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Australia Postpones R18+ Rating Discussion To November

Australian officials have delayed a meeting of attorneys general to discuss the proposed R18+ rating for video games, which would allow titles with a certain level of violent or sexual content to be sold at retail.
Impending federal elections in Australia have delayed until November a meeting of that country's attorneys general to discuss the proposed R18+ rating for video games. Such a rating would allow titles with a certain level of violent or sexual content to be sold without issue at retail. The issue has been of critical importance for Australia's game industry for years, but only recently has the notion of adding an R18+ rating -- which films have long been eligible for -- entered serious consideration. Late last year, the Australian government said it would begin accepting public arguments for or against the R18+ rating. This May, an official survey found that 98.2 percent of respondents supported the rating. Retail chain EB Games was reportedly responsible for spurring roughly half of the responses. At the time, according to an official statement, "ministers considered the preliminary outcomes of the public consultation." Officials said they "agreed to discuss whether to amend the National Classification Scheme to introduce an R 18+ classification for computer games at a future meeting." That "future meeting" was intended to take place this month, but last Saturday, new prime minister Julia Gillard called for federal elections after only three weeks in office. The elections are set to take place next month, and the resulting logistics have pushed back the lower-priority game rating discussion. According to a Kotaku AU report, the meeting is now scheduled to be held in Canberra on November 4 and 5.

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