The latest twist in the Australian videogames rating saga is a curious proposal by South Australia to upgrade all MA15+ rated games to R18+.
Australian games enthusiasts have been waiting a long time for ratings reform, as the current lack of a proper R18+ rating means many games are censored to meet MA15+ standards (the highest current rating).
It was thought that the new South Australia Attorney-General John Rau may pave the way for reform, as he replaced the notoriously anti-gaming Michael Atkinson.
Instead, Rau has said that regardless of how discussions at the forthcoming meeting of the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General go, South Australia will simply scrap the MA15+ rating and slap an R18+ on everything instead. This would open the door to uncensored R18+ games, but also brand a great many games that are currently suitable for 15 year olds and over as only available to those over 18.
Opposition spokesman Stephan Wade isn’t impressed with the idea, suggesting South Australian retailers would suffer if the region were to act on the proposals: “It would be clearly an unfair impost on South Australian retailers at a time we are very aware of the competition between the online retail marker and the shopfront retail market.”