The Australian classification debate has just gotten a little more interesting, with South Australian Attorney-General John Rau announcing that he wants to go one step further than merely introducing an R18+ rating for video games.
Rau, and the South Australian Labor Government, has said that he will abolish the MA15+ rating in that state, as a way of “more clearly defining” what is (and is not) suitable for children.
His proposed plan would change the system to include G, PG, M and R18+ classifications (while still allowing for games to be Refused Classification or effectively banned), making a “clear difference” between what adults can play and what is available to children.
“At the moment the MA15(+) classification is like a crossover point between what is acceptable and what is unacceptable.
“We want that to be a very clear gap. We will have a new classification R18(+) and the MA15(+) will disappear.”
The discussion will be brought up again at a national meeting in July, and [surl=http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/04/28/3202605.htm]ABC News[/surl] reports that Rau hopes other states will join him:
“I will push for the South Australian position on MA15+ games to be adopted nationally, but if it isn’t I’m prepared to go it alone.”
Rau took over the Attorney-General job in March 2010, replacing infamous anti-gaming politician Michael Atkinson. Atkinson was notoriously considered to be the sole person holding Australia back from an R18+ rating, and when he resigned, gamers around the country crossed their collective fingers.
There have been some fun ups and downs over the past 12 months, but with Australia’s Home Affairs and Justice Minister, Brendan O’Connor promising a hard stance on the topic, the entire world is hoping the matter is resolved – finally – in July. Whether or not the MA15+ rating survives is a different question.