GameSpot AU Exclusive: South Australian Attorney General on R18+ for games

GameSpot AU's exclusive interview with South Australian attorney general Michael Atkinson on the introduction of an R18+ restricted classification for video games.

by

For a long time now, we here at GameSpot AU have kept a watchful eye on and examined the process behind Australia's video game classification system. The long-awaited public consultation will soon ask members of the public to voice their opinions on the introduction of an R18+ classification for video games in Australia.


As reported this week, the public feedback session will go ahead this year in the form of a discussion paper to be released by the office of the Commonwealth Minister of Home Affairs, Bob Debus. The paper will be made available to the public on the Commonwealth attorney general's Web site, where anyone can view it and comment on it via email, post, or fax. The closing date for the public consultation has been set as July 31, 2009.

The decision to release the discussion paper was made at last week's Standing Committee of Attorneys General meeting (SCAG) in Canberra, where Minister for Home Affairs Bob Debus announced that his office would be taking over the release of the paper after censorship ministers could not reach a unanimous decision regarding its contents and proposed release date. South Australian attorney general Michael Atkinson was initially responsible for delaying the release of the discussion paper, but was later joined by other ministers in his stance against the R18+ classification for games in Australia. Last week GameSpot AU sat down with Mr. Atkinson in Canberra to discuss his views on R18+, the delay of the discussion paper, his personal views on censorship, and the future of the classification system in Australia.

Discussion

128 comments
SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

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SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

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Anubispt
Anubispt

@ southwardraptor www.kotaku.com.au/2009/03/atkinson_addresses_r18_rating_kotaku_reader_responds/ I think this letter to the Advertiser explains is position.

southwardraptor
southwardraptor

Can i just ask why is this decision left to be made by people who dont even play video games???

Anubispt
Anubispt

So Mr.Atkinson, if my english is still correct what you say is using a car to roll over the pavement and killing people over and over is ok to kids but basically the prostitute scene is bad enough to ban a whole game.Is my impression or most of the games that have a relation with sex get a high score in the boards??I still remember the fuss about mass effect scene "sex" scene. To Mr.Atkinson, dont you think the problem is not the games but the "whole society"??Parents that take the easy path in educating their children(grasping the possibility of having games banned instead of educating as to why the games have ratings? or why this one can only be played at a later age?), politician's trying to lessen their burden in the education of society(less problems=less money spend). Good luck aussies you will need it.

tanman77_au
tanman77_au

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

SumK1ndaMonster
SumK1ndaMonster

I'm sorry this man's views are just so frustratingly one sided. For example his comment "a man in Thailand butchered a taxi driver, he had GTA at his premises, he said he had played it when asked". So you automatically come to the conclusion that it was the game that "made" him do it. No mention of mental instability only that a game coerced him into an extremely violent act. If you are that weak minded you shouldn't be playing games in the first place. And i don't understand his stance on catering for the minority either. I do get he wants to look after all Australians but surely catering to the greatest majority is the best policy.

rockatanski
rockatanski

Watching the news "causes anger" as well. Your favourite football team "causes anger" when they lose. It really is a dumb argument coming out of him.

hellhound1345
hellhound1345

He brings up an interesting point. Stupid young adolecent teens behind their keyboards, abusing him in emails, isnt doing anything but proving his point, "violent video games cause anger". But, he should get his facts right, because in GTA4, it is still possible, to have sex with a hooker, kill her, and take you money back. He isnt doing any good by not introducing an R18 classification, instead is making, what should be adult games, readily available to kids.

rockatanski
rockatanski

Gamespot is rated G. They ban people from posting sometimes.

