South Australia Stumbles Over Game Ratings

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South Australia Stumbles Over Game Ratings

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The state of South Australia is moving to ban the sale of videogames rated MA15+ to anyone under the age of 18.

South Australia may no longer be the stomping grounds of notorious game-hating Attorney General Michael Atkinson but it's still proving to be a thorn in the side of anyone who'd like to see a rational, functional videogame rating system in the nation of Australia. After years of refusing to compromise on the issue, former AG Atkinson stepped aside in early 2010 and was replaced by John Rau, heralded at the time as a "supporter" of R18+ videogame ratings. But his position on the matter since then has proven to be a little less black-and-white.

Last summer, as an R18+ rating for games began to look increasingly inevitable, Rau declared that South Australia would take things further by dumping the MA15+ rating and moving all such games to the higher category, thereby making them harder for "children" to get their hands on. But the idea of establishing a de facto independent rating system for the state is "bizarre," as Opposition Justice Spokesman Stephen Wade put it, putting South Australian retailers at a disadvantage and possibly even threatening to throw the whole process into disarray.

Since eliminating the MA15+ rating is more problematic than he expected, Rau has decided on a "more practical measure" that will accomplish effectively the same thing. Under new "complementary legislation," both MA15+ and R18+ games will be legally unavailable to anyone under the age of 18 in South Australia.

"My long-stated position has been to protect children by creating a clearer distinction between games that may be suitable for children and those that are suitable only for adults," Rau told Gamespot.au. "Therefore, my intention is that the South Australian legislation will prevent the sale of MA15+ games to minors. This move will give parents greater certainty about the appropriateness of games for their children."

A rep said that details about how the new law will work will be revealed "in due course." Rau wants the proposed legislation introduced to Parliament in May, although it must first be approved by cabinet.

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Erm, what are you doing Australia? WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

For fucks sake Australia! England threw you lot out because you couldn't stop breaking laws. What makes you think you have any business trying to write your own?

15+ rating, only available to 18+. In what twisted dimension does this make any sense?

Since I little knowledge on how to change game ratings...But why is it hard to freaking change it?
What's so hard about just slapp on 18 age rating instead of a 15+ one, let's say GTA(Insert nr or City here)?

Is the one's against it that is the biggest problem or what?

Could someone enlighten me.

EDIT: Ignore this post. I am/was tired when I posted this and I can't grasp what the hell I wanted to say with this.

We-ll, I guess I can see what he's trying to do. Seems like an attempt to force parents in his state to be the ones to actually buy mature games. Hopefully ensuring they're giving their kids games they want them to be playing.

Considering the nature of many of the titles that have currently made it to the Australian MA15+ bracket (games very often rated higher in other countries) this might not be a bad compromise for the new legislation.

Remember, the important thing is that the broken Australian rating system will now finally recognise video games as a medium also enjoyed by adults; putting a stop to the absurd banning or censoring of games unfit for minors.

DVS BSTrD:
For fucks sake Australia! England threw you lot out because you couldn't stop breaking laws. What makes you think you have any business trying to write your own?

South Australia was never a penal colony.

The way my state government acts at times it may have served a period as a penile colony though.

Evilsanta:
Since I little knowledge on how to change game ratings...But why is it hard to freaking change it?
What's so hard about just slapp on 18 age rating instead of a 15+ one, let's say GTA(Insert nr or City here)?

Is the one's against it that is the biggest problem or what?

Could someone enlighten me.

Because it would only be one state of a country that this would apply for. And I don't understand your thought process, it doesn't matter how they are doing it, the net result is the same; people under 18 can't get games that anywhere else would be available for people over 15.

Yo, Australia quick maths lesson for you:

15 < 18.

Richardplex:

Evilsanta:
Since I little knowledge on how to change game ratings...But why is it hard to freaking change it?
What's so hard about just slapp on 18 age rating instead of a 15+ one, let's say GTA(Insert nr or City here)?

Is the one's against it that is the biggest problem or what?

Could someone enlighten me.

Because it would only be one state of a country that this would apply for. And I don't understand your thought process, it doesn't matter how they are doing it, the net result is the same; people under 18 can't get games that anywhere else would be available for people over 15.

Well, Me neither...And I have now learned the valuble lesson to never post while tired.

So yeah, I have no idea what I wanted to say with that.

AHAHAHAHA "penile colony"

Seriously, that's a good one.

One step forward, two steps back.

I award Mr Rau Captcha: nul points (and may God have mercy on his soul).

So basically he wants to ban video games without calling it banning video games. This was the "pizza is a vegetable" debate before that was even a thing.

What is... i don't... 15 for 18... what. Wat. Just what. I'm tired Australia, I'm so very tired. I can't type anymore, this is so stupid I've lost all ability to think. I first heard this news ealier from game politics and I've been trying to avoid thinking about the the implications for a good few hours now, but the stupid is just to strong. Well done South Australia, you broke by brain.

Meanwhile in South Australia, inside the head of John Rau;

HURRR HURRRR VIDEOGAYMS DURRR HURRR DERRRP.

Dear South Australia State Government:

Stop making the rest of us looks silly

Sincerely
The other states/territories.

EDIT: Actually reading over the laws thoroughly, it more seems that he wants to the MA15+ rating to act as a kind of de-facto 18+ rating until it is actually enacted.

Pfft, I never liked the MA rating anyway; too little distinction between M15+ and MA15+. Still, I guess that's not the point. I don't get why everybody down here has to do every little thing their way; lack of consistency only makes the issue worse. Who's going to tale the law seriously if not even the elected decision-makers can agree on something?

RhombusHatesYou:

DVS BSTrD:
For fucks sake Australia! England threw you lot out because you couldn't stop breaking laws. What makes you think you have any business trying to write your own?

South Australia was never a penal colony.

