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After years of dissension, the Gillard Government has finally released its guidelines for computer game classification, including the new R18+ classification. The new classification system will take effect from January 1 2013.

The guidelines have won grudging approval from the games industry which announced its “reserved and qualified welcome” to the new system.

“The new guidelines released today show that they have been crafted to try to balance the concerns of those who have resisted an R18+ classification and adults who want to play video games designed specifically for mature audiences and that are readily available in other developed democracies,” said the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association in a media release.

The new system will see computer games classified under six categories: G, PG, M, MA 15+, R18+ and RC (refused classification).

Games will receive an RC rating if they contain illicit or proscribed drug use related to incentives or rewards; detailed instruction or promotion in matters of crime or violence; or the promotion or provision of instruction in pedophile activity.

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