You can drive, but not play games: SA kills MA15+

The introduction of an R18+ rating for video games into Australia has been designed to bring game classification in line with the current system in place for films and other media. One state, however, would like to widen that gap.

Australia's Parliament House, in Canberra

Australia's Parliament House

South Australian Attorney General John Rau has today revealed plans to ban anyone under the age of 18 from purchasing "Mature Adult" video games - titles the Australian Classification Board has deemed appropriate for audiences as young as 15.

A spokesperson for Minister Rau explains the decision is "a more practical measure" than the previous plan of completely removing MA15+ ratings for video games.

Complementary South Australian legislation regarding video games is likely to be introduced in State Parliament in May, says Rau. Before reaching that point, it must first be approved by the state cabinet.

Rau explains, in a public statement sent to Player Attack:

The South Australian legislation will allow the introduction of R18+ games.

However, 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.

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.

John Rau

SA Attorney-General,
John Rau

Player Attack has contacted the Attorney-General's office to find out more about the proposed South Australian legislation - specifically: Whether or not Minister Rau also plans on banning minors from accessing MA15+ rated films or other media.

This isn't the first time South Australia has been in the headlines over the R18+ gaming issue. The state is home of controversial former Attorney-General Michael Atkinson, seen to be the "single man" standing in the way of classification reform for many years. His highly conservative views on the matter and refusal to budge lead to the creation of new political party Gamers 4 Croydon, before his resignation in March 2010.

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14 Responses to “You can drive, but not play games: SA kills MA15+”

  1. can we burn this man at the stake? seriously people come on this guy needs to die for this.

    • Pete says:

      That’s a very helpful contribution, Malcolm. You just made a death threat on a gaming website. The next time some conservative dinosaur wants to win some votes from old people by yelling that “VIDEO GAMES ARE OF THE DEVIL,” they might just cite you as evidence. Well done.

      Ill-considered policies like Rau’s make me embarrassed to be Australian, but childish responses like yours make me embarrassed to be a gamer.

      • Reminds me of that time someone called Minecraft the spawn of Satan because of the shape of a creeper’s body. I was not seriously making a death threat and if that is how a politician decides he wants to bend the truth then so be it. All I was doing was showing how strongly I believe this man is an idiot. If you want to insult me go ahead. But don’t go calling me childish. The only way this man is going to see the light is by seeing how angry his course of action makes the public. As we all know intelligence is lost on politicians, There is no point in presenting a well constructed argument as it just gets swept aside. So my comment might be cited by a conservative dinosaur as you put it. It also works the other way. The opposition for the a fore mentioned dinosaur can also cite it as an indication of how angry the modern population is. Sometimes a childish action can lead to an intelligent response. If my action leads to such, Then I am proud to be an Australian gamer. If you wish to be embarrassed, Thats your call.

  2. Anon Ymous says:

    Malcolm, that’s exactly the type of thing Rau is trying to eliminate. Be a little more sensible, this man clearly needs a bit of a slap to ground himself in reality, and not this fantasy land where violent videogames are the cause of violent behaviour, not terrible parenting, Eli Roth style horror movies, the glamourisation of alcohol and alcohol-fueled behaviour, violent sport events etc etc, the list goes on. It’s like having a bucket with 300 holes, patching up a single one and claiming the bucket doesn’t leak anymore.

    • Please see my response to Pete’s reply.

      • Anon Ymous says:

        Yeah mate, I know you weren’t serious, it was more sarcasm directed towards the politicians (come on, I even go on to say he needs a slap)

        • yeah I know, I’m just pissed because I’ve long heavily supported the idea of bringing the game rating system up to par with movies, and now Rau goes and drops this.
          I personally think he needs more than a simple slap but that’s just me, I just didn’t feel like putting together a well constructed argument that wasn’t even going to be seen by Rau. But then Pete gave me an excuse so there we go.

  3. Frank says:

    His intention is just what he says – to restrict the sale of MA15+ content to minors. Thus forcing them to rely upon their parents to access this content. It would be hard for him to restrict them from accessing it because all state laws in Australia must not contravene federal laws.

    • Frank says:

      Apparently this is no longer the case and he wants to totally abolish the MA15+ category. I doubt he’ll succeed. If he does succeed it will not be good for the political party he represents.

  4. Mike says:

    This does not surprise me.

    Look at how Australia has acted towards pornography in recent years. Anything that is out there is being banned or restricted in some way.

    The Australian government is going backwards, or in this case, the South Australian government. Everything is being banned.

    As a British person, I thought that we were supposed to be conservative in our ways with our supposed “stiff upper lip”. But lets look at it, we accepted pornography more when the laws changed several years ago. We also accepted computer games for what they are – computer games. If Australia wants to work as a global player (as it is probably capable of with it’s recent currency gains), it needs to work like the rest of the world – it may be an island but global business isn’t.

  5. […] may be considered "backward" when it comes to many aspects of gaming, but it seems the land Down Under is quite progressive in […]

  6. Nathan says:

    I don’t think this is such a bad idea. many of the games rated MA15+ arne’t really suitable for 15 year olds anyway. Plus I thought that is one of the arguments we have been making the whole time.

    Also what does driving have to do with video games?

    • Kingsley Foreman says:

      Well if you are responsible enough to drive a 3 tonne vehicle on the roads, maybe you should be responsible enough to play games.

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