By Steve Wright
Jason Clare, the Minister for Home Affairs in Australia, has just released word that the R18+ rating for games will become reality from 2013. This notification comes after legislation was successfully pased through the Federal Parliament, and through Australia's Senate without amendment.
In short, this is a good day to be a mature-aged Australian gamer.
Mr Clare said, “These are important reforms over 10 years in the making. The R 18+ 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.”
Since game classification ultimately rests at state level, each separate state will now have to pass their own complimentary legislation. The ACT seems posed to become the first state to pass such legislation, whilst South Australia looks to have plans of their own.
The Minister for Home Affairs' website predicts that Australia is on schedule to see its first R18+ rated games by 1 January 2013.
We've reached out to advocate group Grow Up Australia for comment and will update this story as we hear back.