A meeting of Australia’s attorneys-general today resulted in an agreement to introduce an R18+ classification for games, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
Australia routinely misses out on games altogether or requires developers to go and produce a watered-down version simply because there is no rating that covers a certain tier of adult content. That content ends up in its own non-rating called “Refused Classification”.
Since Australian retailers can’t sell content without a classification, and there aren’t classifications for a great deal of the content most Western countries deem acceptable for adults, games like Left 4 Dead end up banned. It’s a backwards state of affairs for a country that likes to think of itself as free, liberal, and highly secular.
Labor’s proposed Internet filter has been pitched on the basis that it would block refused classification content — not just child porn and the like as Senator Conroy likes to have the public believe. Labor put the filter on ice while a review of the classification system took place.
And while the outcome of today’s meeting is a positive one, it’s also an indication that the review is starting to approach its final stage and the censorship project will be taken off hold again soon. Protestors of the filter who’ve taken a break should get ready to start making noise again soon.