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Post by Steve Farrelly @ 10:22am 19/07/11 | 44 Comments
Despite efforts by the federal government to put a deadline on a unanimous decision by the state's attorney-generals for the introduction of an R18+ rating for videogames, both the South Australian AG and New South Wales AG have revealed ahead of talks set to begin this Friday their individual, conflicting, stances on the issue.

South Australia's John Rau has revealed through a spokesperson his cabinet plans on abolishing MA15+ in South Australia regardless of a statewide decision this weekend. This means if an R18+ rating is not unanimously voted in, SA will still abolish MA15+ severly limiting the mature-rated content of videogames being let into the state.

Meanwhile, NSW Attorney-General, Greg Smith, has told GameSpot AU (also via a spokesperson) he plans on abstaining from a vote altogether, and is instead awaiting the results of the Australian Law Review Commission's findings on the National Review Scheme, which are not due until 2012.

It was a nice idea on the government's behalf to push for a decision one way or another, but the sheer introduction of the National Review Scheme always seemed likely to halt any such progress based on its purpose alone. In all honesty, I'm actually all for the ALRC utilising the time and feedback they have to help these politicians fully understand what it is their voting for or against, instead of just looking to appease their most vocal constituants. The SCAG meeting is still scheduled to go ahead though, so stay tuned for more as it emerges throughout the week and weekend.




alrcattorneys-generalr18+ ratingr18scag





Latest Comments
Reverend Evil
Posted 10:24am 19/7/11
Jesus these guys like wasting time and money
Tollaz0r!
Posted 11:40am 19/7/11
Well that will teach me not to read... maybe.

last edited by Tollaz0r! at 11:40:41 19/Jul/11
scuzzy
Posted 10:29am 19/7/11
what a bunch of bellends
lateral
Posted 10:30am 19/7/11
so no more BF3 for our South Australian brethren then?

Scooter
Posted 10:39am 19/7/11
From Devious' thread:
THE Rann government is willing to become the only jurisdiction to remove the MA15+ rating for video games in favour of R18 classifications.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/rann-to-ditch-ma15-for-video-games/story-e6frgczx-1226096403210

Contradicts your post of:

SA will still abolish MA15+ severly limiting the mature-rated content of videogames being let into the state.


Wouldn't those MA15+ simply be moved into R18, as well as other games failing MA15+ would be given R18, allowing an increase of mature age games?
Morbz
Posted 10:47am 19/7/11
This is the reason i dont vote lol... pack of halfwits and always will be.
Eorl
Posted 10:47am 19/7/11
I believe also that SA attorney wants to put his own states R18+, which is fully allowed. Just like how Queensland didn't have a R18+ for movies at one stage.
Steve Farrelly
Posted 11:07am 19/7/11
Scooter, only IF the R18+ rating is approved at this SCAG, if not, they plan on abolishing MA15+ regardless (which is in the OP)
Scooter
Posted 11:09am 19/7/11
He said the move would mean games rated MA15+ in other states would receive R18 ratings in South Australia.


Maybe, I guess. Sounds to me like SA would implement R18 over MA15+ and give no f**** as to what happened at SCAG.
Dazhel
Posted 11:15am 19/7/11
Kinda defeats the purpose of having a national classification system if it isn't consistent nationally.
I'd take importing R18+ games from South Australia over importing them from New Zealand though.
Eorl
Posted 11:16am 19/7/11
That was their plan all along. They want this R18+ so much, they've said f*** it and done it themselves.
Pinky
Posted 11:23am 19/7/11
Does the SA Gov't actually believe that introducing State vs. Federal intricacies in classification is what is best for their electorate?

What a joke.
Scooter
Posted 11:24am 19/7/11
I think he believes that Michael Atkinson was asked to step aside for blocking it. As such, wanting to keep his new job, is willing to take steps that represent the people that he is responsible for representing.
Eorl
Posted 11:31am 19/7/11
Does the SA Gov't actually believe that introducing State vs. Federal intricacies in classification is what is best for their electorate?

What a joke.

It makes sense. Why wait for some f***tards to twiddle their thumbs and decide how to screw over the nation.
lateral
Posted 12:30pm 19/7/11
Scooter, only IF the R18+ rating is approved at this SCAG, if not, they plan on abolishing MA15+ regardless (which is in the OP)


thats what i thought originally, but could this just be the difference between RC (Because of no R18+) and R18+? To me, it sounds like they will introduce the R18 to replace MA15+ rating, but aren't going to have access to any real "R18" games (currently refused classification), unless the National Review ends positively for us?

the meaning behind this decision isn't very clear... so very typical politician.

kryzil
Posted 04:00pm 19/7/11
I interpret the SA stance as suggesting that, upon abolition of the MA15+ a rating of R18+ will be substituted. I don't see it as the SA Government limiting the state to M15+ only.

This:

"A spokesman for Attorney-General John Rau yesterday said the South Australian government would scrap the MA15+ rating irregardless of what happened at the meeting."

