The Herald Sun reports the Australian federal government has announced support for the addition of an adult-oriented R18+ rating to allow the sale of mature video games to those over the age of 18. While this sounds like good news for gamers down under eager for the implementation of a rating to allow the sale of games that cannot be sold if refused classification under the MA15+ rating, this may result in a more restrictive environment. This is because Home Affairs and Justice Minister Brendan O'Connor explains that the goal of adding an R18+ rating is to apply it to some games currently rated MA15+ since the lack of an adult rating in Australia results in some violent games earning an MA15+ rating: "I'm more concerned about having the MA15+ games reviewed to see whether in fact they should be in an adult only classification." As for the games that are currently not available, he says: "I am not contemplating placing those RC (refused classification) games into an R18+ classification." Implementation of a new rating will require approval of each state and territorial attorney-general, who will be meeting Friday. Prior efforts in this direction have always failed, with the main obstacle to adoption of the new rating was always seen to be former South Australia Attorney-General Michael Atkinson, who resigned in March, but they also note that South Australia has already expressed opposition to "relaxing the ban on R-rated computer games."
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