South Australia To Restrict Sale of MA15+ Games To Those Over 18

South Australia plans to restrict the sale of MA15+ games to 18-year-olds, according to a report by GameSpot Australia.

The bill for an R18+ rating has passed the Lower House and, if it passes the Senate, it will be up to individual states to determine how they wish to implement the adult rating for video games.

A spokesperson for South Australian Attorney-General, John Rau told GameSpot AU that he intends to introduce a "complementary South Australian legislation" that restricts the sale of MA15+ games to adults over 18. Rau said that this was a more practical measure than his previous intention to remove the MA15+ rating altogether.

"...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," Rau said.

"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."

Rau said that if the law is implemented, it will be policed at a retail level. If the legislation is approved by the South Australian cabinet, it could be brought to parliament as early as next month.

[GameSpot AU]


    i hate you australia


        Just because you happen to agree with the sentiment doesn't really make it appropriate. It's not even accurate - it should be "South Australia" or "John Rau" to be at least vaguely on topic.

          No, I hate Australia sometimes too and I live here.

          The article refers to an Australian state and you don't consider "I hate you -australia-" even slightly on topic? What exactly is your definition of vague, because I want to mock it.

        Haha, south australia's spokesperson anyway. Good thing I don't live in SA.

          I don't think it'll stop many SA teenagers, they'll simply order their games from NSW or ACT.
          Most of the impact will be on the game retailers in SA, and even that will be negligble as the kids will just get an older friend to buy it for them.
          Another last ditch straw defence by SA.

      don't hate australia, hate the government and cops (except the state attourney generals, head of army, navy and air force and the guy who introduced the R18+ bill in the first place)

    Games rated suitable for 15 year olds... restricted to 18 year olds?

      MA 15+, you must be 18 or over to purchase a game rated this. But, it's MA 15+ plus, 15+, 15.
      Where the fuck is the sense in that? :|

        The argument here is that MA15+ is a broken rating and needs to be corrected.

        I guess....technically 18 is over 15? #moonlogic

        MA 15+ has always been a restricted category. It stands for Mature ACCOMPANIED 15, which means the product may be viewed by someone 15 and over but under 18 as long as they are accompanied by a legal guardian. In practice, tickets to a film are meant to be purchased by they legal guardian, and games were supposed to be bought by a legal guardian but may be played by 15 years and over in their legal care. This law is rarely enforced.

          Mic, MA15+ means restricted to persons 15 and over, period. I don't know where you got this idea of accompanied from, except that persons under 15 may view such material if they are accompanied by someone 15 or older. The number 18 has zero relevance till you reach R18+, at least for now in SA.

          Incorrect. I work for a cinema, and we have these pamphlets as a guideline:

          It clearly states: "A person needs to be 15 or older to see an MA 15+ film. The content is strong and unsuitable for people aged under 15. However people under 15 can see an MA 15+ film if accompanied by their parent or an adult guardian."

      The problem is of course, that games that should have been rated R, have been rated MA due to the lack of an R rating for games. I'd say this is actually a good decision, until those games can be reclassified.

        My feelings exactly. 15 year olds have been playing games that were meant for adults. Granted that means that some games that are rightfully MA15+ (the Halo series for example) will be affected as well, this i reckon is actually a progressive step forward than backwards. Maybe they might fix it back when R18 is put into place.

    Wouldn't the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 (Cth) overrule this? Federal legislation overrides State legislation.

      IIRC, the Federal Act only establishes the classification system. It is left to state/terr legislation as to how that system is implemented.

        That's the way its always been. Hence this is why X Rated material is illegal in some states and available in the ACT and NT.

    If he was being logical about this, he'd be applying the same restrictions to all media, not just games. Got a feeling that isn't even close to true.

    Then again, SA is pretty terrible with age restrictions. So very glad I don't live there.

    "This move will give parents greater certainty about the appropriateness of games for their children."

    So having a rating label that says it's suitable for 15+ but restricting sale to 18+ is giving greater certainty? Surely it's taking a very clear, simple classification scheme and muddying the waters?

      This was my thought exactly. This is entirely the opposite of clarity. The question remains: Are MA15+ games appropriate for children? Which children? "If an adults only (MA15) game is appropriate for my 15 year old, then maybe this other adults-only (R18) game is too. "

      How will this make things better John Rau? It has the MA15+ on the box but you will restrict it to R18+ levels without changing labels. Go back to your idea to change the labels or JUST LEAVE IT ALONE!
      Glad I live in the ACT (sometimes).

    Wow. Hahahaha OMG.
    Laugh or cry, people.

      Laugh UNTIL you cry Shane...

        I have to laugh. If I don't, I'll end up crying.

