In Wake of Fallout 3 Ban, Australian Pol Tries to Justify His Position

July 14, 2008 -

Following last week's disturbing news that the highly-anticipated Fallout 3 would be banned in Australia, website Australian Gamer has remarks attributed to the man blamed by many for the ban.

Australian Gamer has posted a scan of what appears to be a letter from Michael Atkinson (left), Attorney General of South Australia, to an unnamed constituent. Atkinson's continued opposition to the introduction of an R18+ rating for the Australian games market has meant that games judged unsuitable for 15-year-olds are routinely refused classification. The country's highest rating is currently MA15+.

From the Atkinson letter:

I am aware that statistics show many game players are adults. Indeed, a whole generation has now grown up with computer games. It is not surprising that those who enjoyed gaming as children... play electronic games with their own children... 62% of Australians in these gaming households say the classification of a game has no influence on their buying decision...

 

Given this data, I cannot fathom what State-enforced safeguards could exist to prevent R18+ games being bought by households with children and how children can be stopped from using these games, once the games are in the home. If adult gamers are so keen to have R18+ games, I expect children would be just as keen. I have publically argued that because electronic games are interactive, the violence and other adult content in games have a strong impact. I am particularly concerned about the impact these games have on children, who can spend a lot of their unsupervised leisure time gaming.

 


Comments

Re: In Wake of Fallout 3 Ban, Australian Pol Tries to Justify

No offense to the most honorable Attorney General of Austrlia but I have found in order to do my job properly it is in my best interest to not smoke any strange plants that I come across on the way in to work; I would like to suggest that in the future the honorable idiot above takes the same steps.  Seriously though is your country that child safe, i.e. no violent movies, no porn, no internet, no subversive materials, no books with any reference to violence/sex/ideas ... also since the country is all about keeping the children safe does that mean no Tom Cruise, Paris Hilton, Britney Spears .... , cause let's face it I might be willing to be in a Tele-Tubie world if I could not hear about those people anymore.  (I would like to apolgize to anyone who hasn't had to read/hear a reference to the above in awhile I am deeply sorry I made you think about those douches for a few seconds)

Re: In Wake of Fallout 3 Ban, Australian Pol Tries to Justify

What an idiot. Is he banning books and movies also?.

Re: In Wake of Fallout 3 Ban, Australian Pol Tries to Justify

Aren't they trying to build a game industry in Australia?  I know I saw them at the last GDC.  How do they plan on building a thriving games industry if they aren't going to allow the sale of a significant portion of published games?

Re: In Wake of Fallout 3 Ban, Australian Pol Tries to Justify

This bit summarizes his cluelessness on the subject, I think:

"It is not surprising that those who enjoyed gaming as children... play electronic games with their own children"

Is he not capable of conceiving of adults playing games independently of their children? The mature gamers want the mature games for themselves, not to play with their kids. They would presumably use the same standards and measures they use for other mature materials, like movies, for controlling the children's access to mature games. That could be anything from deciding their 17-year-old can play the game, to putting it on a high shelf where the toddler can't reach it. That's assuming there even are any kids in the household--what about childless gamers?

Also, being an AG does not in any way qualify him to analyze the psychological impact of the games. The stubborn arrogance of the man is appalling.

Re: In Wake of Fallout 3 Ban, Australian Pol Tries to Justify

So, how many of that 62% that doesn't worry about the rating when buying DOES care when it comes to what they play with their kids? That's my question.

Re: In Wake of Fallout 3 Ban, Australian Pol Tries to Justify

He must be sooo proud that he's the only one standing i nthe way of an 18 classification.

Real smart.

So he won't allow 18+ games because children could get them in their unsupervised time... Supervise them? That sound like a good plan? Paying attention to your children? Turkey faced asshole.

