After much debate, Australia's federal parliament has finally okayed an R18+ classification for video games.
The new R18+ is basically an "M" in North America or PEGI 18 in Europe. Prior to the change, games with questionable or mature content would either have to be censored or wound up on the country's ban list, like NetherRealm's Mortal Kombat.
Australia's Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare chalks this one up as a victory:
"These are important reforms over 10 years in the making. The R18+ 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."
Up until now, the country's video game ratings system only went as high as MA15+, while movies had its own R18 classification. With the new mature rating for games, Australia's classification system would now be uniform across all media.
The new rating system will take effect next year, starting January 1, 2013.