New S.A. Attorney-General Might Support R18+, Might Not [Updated]

New S.A. Attorney-General Might Support R18+, Might Not [Updated]

The man taking over the post of South Australian Attorney-General from Michael Atkinson isn’t sure yet if he supports the introduction of an R18+ rating for computer and video games. But he isn’t ruling it out either.

John Rau was named as Attorney-General following Michael Atkinson’s surprise retirement after winning his seat of Croydon at the South Australian election in March.

While Rau himself made no statement on the R18+ issue at the time, Chris Prior of Gamers 4 Croydon tweeted what gamers around the country had hoped to hear: that Rau was indeed a supporter of an R18+ classification.

“New SA Attorney-General is John Rau, a supporter or the R18+ classification for games (and a nice guy, to boot),” Prior wrote back in late March.

But in a statement yesterday to Gamespot, Rau has distanced himself from such claims.

“I have no preconceptions about this issue and intend to listen to the arguments. I can neither support nor wisely argue against a position if I am not aware of the relevant factors.

“It is worth noting that ultimately, the decision does not rest with me alone. Any change would require the support of each jurisdiction’s attorney-general.”

Which is fair enough. Having just completed a period of public consultation on this very issue, neither Rau nor any politician would want to pre-empt the eventual decision of the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General… whenever that meeting eventuates.

UPDATE: The Age is reporting that the issue of games classification will be “on the agenda” at the next SCAG meeting on May 7. However, this does not mean a decision on an R18+ rating will be made on that date.

New SA attorney-general denies pro-R18+ stance [Gamespot]


  • well it makes sense not to go in with preconceived notions, that’s what the last guy did wrong.

    If it comes down to fact v fact we win, so lets hope it goes that way.

    If it gets all emotional and teary eye’d the family groups win with their wild allegations and baseless claims.

    • The frustrating thing is that if the family groups actually thought long and hard about it they’d realised that an R18+ rating would actually work in their favour, not against it. *sigh*

      • Ugh that’s the sad thing! I’m not even sure if they want what’s best, I’m starting to get the impression they just want to be seen to be speaking out against *something* at all times to justify their existence.

        After all, whats a religion without a good crusade every so often.

        aaah but that’s not fair, they probably earnestly believe what they do is the right thing. Misguided conservatism I suppose.

      • The problem is the agenda of conservative family groups is they want to have *all* violent games banned from purchase for anybody of any age in this country. This is why Atkinson kept pushing that disgusting Rape Lay game as an example of “games available here” that he was fighting against, and why gamers are misrepresented as either mostly children, or crazy violent pyschopaths.

        That’s why Atkinson and his supports kept pushing the family-friendly Wii as the only gaming platform right-minded citizens should play.

  • Honestly, I feel more comfortable about this guy if he truly has no preconceptions about the issue. Someone with no preconceptions usually listens to all the arguments and bases decision-making on them.

    The biggest problem with Atkinson was that he had the preconception that gaming did bad things to people and wouldn’t listen to anything else. Other politicians suffer from similar problems.

    Call me crazy, but I want to be listened to, even if the ultimate decision doesn’t go my way.

  • After listening to both sides of the argument it is inevitable that he will support an R18 rating it is the only issue that makes sense and he looks to be a man of sense.

    • He still works for the Labour Party, and the SA Labour Party is against the R18+ rating.

      I’m not holding out hope.

      He’s had the job for a few weeks, and we’re only now hearing that he doesn’t know what he thinks of the idea?

      It cost the last incumbent 3% of his primary votes… believe me, he’s got an opinion even if he doesn’t have a position.

      • True, and while the SA Labor party might be responsible for the proposed Internet Filter *shakes fist* it doesn’t mean that everyone in said party is especially FOR what the party stands for.

        Look at Atkinson. After coming down he said that he wasn’t really against the R18+ rating, but he held his ground. This John Rau bloke might not hold dear the values of the Labor party (and hey, I personally hope he doesn’t. Means that we can finally enjoy our games along with the rest of the world).

        • Speaking of the filter *shakes fist too*…

          Where has the Liberal party been about that?
          With the exception of Joe Hockey, I haven’t heard one word for or against it from the opposition.

    • I am also over this debate .. especially this whole notion of “Us” vs “Them”. When it comes down to it I can import anything I like from overseas anyway so they can do whatever they want here.

      • Maybe you can legally import any game you want, but that certainly isn’t the case in all states. In WA, it is illegal to possess RC material (as opposed to just being illegal to distribute it). While people in WA probably won’t have any more trouble importing these games, it would be nice if they could do it without breaking the law.

        I don’t know about you, but I’ve never considered bad laws to be acceptable just because there is a low chance of being caught.

    • Very defeatist attitude there. It’s not the fact that they’re “just video games” its about the issue of polititions taking away our rights and liberties.

      It starts with video games and internet “filters”, but then where do they go? What’s next? Book burnings? political imprisonment?

      Mark my words: If we do not fight these things, we will be throwing what is already laughingly called our freedoms away…

  • Meh. This didn’t really phase me. He seems like a sensible man, so ‘no preconceived notions’ is what I expected anyway. 😛

  • From my experience, politicians are loyal to their parties first, constituents second.
    He’s probably waiting til his “handlers” tell him which way his stance will go.
    I’m hoping his “party” are also worried about the voter backlash that might come from going against an R18+ rating.

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