Gamers in Australia can rejoice at last! Government officials have finally approved the addition of a R18+ rating for video games, allowing titles with strong violence and other adult material to be sold in the country legally.
Australia was originally a peculiar country with how it did its ratings system for video games. Previously, the highest rating available was MA15+, which wasn’t nearly high enough to allow for some of the more graphic material in video games to be sold. As a result, titles like Mortal Kombat 9 were refused classification because of their content, and were made illegal to sell. Other games with strong adult themes, such as Left 4 Dead 2 and Witcher 2, had to be edited of their content in order to meet the 15+ rating.
With the new legislation finally being approved by Parliament, the new classification rating finally puts Australia on the same level as the majority of the world. The bill that was passed, titled The Classification Amendment Bill 2012, will finally allow violent games to be sold to an adult audience, unedited and uncut, and without any legal restrictions on them. Previous titles that were affected by the rating can also have the chance to be re-released in their full, bloody glory.
The new rating is scheduled to be fully integrated on January 1 2013, and Parliament plans to pass a set of complementary legislation to make sure games with violent content are rated appropriately. I recommend Aussie gamers start the new year off by ripping a human being in half.