The long-running debate over whether to allow for legal sale and hire in Australia video games with higher impact content of a violent and/or sexual nature is set to reach a conclusion soon.

The Standing Committee of Attorneys-General is meeting in Canberra on December 10 to discuss whether to include in the National Classification Scheme (NCS) an R18+ rating for computer games.

Ever since the introduction of the NCS, governments have only allowed games up to the MA15+ rating on the basis that interactive games have a higher impact than similarly-rated films – an R18+ game was considered to have a higher impact than an R18+ movie.

Pressure from gaming interests, however, has caused a re-think of the classification regime for games, with the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department conducting a consultation on behalf of classification ministers.

Those ministers are set to discuss the findings of the consultation, and perhaps make a final decision on whether to include an R18+ classification rating for games, at their December meeting.

'R18+ no game' is ACL’s campaign against the introduction of the R18+ rating for games. The site spells out in detail our objections to allowing more violent games into the Australian market, and invariably into the hands of children via older siblings or friends.

If you’re concerned about the proliferation of graphically violent and sexually explicit media content, please use the recently updated 'R18+ no game' campaign site to send a short email to your State or Territory Attorney-General asking him or her to reject the R18+ rating for games.

The next few weeks will no doubt be critical in seeing a positive outcome to this debate. A great article dispelling some of the misinformation about R18+ games was written by Professor of Law Elizabeth Handsley. Well worth a read, the article can be found here.