Atkinson quits as SA attorney-general; wins Croydon election

UPDATE: South Australian attorney-general and vocal anti-game advocate retains seat in state election; quits government front bench. Gamers4Croydon polls 3.6 percent of electorate vote.

Michael Atkinson--the man many Australian gamers see as the only stumbling block to the introduction of an R18+ classification for video games in the country--has retained his seat of Croydon in the South Australian state election. The incumbent Labor Government also seems likely to hold power.

Michael Atkinson.

Atkinson will retain the seat of Croydon comfortably, although the minister did see an 11 percent swing against him according to the ABC News Election Web site. As of press time, 65 percent of votes had been counted, with Atkinson scoring 8,525 votes after preferences compared to the Liberal candidate, Zack McLennan, on 4,719 votes.

Gamers4Croydon candidate Kat Nicholson had scored 504 votes, or roughly 3.6 percent of total votes in Croydon. Gamers4Croydon was founded to specifically take on Atkinson and oppose his anti-R18+ view.

Atkinson has been a vocal anti-game campaigner and has repeatedly stated his opposition to the introduction of an adult rating for games in Australia. For an R18+ rating to be introduced for games, all of Australia's state and federal attorneys-general must unanimously agree on its implementation.

UPDATE: Adelaide Advertiser Web site Adelaide Now is reporting that Atkinson has quit the front bench of the Labor Government, relinquishing his post as the state's attorney-general.

According to Adelaide Now, Atkinson is making way for fresh blood in the ministry, but will stay in Parliament until the next election in 2014.

GameSpot AU will have more on the South Australian election as news breaks. For more on video game classification in Australia, check out GameSpot AU's Aussie Games Classification FAQ feature.

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Discussion

124 comments
Pilch_R_eD
Pilch_R_eD

@_-monkeygirl-_ "In the U.S. we have a division between MA and AO for a reason. Some of those AO games are the equivalent of digital porn. " "Maybe if R18+ was divided into two sub-categories, you might have a better chance of getting MA games unbanned." --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In Australia There is two separate classifications for General Adult Only content and Sexual Adult only content. You can't have extreme sexual graphical images depicted or acted in R18+. For that we have the rating X18+. So there are two separate classifications. There likely won't ever be an X18+ classification for games in AU. At the very least, not for a long time, and no one atm is asking for it. We only want an R18+ rating so that adult content in games is restricted to adults, and or to prevent games being banned because they weren't appropriate for a 15yo.

R_evolution_Jay
R_evolution_Jay

Wins... then quits? wtf! how is that even legal? it would have been pre-meditated... we spend a $hitload in taxes to pay for his salary and all the advertising he spent to get re-elected, and look how he repaid his "loyal voters" (which is not anyone here im guessing) by stepping down... good job morons, you voted in someone who clearly doesnt give a $hit about you ;)

Azghouls
Azghouls

Probably the reason why he stepped down is because his children will be 18+ then. And his kids will think of him of a total idiot if they cannot play 18+ games. So in the next four years watch the fury of Atkinson - yes Barbie...you're next along with Bambi.

SadPSPAddict
SadPSPAddict

Well hopefully now he's stepped down from the front bench his opinion won't count for so much

Revla
Revla

@ Oblenator... Hopefully.... then I'll be finally able to play local games on my uncensored copy of L4D2 (thanks ebay)

Revla
Revla

@ Chunky_Tomster The reasons for an R rating are many. Granted only a few games were banned or modified but in my opinion thats still too many. Also many games that are rated R (or their version) in other countries get in here with an MA rating when they are clearly not intended for children, the argument could be just to ban them outright but if you do that, why stop at games? TV has children shows on it but we don't treat that as purely a children's medium, same for movies (would you let a/your child watch the new Rambo or any Saw movie? I wouldn't), same for music (I don't like Hip hop but I'm not about to say it should be censored or banned, its just not for me and largly due to its content), and if your argument also includes that a small number might do stupid things after playing games fine. Ban cars (potentially weapons), ban AFL (promotes aggressive behaviour and how many sexual abuse allegations have we heard from it), ban the bible (MANY a horrid story in there, good thing I'm an atheist), sounds stupid but thats basically what some people say about games. Its not a children's medium anymore than movies are for kids. Hell some adults collect grotesque figurines (not rude just gory or movie mok-ups) so why punish the majority to protect the minority or those who such things aren't even aimed at? (IE, games not meant for kids). Don't get me wrong I love gore in games, but would I let my child play Modern Warfare 2 (one level in particular), FEAR 2 or GTA4? hell no.

