In March; MKO reported on mounting pressures within the Australian government to resolve the nation's lack of an adult R18+ rating for video games, which inadvertently rendered Mortal Kombat banned in February, when it was Refused Classification on grounds of extreme violence [full story].

Persisting controversy surrounding the inaction of State Attorney-Generals brought Home Affairs Minister, Brendan O'Connor, to issue a pending ultimatum for July that would force changes to the ratings system through Federal intervention [full story]. Lamenting Australia's growing reputation as the "laughing stock of the developed world," the politician stressed a strong preference for consensus amongst the Attorney-Generals, despite intentions to force a revision of the system should they fail to reach one.

In a reversal of fortunes, current South Australian Attorney-General, John Rau, has led the charge to resolve the on-going ratings debate regardless of decisions reached by other state representatives at the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General, in the deadline month. It is a steady contrast to former SAAG, Michael Atkinson, who infamously held the vote to prevent even mere discussion of the topic, in previous years.

Gamespot AU reports Rau's intention to push South Australia to an R18+ rating after he reviewed the opinions of parent groups and gaming advocates alike, determining both perspectives were "legitimate" and "need to be accomodated."

Confirmation of the decision to initiate an adult rating is the first step toward releasing Mortal Kombat in Australia, where it had originally been scheduled for a simultaneous release with the United States, promoted locally, April 20. It was the first MK to be banned in the country, where the series has remained popular since inception.

Rau's plan comes with a catch, however. To better differentiate between adult and teen materials, the Attorney-General will require the abolishment of the MA15+ rating. MA15+ rated games contain more graphic content than M15 games, with required adult accompaniment for purchase.

"It is also important to note that there are some games that are rated MA15+ in Australia which are rated R18+ in other countries. At the moment there is an unbroken continuum from G to PG to M to MA15+ which includes some pretty violent games. What we want to do is make sure there is a clear gap between material for adult and material for children and empower responsible parents by making sure game classifications are helpful. No adult would be any worse off [with the abolition of MA15+ for games]; in fact, adults would be better off because there would be more games available in the R18+ category."

To support the radical switch; Rau claims that film ratings cannot be adequately compared to video game content, which is uniquely interactive and unlikely ["ludicrous"] to be monitored by parents.

"We do this [different legislation in different states] with film now--the ACT and NT have different legislation when it comes to X-rated films compared to the rest of the country. This already exists and the sky hasn't fallen in. I don't think that it will be a problem if South Australia has a slightly different regime in respect to games than the rest of the nation."

A spokesperson for John Rau has confirmed to Gamespot that South Australia will make the change regardless of decisions reached at the July SCAG meeting. For full updated details, follow the original article. Mortal Kombat Online will continue to follow details regarding an Australia release of the hit game as they develop. Get updates from the revolution by following @MK_Online.