The last few days the R18+ debate has taken some interesting twists and turns. It started off with the idea that even if Australia decides NOT to release an R18+ rating for video games down under, South Australia had decided to go at it alone. The catch is Attorney-General John Rau would like to remove the MA 15+ rating to distinctively show a more clearer difference between games designed for children and adults. Games currently rated MA 15+ will be reclassified either as R 18+ or modified to suit the M rating better.
“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,” said Mr Rau on Thursday.”The outcome being that there will be a serious gap between what children will be getting in games and what adults will be getting in games.”
“The fact is that many of the games that are now MA15+ in Australia are sold in other countries as R18 games,” He mentioned. “In other words the present scheme is actually bad for parents who are trying to do the best thing for their children.” It should also be noted that Mr Rau said under this scheme for South Australia, some games would still be refused classification if they were considered inappropriate for anyone to play.
However a few doubts have now come up surrounding this statement, some claiming that the statements are misleading and alot of criticism has been aimed at the idea.
“For videogame distributors it would be extremely difficult – especially when games rated MA15+ in some states are rated differently elsewhere. They would require different advertisements for different states, different print ads, different TV ads. It’s difficult to see how it would all work.” Said Ron Curry, CEO of the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association, “And what happens when they distribute the games? The games would have to have different classification logos on the box. Logistically it would be very difficult.”
Furthermore word is the ACT is leaning towards a similar decision as well, by including the R18+ rating even if other states disagree, but still including the MA 15+. However, its not too clear at this point in time. The debate has just gotten even more heated, and the results seem quite unclear. Rumour does have it that all states are leaning towards approving the R 18+ rating, but once again we can’t be too sure. I suppose we’ll just have to wait until the decision in July.