Report: Western Australian Amendment Meddles With R18+ Rating

On January 1, Australia finally and officially implemented an R18+ classification for games – something the government took a very long time to put in place. The goal of the rating was to allow games rated "Mature" elsewhere in the world to have a similar rating in Australia.

Prior to the launch of R18+, games could only be rated as high as MA15+, and if they contained content outside that ratings qualification developers and publishers faced a product ban or would have to modify content so it could be released with that rating in the Australian market. With the launch of R18+, games with mature content can be released in the country without having to be modified, while still providing parents with a guideline for content that might be inappropriate for their children.

But a new amendment to the Classification Enforcement Act to ban the sale of R18-classified games is being proposed in Western Australia, according to this MMGN.com report.

The amendment was made by The Western Australian Joint Standing Committee on the Commissioner for Children and Young People in a new "Sexualization of Children" report.

"While the impact of sexualization on children is difficult to quantitatively measure, and to distinguish from other influences in their lives, this does not mean that the issue should not be addressed," the committee wrote in its report. "The Committee is equally aware that what is seen as a priority issue that needs substantive action by some members of society may be seen by others as normal experimentation or fun.”

This amendment offers some pretty murky language too; for example, it would make it a crime to sell or supply a R18+ games to a minor – or even the parents or guardians of a minor.

The report is being examined and considered by Western Australia's Attorney General Michael Mischin. He expected to offer his findings on it and the issue "soon."

You can read the full report here (PDF).

Thanks to Cheater87 for the tip.

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