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.
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:
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.
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.
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.