Australia's Standing Committee of Attorneys-General are in the process of actively discussing the implementation of a (long overdue) R18+ rating
for games in the territory, following the approval of said rating by the nation's federal cabinet earlier this month
. However, South Australian AG John Rau recently introduced a thought-provoking idea to the committee: Should the R18+ rating be adopted, Rau believes that the MA15+ rating currently used by the Australian Classification Board should be removed altogether.
Rau, who replaced longtime anti-R18+ advocate Michael Atkinson earlier this year, explained to Gamespot
, "My reason for wanting to get rid of MA15+ if an R18+ is passed is that it will provide a crisper delineation between adults-only games and games that are for children." He later added, "if MA15+ comes out of the mix altogether, I think parents will have a clearer idea what games are for children, and what games are for adults."
Should the MA15+ rating be repealed, the next-lowest rating
used by the ACB would be M, which the board applies to games which "contain material that requires a mature perspective, but is still not enough to be deemed too strong for younger viewers." There's no age restriction applied to these games at Australian retailers, making it roughly equivalent to the Teen classification used by the ESRB. Rau's got a compelling argument, here -- but it won't make much of a difference if the Committee fails to approve the R18+ rating in the first place. C'mon, guys! We believe in you