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]