-Entertainment isn't the reason the world sucks. It's the reason we know the world sucks. For information on games and psychology, look up: Jonathan Freedman(2002)Block & Crain(2007)Grand Theft Childhood, by Harvard researchers Larry Kutner&Cheryl Olson

Reality/////////////////////////////////////Fantasy. Seems like a pretty thick line to me...

Re: In Wake of Fallout 3 Ban, Australian Pol Tries to Justify

So.... can they not buy porn either? or have internet, because the internet has access to porn.....

just thinkin about that, ya know. I guess the big guys in AU got bitten by one too many poisonous creatures.

Re: In Wake of Fallout 3 Ban, Australian Pol Tries to Justify

You're not wrong, I hate both offline and online censorship. It's disgusting, in my opinion. Australia doesn't block pornography or graphic violence on the internet and I bet it doesn't on television either, yet, one man seems to think that he can justify banning video games if they surpass an M15 rating.

To me, it's absolute bullshit. No doubt about it, only one man is in the way of Australia having an R18 classification for games. Hell, even little ol' New Zealand has a bloody R18 classification for games. I think the list of banned games here is pretty low.

Re: In Wake of Fallout 3 Ban, Australian Pol Tries to Justify

"Given this data, I cannot fathom what State-enforced safeguards could exist to prevent R18+ games being bought by households with children and how children can be stopped from using these games, once the games are in the home."

You mean adults shouldn't be allowed to buy things that are not suitable for children because children might get their hands on them? Will Australians be able to buy nothing except what's suitable for children, or do you only employ your brilliant logic skills when you're talking about video games?

When will human beings outgrow this obsessive need to impose our moral standards upon others? When will we learn to use government responsibly, instead of as a tool for the imposition of personal ideology?

Re: In Wake of Fallout 3 Ban, Australian Pol Tries to Justify

I read it to say: Parents are retards, and we can't trust them not to give these games to their kids, so we'll just have to ban them for everyone.

-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

The way I had interperated it was that he was trying to jam his views into people's homes and trying to raise their kids for them.

 

-Entertainment isn't the reason the world sucks. It's the reason we know the world sucks. For information on games and psychology, look up: Jonathan Freedman(2002)Block & Crain(2007)Grand Theft Childhood, by Harvard researchers Larry Kutner&Cheryl Olson

Reality/////////////////////////////////////Fantasy. Seems like a pretty thick line to me...

Re: In Wake of Fallout 3 Ban, Australian Pol Tries to Justify

Hmm, I wonder if this includes, medicine, alcohol, movies, books, religious texts, cigs, sharp knives, sharp scissors, the internet, certain TV shows, pools. All of these are terribly dangerous for all the little children of the world!

Wow, imagine the wholesome little home he lives in... Fit enough for an asylum resident.

Re: In Wake of Fallout 3 Ban, Australian Pol Tries to Justify

But does he care that those same households are buying R18 movies and completely negating the laws regarding keeping R18 movies out of kids' hands?

E. Zachary Knight
www.editorialgames.com
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

Re: In Wake of Fallout 3 Ban, Australian Pol Tries to Justify

He's a stinking hypocrite is what he is and a big jerk.

Re: In Wake of Fallout 3 Ban, Australian Pol Tries to Justify

So what's this guy's qualifiations to make such a statement? Now I haven't checked or done any research but I'm sure he doesn't have any qualifications to make his opinion anything more than just that. Australians, you need to get rid of this guy stat!

Re: In Wake of Fallout 3 Ban, Australian Pol Tries to Justify

So, basically what this bloke is saying is that NO adult that plays adult games can be trusted to keep 18+ games out of the hands of children??  

I'm sure he thinks that we shouldn't have alcohol or cigarettes either for that very reason.  No wonder there is something distinctly wrong with this country, when an archaic minded fool has this kind of power..

Still gonna import the full version, Banned / R Rated / whatever, like a great deal of people I know are going to do.  Why: Any version in australia will not be the original, and Fallout practically has a cult following.

