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Australia introduces R18+ certificate for games

New classification expected in "a couple of months", allows for more explicit content

The Australian federal government will introduce an R18+ classification for video games, Gamespot AU reports.

The country's ministers gathered at the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (SCAG) meeting in Adelaide to bring the long-running issue to a close.

Eight of Australia' nine territories agreed to introduce the new classification pending the approval of the proposed R18+ guidelines. Only New South Wales abstained from the vote, claiming that further discussion with its cabinet is required.

Federal minister for home affairs Brendan O'Connor announced that the classification would be introduced at a federal level, and that the process would only take "a couple of months."

"This is a big step forward in the long-running debate on classification of computer games for adults," he said.

"Once introduced, the classification will afford adults the opportunity to view material designed for adults. It is a credit to all jurisdictions that the meeting has now been able to achieve agreement over what is a complex matter in classification policy."

Australia has long been known for its tough stance on video games, effectively banning a number of high profile releases due to the absence of an adult age classification. However, the R18+ guidelines allow for more explicit language, violence and depictions of sexual acts.

The new rating will be welcomed by the Australian development community, which recently benefitted from the introduction of research and development tax credits.

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Matthew Handrahan

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Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.

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