It's long past time that Australia acknowledges that video games aren't just for kids.
The Land Down Under has finally introduced the long-awaited R18+ ratings category for games. It passed the federal parliament without amendment, which effectively turns the new adult rating into official federal legislation. It'll be more like our ESRB ratings now (seen to the right of the article).
The bill went into parliament in February thanks to Federal Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Justice Jason Clare. And since passing the Senate, it is now a law. Said Clare:
"These are important reforms over 10 years in the making. 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."
However, this doesn't mean they'll just sit back and slap the R18+ label on anything that deserves it; they also want to pass a "complementary legislation" to insure that all such titles are "appropriately regulated." Also, just because it's a law now doesn't mean it's immediate; the national R18+ rating for games goes into effect on January 1, 2013.