The Australian government is finally giving the go ahead for Mature and Adults Only game ratings.
According to the Australian legal system, at least right now, if a game isn't suitable for anyone fifteen or younger, then it isn't suitable for anyone. The country's lack of an R18+ rating essentially legally enforced the idea that videogames are not for adults, as any title that wasn't suitable for fifteen-year-olds had no avenue for a legal release, much to the chagrin of the majority of the country. However, Minister for Justice Brendan O'Connor announced that after years of public demand, proposal for the oft-demanded classification has received unanimous support from all voting jurisdictions.
Hopes for a shake-up in Australian classification law have been running high since outspoken anti-videogames demagogue Michael Atkinson retired from the front bench back in March of last year, but legislators have been dragging their heels. Just last month a proposal to introduce an R18+ classification was derailed by the Attorney General of New South Wales who chose to abstain from the vote. Every other jurisdiction had pledged support for the proposal. Something, perhaps a subtly placed horse head, seems to have changed the Attorney General's mind however, New South Wales now officially supports the new classification.
Though the Australian Government previously announced that it hoped the new classification would be available by the end of the year, the draft guidelines for the proposal have now been amended, requiring some jurisdiction representatives to seek approval from their respective cabinets, which is going to slow things down a little. This is great news for Australian gamers, nonetheless.
Source: Australian Labour Party