South Australia To Go It Alone And Introduce R18+?

South Australian Attorney-General John Rau earlier today placed his support behind R18+, and the elimination of MA15+ but today, speaking to Gamespot, he suggested that South Australia would be putting an adult rating in place regardless of the decision made in the SCAG meeting in July.

"We do this with film now," he said, "the ACT and NT have different legislation when it comes to X-rated films compared to the rest of the country. This already exists and the sky hasn't fallen in. I don't think that it will be a problem if South Australia has a slightly different regime in respect to games than the rest of the nation."

"The next step will depend on what happens in SCAG in July," he continued. "Certainly, in order to implement R18+ for games here in South Australia there will need to be some regulation or possible statutory amendments made but I don't think it will be hard to do this. We just have to wait until the federal position becomes clear."

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. If no consensus is reached, could other states follow in South Australia's footsteps?

We're currently checking up on the logistics of this to see if such a move is possible. Stay tuned.

South Australia to introduce R18+ for games


Comments

    Oh hell yes. This sounds fantastic. I'd prefer a single, unified system nation-wide, but this is preferable to no amendments at all.

    OH THE IRONY - For years, the major roadblock to ANY discussion on the topic was Michael Atkinson, the SA A-G.. I would laugh my ass off if it was the first state to accommodate an R18 classification!

      THIS.

    This seems like a step in the right direction until you actually read his comments:

    "He says the view that film classification can be applied directly to video games is wrong: firstly because films are not interactive, and secondly because while the idea of parental supervision in relation to film is justifiable, it is "ludicrous" when applied to video games."

    Interactivity has not been shown to have any effect on the impact of the material people view.

    His statement about parental supervision makes no sense at all, especially when you consider parental controls on modern consoles.

    It's a cop-out and if he does this, we'll have an even more fragmented classification system, which will only really make the problem worse.

    Nice job breaking it, hero.

      Ironic that under the eyes of copyright law, video games are considered cinematographic films and are treated much the same as films.

        He's right in the sense that you can't just use the standards for film with videogames. They don't for the MA rating for instance so why would they for the R? To do it properly definethe rating properly. You never know, it could work in videogames favour?

      I disagree. Adult supervision being accounted into the rating may be a bad move, but there are legitimate differences compared to film.

      Either way, the fact that we must comprismise due to a handful of shit parental figures and the purchasing of in-appropriated games for underlings is what we have to bare.

      "MA15+ Not suitable for people under 15. Under 15s must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian."
      I think a lot of people misunderstand what this actually means:
      Someone under the age of 15 can actually purchase this product, however consent must be given by a present parent or adult guardian.
      Someone under the age of 15 can actually watch/play this product, however a parent or adult guardian must be present and actively engaged in supervising *AT ALL TIMES*. Failure of a parent or adult guardian to do so actually comprises an offense.

      Now I know that (a) this sort of supervision isn't occuring and (b) the frequency of this sort of supervision isn't being monitored by (say) DOCS (who would invariably become involved as minors are involved).

      So when John Rau says that supervision is "ludicrous when applied to video games", I'm inclined to agree (although after nearly 10 years in retail I know there are enough parents out there who have used/do use GTA as a babysitter for their 10 year olds that maybe DOCS should be stepping in just a little bit).

      Additionally, I wouldn't want take a guess at how small the number of parents who even know that modern consoles have built-in restriction controls, or those that know it's there but don't know how to use it.

        Quite simply, if it is ludicrous to expect a parent to monitor their child playing the game, then it is equally ludicrous to expect a parent to monitor their child watching a film, TV show or mini-series that carries the same rating.

        I believe the argument can be applied to all mediums, so I don't understand why it is only being used against video games.

        I don't think the classification board has ever done a sufficient job in explaining the various classifications and their meanings. I am pretty well versed in them simply because I went out of my way to read up on them after finding my copy of Batman Begins had "Mild Themes".

        If people actually understood what the age restrictions meant, or if they were enforced at any other point aside from the point of sale, then the system would almost make sense. Instead, the ratings are viewed typically as guidelines by the greater population. Maybe the classifications should be revised to fit in line with how they're actually used.

        I think I started rambling about three keystrokes into this reply, so feel free to ignore parts of what I've said. Or all of it. Ignoring all of it is equally acceptable.

    gimme mortal kombat

    Come on, this is just South Australia f**king with the rest of the country, right? :D

      Pretty much.

      By the sounds of it, all they're planning to do is put a sticker over the top of the MA15+ rating that says R18+.

    I was originally worried that this was not going to change anything meaningful - that the exact same games we have now would move from MA15+ to R18+ and games that are banned now would continue to be banned into the future. But then I read this line from Mr Rau:
    "No adult would be any worse off [with the abolishment of MA15+ for games]; in fact, adults would be better off because there would be more games available in the R18+ category."

