A bill is currently before the Federal Senate to create an R18+ classification for computer games. The ACL's Managing Director Jim Wallace spoke to SBS last week about the legislation. In the interview Mr Wallace said that games given the new R18+ category would fall into the hands of children. The ACL has said for a number of years that it doesn't want to see a relaxation of classification laws in Australia.
It should be noted that the bill currently before the Senate does not determine what the guidelines for R18+ classification rating should be - it just creates a category. The guidelines will be determined by the Standing Committee on Law and Justice (SCLC). The ACL would like to see content that is wrongly classified as MA15+ moved into an R18+ category but not allow more violent games into the market. Mr Wallace explained by telling SBS: "Because of the interactive nature of them, the repetition and the very high degree of simulation which is changing all the time, their effect on people is much greater than the one-off for instance, exposure to a film."
For more information about the current legislation before parliament, listen to ACL's David Hutt's interview
with Katherine Spackman on the Political Spot or see the Classification Amendment Bill 2012
For further background to R18+ issues: Virtual classes of cold-blooded killing Jim Wallace - The Australian