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In recent years, there has been much discussion in Australia regarding the failings of our video game
rating system, which does not allow for games that would only be appropriate for users over 18.
Instead, the rating system only goes as high as MA15+, which restricts games to audiences 15 or
older. Any game that exceeds this classiﬁcation is instead banned. A similar ratings system is used
for ﬁlms, except that beyond the MA15+ rating there is an R18 rating, allowing for ﬁlms given this
rating to be restricted to users 18 or older. This R18 rating for ﬁlms could be applied to video games,
but when the ratings system was ﬁrst introduced a decision was made to not do so.
We believe that an R18 rating should be introduced for video games, to bring the ratings in line with
the ﬁlm ratings. This would allow games that have been banned or edited in Australia, and any new
games, to be released with this rating, and restricted from sale to under 18s. The original decision in
the early 1990s to not include an R18 rating was based on information that is now outdated, and the
resistance to introducing it is based on misconception and ignorance. In this paper, we will discuss
the original legislation that excluded an R18 rating, as well as examine the reasons why there should
now be an R18 rating, and some of the opposition to it. We will also examine some of the issues
that are being caused by Australia’s lack of an R18 rating, such as piracy and Australia’s reputation