Atkinson says that the motivation for his decision is to see some talented Labor back-benchers blooded before the next election in 2014. Also playing a part was a desire to spend more time with his family.
The fact that Atkinson is stepping down as AG (he’ll remain in parliament until the next election) could potentially smooth over the speedhumps on the road to an adult classification for games. Atkinson has always been a vocal opponent to the rating, and considering that the law requires agreement from all the Attorneys-General to change, the prospect has looked grim for mature gaming, despite massive public support.
There’s no word yet on who will replace Atkinson, although there’s some debate as to whether or not the adult games classification will even be discussed at the next Standing Committee of Attorneys-General meeting in April. Even if it is on the cards, and even if the new South Australian AG is supportive of an adult gaming classification, it doesn’t mean the rating is certain – Atkinson has always argued that he’s not the only AG opposed to the classification. I guess now we’ll find out just how truthful he was.