New SA attorney-general denies pro-R18+ stance

John Rau says he has "no preconceptions" about an adult classification for games in Australia; intends to listen to arguments both for and against.

by

When Michael Atkinson announced his decision to stand down as South Australian attorney-general last month, many Aussie gamers found cause to celebrate. A long-standing opponent of the R18+ classification for video games in Australia, Atkinson was the only attorney-general to publicly take a negative stance on the issue, leading many gamers to believe he was the only person standing in the way of an adult classification for games.

John Rau.

With Atkinson gone attention soon turned to his successor, John Rau, who was announced as the new South Australian attorney-general less than a week after Atkinson's departure. Although the new minister had not yet made an official comment on R18+ for games, it was widely reported that his stance was pro-R18+, based on a comment made by Gamers4Croydon president Chris Prior.

Now, John Rau has told GameSpot AU that he has not yet formed a stance on the issue.

"I have no preconceptions about this issue and intend to listen to the arguments. I can neither support nor wisely argue against a position if I am not aware of the relevant factors," he said.

"It is worth noting that ultimately, the decision does not rest with me alone. Any change would require the support of each jurisdiction's attorney-general."

Stay tuned to GameSpot AU for more information on John Rau and the R18+ debate as it comes to hand.

For more on video game classification in Australia, check out GameSpot AU's Aussie Games Classification FAQ feature.

Discussion

35 comments
Jortan
Jortan

@o0MrCheesy0o I'm with you man I hate it in the U.S they can buy new games for $50 but here they can go up to $110

o0MrCheesy0o
o0MrCheesy0o

@ WhiteFlame692 If people continued to pay the prices that they do now nothing will change. Retailers will see that people are willing to pay the ridiculous prices and just set them even higher. If sales dropped so would the prices, as it'll be clear no one is willing to pay $100 for a video game >_> They would have no choice but to reduce prices if they wanted to stay in business. Oh, and the retialers can do everything about it. They're just taking advantage of Australia.

Oblenator
Oblenator

@gameking5000 You're on to something here.

Falcon084
Falcon084

Finnaly something good comes out of Canberra :D To any American thats our version of DC.

Azghouls
Azghouls

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

WhiteFlame692
WhiteFlame692

@o0MrCheesy0o The more people that import the worse the prices will get, and there is not much Australian retailers can do about it. If more people import they will see game sales are down and need to up the prices even more, the best we can do is support aussie retailers and hope others do the same.

DamnClown
DamnClown

In the Immortal words of Quato: "Open your mind to me, Quaid... Open your mind!" and "Quaid, start the reactor..." but that's a different topic, focus on the mind opening part, that's the important one here, while ya at it... replace Quaid's name with John and let us have him start the reactor instead... I MEAN.. open his mind. Really though, I'm glad John Rau is willing to listen to both sides, better than we got with Michael Atkinson. Oh if only Quato were the South Australian Attorney-General, He'd make sure that dang reactor got turned on and that our minds were open.

o0MrCheesy0o
o0MrCheesy0o

I honestly don't care anymore. I'm done buying video games within Australia. They jack-up the prices and censore the content. Importing is for me. I wish I could support the industry within Australia, but until they do something about the ridiculous prices I will continue to import.

isshiah
isshiah

At last an open minded SA Governor General. I hope he listens to both sides and not just the ignorant opinions of people who've never touched a game in their lives.

gameking5000
gameking5000

Mhm interesting decision. Does he take bribes? :P

008Zulu
008Zulu

During Atkinson's reign (had to scroll up, forgot his name) all but he enthusiasticaly supported the need for an R18 classification. Thoughts on this being a huge issue in the recent election undoubtly motivated him to say he has not yet formed an opinion. Perhaps he will take in to account the growing support this movement has and how it could affect him should he choose to run for re-election when the time comes.

Chickan_117
Chickan_117

All we can do is cross our fingers and wait to see. For this to get passed it needs a consensus from all AGs and I have my doubt that all of them will agree. Still, we can hope... and whilst hoping we can import the 3 or 4 games that have been banned and leave games like God of War 3 and Dante's Inferno incorrectly classified :)

Barighm
Barighm

Meh. All he is going to hear is "The children! Think about the children!", bow to whoever has the largest vote, and that will be the end of that.