Oblenator
Oblenator

Does this mean they will re-release L4D2 unedited? Thumbs up for yes, Thumbs down for no.

SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

Finally, Atkinson has made a good decision!.

itsme73
itsme73

Look at Atkinsons teeth O__O

sammysalsa
sammysalsa

@_-monkeygirl-_ I just assumed it was some crazy american-christian thing because the AO seemed the equivalent to the R18+ but thanks for enlightening me, i didn't even know games like that existed and i kind of wish i didn't :P

Phoenix6359
Phoenix6359

Can you smell that? It smells like victory!!

benboz
benboz

This is great news

AceBalls
AceBalls

Well, we've only just taken over 1 control point on the battlefield and the big fight is still around the corner guys so don't give up!

Adamayess
Adamayess

YES Finally hes gone i am so happy. Now i hope we dont get another SA Attorney-General with the same views and beliefs.

shredicalous
shredicalous

This is great news. I'm sure the Australian gaming community will rejoice. Party time, lets all head to the mana bar hahaha..

hotfiree
hotfiree

Hey btw - is he the only one opposing the r18 or is there others and he is just the only one who is really public with his views? If hes the only one, fingers crossed someone cool takes his place.

hotfiree
hotfiree

Man i lit up when i read the title on the gamespot homepage - read it like 10 times before clicking to make sure I wasn't in a beautiful dream.

hotfiree
hotfiree

Man i lit up when i read the title on the gamespot homepage - read it like 10 times before clicking to make sure I wasn't in a beautiful dream.

callen_1
callen_1

This is all great news, but i'm not going to hold my breath yet. We still don't know how the next Attorney-General will feel about the issue. I guess we can only hope though?

008Zulu
008Zulu

The battle is won, we have yet to fight the war.

junor69
junor69

best news ever :) , there is no place for people like him any more in politics

susil65
susil65

cool news for gamers

Chunky_Tomster
Chunky_Tomster

@Relva I find the culture of gaming and Technology to be quite interesting, thats why im here, however why im protesting against your argument fot an R18+ rating is that i dont believe it is even neccesary. In my opinion there have only been 3 major casualties because we havent had an r18+ rating (Left4Dead 2, GTA4 and Fallout 3. Even though these were reclassified i believe l4d2 to be the most ridiculous casualty.)

hart704
hart704

I, for one, am happy for all Australian gamers.

Chickan_117
Chickan_117

What a strange move. I doubt it relates to the R18+ rating as he's been under political and public scrutiny before for other issues...then again the 18+ thing has become very high profile over recent months so maybe he just doesn't want the limelight. Interesting to see that he's remaining on the bench. Stinks of a "forced" step down for new prospects IMO. @andrew_dueck - lol.

illmatic87
illmatic87

Poor Mr Atkinson.. rather entertaining fellow, man I e-mailed Rove once because he wouldve made an excellent candidate on Petespace. Anywhoo.. now that he has stepped down abruptly, now what? Can I finally play Sexy Poker like I have always wanted?

