Australia to adopt R18+ adult rating for video games

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A general view of the atmosphere at the unleashing of Warner Bros.' "Mortal Kombat Legacy" at Saint Felix II on April 14, 2011 in Hollywood, California.

Australia will adopt an adults-only rating for video games after legislation creating an "R18+" category for games was passed by the parliament.

Previously, adult-only games from overseas were either banned in Australia or given a lower classification, allowing children to obtain them, Australia's ABC reported

The Classification Amendment Bill 2012, which comes into effect on Jan. 1, brings Australia into line with international standards, according to the ABC.

Under the current system for rating computer games, with MA15+ the highest rating, titles like Mortal Kombat 9 have been refused classification and made illegal to sell, while other games with strong adult themes — such as Left 4 Dead 2 and Witcher 2 — have had their content edited in order to meet the 15+ rating, wrote

Now, "no matter how bawdy, violent, or graphically sexual" a game, it can now be legally released in the country, according to Digital Trends.

"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," Justice Minister Jason Clare reportedly said in a statement.

"The reforms also mean that adults are able to choose what games they play within the bounds of the law."

Australia's R18+ video game classification is equivalent to the ESRB's "M" rating in the States and PEGI 18 in Europe, according to

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