With less than eight weeks to go before the South Australian state election, newly registered political party Gamers4Croydon remains confident it can secure more than 50 percent of the votes in the electorate of Croydon and take down South Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson from the seat he's held for the past 20 years. What is the reason for taking on Atkinson? To unseat the politician who many Aussie gamers see as the only person standing in the way of the introduction of an R18+ classification for games in the country.
Gamers4Croydon founder David Doe told GameSpot last week that a "…fair current of anti-Atkinson sentiment" currently exists in Croydon; something that will help the party's chances at the polls.
But ABC election analyst Antony Green believes Gamers4Croydon won't have much impact in the upcoming election. Green--who has covered more than 37 Australian territory, state, and federal elections for the ABC--says while discontent is natural in stable electorates like Croydon, there is little chance the incumbent will be unseated.
"I think there’s always a bit of discontent in electorates like Croydon," Green said. "Michael Atkinson has a reputation for being tough on law and order, but that’s not enough to turn around Labor's fourth safest seat in South Australia.
"As for the people in the electorate; in my view, the issue of R18+ for video games won’t have much impact at all. When push comes to shove, a significant portion of the electorate will reject lifting censorship on this sort of thing because most people tend to be rather pro-censorship as a gut instinct."
Responding to Green's comments, Doe says the party will continue to do all it can to achieve its aim of exerting political pressure on the member for Croydon.
"All we can do is continue to raise awareness and have a presence in the electorate," Doe said. "If we don’t do that, we’re not going to get the number of votes we need. We know that trying to unseat a 20-year incumbent is one of the biggest tasks in politics, but we think we have something better to offer. We’ll really need to work hard in the next eight weeks to get our message across and get as many votes as we can."
As far as electioneering goes, Doe believes his party is on an "even playing field" with Atkinson, who has already begun his campaign. "We've learned a lot about how Atkinson handles his electorate, and we're doing what he's doing. We have yet to speak to the Liberal Party or the Greens about their candidates, but we will be doing that in the next few weeks when we determine our preference deals," he said.
But the ABC's Green says no amount of campaigning will get Gamers4Croydon what they want because most people over the age of 30 simply don't care about the R18+ for games issue.
"I think that’s the biggest obstacle Gamers4Croydon face," Green said. "The best thing they can do at this stage is invest their money in something else. I'm just not convinced people either know or care about this issue, which is why their campaign will have little impact."
Last week, Gamers4Croydon announced Kat Nicholson as their candidate for Croydon, a South-Australian university student with "…a lifelong love of both gaming and politics." Doe believes Nicholson will be able to lead parliament in the R18+ for games agenda if Gamers4Croydon succeeds in securing a seat.
For more on video game classification in Australia, check out GameSpot AU's Aussie Games Classification FAQ feature.