In an interview
with consumer site GameSpot AU, the new South Australian attorney-general John Rau sketches a plan to tread carefully when dealing with the hot-button issue of whether an R18+ rating should be instituted for games. Currently, in Australia, there is no such rating -- which does exist for film -- and in some cases games are either de facto banned or edits are forced
to attain an MA15+ rating.
Speaking to GameSpot AU, Rau says that he has "no preconceptions about this issue and intend[s] to listen to the arguments. I can neither support nor wisely argue against a position if I am not aware of the relevant factors."
The theoretical R18+ rating would be understood to be roughly equivalent to an ESRB "M for Mature" rating in North America. Word that Rau might support the introduction of this rating came shortly after Rau's appointment, fed primarily by a Tweet from Chris Prior
, a member of political party Gamers4Croydon that suggested Rau looked favorably upon the rating.
Rau's predecessor, Michael Atkinson, was a staunch opponent
to the introduction to the rating, and typically viewed as the key block in moving forward on the issue. The appointment of Rau was thus viewed as a positive step by gamers and the game industry.
Rau also reminds us that the decision to implement such a rating does not rest with him alone. Rau had previously questioned
government rating policy on games. However, all of the country's regional attorneys-general must be in agreement to implement the rating.