New South Australian Attorney-General Supports R18+ Rating

New South Australian Attorney-General Supports R18+ Rating

Australia is one step closer to a mature rating for video games, as resigning ratings-blocker Michael Atkinson is replaced as South Australian Attorney-General by John Rau, a man who reportedly says an R18+ video game rating is common sense.

Australian gamers and publishers alike have long lamented the lack of an R18+ rating for video games. The highest rating a game can receive in the country is MA15+, a decision made back during the early days of gaming. As games started to mature, publishers started finding it harder and harder to get more mature-rated games in the country, for if a game didn’t fall under the MA15+ rating or lower, it had to be modified or it wouldn’t see the light of day.

As our embedded Australian correspondent Luke Plunkett explains it, the reason why this hasn’t changed after all these years was South Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson, the single holdout against the change, which requires all six attorneys general to approve.

Atkinson made the decision to step down from his attorney-general post this past weekend, raising hopes that the approval of the R18+ rating for games could be close at hand.

Now those hopes rise a bit higher.

South Australian Premier Mike Rann yesterday said that MP John Rau would be filling Atkinson’s vacated position, and according to Gamers4Croydon party president Chris Prior, who spoke with Rau prior to his appointment, the newcomer is fully open to the concept of mature-rated games.

“He indicated to me that the lack of an R18+ for games seemed absurd, and that it was really just common sense to introduce it, considering the vast majority of adult content is already available under the MA15+ classification.”

So now we wait, but we shouldn’t have to wait long. The R18+ rating is on the agenda for the next meeting of the attorneys general in late April. Hopefully this will signal an end to stories about Australia “banning/” games.

John Rau open to R18+ rating, says campaigner [News.Com.AU]


  • I want to hear it straight from the horses mouth, I want to hear John Rau say he supports the R18+ rating himself and then i will get excited.

  • It definitely IS on the agenda? Last I heard it wasn’t clear whether it was or not… Would make sense considering the public submission.

  • So, hang on. I thought there were other secret AG hold-outs on the R18 introduction? Was this ever spouted by anyone other that our old friend Aktinson?

    Secondly, I thought the next meeting the whole R18 thing wasn’t even going to be raised yet? So does this now confirm it will be discussed?

    *Hands out sluthing hats to all

  • Atkinson was responsible for the ‘rumour’ that other AGs didn’t want the rating–as far as I’ve read.

    I’m not sure what the intervals are for the SCAG meetings, but if they are reasonably frequent, it might be better for them to NOT discuss it at the one coming up soon. It would be more responsible to actually complete the review of the public submissions, then discuss it in earnest at the next one. But if these things happen at 12 month intervals or something, they might need to talk about it now.

    • I thought I read on Kotaku the discussion of the public submissions were in May.

      I know for certain there are other A-G who are quite conservative, but had no real knowledge of the issues surrounding the R18+ rating for games.

      Hopefully the publicity over this, the amount of submissions received, and individual emails sent to these MPs have given them reason to explore the issue more in depth so they can make informed and intelligent decisions.

      • this is merely a step yes Atkin said that there are some other AG’s that are kind of against it

        but before they had atkinson to hide behind he was never going to change his mind so there was no reason for them to step out of the shadows and cop the same sort of flak that he did

        so now theyll either step out and become the new politician for gamers to put there sites on getting tossed out of office or accept it

        which then asks the question are the other AG’s in confortable seats like atkinson was or could as swing actually remove them from the seat

  • To me the R18+ debate has never been about letting me play the 3-4 games banned a year – it’s about limiting access to mature games from 15 year olds – I believe this is still the parent’s responsibility but at least this should help them make an informed decision if they care enough. I have been so dissappointed that discussion on this topic always went along the lines of freedom of speech etc etc rather than protecting youth from volence in the same manner that movies are classified…

      • MunKy – I could not agree more. The fact that kids are already playing these games should have been the focus of the debate…

        glennc – That’s the greatest advantage of an R rating – its legally bound. You can ask for ID now and turn down anyone without proof of age, while the MA15+ rating is basically unenforceable.

        I also think an R rating will wake up parents buying games for their kids too – no more idiot parents buying GTA for their 10 year olds…

  • At this point, it’s a politics thing.

    With 55,000+ papers signed and delivered and thats not all of them apparently, you can bet your ass that Atkinsons stepping down was NOT for the reasons he said. He was obviously ‘given incentive’ to part with his position.

    We’ve seen it happen before, it’ll happen again. He did it to save face. Kudos to him for stepping down gracefully though, thank you Mr Atkinson for going without causing a fuss, I can respect you now in the long run.

    In the short term, too much hurt… 🙁

    Anyhow, right now, the Labor party is still hurting, they’re going to want to bring their voters back into the fold. You can bet that they’re going to seek to give people what they want… and I can tell you now, they’re going to be listening to the fact that the majority of Australia CLEARLY wants the R rating.

    It’ll be on the agenda. Bet your grandmother on it.

  • if another Ag steps up and takes Atkinson’s place it will be like the Australian government driving a Mack truck at full speed directly into my soul

  • Actual going to laugh (and then cry) and then laugh+cry if one of the other Attorney-General’s end up being against it and just not voicing them big mouth like Atkinson did.

    Atkinson DID state their were others… it remains to be seen now!

  • Got a source there Mike that confirms the issue is on the AG’s next agenda? Everything I’ve seen lately indicates the agenda isn’t published ahead of the meeting. So do you have an un-named source with access to the agenda, or the balls to admit to a bit of careless research?

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