aaronobst
aaronobst

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

rockatanski
rockatanski

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

Sammojo
Sammojo

@rockatanski It was a joke relating to the fact that you said the church was involved in hindering freedom of though. Since we were discussing conspiracy theories, I thought I would bring up aliens also being involved in mind control, it's a discussion technique called reductio ad absurdum, if you want to look it up. My conclusion was actually below that, if you read it, where I said I would ask that you not let your religious prejudices get in the way of your reasons for opposing Mr Atkinson. Being "smart" involved not letting such biases get in the way of an argument or debate, and I was simply prompting you to make yourself aware of that. I don't understand the significance of listing things about be which have no relevance to this topic, what I said about you I only did because it revealed your biases, which were directly relevant to your stance against Atkinson. "I still believe Atkinson is on a crusade that's guided by his faith and he is blinded by the realism of the facts. " I understand you believe this, but obviously my explanation about how religious views would have little influence in this topic due to the nature of the morals involved, went right over a particular head. You say you are anti-religion, then say you have no bias within this topic, not entirely consistent statements. You seem to be in agreement with Mephistoau on most things regarding this topic, and he has previously said "i don't think religion comes into play in this issue as much as you are portraying." I am simply trying to point out that religion isn't "infecting" this topic as much as you would like to think. Finally, you sign off seeming to think I support Atkinson, however if you had read my previous posts then you would maybe have at least some understanding of my stance. I think this man has unjustified reasons in his rulings and hasn't given the public a fair chance at voicing their opinion on the matter. Just because I am not anti-religion and don't think that he is on a "Christian crusade" doesn't mean I agree with his stance on entertainment rating systems. I couldn't agree more that this is going to end up nowhere, the reasons for that, however, I think lie with you, in not understanding or even reading some of my posts. I don't support Atkinson, but I don't support the idea that his stance is influenced by his religion. And I'm not a big fan of the Pope either to be honest, wouldn't kill him, but not exactly fond of him.

rockatanski
rockatanski

@Sammojo Aliens controlling my mind? Lol! I don't know what to say to that one, mate. I'll just take it as a real sad, lame and cheap joke. If that's your loveable little smart conclusion to our debate, then I'll let you blow your load all over yourself. There is obviously no point in going on with this because we're gonna end up nowhere. I still believe Atkinson is on a crusade that's guided by his faith and he is blinded by the realism of the facts. No bias on my watch here and no Andrew Ryan here either. (And what was wrong with Andrew Ryan's goals anyway!!? wohoo!) You on the other hand, are just another uni student pro-active new age dux of the school family boy which is what I managed to "dig" out of you. As for your digging on me, no secrets buddy. You can bet your life that I will be the first person on the job, axe in hand, if the pope or any other major icon of the grove was rounded up at my feet. Good luck to you and any of your support for Mr Atkinson.

Mephistoau
Mephistoau

Well yes south, but at the same time he's claiming the edits they put on the game before it's introduced into australia are enough to stop kids being "corrupted" so to speak. *Cough cough joke cough*

southwardraptor
southwardraptor

Lol Aztec im lmao :). Now i may be wrong but this guys using GTA as an example in most of his arguments but isnt it because we lack an R18+ classification that kids CAN play these games?

Mephistoau
Mephistoau

Hahahaha Aztec i lol'd. Thanks :D

Aztec888
Aztec888

"But Mr. Atkinson!", the boy cried "aren't gamers the people who actually PLAY GAME?! What does an 80-year old retiree have in the say of something they don't care about? What if all of a sudden, we voted whether Bingo was too violent for them, despite never actually seeing the effects of this so called gory Bingo?" He's got it ALL WRONG. GAMERS = People who play GAMES. Not anyone else, GAMERS. And his argument is flawed. There are mediums with far more interactivity than games, such as proved by this article from The Onion: http://www.theonion.com/content/video/should_we_be_doing_more_to_reduce?utm_source=a-section

bradcv8
bradcv8

I think the old man should get a life and let us have our games.