    SA: We stalled the R18 issue, so now we want to look ~progressive~....

    Redundant. What a waste of time and money.

    Perhaps if he spent less time posturing and introducing completely ineffective and illogical legislation he could possibly focus on trying to actually achieve something.

    I'm curious though, how often does someone between the ages of 15 and 18 regularly buy their own videogames with their own money?

      "They're called jobs, something a ****-ball like you wouldn't know anything about" --Julie Powers, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

        "How are you doing that with your mouth?" - Scott Pilgrim, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

        Well not all teenagers has access or the time to have a job.

          I disagree with this. This is more a case of not all teenagers putting having a job as a priority. Not a comment on right or wrong or what you decide to spend your time on but the simple fact is everyone's got time for a job. you just have to sacrifice other areas for it.

          As for access, I would also question whether its really access to "a job", or the "the job you want".

            Even if it's a priority some people aren't in the position to get a job. I couldn't even get one until I had at least gotten my license.

            Even if it is not a priority that still supports my theory that until they're an adult they're still getting their parents to buy them everything.

              “Even if it’s a priority some people aren’t in the position to get a job.”
              No. Same as my first post. People aren’t in the position to get the job they want. I guarantee you there were jobs… but the person didn’t want to do “those jobs”.
              “Even if it is not a priority that still supports my theory that until they’re an adult they’re still getting their parents to buy them everything.”
              LOL… my post in no way supports your theory and you are really missing the point COMPLETELY. In short you have it ass about. What I am getting at is the job is not a priority BECAUSE their parents buy them everything.

              I believe the colloquial term is spoilt. And if at 16-17 your mummy is still buying you everything… you are.

      When I was 15-18 I was working about 10-20 hours a week with no financial responsibilities such as rent/groceries etc. I probably had more disposable income than I do now as a 27 year old. :P I used to buy 1 or 2 games most weeks.

        You were lucky, I started work at the legal age of about 14 and 9 months and a lot of what I earnt ended up being put towards my first year of university. Though I did get to buy myself a TV and pitch in for a school trip to Japan.


    I'm 16 turning 17, how am I not responsible to purchase an MA15 game? I have been for 9 years :|

      the proplem is perents buy the games for there kids then see the violence and sex and stuff and complain about it sorry person

        It's right there on the case.

        Ignorance is not an excuse when it's their own fault for not paying attention.

          yes i no but look at the parents who made rockstar change Grand Theft Auto San Andreous just because they brought it for there 13 yr old kid who got that hot coffie minigame built into the original GTA SA 1.0

            I don't think you managed to get any bit of that right.

            Hot Coffee was a mod using assets that existed in the game but were coded out. Finding out that people could access those assets made the various rating boards change their classification of the game and force a recall so that it was in the state that the ratings boards assumed it was in before finding out about the mod.

            Storm in a teacup because you had to actively seek the mod and modify your game to get it.

            Also about as relevant to the discussion as using Rapelay as an example of why we shouldn't have an R18+ rating.

      No, it will corrupt you and turn you into an insane serial killer.

      You should stop playing those damn vidjyagames and go and sit down with a nice cup of tea and watch Coronation Street instead.

        oh dear, some people are really messed up, video games maybe but corination street? just strange

        That's something you don't see everyday, I feel kinda strange without video games being blamed.

      This is the problem, right here. 7 year olds playing MA15+ games. Seriously?

    God Damn It, just make my state a bigger mockery will you, I'm sick of all this stalling crap and not just giving us an R18+ rating

    all states should do this, then if parents buy the games for there kinds who are under the age of 18 for a ma15+ game there parents cant winge about there child playing a game with violence and filith

    On the one hand, it forces parents to pay attention to what games their kids want to buy because (in theory) the clerks will say "you're 15, I can't sell you that." so the parental unit needs to waddle over and buy it for them..

    On the other hand, wtf?! lol

    I'm 20, this has no effect on me whatsoever. But this is stupid. What a waste of time and money, this doesn't protect children, it merely annoys them - AND their parents who now have to head down to the store with their 17 year old in order to buy him the new MA15+ game all his friends have.

      If parents are doing this, then they clearly aren't thinking into this issue much.

    This might just work:
    If a 13 year old boy wants a MA game, previously he could ask some 15 years old (a friend from a grade above) to get it for him. Now this won't be possible. If that same boy then asks a 18 year old, there's a high chance that the 'responsible' adult will say 'I'm not buying it for you, you're too young'. Of course, it does not make a lick of sense that 15 year olds wouldn't be able to buy MA games, but hey, it's a crazy world and we're all just living in it.

