Australia is finally allowing the sale of games for adults. No, not that kind of adult — but games rated MA-17 in North America and PEGI-18 in Europe. The new Australian equivalent to these ratings ins R18+.
Prior to yesterday, the country’s highest classification was MA15+. This proved to be problematic for many titles, with many of the more violent games being heavily censored or downright banned from sale. The country’s Federal Parliament passed the legislation to allow for R18+ games last year, citing a need to inform consumers and accepting that adults can make their own decisions when it comes to video games.
Australia was one of the only English-speaking countries in the world that did not have a rating for games past MA15+ (or PEGI-16/Teen). It was not uncommon for Australian gamers to have titles shipped from overseas to bypass the ban.
John Rau, South Australia’s Attorney-General spoke to ABC News, clarifying what will be available in the country.
“The regime still contemplates that some games will be so unsatisfactory that they will be refused classification altogether. Now, that will continue.”
His use of “unsatisfactory” refers to titles that are excessively violent, sexually explicit, or those that depict drug use. Despite these restrictions, this is still a win for Australian gamers.