R18+ Classification for Computer Games To Create More Jobs

Ballarat, Victoria, Australia ( April 12, 2011

Computer Games To Create More Jobs 2 R18+ Classification for Computer Games To Create More Jobs

R18+ Classification for Computer Games To Create More Jobs

Minister for Justice Brendan O’Connor today emphasised the Government’s strong support for the Australian game design industry while meeting students at the University of Ballarat.

Mr O’Connor also reinforced the Government’s position on the need for an R18+ classification for computer games.

“An adult classification for video games will provide better guidance for parents and remove unsuitable material from children and teenagers,” Mr O’Connor said. “It will also create further opportunities for Australian computer game developers, distributors and retailers – and that’s a great thing for students studying at the University of Ballarat.”

“Australia’s local game design industry boasts more than 50 companies and over 200 game titles and it is growing strongly along with the international demand for new games,” he said. “We want to create opportunities for our young people in diverse parts of the economy. The games industry is an increasingly important part of our creative economy that we should support.”

With the introduction of an R18+ classification, Australian game developers would be able to create computer games for both the local and international markets without having to change the content. Recent figures from the Game Developers’ Association of Australia suggest the computer games industry is now double the size of the movie box office, and more than 40% larger than the movie disc industry in Australia.

The 2010 public consultation on an R18+ classification for computer games received almost 60,000 submissions, with 98% supporting its introduction. In addition, 80% of respondents in a national phone survey supported an adults-only category for games. State and Territory Ministers are currently considering draft guidelines for the classification of computer games that contain an R 18+ classification.

Minister O’Connor has made it clear that he expects a final decision on the introduction of the new classification at the next Standing Committee of Attorneys-General meeting in July.

“When making their decision, I urge State and Territory governments to consider the value of the computer gaming industry to Australia’s economy, as well as the need to provide better guidance for parents and greater protection for young game players,” Mr O’Connor said.

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