South Australia will move ahead with attorney general John Rau’s plan to rebadge all games rated MA15+ as R18+, enforcing their sale only to legal adults, despite progress in a national campaign for classification reform.
Now that national R18+legislation seems likely to proceed, Rau expects the state-level equivalent to be introduced to parliament as early as May – but isn’t satisfied with these measures.
“My long-stated position has been to protect children by creating a clearer distinction between games that may be suitable for children and those that are suitable only for adults,” he told Gamespot.
“Therefore, my intention is that the South Australian legislation will prevent the sale of MA15+ games to minors. This move will give parents greater certainty about the appropriateness of games for their children.”
Under Rau’s proposed scheme, games classified at a national level at the MA15+ level would be labelled R18+ in South Australia, and could only be sold to legal adults
The attorney-general first floated the idea of cutting out the MA15+ ratings category during an intense political campaign to introduce a nation-wide R18+ ratings category for video games. Initially reported as an interim measure or state-only solution should the R18+ category fall through, Rau later clarified that he intended to pursue the plan regardless.
The politician said details of how the scheme would work will be revealed “in due course”; the legislation will have to be enforced at the retail level, something which has been demonstrably patchy even under the more flexible current conditions.
Rau’s proposal suggests that he disagrees with the revised national content standards introduced in classification reform legislation.