The Australian government has finally approved the R18+ adult rating category for video games after legislation passed the Australian Federal Parliament with bipartisan support. The new law will finally bring computer games in line with the classification system already used for films and other entertainment..
Shadow attorney-general George Brandis told the Senate that it made sense that the country's classification process would now be uniform "classifying all media according to a single set of criteria."
"The passage of this bill will no doubt be welcomed by adult gamers all across Australia," Senator Brandis told the Senate. "The industry has been waiting for this change for some time."
"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 minister Jason Clare, in announcing the change. "The reforms also mean that adults are able to choose what games they play within the bounds of the law."
The new national classification rules are scheduled to be in effect on January 1, 2013.