Read on its own, this suggests that an M15+ rating would only be available, however when read in conjunction with the further following paragraph from the article:

"He said the move would mean games rated MA15+ in other states would receive R18 ratings in South Australia."

Implies that they will be substituting an R18 classification. The WHOLE article needs to be read in context, rather than out of context.
Dan
Posted 04:08pm 19/7/11
I interpret the SA stance as suggesting that, upon abolition of the MA15+ a rating of R18+ will be substituted. I don't see it as the SA Government limiting the state to M15+ only.
I can't see where anyone has suggested that is the case (sale limited to M15 only)?

As far as I can tell, the SA proposal is just essentially renaming MA15+ to R18+ for games and making proof of age ID a legal requirement for game retailers in the state for the same games that 15 year olds can buy elsewhere.

I haven't seen any mention from them that games rated RC in the rest of the country will be independently evaluated for SA, so unless that's the case, the move is worse for games in terms of censorship, not better.
teq
Posted 04:11pm 19/7/11
I'm resigned to the fact that it is much easier for me to just flout stupid laws, do as I please and completely ignore stupid old rich white men who want to dictate their own conservative views
deadlyf
Posted 04:29pm 19/7/11
I actually think that completely replacing MA15 with R18 may be the way to do it. A lot of people here agree that many of the MA15 games should be R rated and this will save having to reclassify everything if they just shift it up.

The only problem with that is it might tend to desensitise parents to the R18 label since just about all of the popular games are labeled MA.
Mosfxx
Posted 04:30pm 19/7/11
This is beyond a joke, I'd be happy if the decision is just to rename MA15+ to R18+ across the country. I just want an answer already!
Pinky
Posted 04:32pm 19/7/11
I disagree. I think they should probably err on having more discrete levels - e.g., 8 or so classification levels.

There is a big maturity difference between what M is and what R18+ is. I think there is plenty of scope for a classification level between the two.
fade
Posted 04:34pm 19/7/11
NSW Govt doesn't want to piss off Fred Nile - unfortunately their beholden to the gun nuts and the church nuts in the upper house down there.
Scooter
Posted 04:38pm 19/7/11
I can't see where anyone has suggested that is the case (sale limited to M15 only)?

That is how Steve's post reads to me, specifically this bit;
SA will still abolish MA15+ severely limiting the mature-rated content of videogames being let into the state.


I would also think (assuming SA would introduce a R18 from what I have read) some games that might not make MA15+ in QLD would be able to be sold as R18 in SA. Rather then being RCd. I.e. Game is given a R18 rating, SA can sell it, other 7 cannot. That, and any game that is MA15+ in the other states, would be R18 in SA.
trillion
Posted 04:39pm 19/7/11
wait so this makes this content unavailable at retail so that kids can't just walk in and buy it without parental supervision or does it also mean that private importers like ozgameshop and whatever else there are can't sell them?
Mosfxx
Posted 04:40pm 19/7/11
I disagree. I think they should probably err on having more discrete levels - e.g., 8 or so classification levels.

There is a big maturity difference between what M is and what R18+ is. I think there is plenty of scope for a classification level between the two.


I'd just be happy, I see all the flaws with it but honestly I just want a result.

I would also think (assuming SA would introduce a R18 from what I have read) some games that might not make MA15+ in QLD would be able to be sold as R18 in SA. Rather then being RCd. I.e. Game is given a R18 rating, SA can sell it, other 7 cannot.
If SA did that on it's own it would stupid; find a friend in SA and they can post me my L4D2 18+ version :P
Steve Farrelly
Posted 05:15pm 19/7/11
Okay, so let's be realistic. The truth is, if SA is the only state to introduce an R18+ rating on their own (something I'm not sure they independently can without going through some serious red-tape), then do you actually think publishers and distributors are going to go to the lengths required to distribute and only release in one of the smallest states in the country? Moreover, other states would clearly set up heavier penalties for "importing" from SA and make it just as annoying to actually get the product.

I'm looking into the legalities of a state setting its own classification system, but since it hasn't been done anywhere, to my knowledge, outside of Canberra (which has its own crazy laws), I'd be reticent to assume they can just go off and do their own thing (otherwise, surely other supporters of R18+ in the country would have done so by now).
Scooter
Posted 05:32pm 19/7/11
QLD Didn't have R18 for movies where other states have. They can have different systems if they want. I'm also sure there is a lot of red tape though, which is why they like to keep in line with the other states.

As for the 'will publishers bother' question... probably not. That doesn't mean they cant though.
taggs
Posted 05:39pm 19/7/11
I'm looking into the legalities of a state setting its own classification system, but since it hasn't been done anywhere, to my knowledge, outside of Canberra (which has its own crazy laws), I'd be reticent to assume they can just go off and do their own thing (otherwise, surely other supporters of R18+ in the country would have done so by now).


i'd assume the opposite, tbh.

unless classification schemes fall under an exlusive or concurrent power as per the australian consitution then the states have every right to legislate whatever the hell they want in regards to it.
Darkhawk
Posted 05:53pm 19/7/11
Why can't the industry just step in and have their own voluntary rating system like in the US? I'd rather have people who know what they are doing making these decisions than a bunch of old farts who have never picked up a gampad or used the WASD keys for anything but typing and have the ACL in their ears all the time.

