After years of opposing it, the Australian government has finally decided to back the introduction of an R18+ rating for adult games in the region.
While Australia has an R18+ rating for adults only movies, the maximum age rating available for games was MA15+. In practice, this meant that all games such as Manhunt 2 which were deemed more violent than the MA15+ rating guidelines were effectively banned by being refused to be rated.
"We want to provide better guidance for parents and remove unsuitable material from children and teenagers. The introduction of an R18+ classification will help achieve that," the Minster for Home Affairs and Justice Brendan O'Connor, announced just before a Standing Committee of Attorneys General meeting on Friday.
"We believe that this is the right decision for Australian families and the right decision for parents who want to be able to make informed choices about the games their children play."
"Children and teenagers shouldn't be exposed to the gratuitous sex, violence and adult themes that are contained in some computer games," he added.
O'Connor noted that some existing MA15+ and unrated games might get reclassified to R18+ and that some unrated games might still be kept unrated (and banned) if they don't meet the new criteria guidelines.