Many countries around the world have a rating system that includes an 18 and over segment. However, Australia is just now getting its 18 and over rating – R18+.
Back in 2009, Australians began the discussion about adding and 18+ rating, since Australia’s highest rating is currently set at over 15. This has had a massive impact upon gaming in Australia, as many games “unsuitable for under-18’s” were banned. The list of banned games in Australia is extensive, including Blitz: The League, Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude, Marc Ecko’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure, Manhunt, Mortal Kombat, Narc (2005 game), Postal, Postal 2, Phantasmagoria, Reservoir Dogs, Risen, Shellshock 2: Blood Trails, Singles: Flirt Up Your Life, Syndicate, and Voyeur.
There were a number of games that were censored to meet Australia’s MA15+ guideline (many were originally banned before their censored versions were released). Censored games include 50 Cent: Bulletproof, Aliens vs. Predator, BMX XXX, Dark Sector, Dreamweb, Fallout 3, F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin, The Getaway, Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, The House of the Dead: Overkill Extended Cut, Left 4 Dead 2, NecroVisioN, The Punisher, Sexy Poker, Shellshock: Nam ’67, Silent Hill: Homecoming, Soldier of Fortune: Payback, and The Witcher 2.
Now that Australia will implement the R18+ rating this week in the Australian Capital Territory, Australian gamers should have access to more games in the future (pending the presentation of themes like excessive violence, sex, and drug use). Australian Capital Territory Attorney-General Simon Corbell states, “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.” Depending how this new rating works in the capital’s territory, the rating may be implemented in the rest of the country beginning in 2013.
KitGuru says: Just how will the R18+ rating affect game stores in Australia? Will previously banned games be permitted? Will it be okay for those living outside the capital to buy their 18 and over games within the capital’s territory limits? Only time will tell.