So you want an R18+ rating for video games, huh? Well you might have to have to make some sacrifices Australia, as South Australian Attorney General, John Rau, wants the MA15+ rating to be gone by the time R18+ games are introduced. That’s right. There will remain 4 ratings: G, PG, M and R18+ if he gets his way.
Yesterday he told the Adelaide Advertiser that he wants the category to be scrapped, so that parents will be able to easily see the difference between a game for adults and a game for kids.
It’s only a request for now, but talking to GameSpot Australia he said that the other attourney-general’s “were certainly interested in considering it.” and that “the categories (R18+, MA15+, and RC) are going to be reviewed anyway because the descriptions applicable to film in the National Classification Scheme aren’t applicable to gaming.”
He says that the current MA15+ is a grey area that can be exploited if an R18+ rating is introduced.
“If we introduce R18+ for games, it should be very clear and very different from the other categories. There are a lot of games now in the MA15+ category that should be rated R18+; I do not want to see these games continue to be rated MA15+. Parents should have a clear guide about what games are suitable for kids and what games are not. Besides, if the latest surveys about the average gamer being a 32-year-old single male who sits at home and plays games all day are correct, then what I am proposing is not going to have much impact at all.”
Ouch. That’s a bit of a stereotype there John.
When Rau was asked about the changes between the mental capacity of a 15-18 year old, he replied that the proposal is still just an idea and he will have to see the R18+ guidelines before he can fully decide.
He by saying, “Look, I know we’re not creating a watertight situation here; we never will. But I think it is our job to influence what is going on at the retail level and support responsible parents in their decision-making. Brendan O’Connor wants to reclassify MA15+ games for exactly the same reason that I want to abolish the MA15+ category altogether: namely that MA15+ is a dangerous classification. I’m willing to consider what is being put on the table of course, but my bottom line is that I don’t want there to be a seamless continuum from G to R18+. I’d like to see a big gap between the M classification and the R18+ classification should it be introduced.”