      Yeah, when I worked in game retail, this shit happened all the time. Big release day, straight after school, a group of like 6 kids would all walk in and one of the kids would buy six copies of Halo Reach or whatever. This seems like something that happens so infrequently though that I wonder if this law would really have much of an effect.

    That is mind bogglingly stupid - games are rated for 15+. so we are going to make sure only 18+ can buy them, despite the fact that there will now be an 18+ rating and 15 years olds can currently buy MA games. South Australia - how do they work?

    Yeah make a clear distinction between adults and kids games... By only allowing adults to buy games recommended for 15 year olds.. what so until there 18 they arnt 15. Guy needs to go back to school

    I think this is a good move, although I think that may be an uncommon opinion here. MA15 has been broken for a long time. But Trjn is right, they should extend it to film. The Raid is an excellent example. Back to gaming, games like Bioshock 2 are rated 18 overseas but 15 here. The good side of that is the ratings board recognises our lack of 18 is stupid and is sneaking the games in, but the downside is that MA15 is now broken. So the SA government is sort of just patching things over. The only accurate way to fix it is to re-rate every MA15 game.

      No, it's completely redundant since this'll take place once the R18+ classification happens. Once the R18 is in place, then games inappropriate for MA15 will be rated R18 (well, hopefully), so what is the point of restricting MA15 to 18 year olds? It makes no sense and is a waste of time and money.

        That was my final sentence - that the only accurate way to fix it is to re-rate every MA15 game. But it's a lot easier to just turn it into MA18.

          No the easy way is to just let it go. Film classifications have definitely gotten tougher but they haven't reviewed old movies for new releases. I got a VHS copy of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom with some McDonald's meal. It was and still is rated PG, everyone knows that there is a scene where a man's heart is ripped out of his chest (still beating too!), that scene and all the voodoo stuff terrified me as a kid. There is no way if that came out now that it would be rated PG, but there aren't any pushes to review movies like that.

          The sensible thing to do is leave it perfectly alone. Video games have such a high turnover, that there is no reason to go review games because they are likely not in very high demand by the public anymore anyway. It is a complete waste of time and money for publishers and the classification board.

            Actually, the first two Indy movies (on DVD/BluRay) are rated M.
            The only one rated PG now is Last Crusade.

              Oh so they did review those? Because I've definitely got the tapes with PG on it (I wouldn't have been able to get them otherwise).

              Well regardless of that, the prospect of a mandatory review process is just not feasable in the fast moving world of video games.

      Ergh no, it will be completely redundant. Any games that previously would have been shoe-horned into the MA15+ rating will now correctly be classified R18+. So this will only restrict games already determined to be suitable for 15 year olds to adults. Hell, you can already buy softcore porn at the newsagent at 16. Being legally able to purchase porn and not a video game is ridiculous.


      Also, I was asked if I was over fifteen whilst buying a game at Dick Smiths yesterday. I'm twenty. :|

    Restrict MA15+ to 18? Wat.
    Restrict MA15+ to 15 - about friggin time (I still live in the futile hope of a world where adults outnumber 12 year olds in MW3).

    How are they going to do this? Are they just going to put R18+ stickers over the top of the MA15+ rating printed on the packaging?

      If it's anything like R rated films, put them in a separate, unmarked section with no covers.

    Absurd, ridiculous. So depressing to be South Australian sometimes. Hope to god this doesn't come hrough, my nephew who is about to turn 15 will go spare

    I fail to see how a contradiction between the rating and the law will give parents greater clarity... What happened to the goal of classifications that informed parents of what was suitable for their kids?

    MA15+ is designed to classify material that is suitable for persons in the listed age bracket.

    With the introduction of R18+ anything unsuitable for persons under 18 shouldn't be classified as such.

    If 18+ gets through then his supposed concerns regarding 15+ are rendered moot. If he was serious about protecting minors he'd work to ensure 18+ was passed and implemented as quickly and effectively as possible.

    The argument that material not suitable for minors is being categorised as 15+ becomes irrelevant once (if) 18+ becomes a reality.

    If a law needs to be passed to prevent those 15+ from accessing games classified as suitable for those 15+ then this only strengthens the argument in favourite of 18+ implementation.

    If 18+ is implemented and Rau still has concerns regarding 15+ then perhaps he should address the classification itself rather than simply attempting to slap a band aid over it by preventing those 15+ from accessing material deemed suitable for them by the OFLC

      Exactly. Half the point of bringing in the R rating in the first place is that stuff which should be R that is currently MA will be classified properly. So this measure is utterly pointless, since the only stuff left in the MA15+ rating will be stuff that is legitimately appropriate for 15 year olds, not stuff that should be restricted to 18 years+ but doesn't have a suitable rating to go into.

    So that's about the most retarded thing I've ever heard. Good thing I don't live in South Australia

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