Australia has officially introduced an R18+ classification for video games.
(Credit: Australian Classification Board)
The proposed R18+ classification for video games in Australia passed Federal Parliament without amendment today, turning the adult rating for games into official federal legislation.
The R18+ bill was introduced to parliament in February by Federal Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Justice Jason Clare. The bill passed the Lower House in March, also without amendment.
Since passing the Senate today, the R18+ legislation has become law.
"These are important reforms, over 10 years in the making," Clare said in a statement today.
"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. The reforms also mean that adults are able to choose what games they play, within the bounds of the law."
According to Clare's office, Australian state and territories will now move to pass their own complementary legislation to ensure that R18+ games are "appropriately regulated".
Subject to this, the national R18+ category for games will come into effect on 1 January 2013.
Australian federal, state and territory ministers first agreed to introduce the R18+ category for games in Australia on 21 July 2011, after years of setbacks, negotiations and public consultation on the issue.