The debate over the introduction of an adults-only R18+ rating for video games in Australia has been continuing for some time now. Back in April, it looked like the country was getting closer to a solution as South Australia's Attorney-General John Rau announced that his state was going to adopt the R18+ rating regardless of what other states decided.
Because of the lack of a rating higher than M15+ in Australia up until this point, many of the most successful, popular games in recent years have either been censored or banned outright by the Australian classification board. Recent examples include Left 4 Dead 2, which was later recut with reduced violence, and Mortal Kombat, which is still banned.
The introduction of an R18+ rating in Australia will mean that these titles will no longer have to be recut or banned, saving the consumer on costly and potentially illegal import activities and allowing publishers a wider audience for their work. It appears as if the new proposal will not follow South Australia's original plan of simply replacing the M15+ rating with R18+ -- rather, the R18+ will provide another level of classification.
Australian Federal Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O'Connor said after today's meeting, at which 8 of the 9 federal, state and territory censorship ministers agreed to introduce the rating, that the R18+ rating was to be introduced at a federal level, and it would then be up to individual territories to adopt and enforce it. New South Wales abstained from the vote today but believed its cabinet would reach a decision soon.
"This is a big step forward in the long-running debate on the classification of computer games for adults," said O'Connor. "Once introduced, the classification will afford adults the opportunity to view material designed for adults. It is a credit to all jurisdictions that the meeting has now been able to achieve agreement over what is a complex matter in classification policy."
Good job, Australia; just in time for Catherine.
This article originally appeared on GamePro.com as Australia to Finally Introduce R18+ Rating