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Australia set to introduce R18+ rating in 2013

Legislation now with Australian lower parliament, expected to come into effect in January 2013

The Australian government could introduce an adults-only rating for games into law on January 1, 2013.

According to a report on Player Attack, the legislation for an R18+ category has been prepared by the Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Justice Jason Clare.

At present, the highest age-rating available in Australia is MA15+, for games deemed suitable for nobody under the age of 15.

However, this has resulted in a number of violent games being effectively banned by being refused classification. The R18+ rating will bring games into line with the country's policy on films.

"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" said Clare in a statement.

The bill has been introduced to the Lower House of the Australian parliament, which will then discuss the measures suggested. However, the amendments are so simple, and public support is so strong, that the bill is expected to pass with little resistance.

Australia's individual territories will be free to implement their own legislation.

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Matthew Handrahan avatar
Matthew Handrahan: 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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