    He is indeed open to relaxing censorship at the top level, and actually trying to come up with a solution that addresses everybody's concerns! Wow!

    Won't problems occur with raitings and having to print different stickers/sell games with an r18 raiting in different states etc.

    I remember an article a while ago where Paul Lucas (the Qld AG) stated he supported an R18+ rating. Maybe if one AG breaks ranks then the other supportive AGs will follow suit (sorry Victoria). As long as it is a proper R rating I don't care how it happens!

    Just a thought: what issues would this pose in terms of publishers seeking classification for their games in Australia if SA has a different scheme? Increased costs? Delays? Different versions for different states?

    It initially sounds like a step in the right direction, but when I think that if something like this occurs, then our classification rules are determined on the whims of each state's AG, and I really want THAT to happen.

    I say thank you to jamesmacusedmyhandle, because without his tireless efforts (not lifting a finger) none of this could have happened!

    Good job nohandle!

    Please let this be so. It's our reward for putting up with that d**khead Atkinson for so long :)

    Could this be... a benefit... to living in Adelaide?

    Couldn't be... we're the state with the one-way highway.

    I dunno Marky; South Australia has "gone it alone" on classification issues in the past. In 2005 the South Australian Classification Council "reclassified" the film 9 Songs from R18+ to X18+ (effectively banning it in the state). The SA Classification Council took it upon themselves to take a film that remains legal for adults to sell and buy - all across the country - and outlaw it within SA borders. I wouldn't really trust the SA Classification Council as far as I could throw them, particularly if all they're planning to do is classify all MA15+ games R18+.

    this is big news...its actually on the little news feed thing on Sky News...hell the other night PMLive was actually talking about the whole PSN debarcle.

    Interesting...so NSW to follow suit as well? please?

    For all those years, SA and its Bible thumping populace has been holding back the rest of Australia, to the point that we are one big joke in the eyes of the international community. I'm not just talking games here, those sicko's over there tried to ban "small breasts" from being displayed in media because it "resembles" those of a child (i kid ya not, your wife has small ones?, you=pedophile). They tried to ban "happy hour",Bullbars on vehicles etc. It truly is a miserable state that is determined to keep Australia as backwards as possible.

    And while i am happy for them to get that 18 rating, i cant help but feel a little screwed over by S.A if they get it first after mindfcking the rest of Australia with their Bible nonsense / safe the children for over a decade.

      Bull-bars, "Happy hour"? Dyson, these things are horrible. The less 4WD's on our road the better and we have so many drinking problems its destroying the country. The small breasts argument was halarious and short-lived, but you don't bring up the worse argument about why and how they would have attempted to censor it.

      I am normally quiet liberal in my views, but your argument is god awful (<- See what i did there?)

      Seriously, I don't want one state changing the rules by giving into public demand, I want the country to change because someone tapped them on the shoulder and whispered "You're a fucking idiot."

        I would also accept "You're doing it wrong." and "U mad government?"

        Also, as a south Australian I take offence to your comment. As a member of the mentioned populace pet me make myself clear. I am Christian, I am not a bible basher. I am in strong support of r18+ in Australia, as are ALL members of my community as well as friends and family I have spoken with. South Australia is not as backwards as everyone thinks it is. Michael Atkinson is not indicative of the rest of my states population, nor os the ACL
        (though I'd hate to have to vote for mike rann just to get this rating through)

        My understanding is that the M rating will still be in place, though that's not legally enforceable the way MA15+ is. The R18+ rating will more closely match the rating criteria for movies and such. I would prefer to just drop the M and keep MA15+. Still anything is better than nothing and if this goes through, then it will likely only be a temporary meshes till the rest of the country catches up.
        Also it may not go anywhere, and it's just a statement to test the water knowing that they can still use the AG as a scapegoat or anyone else...

    As much as the rest of Australia loves to bash our friends in SA, this is a very good move and surprising considering the state's heritage. Would be nice if the rest of the states follow suit.

    This is definately a steo in the right direction.

    Wait.

    Wait, Wait, Wait?

    Wait!

    For years, we've been waiting for these jerks to agree with each other and now, it turns out that wasn't needed?

    Are you forking kidding me? That each territory can just go aww you know what, Adults can play Mortal Kombat, and a Fallout game where the M word is mentioned (Morphine BTW), heck the next thing you know is we'll be allowed to kill virtual zombies and see what happens.

    Seriously hasn't this whole Video game debacle been over the fact that they all have to agree and now that turns out to be a load of BS?

    Dyson needs to suck it up and get over it <- See what I also did there? :)

    Does anyone remember when Queensland thought they could do this back in 09? Turned out they couldn't, they had to follow a federal law.

    Like how Anna Bligh found out she couldn't exclude anyone from out of state from being eleigible for a certain fuel subsidy.

    You would think this could only apply to those who reside in South Australia, because it may as well become a universal rating across every state if one state implements such a rating.

    time to move to south australia then?

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