AceBalls
AceBalls

There's something odd in this move. I also believe it was a back room deal to protect the reputation of the labor party. It's not just gamers that hate him, there is a legion of people in all over the country that despise him for past issues as well. The R18+ will probably get through now provided that the current ministry would use this as a fallback reason to change their minds. @herodotus2006 Yes. That is another possibility.

herodotus2006
herodotus2006

Could he be resigning in silent protest against what he has been told will be a change in the R18+ policy? In other words the Federal Government may be intending to pass the Bill to change the ratigs system and as a staunch opponent, Atkinson is stepping aside. One can but hope.

user_93475765
user_93475765

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

_-monkeygirl-_
_-monkeygirl-_

@sammysalsa You reacted to DiabloNeonX's post as if he personally was proclaiming that no one will sell AO games. Here in the U.S. it's not like you can just walk into any store and buy an AO game. They tend to be something you have to order from specialty online stores. (Hence the statement "no one sells them.") An MA rating (or equivalent) on the other hand would obviously be a positive thing because it would stop mainstream games from being banned or edited. In the U.S. we have a division between MA and AO for a reason. Some of those AO games are the equivalent of digital porn. Grouping those two distinctly different game types together might actually be part of the reason why people like Atkinson are so opposed to it. Dead Space should not be in the same category as All Nude Cyber. Maybe if R18+ was divided into two sub-categories, you might have a better chance of getting MA games unbanned.

TheCyborgNinja
TheCyborgNinja

Judging by the picture, Atkinson probably quit because he saw a shiny object across from the parliament and chased after it.

Angel_Belial
Angel_Belial

Well, this is surprising. Sounds like he might have been pressured.

TurambarGS
TurambarGS

Hmmm, will be very interesting to see how the other AG's vote now - with no Atkinson to scapegoat for them, we'll see if their silence means they were just hiding behind him or not. At any rate, this has to be good news; Atkinson was a major obstacle to getting the rating through.

Transparanoia
Transparanoia

@burtonboy05 I can't see the other AGs being so ignorant to what the people have to say. 55, 000 submissions from the public consolation, no one in their right mind, not even a politician, can ignore that. Atkinson was the exception that proved the rule, but he's gone now. :P

mouthofplague
mouthofplague

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Revla
Revla

@ Chunky_Tomster: Granted the reason he left (and I'm basing this on his decisions lately and the timing of this) were more than likely some sort of back room deal to get rid of him without labor looking worse than they are, but if your not a typical gamer, than what the hell are you doing here?

burtonboy05
burtonboy05

Living in Adelaide I was pleasantly surprised by this news and glad such an out of touch individual is moving aside albeit slowly. I listed to the ABC last night and the smugness in this comments at retaining his seat were nauseating. I don't recall his exact words but he certainly had a shot at the gamers out there. Anyway with MA stepping aside I still don't see R18 eventuating. No one knows the opinions of the other AG's and by all reports he's simply the lighting rod taking the heat for others who also hold his view. I hate to disappoint but I think it will take a generational change maybe another 5-10 years before things change. I hope I'm wrong but time will tell. That said I'm certainly glad to see the back of Atkinson.

Darek_Khort
Darek_Khort

This is good news; so long as the one replacing him (whoever that may be) is level-headed. Also, check out that Adelaide Now link. Check the votes. More than 96% voted that they are happy that he is gone. :D

mystic_knight
mystic_knight moderator

He may have quit, though i hope he isn't replaced with another troubled soul.

AceBalls
AceBalls

We really have to give it to Gamers for Croydon. You guys rock. I strongly believe that your actions have had some definite form of influence on him to make that decision. I agree with Chunky_Tomster that Rann would have whispered in his ear and told him that he's done enough damage with his failed leadership abilities.

AceBalls
AceBalls

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

Bpants
Bpants

Now the questions are: who will be the new AGs in Tasmania and SA, and which way will the Liberal WA AG go?

Chunky_Tomster
Chunky_Tomster

Typical Gamer sitting at home behind his/her computer would have given this turn of events as the work of G4C which is highly unlikely. The reason why labor became unpopular was because of the view that they had an arrogant front bench and news came out this morning that Atkinson quit was most likely in my opinion due to the fact that he has either been told by Rann something before hand or he sees this as the only way for Labor to have any chance at the next state election

gameking5000
gameking5000

Who would want to vote a party never heard of before, that is only interested in unseating atkinson and don't have any purpose except to get rid of atkinson. Unsurprising g4c failed