Sammojo
Sammojo

@Mephistoau: Thanks for the cohesive reply, I understand what you mean now. @rockatanski: Thanks for revealing exactly what I was digging for, your pre-conceived bias against religion. I really can't see this discussion going anywhere when you consider a cross hung around a neck humble in comparison to a "huge" (1.5 times the size of a neck suspended cross) cross looking symbol on his shirt, of which you consider to portray religious fanaticism. "You even admit it when you say that his religous views would have one point of influence in this topic." The point I was making is that they would influence his thoughts on the morality involved in children obtaining this content. That was the single thing I said I thought his religion would influence, his thoughts on what kind of violence we should allow children to experience. I then said that since this view isn't specific to whatever religion he is, that his religious views would thus have no real significant part in his stance on an R18+ rating. The real issue is the opinions he has about the OFLC and the likeliness of children being able to access 18+ content illegally, which have little, if any, relevance to his religion what-so-ever. "I believe that religion is the only reason why science isn't allowed to advance." You are entitled to believe whatever you want, as are religious people. The reason modern science isn't allowed to advance? I wouldn't mind hearing some of those reasons; I was under the impression, as a current science student, that there are multiple reasons for the hindering of scientific advancement; examples being focus of interests, funding, ethics boards (which are secular I might point out), and physical and time restrictions. If you are suggesting the morals involved in religion are holding science back, the you should have a talk to my good friend, Andrew Ryan, he had this great idea to go undersea and take part in science without ethics. The Germans also did it in WWII, it ended in shame and world-wide disgust. I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that's not what you were suggesting though. "It is also the reason why freedom of thoughts, expressions and even certain forms of ART is being held back in society today. " Lot's of art was actually brought about by religion, as an art student as well (I don't want to sound like I'm tooting my own horn but I received the dux of art prize at my high school so I'm not just blowing hot air), I have studied many forms of art and their influences. What was that painting on the roof of the Sistine Chapel? (google it if you don't know) I don't see any form of modern art being held back by anything if you want my opinion. As for freedom of thought, I don't even know what to say. Are the aliens controlling your mind as well? My point is that this R18+ rating has little, if anything, to do with religion, please don't let your bias against religion cloud your judgement over Atkinson and his arguments.

zygany
zygany

So much for a free society! All his claims about wanting to protect children etc are all well and good, but it's simply not his job to protect my kids. It's my job. Who the hell is this guy (or any politician or civil servant for that matter) to decide what my kids can and cannot look at. I'm their parent - it's my responsibility - not his. When he starts paying for all of my children's food, clothing and education, maybe then I'll consider letting him decide what my kids can do. Until then - butt our Mr Atkinson!

Mephistoau
Mephistoau

@ sammojo "What evidence is there to suggest that the levels of torrenting will increase? We have had this same rating system for a long time, so why would it just spontaneously change? Also, I wouldn't say that because a law promotes the breaking of law, that we should get rid of it. Could you elaborate on what you mean with the torrenting?" No, you are correct in a sense, i didn't say that torrenting will increase because, as you said - it has been this way for a while so the extent in which downloads occur will most likely stay as it is. If you read what i was saying again, you'll see that i was referring to the PURCHASING of games from overseas stores / distributors - because they would be stocking copies not edited for our current ridiculous standards. So i was talking about the business side, not piracy. Mind you with that being said, i think i'll correct my earlier statement - the more people continue getting frustrated with this issues (Aus and NZ) - i think downloads WILL increase for our countries at least as people try to bypass the editing system. Don't get me wrong i don't think it'll be substantial, but that combined with overseas purchases kind of makes his policy redundant. **Edit - Re-reading what i said, i think you may have confused my talking about under age gamers downloading the games anyway (making his fight against R18+ rating pointless) and the purchasing of games overseas by mature gamers. But who knows :P .... well..... you probably lol :D ------------------- @ rockatanski I have to agree with Sammo to an extent, while i do believe his religious views would have influence on his way of thinking and why he is approaching the subject in the way he is, i wouldn't go as far as to start slandering religion for all of modern societies problems lol. I'm not religious, and i agree with some of what you're saying, but i don't think religion comes into play in this issue as much as you are portraying. And i do agree with what you said about torrents too. Frankly, i hope people either buy or download these games overseas, not to spite Mr. Atkinson, but just to play them the way they were supposed to be played.

rockatanski
rockatanski

@Sammojo Wearing a cross around your neck is humble and normal. If that is someones feelings, then good for them. But wearing a huge cross card on your suit is making a real strong point of it. how many people apart from door knocking religious fanatics have you seen walk around like that? Even in saying all this: I'm ready to accept that this thing on his suit has nothing to do with some kind of church lobby group as well, but the way this man is acting in his stance is becoming quite a clear indication to what side of the universe he's on. I believe that religion is the only reason why science isn't allowed to advance. It is also the reason why freedom of thoughts, expressions and even certain forms of ART is being held back in society today. I do understand everything you are saying. I just don't agree with all of it that's all. I don't assume that everybody is on a religious crusade at all. Just this man. I have seen it before and here it is again. You even admit it when you say that his religous views would have one point of influence in this topic. I don't believe he knows what he's talking about when he even involves children in all of this because children are exposed to violence in every other form of media anyway ie, the news for example. R18+ movies, drugs, whatever and all! This has nothing to do with children. It has all to do with his newfound fame in trying to justify his job that is doing absoloutely nothing but making an identity for himself. If this entire debate on innapropriate material was real then why isn't Fallout 3 banned for ultra copius blood spray and dismemberment but Silent Hill Homecoming is? As for you query on torrents, it is quite clear that you have no idea how much piracy has happened on games like Soldier of Fortune and other games that were banned last year. You can go to a torrent site and check for yourself if you want to argue that. It is something that will happen to EVERY game that gets banned in Australia. You'll see.