Akmehadz0rz
Akmehadz0rz

So he's unbiased eh? Back to the drawing board for us >=/

TurambarGS
TurambarGS

He "intend[s] to listen to the arguments" - well that's one up on Atkinson already. We can only hope...

shani_boy101
shani_boy101

well at least he isn't ignorant about his opinion in any way. This is the next best thing after a pro-R18+ attorney-general.

AjaxsLastStand
AjaxsLastStand

Hopefully you Aussies will be lucky and this guy will be a student of the law, unlike the trend of judges worldwide who find themselves to be executors of the law. That's my hyped up way of saying to keep your fingers crossed.

Jaguar_Shade
Jaguar_Shade

At least he has said he is going to listen to both sides and make an informed decision. That's better than covering his ears screaming, la la la la la, cant hear you, la la la la la

caityful
caityful

So far so good, at least.

FloatingCorps3
FloatingCorps3

Let's just hope a bunch of Dumbass Gamers DON'T try to solve this by sending Death Notes by his doorstep. We should not do anything stupid for a while.

999realthings
999realthings

Right, at least there's some hope. He's willing to listen to debate and acknowledge he's not the be all and end of this debate even he likely is

johnnyauau
johnnyauau

Well, it's been two weeks ago I heard the replacement of Michael Atkinson is John Rau. It's too early to tell but because of thousands of submissions starting December last year, I guess you need to be a good reader to get through that process over a simple R18+ for games. Anyway, I don't know what else to say except this is now down whether all attorney general is going to by unanimously support this very important thing for games or continue to treat us Australian like a bunch of teenagers.

stray2615
stray2615

@ Sir_Lemsip I have actually read the majority of things Michael Atkinson has said both on the Classification and other issues with much interest. He openly said he would not pay any attention to the public submissions as it would only be filled out by gamers. He has at every turn said openly he would not change his vote on the matter. He has even said he doesn't care if other countries think we look behind he would never change. If that's not closed minded I don't know what is.

jasopan
jasopan

"I have no preconceptions about this issue and intend to listen to the arguments" -i really, REALLY hope you do...

R_evolution_Jay
R_evolution_Jay

Way to go Chris/G4C with the false info... bravo. But lets hope he takes a good hard and unbiased look at the two sides and with any common sense he will see the R18+ rating will ensure kids dont get adult games in oz anymore.

selbie
selbie

Sounds like he's a little more rational than Old Man Atkinson. The fact that he even mentions the required support of all jurisdictions means he's open to change.

tigertechie
tigertechie

Hopefully something will happen. We should all knock some sense into them.

Sir_Lemsip
Sir_Lemsip

Stray2615, have you taken the time to listen to interviews with Atkinson regarding the classification issue? He is by no means closed minded and definitely not ill informed...in fact i'd wager that he's far more informed than most of the pro-R18+ people on this website. I personally am pro-R18+, but it does pay to step back and listen to both sides, rather than be closed minded on the proR18+ side like you apparently are...

equj
equj

RE: flammable_zeus's comment. You do know that Attorney Generals do more than determine classification regulations for games right?

flammable_zeus
flammable_zeus

Wait, the guy took up the job of SA attorney-general without reading up on the R18+ issue? Really? This man was the best person for the job?

stray2615
stray2615

No preconception is better than a closed minded ill informed negative one (ala Mick Atkinson). An open mind is exactly what we need everyone who is making a decission on anything to have, lets hope the submissions help all the AG's make an informed decission.

Jortan
Jortan

haha I'm under 18 and my mom don't care what I play but I don't see why we don't have one there is parental controls on all the the systems these days

shaunn191
shaunn191

one small step at a time but it better come soon!

Xeno311
Xeno311

I'm not sure where I stand on this issue. This is mainly because, since I am under 18, some games such as Prototype or Heavy Rain would be outside my reach. However I am supportive of the idea, and very opposed to the idea of Australia being censored to these things. I just hope that I will be able to purchase new, and violent games into the future