Australia's House of Representatives last week passed a Federal bill that essentially backs the introduction of an R18+ classification for video games in the country, and it currently sits before the Senate for consideration. The new rating is expected to be officially enacted early next year, at last allowing video games to receive an 18-years-or-older age rating like movies and music currently sold in Australia.
To make good on the enactment, each of the country's jurisdictions will need to pass bills of their own. The Australian Capital Territory (ACT), which naturally includes capital city Canberra, becomes the first to do so in introducing legislation to implement the upcoming R18+ rating for games earlier this week. According to ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell:
"This is part of a national reform that will allow adult gamers to view R18+ material in the same way that can already be done for film and printed material.
"But at the same time it will also provide protection to parents and children by giving parents better guidance about what material is and is not appropriate for people under the age of 18."
The lack of any official 18+ age rating for video games basically prevented titles which featured content inappropriate for the current MA15+ ratings cap to be sold in Australia. Given the content in a lot of major/mainstream titles these days, you can imagine how Australia needed to ban many of them. One of the most recent examples was EA's Syndicate revival title. That is set to change once Australia will at last be able to leverage the R18+ classification for video games starting next year.