South Australian Attorney-General John Rau has today stated that SA will introduce an R18+ rating for videogames regardless of any decision made at the upcoming SCAG in July.
The adult rating will replace the current MA15+. Rau made a statement last year that he believed that there should be a stronger discrimination between games for children and adults.
Currently it is necessary for all Attorneys-General to have a unanimous decision to change the national classification code to include an adult rating for video games, however states are able to independently legislate such changes with cabinet approval. This is seen with the X18+ rating for adult movies that in place for ACT and NT.
While the introduction of an R18+ rating is what gamers have been lobbying for years to have, the removal of the MA rating seems like a counter-productive measure. What about games that are suitable for late teens (Mass Effect, Assassins Creed, Dragon Age) but not necessarilly R material? Surely this will unfairly disadvantage the sizeable demographic of late-teen gamers? If the MA15+ rating isn’t needed, then why keep it for film and literature? Rau uses the word “interactive” to justify this but is that really a valid reason these days? I’d love to hear more views on this.