Think about it, they have taken years already just on deciding whether or not we should have an R18+ classification in Australia while even the stupidest person on the street knows it's a good idea!
Eorl
Posted 06:27pm 19/7/11
Steve, Queensland didn't have a R18+ rating for movies for sometime. It was a decision by the state, and something that was only resolved in the 90's I believe. I'm trying to find a source to back this up.
kryzil
Posted 07:30pm 19/7/11
I can't see where anyone has suggested that is the case (sale limited to M15 only)?

As far as I can tell, the SA proposal is just essentially renaming MA15+ to R18+ for games and making proof of age ID a legal requirement for game retailers in the state for the same games that 15 year olds can buy elsewhere.

I haven't seen any mention from them that games rated RC in the rest of the country will be independently evaluated for SA, so unless that's the case, the move is worse for games in terms of censorship, not better.


Scooter's interpretation of Steve's post is how I interpreted things. Its that throw away line of:

"severely limiting the mature-rated content of videogames being let into the state."

In any event, i agree with the general consensus, being a SA citizen, this will just cause more headaches and red tape. It strikes me as some form of stop gap measure before the commonwealth federally legislates and usurps the whole piece of crap. I suspect the move by the SA government is an attempt to garner votes more than anything. Our current AG is trying to distance himself from as many failed 'Atkinson' policies as he can. The problem is the current state Labour government will not survive the next election imo.
Mosfxx
Posted 07:44pm 19/7/11
I turn 18...
I can now legally smoke, if I want. (It's my choice).
I can now legally drink, if I want. (it's my choice).
I can watch pr0n & Rambo, if I want. (It's my choice).
I can't play a video game, if the Government doesn't deem it appropriate...

I mean WTF.
Ryan
Posted 08:24pm 19/7/11
^ this.
Llian
Posted 11:41pm 19/7/11
@Darkhawk: The industry already does this everywhere else in the world except here and NZ I think. And it is because we have our own rating system. We could save sooooo much money if we had this. But we need the framework for them to classify WITH. That is the first half of the battle.

@Steve: Whilst looking into the legalities have fun. I do not think it would help SA if they introduced their own rating system as it has to pass the national standard to get into the country to start with as it is a FEDERAL rating system I believe. The R18 rating would only be of use for locally produced stuff. Atleast that is my take on it.
Dave
Posted 12:35am 20/7/11
I can't believe this ratings debacle is still ongoing, it seems crazy that the government hasn't been able to sort it out yet. The fact that this whole issue could be solved if the games industry was allowed to regulate itself like the ESRB in the U.S. is just salt in the wound. Being a SA resident and hearing news that our state government is now planning on going rogue on the issue makes me feel ill, we're expected to support these guys? What a joke.
mobius
Posted 08:59am 20/7/11
@Mosfxx Only R rated porn! none of that stuff YOU see on the web is actually permitted.
ravn0s
Posted 09:00am 20/7/11
mosfxx you forgot join the military and go to war.
Mosfxx
Posted 09:12am 20/7/11
mosfxx you forgot join the military and go to war.

Yeah but you can do that around 16.5 - 17 years old.
Eorl
Posted 10:22am 20/7/11
Because of these few politicians in the position of Attorney General, I personally think that Australia is not the democracy that I once thought of it to be. We no longer have a choice any more. And I think SA going rogue is a good thing. The MA15+ rating is a pointless rating, because with a R18+, it would cover the grounds that MA15+ does. And there are quite a number of games that are classified as R18+ in America, yet we get them as MA15+. M is for mature. R18+ is for adult. M requires an adult to be present still. R18+ does not.
Sc00bs
Posted 10:43am 20/7/11
We no longer have a choice any more.

this x 10

We get the illusion that we are in charge by having these polls and the "open discussions" they pretend to have, but really in fact they are just there to get whispers in their ears from someone who tells them what to do. While we get f***ed over again and again and our rights as tax paying citizens get fisted.

I know for a fact that i will be imported whatever game and watching whatever i want, f*** the government and f*** paying any 'fines' that may be incurred.
Nukleuz
Posted 11:42am 21/7/11
I'm a little lost in what SA is trying to do but if indeed they do abolish MA15+ and introduce their own R18+ rating then they will also need to introduce their own classifications board for video games. This is double handling that I don't think taxpayers need to be footing the bill for.

It sounds very SNAFU to me.

I'll add that I think Pinky is right. There is way too much grey area between what is M15+ and R18+. I see risk in that items that would normally fit under MA15+ might even get pushed back to M15+.

I'm all for a national ratings system which accommodates adults and minors appropriately. I would much prefer the federal government telling these AG's that their time is up on this issue and it's time for them to admit they are irrelevant to the needs of the people and that the federal government needs to take the responsibility away from them.
Pinky
Posted 02:39pm 22/7/11
Bam!
ravn0s
Posted 02:40pm 22/7/11
Commenting has been locked for this item.
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