South Australian Attorney-General Reverses Decision To Abolish MA15+ Category

After all Attorneys-General agreed to implement an R18+ rating for video games in principal last year, South Australian AG John Rau stated that he fully intended to remove the MA15+ classification entirely, meaning that all games classified under that rating would be given R18+ stickers in South Australia, and only sold to adults. But now, after seeing the final classification guidelines, he's reversed his decision, and is happy to support both an R18+ and MA15+ category.

"The new MA15+ classification is now so different to the previous one that I no longer see an issue with it," said Rau. "I will, however, keep a watching brief on MA15+ games.

"The guidelines include much tighter requirements for every level of classifications – in particular, what constitutes MA15+."

John Rau had previously been against the MA15+ rating because, as he saw it, minors were being allowed access to games that were classified for adults overseas.

"At the moment, children can access a range of MA15+ games that are regarded as inappropriate for children," he said, last year, “while adult gamers are prevented from access to many games available in other countries.

"By abolishing the MA15+ classification, we will create a clear distinction between games that may be suitable for children and those that are suitable only for adults."

With the classification guidelines tightening up on what is allowed in the MAS15+ category, Rau is happy to change his mind.

"Under the new guidelines, games that were previously classified as MA15+ could now be subject to an R18+classification,” he said.

"The guidelines draw an obvious distinction between games that are suitable for children, early-teens, and games that are only suitable for adults.

"This is critical, as teenagers and children will be restricted from purchasing unsuitable games.

"In fact, they will have less access to these games than they do now."

Video Games Rating Battle Finally Over [InDaily]

Thanks Stuart


    John Rau is a pretty reasonable guy, so I'm not surprised he changed his mind after seeing the guidelines.

      If that's the case, why hasn't he reversed the ridiculous restrictions Labor placed on R rated films a year or two back?

        Because he's Labor himself. Reversing decisions made by his party would be a bad move, regardless of whether he agrees with those decisions or not.

        If a Liberal AG got in, you might see a change.

          please clarify,

            He means "people should blindly vote for a conservative party that I like, that is generally more hostile to consumers of new media, because of my pure speculation".

    As a resident of South Australia, I can now stop apologising for our AG.

      Why? Are you responsible for your AG's actions?

      No: he has to own the consequences for his own actions. As one who was born in SA and later moved, you have nothing to apologise for.

        They did, howerver, PUT THE GUY IN. Anyone who thinks the people of Aus has nothing to do with what there reps are saying is BULL.

          Actually, they put Michael Atkinson in (which in itself requires an apology). He stood down the day after the election. The gamers and bikers scared him too much.

    So basically the change has done what it was supposed to do so he doesn't need to fiddle with it? Good.

    Well that's one positive thing to come out of the new guidelines I suppose, so hooray!

    We'll still have to reserve judgement on the ratings once we see how the R18+ category is utilised with respect to stuff that used to be RC'd.

      Content currently refused clarification remain as such until the content is resubmitted.

      It was already stated that even with the introduction of an R18+ rating, there will be no automatic upgrade to the rating.

        I'm aware of that, I apologise for the lack of clarification. I mean the TYPE of content that used to be RC'd, that should now ostensibly be allowed under R18+. The classification board still has the loophole of judging that someting is too high in impact because of the interactive nature of games, and arbitrarily RC content that should ideally be allowed now that it can be classified R18+ and not shoehorned into the much tighter MA15+.

          What would be allowed in the R18+ rating and what would be refused classification is covered by the classification code.

          R18+ is the "rating" which informs the consumer the age appropriateness of the product. If item 'X' has content that is refused classification by the classification code, it will not be rated even if there is an X rating.

          This is a factor that is constantly missed. There is a gap between how far the classification code goes and how far the games rating system goes; with the latter falling short of the former.

          It's high time that gap is closed as I for one am sick of how in Australia you can play GTA4 while in other nations you have to be of voting age before you can touch the game.

          And to anyone who claims that bringing in the 18+ rating will allow games like Rapelay to be classified (there are some still out there): go read the classification code as it forbids such content from being allowed in and rated.

          The ceiling (as Jim Wallace harps about) is set by the classification code so it's high time the rating system went above the window sill for a change.

            Ye. My point is that there are concerns that content which should now be permitted under an R18 rating will still be wrongly refused classification because a classification board member will arbitrarily decide that the impact of the content is higher because games are an interactive medium. Unfortunately the R18 guidelines for games still potentially allows for this.

              But the old guidelines said that interactivity could increase impact, and there are documented cases where the board was using that section of guidelines in e.g. the original classification of the AvP game.

              If the only problem was the "impact" of the game under the previous guidelines (as opposed to e.g. the drug use clauses), then it could quite easily fit in the new category.

                Yes, our concerns are that anything High in impact would ordinarily be allowed under an R18+ when it might not otherwise have been permitted under an MA15+. The issue is that based on the content being interactive, they may deem that the content is even higher in impact and therefore not allowed, even though identical content would be fine in a film.

    The problem may come back if they revise the guidelines for R18 though

    why the hell would they remove MA15?

    I thourght the Idea was to make things even across the board

    Here's to our rebranded MA15+ rating as R..............

    For all the ways SA is backwards, we have decriminalized marijuana. I mean, it's easier to get a bad of pot than it is the flu.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now