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Rau: South Australia to replace MA15+ ratings with R18+

Monday, 18th July 2011 04:14 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Attorney-General John Rau has communicated that South Australia will drop the current MA15+ ratings category for video games in favour of R18+, regardless of national overhauls to the classifications system.

The Australian reports a spokesperson for state attorney general John Rau announced the state’s government’s plans yesterday.

The move would see games classified as MA15+ across the country re-classified as R18+ within South Australia, effectively making it illegal for gamers under 18 years of age to purchase the vast majority of best-selling games.

Rau had vetted the idea in April, but floated it as a possible course of action should upcoming classifications reforms fail to introduce an R18+ category.

Now the attorney-general apparently intends to go it alone regardless of the outcome of this week’s Standing Committee of Attorneys General, at which Rau will meet with his opposite numbers from other states and territories to make a final decision on classifications reform.

It’s being reported this morning that NSW Attorney General Greg Smith is to abstain in Friday’s vote, meaning the issue is unlikely to make progress on a national level.

Oppositional spokesperson Stephen Wade called Rau’s move “bizarre” and unfair to local retailers.

“The Attorney-General has indicated that he appreciates that people will continue to access games, through downloading them and through mail order. So it would be clearly an unfair impost on South Australian retailers at a time we are very aware of the competition between the online retail marker and the shopfront retail market.”

Interactive Games and Entertainment Association chief executive Ron Curry gave his two cents, saying the decision made “no sense” and pointing out the impossibility of national advertising.

Rau’s popularity with gamers is likely to take a dive following the announcement, as the attorney general had replaced the notoriously anti-R18+ Michael Atkinson, seemingly paving the way for classifications reform.

Thanks, GamePron.

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4 Comments

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  1. Mythor

    This is such a ridiculous proposal it’s a wonder it made it out of the gates. Even Atkinson’s obstructionist stance was better than this since at least then there was no potential for confusion over the classification markings.
    When I first heard this idea I had assumed it would be the introduction of an R18+ rating, with appropriate guidelines allowing for adult content, and the abolition of the MA15+ rating. Just shifting everything in MA15+ up to R18+ is a waste of time and we’re better off without it.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Christopher Jack

    @1, Everything rated MA15 is supposed to be R18 in the first place, we’ll still have M15 but that’s only recommended for 15+ year olds, not restricted.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Mythor

    @2, Not sure where you’ve got that idea from, but it’s wrong. There’s two seperate classifications, MA15+ and R18+ and different levels of content are acceptable in each, much as there’s a differentiation between the M and MA ratings and what is suitable for each.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Christopher Jack

    @3, That’s how it should work, exactly like it does for movies & television, but because this is only happening in one state, keeping MA & adding R would change our entire classification system & no one would go along with that just for my state(Yes, my state, I live just north of Adelaide in SA).

    When I said everything MA15 should be R18 in the first place, I was clearly exaggerating, there are many games that do fit between M15 & R18, but I still don’t think MA is necessary, but that’s just my opinion. I think it’d be best to abolish MA, upgrade M to restricted to 15+ years of age & be more lenient with PG games.

    #4 3 years ago