The way my state government acts at times it may have served a period as a penile colony though.

Except its capital wss designed by a convict.

Dunno. I live in NSW and just avoid games that get watered down.

Wait, by making MA15+ functionally the same as R18+, doesn't that defeat the purpose of having an intermediate rating between R18+ and "proper stuff?"

15+. not 18+. 15+! somebody teach this fucker how to count!
just in case its different over seas, in australia there is an M15+ (recommended to persons 15 or over) and MA15+ (RESTRTICTED to persons 15 or over).
So we've gone from not wanting any games qualifying as adult material, to wanting all vaguely "mature" games qualified as mature material.
australia... what... *sigh*- what are you doing?

I always wondered why South Australia was referred to as Australia's arsehole. Now I know why.

Jabberwock King:
Wait, by making MA15+ functionally the same as R18+, doesn't that defeat the purpose of having an intermediate rating between R18+ and "proper stuff?"

Yes, it does, and that's the point. If you read the article, removing the intermediate rating is what they were going for, but that proved problematic to implement, so they did this instead. Confusing and nonsensical in appearance, but the same end result.

Australia thinks their citizens are retarded and can't make rational decisions for themselves. What a bunch of cunts. There's always some idiot in charge of the country. I guess smart people don't want anything to do with politics.

Well, I don't live in South Australia so I'm not overly concerned about this development. But, in the spirit of unity and anger at stupid doing as stupid does:

Oh for fuck's sake!

Does becoming the Attorney General just turn you into a slobbering buffoon? Rau seemed pretty steadfast and on-board with the 18+ thing from the get go, but now he's faltering.

From the outside, this just seems like such a hilariously simple problem and it's taken YEARS of effort to get absolutely nowhere.

Like, how much is this costing you, Australia?

Australia, the constant ability to fuck yourself over is incredible, simply incredible. Respect.

teqrevisited:
15+ rating, only available to 18+. In what twisted dimension does this make any sense?

Well, to be fair I have played 15+ games that could pass for 18+ and visa versa. At least this is a step in the right direction, considering that it opens up the Australian market to all video games and considering that minors only make up a small percentage of game sales overall, it's not one of the most pressing concerns.

How would he feel if the government told him he couldn't play with lego when he was a kid because it was too sharp/easily consumable.

Most people grow up faster when exposed to things above their age group. I know I did because I had no cousins/siblings of the same age when I was growing up, I only had my uncle who is 11 years older than me.

Also, why did the Captcha's suddenly get worse again?

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Adam Jensen:
Australia thinks their citizens are retarded and can't make rational decisions for themselves. What a bunch of cunts. There's always some idiot in charge of the country. I guess smart people don't want anything to do with politics.

exactly, it's a fucking lost cause.
most people of the current generation aren't interested in trying to fix this place, because most people of the current generation are simply planning to move to another country.
seriously, how sad is that? i'm sitting here in the uni lab chatting with four good friends and two of them want to move to iceland, one wants to move to canada, one wants to move to france and i want to move to japan.

O come on, in the grand scheme of things our government is great, we're about to get a carbon tax because the population of Australia (roughly the equivalent of NYC) is obviously the reason behind global warming. If the Greens down here had their way, we'd all be living by the campfire without electricity... o wait... campfires produce carbon dioxide... we'd be living in the dark, without video games, so this wouldn't be an issue.

seule:
O come on, in the grand scheme of things our government is great, we're about to get a carbon tax because the population of Australia (roughly the equivalent of NYC) is obviously the reason behind global warming. If the Greens down here had their way, we'd all be living by the campfire without electricity... o wait... campfires produce carbon dioxide... we'd be living in the dark, without video games, so this wouldn't be an issue.

Breathing produces carbon dioxide. You aren't allowed to do that anymore!

itchcrotch:

Adam Jensen:
Australia thinks their citizens are retarded and can't make rational decisions for themselves. What a bunch of cunts. There's always some idiot in charge of the country. I guess smart people don't want anything to do with politics.

exactly, it's a fucking lost cause.
most people of the current generation aren't interested in trying to fix this place, because most people of the current generation are simply planning to move to another country.
seriously, how sad is that? i'm sitting here in the uni lab chatting with four good friends and two of them want to move to iceland, one wants to move to canada, one wants to move to france and i want to move to japan.

It's actually a similar situation in the US between states. The younger generation doesn't care about fixing the problems in places like California or New York since they can just go to a different state.

As an Australian, I just want to find the guy responsible for this legislation and punch him in the face repeatedly.

Have to be 18 to buy a game rated 15+?
Seems legit

Zenode:
Dear South Australia State Government:

Stop making the rest of us looks silly

Sincerely
The other states/territories.

EDIT: Actually reading over the laws thoroughly, it more seems that he wants to the MA15+ rating to act as a kind of de-facto 18+ rating until it is actually enacted.

That makes more sense but nonetheless it seems like a lot of effort to go to.

ResonanceSD:

RhombusHatesYou:

DVS BSTrD:
For fucks sake Australia! England threw you lot out because you couldn't stop breaking laws. What makes you think you have any business trying to write your own?

South Australia was never a penal colony.

The way my state government acts at times it may have served a period as a penile colony though.

Except its capital wss designed by a convict.

Whoever told you that needs to be punched in the face... punch yourself in the face while you're at it for believing such a load of shit.

ThePS1Fan:
Have to be 18 to buy a game rated 15+?
Seems legit

Considering that the MA15+ rating for games in Australia is WAY more slack on the upper end compared to the equivalent rating in other countries in order to allow material that would normally be R18+ and thus would otherwise need censorship (usually a reduction of blood/gore/nudity) to be sold in australia this does actually make a little bit of sense

Still highly illogical though. I cannot believe that WA shares a boarder with these people!

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