After many years of protest, editorials, and gamers raging about not being able to play a heck of a lot of games in Australia due to games being banned if they exceed the R15+ rating, Australia has finally stepped into the 21st century and have announced the R18+ rating.

According to the International [via Destructoid] they quoted Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Justice Jason Clare as saying...
“These are important reforms over 10 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."

Nice.

The rating will officially go into effect beginning January 1st, 2013. This means that violent, gory, mature video games that have always been off limits, legally, to Australian gamers will soon be available to those who wish to buy them.

A lot of really cool games have lately been banned from the Oceanic region due to their mature-rating, including hit titles such as Mortal Kombat, The Getaway, Manhunt and Left 4 Dead to name a few.

The new rating system couldn't come at a better time, especially with games like God of War, Watch Dogs and The Last of Us on the horizon in 2013. A lot of good games are set for release next year so gamers down under no longer have to worry about games being censored like a DVD of Richard Prior's standup routine playing at a convent.

You can learn more about the rating change by visiting the International.

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