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The Gillard Labour Government has introduced its legislation to establish an R 18+ category for computer games, which it says will bring the classification categories for games into line with existing categories used to classify films – and also bring us into line with the systems used in many overseas countries.

However, even if passed, the new category won’t come into effect until January 1 2013.

“The R 18+ category will inform consumers, parents and retailers about which games are not suitable for minors to play, and will prevent minors from purchasing unsuitable material,” said Home Affairs and Justice Minister Jason Clare.

Under the current system, the highest legally available classification category for computer games is MA15+. Games which don’t meet that requirement and are deemed not suitable for a minor to play are refused classification – meaning they can’t be displayed or sold.

The Federal Government has worked with state and territory governments on this issue and they will introduce complementary legislation, Clare said.

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