GameSpot wrote up decent opinion piece on why Australia probably won’t see the changes required to an an R18+ rating to the current video games rating system soon, but I feel they missed out on an important one:
It’s not worth the political capital and cost to bring it in.
Australia has a new minority government that is already going to have a hard time getting what it wants to do achieved. And that’s for policies that would have wide-reaching impacts and even potentially be popular. Allowing video games to get an R18+ rating would require spending some very precious political capital to knock on the right doors / bang the right heads together on an issue that is only going to set call back radio lines on fire with concerns over how corrupted the youth have become, or invite letters from important community or religious leaders. It might be an important issue to gamers, but probably isn’t going to influence their vote in any upcoming polls.
Even the Greens – who could potentially start things in motion, but won’t – recognise that they’ll want to save their influence for bigger issues.
If the government was more stable, the issue would have a greater potential of getting some traction. At this point, where potentially everything is going to be a hard fight, picking an issue like allowing R18+ video games is pretty much giving the conservatives a free kick (and more than likely an easy block of any legislation). Perhaps the Attorney-Generals on December 10 will make a decision, but I don’t see it happening – if they did allow an R18+ rating, they’d be the ones getting angry letters / visits.
Much easier to put the issue off until some unspecified point in the future.