Aussie Parliament approves R18+ game rating

By Alice O'Connor, Jun 18, 2012 8:00am PDT

A lack of an adults-only 18+ rating for video games has seen players down under denied opportunities to rend flesh and bone and bathe in arterial spray, but those days are one step closer to over. The Australian Parliament today passed legislation approving an 'R18+' rating for games, which the classification board should be able to start doling out by January 2013.

Australia has long held an 18+ rating for other mediums, but 15+ was the highest for games. This has meant games including Left 4 Dead 2, Mortal Kombat and Syndicate were denied classification, prohibiting them from sale. Some tone their gore down, while others take their ban on the chin like the blood-soaked rebels they are.

"These are important reforms over 10 years in the making," Jason Clare, the Australian Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Justice, said in an announcement. He added that the reforms "mean that adults are able to choose what games they play within the bounds of the law."

For many years, the creation of R18+ had been blocked by one or two dissenting members of Australia's Standing Committee of Attorneys-General, who finally approved it last year.

The next step is for Australia's states and territories to set up regulations for R18+ games. Once that's out the way, it should all be go for the rating to go live in January 1, 2013.

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