In April this year, South Australian Attorney-General John Rau announced plans to abolish the MA15+ classification for video games in South Australia in favour of an R18+ classification, provided the Commonwealth Government is first to introduce the adult rating at a federal level.
Now, Rau has reiterated his plans to "fold" the MA15+ rating into R18+, something he plans to do as soon as his fellow state and territory attorneys-general can unanimously agree to introduce R18+ for games in Australia.
Speaking to GameSpot AU, Rau clarified that he doesn't want to "muck around" with the existing classification guidelines. He simply wants parents in South Australia to be given a clearer choice between games made for children and games made for adults.
"I'm working on the basis that while the Federal Government sets the rules, it's up to each individual state to police them," Rau told GameSpot AU. "I cannot imagine it will be a problem for South Australia to fold the MA15+ rating into the R18+ rating, once Australia has one."
Rau pointed to the example of X-rated films: while the Commonwealth permits films the X-rated classification in Australia, X-rated films are legally available only in the ACT and the Northern Territory. In this way, each state and territory is able to control the sale and distribution of the content it wants, regardless of the Commonwealth stance.
Rau notes that he does not yet know the legal details of how exactly South Australia can fold the MA15+ category into R18+.
"Right now what I am envisaging is a system where South Australia still receives games that have been rated MA15+, but we simply put an R18+ sticker on top of the MA15+ sticker before the games are sold. That way parents can have a clear idea of which content is for adults."