zim3442
zim3442

If only we could find a way to make this an issue of interntional relevance, make this a commonwealth issue not a state issue, lift it out of this fols hands

zim3442
zim3442

Anyone have a link to the Website where the discussion papper will become available? mi having trouble finding anything via the usual means

LordLeckie
LordLeckie

Goddamit i wish one of the other AGs could talk sense into this wanker.

Sammojo
Sammojo

@rockatanski "Or is it there to stir up the "aetheists" and the "anti-christian" gamers out there? He doesn't have to say anything because it's pretty obvious." So you are saying he is obviously on a crusade against because he has something resembling a cross on his shirt? You are justified in speculating that it is some form of religious symbol, but I don't see how this then promotes the jump in logic you are making to the proposal that he is on a religious crusade. Neither of us know what it says, it could incidently be a symbol from a non-religious organisation, but even if it is a cross how many people have you seen wearing crosses around their necks? I see plenty, however I don't immediately think that any kind of argument they have with me is a religious crusade. A person's views on the R18+ rating are not inherently dependant on their religious views. I don't think you understand what I was saying, so I'll try to be more clear. His religous views would have one point of influence in this topic, that is, that they would be the source of his thinking that children should not be subjected to high-levels of violence; because that is the main moral point he is using (I don't even think this is religiously depenedant, someone with completely different beliefs could easily think that aswell and it's a view shared by the majority, and you as you even said). If religion therefore has no influence on his views about this topic than secular views would, then religion is not the cause of his ruling. How believing in God is relevant to this topic is not very clear to me, but you seem to find a link there, so I would like you to explain where it is. Many people seem to blame religion for hindering "advances" in culture these days, and it appears that you are simply doing this also. @rockatanski and Mephistoau: What evidence is there to suggest that the levels of torrenting will increase? We have had this same rating system for a long time, so why would it just spontaneously change? Also, I wouldn't say that because a law promotes the breaking of law, that we should get rid of it. Could you elaborate on what you mean with the torrenting?

denaz
denaz

This subject just frustrates me, how can one person stand in the way of the future of gaming?

TheGhostDog
TheGhostDog

AGAIN I WILL SAY IT. How can having a R18+ rating be bad for children???? The fact is we have violent games available for children now because we dont have R18+ !!!!!!!! Because of this guy if your a 15 year old kid then you can play GTA or Resident Evil. and if your a 15 year old kid then doesn't that make you a child? If there is a R18+ rating introduced then legally you cant play or buy GTA or Resident Evil if your a CHILD?????? Isn't that what we want? How dumb is this country. seriously. Its funny how the only people who agree with this dude is kids. Because if im a kid i dont want a R18+ rating introduced either. because then i will have to wait to play violent and horror themed games. So this guy is the reason kids a playing violent games. send him a letter and thank him.

rockatanski
rockatanski

Mephistoau, you said it right there. If R18+ does not come into play in Australia soon, then everyone will just torrent the hell out of the games that get banned. This is all well and good for Atkinson though, because he has just pushed a responsibility over to another government branch to deal with. Just like a lazy politician does in this day and age.

Mephistoau
Mephistoau

@ scarecrow025 "the ratings system is essentially designed so as to inform parents as to the content of the media and its suitability for their children. I therefore believe that having an R18+ rating provides greater protection than not having one." This is exactly right. Unfortunately i don't agree with anything else you said. However, something else you said was more interesting "a) the very young (anyone up to the age of - probably - 15), b) people that are easily influenced by social forces or who are very suggestible, and c) people that have an existing predisposition towards antisocial behaviour." This was exactly my point in the first place. a) An R18+ rating would (hopefully) ensure that people younger than 18 would have a much tougher time getting their hands on games containing mature content. b) People who are "easily influenced or are very suggestible" are going to be effected by any medium be it film, literature, games, art, the environment around them - anything. These people (dealing with extreme cases) are very few in number, and in those situations would react badly to any of the above, no matter what censoring you tried to enforce. c) Again, anyone with existing predispositions toward this kind of behaviour are hardly going to be propelled to higher levels of social misbehaviour due to a game. I'm sorry, but the whole argument is moot. Fact is, anyone will get their hands on these games if they want them, all Mr Atkinson is doing is pushing the business out of Australia for no justifiable reason.

