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A step closer to R18+ rating for computer games

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An R18+ rating for computer games in Australia is a step closer after a bill was introduced into Federal Parliament this week which will see games be rated in the same way as films and television.

The movement to have gaming recognised in the same fashion has been ongoing for 10 years.

The suggested amendment to the Classification Act of 1995 and Broadcasting Services Act of 1992 are likely to be ratified and come into effect in January 2013.

For years Australia has lagged behind the rest of the world when it comes to adult classifications for computer games.

Until January next year the highest rating a game can receive is MA15+ and if a game fails to meet this rating it is refused classification unless it can be edited and watered down to meet the lower rating.

But now with a likely R18+ rating for computer games it will give customers a clear indication of the audience for each particular game and also make it easier for parents to distinguish between the titles aimed at adults and the titles aimed at a younger audience.

In Australia the average age of a gamer is 32 according to research recently conducted by Bond University.

Women also make up 47 per cent of gamers in Australia which explodes the myth that gamers are teenage boys locked away in their bedrooms.

Recent retails figures showed Australians spent more than $1.5b on gaming software and hardware in 2011 with Telsyte tech analysts predicting that figure to balloon to $2.5b by 2015.

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