After countless scandals over banning violent games, the Australian government has finally approved a  "R18+" rating for games designed for adult audiences. The rating will serve as the Australian equivalent to the ESRB's "M" rating in the US and the "PEGI 18" rating in Europe.

Beyond helping consumers tell the difference between games designed for teens and games designed for adults, the additional rating equates games to film, television and other forms of entertainment media.

"These are important reforms over 10 years in the making," said Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare. "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 new rating classification system takes effect beginning January 1st, 2013.

[Via AU]