scarecrow025
scarecrow025

As a gamer myself I am somewhat in agreement with Mr Atkinson, but not for the reasons you or he might think. First, I do not see the need for any game that requires excessive violence - I don't find them interesting and they are hardly challenging. Such games should be banned - anyone that likes a game based purely on the violent or other antisocial content it contains is just fueling Mr Atkinson's fire. Second, I'm a huge fan of GTAIV and Saint's Row 2, but the content contained within these should be restricted to adults plain and simple - the ratings system is essentially designed so as to inform parents as to the content of the media and its suitability for their children. I therefore believe that having an R18+ rating provides greater protection than not having one. Finally, I am currently involved in a postgraduate psychology degree and am aware of the influence of social learning, etc., on behaviour, and yes there is the potential for some to "learn" violence from playing games, however, the types of people that this may be an issue for are a) the very young (anyone up to the age of - probably - 15), b) people that are easily influenced by social forces or who are very suggestible, and c) people that have an existing predisposition towards antisocial behaviour. Some will be "protected" by a new ratings scheme, while others are likely to engage in violence whether they play games or not. Remember, violence has been a social problem long before computer games were invented. I think a new ratings system is sorely needed. It won't mean an influx of games that would otherwise be banned, it would mean that games that should be banned are, and that games that should be restricted to adult audiences (e.g., GTAIV, Fallout 3) are classified R18+.

Evilsync
Evilsync

Mackie_1986 - no not everyone has to agree - just the majority. Or these days minorities win over democracy if they have the power or cry victim. I still don't understand what his objections are to R18+ gaming, he is obviously sitting from a Christian view which if he had his way everything that needed power would be ripped out of the wall sockets and would put us back into the stone age. Fact is Australia doesn't give a crap - but if you nagged them for their opinion they would say yes to R18+ classification for games. Stop beating around the bush, why are you stopping Australia from receiving R18+ classification for games?

Mackie_1986
Mackie_1986

Michael Atkinson, You state that this is not just the choice of gamers, but the entire public, does this mean that everyone must agree? because in my eyes that'll be a long time coming, Most likely never. Think about the position your in, how long would you have had to wait if everyone had to agree for you to be South Australian attorney general. The point is that nobody is a like, the fact that you feel that the public who have no idea what a gamepad, a grand theft auto or where to turn the console on from is... leaves me wondering if you not just making a stand to gain status, or to feel like your protecting people from themselfs. You also state the GTA III was refused classification in Australia until it was modified, correct. The content of street walkers and the ability to violate and kill whilst gaining back your money was taken out, correct again. however you state your children have played this game and that they noted the killing of predestrians for points, i was just wondering, the taxi driver you stated blamed the game, was that based on the modification that was removed or the MA15+ contents? because if it was based purely on what can be played and seen down here, then i don't see your point for mentioning it. I'm sure you have seen all in which i have seen and much more, it's the 27th of April and recently there have been the Melborne bush fires, a car split into three parts after coliding with a telegraph pole, a father stopping on a bridge, picking his daughter out of the car and throwing her of it. People are who they are, we are all individuals, we can all be sitting in the same style chair, drinking the same drink and reading the same news. but still think entirly different things. You have taken it apon yourself to deprive all australians of eperiences, the ability for a mother to understand the classification of 18+ is much more of a stand out then MA15+. The Public doesn't care, we do. Yours sencerly, MM

