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]