The Australian senate has passed legislation to allow the establishment of an R18+ category for video games.

The bill passed early yesterday evening without amendments. Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare says the new category will inform consumers, parents and retailers which games are not suitable for minors, and will prevent minors from purchasing classified material.

“These are important reforms over 10 years in the making,” Mr Clare stated.

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

The legislative changes will align Australia with much of the western world in allowing video games to be classified alongside categories that already exist for motion pictures.

All that is required now is for individual states and territories to pass complementary legislation allowing the rating to come into effect from January 1st 2013.