Mackie_1986
Mackie_1986

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

rockatanski
rockatanski

@Sammojo I do see your point Sam, but to say that this man is not using religion to define his moral stance, then why is he wearing that crucifix symbol pendant on his suit? Is it make his identity clear to us with his political stance? Or is it there to stir up the "aetheists" and the "anti-christian" gamers out there? He doesn't have to say anything because it's pretty obvious. I believe that defining your religious and/or moral judgment and power over your decision that nobody else has a right to have a say to is VERY wrong. This is not democratic and neither is choosing your voters to help solidify your decision, which is clearly what this man wishes will happen. "He thinks that this content could be dangerous for children, if you don't think that also then there is something wrong there" I never advocated that children should be exposed to hardcore material ever in my posts in any way EVER. Read your posts properly next time.. I am speaking for the over 18's mate. In many ways I think a majority of 15+ year olds especially in this day and age can handle a bit of ultra violence as well. These are new times buddy and we gotta keep up with it because the old days are OVER. I'll end off by saying that my main disappointment here is that a bunch of old guys couldn't make their mind up so they decide to leave it up to old "Mick" to make the decision for them AND the rest of the country. Why are we voting for community leaders who don't know how to make a decision and refuse to hear us out? That is my problem.

Angrytreeanimal
Angrytreeanimal

Too put it's simply he's save us Australians from 2 maybe 3 Nut jobs ....maybe less becouse it's not just video games that set these poeple off -_-

jimmi1970
jimmi1970

Funnily enough, I don't think Grand Theft Auto was the only reason why that person in Bangkok killed a taxi driver, and at an even opposite end of the spectrum, if the origional version of the game had been allowed in and given an R18+ version my mum would not have allowed me to play it. I understand this is cherry picking Mr Atkinsons arguments, for that I am sorry. But please understand that the world is not so black and white, that this classification would make it easier for parents to moderate what their children are doing.

Sammojo
Sammojo

@rockatanski: "Mr Atkinson is making this a christian crusade." "Stand down and go back to church. They need you there more than we need you here. " The issue here is not to do with his religion, the issue here is that he has apparently unsupported reasons for his rulings. He may have underlying bias towards this, for example, he may believe that any kind of explicit content in games is wrong and therefore we shouldn't have it, but I hardly think this is the case as it hasn't been suggested in his arguments. Even if this was the case, is having a moral basis based on religion a bad thing? Many of our federal laws come from religion so I hardly think this is a notable point. He thinks that this content could be dangerous for children, if you don't think that also then there is something wrong there. He has a problem with children getting this content, which I think is a concern that is shared by far more than the "christain crusaders." Whilst I don't think the possibility of children getting this content is a reason to avoid an R18+ rating, as Mr Atkinson seems to argue, I think it's a bit naive to start pointing the finger at religion. "Now how many gamers are there compared to non-gamers? How is this going to be a fair or legit vote count? Why is it even happening?" It doesn't matter how many gamers there are in comparison, or even if it's fair, that's how democracy unfortunately works, the problem is that too many people simply don't care. If the majority of Australia believe that we shouldn't have R18+ then there is nothing that can be done about that. I think the issue here is that people don't believe Mr Atkinson is reflecting the views of the majority of the Australian public, and hasn't provided a sound opportunity for that to be voted on, and that is the source of the outrage.

thibbledorfP
thibbledorfP

I live in Aus, and I have grown more and more aware of dangerous conservative elements that run deep below the surface of our 'modern democracy'. Conservative groups use ignorance and fear to manipulate the lowest common denominator (hate to say it) of voters. I too enjoy the high regulation in certain areas of Austrailan life (which I won't go into here) but there is definitely too much legislatory power in the wrong hands. Because someone does not like a particular item, does not mean they have the right to ban everyone else from using that item. That is anti-democratic and sociopathic in most situations. The only exception is when a particular item is, from a common sense and scientific point of view, too wildly dangerous to allow in the hands of normal people ie. illegal substances. And to establish a case for banning something like this, there should be hard evidence and all care should be taken to make sure it is not some political crusade, and to protect diversity and freedom. This has not been established for video games and never will. I do not wish to sound elitist, but many people in this country are easily swayed by our biased media (the 'special investigation stories' on channel 9,10 and shows like a current affair) that subtly exacerbate racism, prejudice, fear and ignorance. Too many. All it takes is some politican to say 'Why would you want to play a game where you kill policeman and prostitutes' (with regards to GTA) to play on people's fears. Ofcourse he/she would never have played GTA and discovered there is a story, would never have realized that not every game is a shooter, would never have OPENED UP A DISCUSSION with gamers, game developers, or done academic research into the issue. But you cannot blame the govt at the end of the day, for the government is a reflection of the people. Govt/Media can get away with things because people let them.

