One of the biggest opposers to the 18+ rating for videogames in Australia has resigned, according to reports in general Michael Atkinson was openly opposed to the ratings and was, arguably, single handedly responsible for the rating not clearing earlier. The Australian classification board, the government-run Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC), requires a unanimous consent of its federal and state attorney generals.Australia is no stranger to censored videogame material, there have been many games which have had content chopped out to pass the MA15+ rating, currently the highest rating in Australia. Problematic as most content has been deemed inappropriate and has to then be sent back to developers for edits before being submitted and assessed again. Games which have suffered from this have been Fallout 3, GTA, Left4Dead to name a few, and have all had to be submitted and resubmitted before they were approved.Atkinson has made it clear that he does not want to see R18+ as a rating, and that he “won’t surrender”, and despite having stepped down from his post, has said he’ll be involved in the Parliament until 2014, but as a backbencher and with much less influence.This might give gamers the break they’ve been waiting for.  Last year the Australian government opened the debate publicly. With a petition supported by retailer EB Games and signed by over 16,000 people last year, and with the state and federal attorneys meeting in April to discuss the R18+ rating, there could be a glimmer of hope for Australian gamers, and game publishers alike.

Paul Younger
Founder and Editor of PC Invasion. Founder of the world's first gaming cafe and Veteran PC gamer of over 22 years.

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