The new rating is more or less in lines with the 18+ movie ratings and it signals to a couple of conclusions that can be easily drawn: it is illegal to rent or sell a ‘high impact’ game to anyone who hasn’t attained the age of 18 and games which were previously not sold for the lack of a valid rating may now be sold under the R18+ rating.
It is not that this particular rating is going to bring about much of a difference for the gaming community as they have already been able to buy such games online without the government ever knowing it but, it does reinforce government control over the rating system.
The R18+ games rating legislation hit the Australian parliament back in February 2012 after nearly 10 years of negotiations with states as well as the commonwealth. It was noted by Australian Minister for home affairs, Jason Clare at the time, “This bill will implement the Commonwealth’s obligations as part of this agreement, and state and territory jurisdictions will follow with their own legislation later this year.”
The games rating Classification Board hasn’t still given upon on its “refused classification” option and as per the regulation of game display and retail sales, if anyone is found to be selling R18+ games to minors, fines will be levied at the state level.