After the recent controversary over the new Mortal Kombat being banned in Australia, and with anyone importing it risking a $110,000 AUD fine, it was only inevitable for the amount of noise gamers and major video game websites to cause a few higher ups in the land down under to seriously evaluate how they rate video games.
Australia’s federal government has woken up and is giving the individual states and territories until the end of July this year to agree on a new R18+ mature rating for video games.
The Federal Government is giving the states and territories until July to agree to a new R18+ classification for video games.
Home Affairs Minister Brendan O’Connor was clearly behind the move when he spoke to ABC News Australia. “We’re the only country that allows tens and tens of games to be used by minors that are only used by adults overseas. We’re becoming the laughing stock of the developed world.”
O’Connor said the issue regarding Australia trailing behind the rest of the world in mature video game ratings had been debated by the attorneys-general for the past decade and it was time for them to make a firm decision on the matter.
“If there is not a consensus around this issue, the Commonwealth will certainly be considering other options. We cannot afford to leave it like it is.”
The most restrictive classification for games in Australia at the moment is MA15, which is three years below the standard M rating that the ESRB slaps on NTSC releases.
O’Connor has indicated that if the states and territories do not vote accordingly and approve of a new R18+ rating, the federal government may go ahead with one anyway.
Definitely something to keep an eye on. Australian gamers, Mortal Kombat may yet reach your store shelves!