rockatanski
rockatanski

Mr Atkinson is making this a christian crusade. Interesting card clip hanging off his suit there.. How can he have the nerve to call this new move a democracy? Wanting to confirm a decision from a "public" opinion of which most definitely consist of people who don't play games or care about the issue? Sounds like he's going to try to convince this unknown flock with his tax payed advertising whilst gamers sit back and watch a whole bunch of people exactly like him say NO to an R18+. Now how many gamers are there compared to non-gamers? How is this going to be a fair or legit vote count? Why is it even happening?? No fair go Aussie Aussie Aussie here mate.

benboz
benboz

I think we should have a R18+ rating for video games because we won't have to get versions of games that have been cut down in violence or whatever other bad stuff.

Grammy34
Grammy34

I am an American but I am living here in Aus with my wife and things like this make me not want to stay in AUS. Goverment has way to much say in what is going on with people. People should be able to freely choose whether they want to buy a game or not. I feel the R rating is good thing but when are going to put the ownes on the people for buying these games for the kids or people allowing there live to be consumed by these game. Untill people take that resposibility government will have to do it for them. Thats whats needed? Take the Blame don't BLAME the GAMES. Side not and off track> I do love AUS, US is my home but I don't mind my stay.

VitasV
VitasV

Yes, he says that it will be said when the people will vote that then R rated games coming into Australia will be decided. The bad thing is he keeps post-poning it so pretty much he's making sure the public has no say and he wins since once we we vote, it's a big chance that we will then get in R rated games.

Wrathesoul
Wrathesoul

This is what I dont get for one compare of two horror games silent hill 5 was edited I have the usa pc version and beat it with every ending nothing that bad in it what so ever so the editing as far as I can see was totally unneeded then my comparable game dead space now that had everything mr SA Atkinson hates except for drug use and sex it has decapitating dead HUMAN's it has dismemberments it has player deaths that are VERY gory worse then anything silent hill has ever done why did that pass so easy and silent hill was nutered? I dont understand this fella way of thinking

TheGhostDog
TheGhostDog

Listen what people are not understanding is that Grand theft auto is a violent game. silent hill is a violent game. now if these politicians think there so smart why are they allowing 15 YEAR OLD KIDS to play violent games like GTA???? Thats why there should be a R18+ rating because there are games like Manhunt or GTA or Resident Evil that should not be allowed for 15 year kids to play. but under our stupid system they think its alright for kids to play violent games. Now whoever said parents might buy R18+ games for kids? If there dumb enough to buy MA15+ games for kids then they will be dumb enough to buy 18+ games. GTA, RE5, Silent Hill etc should not be allowed to be played unless your a adult. simple. 15 is to young. now if they dont introduce 18+ rating then they are basically saying that shooting or horror themed games are fine for kids.................... there argument does not make sense. IDIOTS!!!!! ask better questions next time.

Bear71
Bear71

I think there's a place for the R rating classification, but for the most part Michael does have some well though out arguments. Let's face it, watching a movie where the bad guy commits a really nasty violent act is very different from a game where the player is interactively encouraged to commit a similar act. Additionally the sales culture for retailing R rated games is not the same as alcohol, tobacco or DVDs. Whilst the retailer might ask for proof of ID, many parents aren't familiar with games and would unknowingly purchase R+ games for underage children. Overall I'd like it if we could have an R rating, but it is something that's difficult to implement properly and ultimately I'll get over it if there's a few games here and there I can't get access too.

Captain_Tom
Captain_Tom

He argues that the content of R18+ games is what could cause a tiny percentage of people to go nuts and hurt somebody. He says that GTA:SA, as an MA15+ game, was acceptable as such because it had a prostitution sequence removed. Right, so, that other bit where you dress up in a gimp suit and bludgeon some people to death with an enormous rubber phallus, yeah, that's not going to mess with people's heads at all. Children = protected! Either he doesn't understand what he's trying to avoid, or he doesn't get that he's doing it in a very ineffective way.

beluga79
beluga79

the guy made a point of wearing a crucifix on his suit for the interview, he clearly believes he is on a crusade to rid the world of us evil gamers.and as far as a man killing someone because he'd played gta we should also ban all beatles music because helter skelter told charles manson to go on a murder spree.