an 18 year old?' This was an arguement I remember was a factor with Mortal Kombat. The board agreed it was appropriate for adults, but there was no rating for that.
      I suspect we will see a change. Considering WB were bold enough to resubmit MK for 3DS claiming the smaller screen meant less impact, I think they will resubmit the Komplete edition shortly. I will be keeping my eye on the Classification board website for now.

        Im thinking as well there will be a change. If it doesn't fit into ma but fits into r it will be r. If it's not illegal content the classification board isn't out to censor it. The're there to put it in its correct category. It only gets censored when there is no correct category for it but now there is.

      They haven't actually changed the criteria for the classification board, so games will still be getting banned. Don't be fooled by all the glossy media hype, censorship is still alive and well in Australia.

        This. Into the bargain, no game developers/publishers are going to bother getting year old titles reclassified so they can sell into a market the size of Australia with new government authority.

    Hey MIk , last time I looked you were legally classified as an adult in Australia. Entitled you to vote , join the army , enter adults only festivals and appear in court not the youth court. Why would they suddenly decided that 18 year old's are not adults for the purposes of games rating ? It doesn't make sense.

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