Though the issue has been debated throughout this year, it seems that Australia will now hear a decision on the introduction of an R18+ rating system for videogames in March 2011 at the earliest.
The latest Standing Committee of Attorneys General (SCAG) meeting failed to reach a unanimous decision on the issue. According to R18+ Games Australia, a verdict has been delayed until the next SCAG meeting, due to take place in March next year.
As the same site notes, this could be a troubling development for those hoping to see a decision reached. New South Wales is due to have an election around the same time that the SCAG meeting is scheduled. Should a new Attorney-General be appointed, it could force an even lengthier delay.
At present, Australia’s Office of Film and Literature Classification has a maximum rating of MA15+ for videogames. As a result many games cannot secure a legal release in Australia, while others (like Left 4 Dead 2) are released in heavily censored form.
A public consultation process found overwhelming support for the introduction of an R18+ rating, and the measure has even found favour with former Australian politicians and Catholic Bishops.

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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