Australia is one of the biggest video game markets that also frequently bans a number of PC and console games that are released in the US and other parts of the world. This is due to the fact that the country has not had a video or PC game ratings that allows for games that can be bought by people 18 years of age and older. Now the countrys government is finally moving toward offering an R18+ rating for games after years of debate.
Gamasutra reports that a draft of the new video game ratings system has now been issued which should give games the freedom that R18+ movies are currently afforded in Australia. That means that games with the R18+ will have "virtually no restrictions on the treatment of themes". Violence in games will also have few restrictions under the R18+ ratings system, "except where it offends against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that it should not be classified." And, yes, simulated sex in games can also be depicted under the proposed R18+ rating. The new guidelines will also keep the R15+ rating for games that have some mature content but perhaps not enough to warrant the new R18+ level. The government should decide if it will approve the guidelines in July.
Australia has flat out banned a number of games from being sold in the country due to the lack of an R18+ rating including Postal 2, Risen, and most recently the new Mortal Kombat game. Many other games that were banned at first were later released, some unedited and others with content edits.