Australia has taken a decidedly public step forward in considering introducing a mature equivalent rating for videogames in the country.  As reported in Edge-Online, the Australian government has reached out to the public for thoughts on whether the National Classification Scheme should extend the R 18+ rating currently applied to mature films to games.  Australia currently has a maximum MA 15+ rating for games, a low rating ceiling that recently barred titles that had 17+ ratings in other territories.  Game publishers such as EA and Sega that were affected by the disparity appealed rulings barring their games, and in turn helped publicize the perception that Australia has a double standard for evaluating games versus films.

In considering the new rating, Australia’s Classification Board has given a deadline of February 28, 2010, for input from the public.  Ultimately the country’s Commonwealth, State and Territory Censorship Ministers would have to be in unanimous agreement to introduce the new rating.

Read more at Edge-Online {link no longer active}.