The first game to ship with an R18+ classification in Australia will launch this week, following several years of industry campaigning and public pressure to create the adults-only gaming classification category.
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2+ is the game that holds the honour, rated R18+ for "High impact bloody violence".
The Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA), which had been integral in lobbying for the shift in gaming classification, met with the game's publishers today, where CEO of the IGEA Ron Curry was presented with a plaque commemorating the occasion.
Curry said the day represented the end of a five-year long conversation between the industry, the government and Australia's gaming community.
"Probably the most interesting thing is how the dialogue changed over the last five years," said Curry.
"To me, that was the turning point of the whole debate. When gamers started to talk maturely [about R18+], and as a group. That's when it was easier for me to be talking to government, to be able to say, here's some really constructive dialogue about it."
The R18+ classification for video games is now in place in all states in Australia, with Queensland the last to pass the new legislation on February 14.
With the R18+ classification in place, the IGEA is turning its attention to classifications for mobile apps and games, with Curry saying his group is moving for an industry regulated system, which would see the government playing a watchdog role.
The IGEA would also like to see more automation in the way games and digital media is classified, and is working with similar industry groups in other parts of the world to see whether Australia could be part of a unified classification system, where publishers could answer a questionnaire about the content in their media and algorithms, not people, would decide on how to restrict access, where necessary.
"The industry is good at this. If you look at the US and if you look at Europe, the industry [is responsible for classification]. In Europe there are over 30 countries which use PEGI and trust it, so why can't Australia trust an industry led scheme."
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