Kotaku Australia are reporting that the long-awaited legislation allowing the R18 rating to be applied to games has passed Parliament tonight, and is now, effectively law, at least federally.
This is a pretty big step forward for the Australian gaming community, and one that has been many 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.”
Now all that remains is for each state to pass its own version of the legislation, as per the agreement that got the ball rolling on this matter some months back. If all goes according to plan, it will be possible for the Classification Board to pass games with an R rating from January 1, 2013.
(Note, however, that this won’t mean currently-banned games get unbanned. Those games will need to be resubmitted, and its up to each individual publisher to determine whether or not they want to do that.)