Western Australia Considers R18+ Games Ban

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A recent report commissioned in Western Australia has recommended that video games with an R18+ classification should be completely banned from sale, possession or advertisement in the state.

The proposal appears in a report published this month from the Joint Standing Committee on the Commissioner for Children and Young People. The sale of 18+ video games is just one aspect of the report which also deals with the broader topic of the sexualisation of children in all forms of media, including music videos and child beauty pageants.

An R18+ category for video game classification was only introduced last year when legislation was passed by the Federal Government. Previously, games that were found by country's classification board to be too mature for the MA15+ category were refused classification and banned for distribution.

As reported by Gizmodo, while the report does suggest the outright banning of R18+ video games, it alternatively recommends making it an offence instead to sell or supply an 18+ game to a minor, even if a parent or guardian is present.

The report also says that any change to legislation should be accompanied by an “education campaign to ensue that parents and guardians understood their obligations and took steps to ensure that R18+ computer games were not accessible by children and young people”.

"While it may be the case that there is uncertainty and confusion about whether particular items or images constitute sexualisation of children, it is clear there is considerable anxiety amongst parents and society more broadly," the committee said.

The Western Australian Attorney General Michael Mischin is now reviewing the report.