Australia finally brings in R18+ age rating

New classification should curtail censorship and game bans.

The Australian government is to bring in a new R18+ age rating for video games.

The highest rating a game could previously receive in the country was MA15+, meaning violent titles were either not released or were subject to heavy cuts.

With the new badge in place, adult gamers down under should now have a much larger choice of what to play.

"The R18+ 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," explained Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare, as reported by news.com.au.

"The reforms also mean that adults are able to choose what games they play within the bounds of the law."

The new system, which should be in place by January 2013, brings games into line with how movies are rated and distributed in the country.

"The passage of this bill will no doubt be welcomed by adult gamers all across Australia," added shadow attorney-general George Brandis. "The industry has been waiting for this change for some time."

Among the titles rejected by the Australian Classifications Board in recent years were Aliens vs Predator and last year's Mortal Kombat reboot.

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