New video games rating R18+ becomes available in Australia

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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Logo for the rating system used in Canada and the United States, which operates on a voluntary basis.
Image: Entertainment Software Rating Board.

A new Australian adult video game classification, R18+, came into effect starting yesterday.

The new rating brings greater consistency between Australia's systems of video game ratings and film ratings. Previously video game classification went no higher than MA15+, so more adult video games would have to be either classed as MA15+ or denied classification.

The government passed the legislation in June after a deal was agreed between the states, territories, and Commonwealth.

Video game ratings have been the center of long running public debate in Australia with some interest groups concerned that children may gain access to more violent games while proponents claim that the new adults only rating will guard children from inappropriate content.

The deal which allowed the legislation to proceed was struck after John Rau became Attorney General of South Australia. Mr Rau has been a vocal supporter of the change.