Re: In Wake of Fallout 3 Ban, Australian Pol Tries to Justify

Hi, this is Matt from Australian Gamer. We've been covering this guys pretty closely. His qualifications are that he's a state Attorney-General, and that makes him definitively a censor. A right he uses vastly more heavily than that of the other states, often banning things in his state that pass in the rest of Australia.

In my opinion he represents the views of his church, rather than his electorate. Something that offends me both as an atheist and as a libertarian.

As to getting rid of him... easier said than done. Michael Atkinson occupies the electorate of Croydon, which is the third safest seat for his party in the country. To my knowledge even the Prime Minister himself doesn't have as safe a seat. It has almost become a rotten borough, and it would be very hard to get him out as the seat is so safe competing parties barely even run there. In fact the competing party candidate is the 23 year old staffer to the MP of a nearby electorate, and not even a real candidate on her own merits.

The smaller parties don't even waste a candidate there.

How do we vote him out? There isn't even anyone to vote for.

 

 
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Andrew EisenIf you do, I hope you can provide some examples of people (again, other than random no-name numbnuts on Twitter) who are genuinely trying to dictate what should and should not be allowed so far as themes, topics, language, plot devices, etc. go.07/01/2015 - 9:43am
MattsworknameI'd go into why I think it's a bigger problem then most realize, but nows not the time really. I'll catch up with everyone later07/01/2015 - 9:42am
Andrew EisenThat's the thing though, rarely is anyone (again, other than random numbnuts on Twitter) attempting to dictate what can and cannot be said or done.07/01/2015 - 9:39am
Andrew Eisen"Don't write rape scenes" is being offered as advice (along with reasons for that advice) not a mandate.07/01/2015 - 9:37am
MattsworknameOh, on that last one andrew I wasn't talking about the article, I was being more general, lately it seems like all the news and media is trying to decide what is and isn't proper to say. Thats what i was refering to.07/01/2015 - 9:37am
Andrew EisenPerhaps you should consider reading the entire article. Despite quotes you can pull from the intro and conclusion, the author isn't arguing that you can't or shouldn't be allowed to cover a certain topic.07/01/2015 - 9:35am
MattsworknameOne of the things I hate right now is that people are trying to be the deciders of what is and isn't proper to be said. It's political correctness to a level that makes me angry.07/01/2015 - 9:29am
Mattsworknamemake them, i just tell peopel that I think what they did sucked. Just cause I dont like what they did, doesn't mean I can tell them "You shouldn't wrtie that" cause thats just another step on the way to telling them "YOU CANT WRITE THAT".07/01/2015 - 9:24am
MattsworknameNo, but you or I aren't the one to tell someone else what they can or cannot do beyond EXTREMELY narrow limits. Telling a person then shouldn't write something or say something. I may hate certain movies or music, doesn't mean I dont' tell peopel not to07/01/2015 - 9:23am
E. Zachary KnightHasbro is taking steps to fix its Dinosaur gender issues. http://io9.com/the-jurassic-world-dinosaur-toys-are-clever-girls-again-171513589607/01/2015 - 9:20am
TechnogeekImagine that level of accuracy, only applied to something that has actually caused physiological and psychological trauma in more cases than just whatever the equivalent of the CD-i Zelda games would be.07/01/2015 - 8:40am
TechnogeekThat's the issue I see as well, E. To put it in terms anyone reading this site will likely understand: you know how any time video games show up on TV, they feature absurdly outdated 3D graphics and/or audio from the Intellivison era?07/01/2015 - 8:40am
InfophileWell, you CAN go to a crowded streetcorner and tell everyone who passes by your social security number and bank account PIN, but you shouldn't. Is that censorship?07/01/2015 - 8:36am
E. Zachary KnightSo if it is going to turn out to be a bad scene, why even bother writing it?07/01/2015 - 8:07am
E. Zachary KnightMatts, Goth, The article, and others I have read making the same conclusion, state that most people fail in their attempts to write rape scenes without being overly offensive or overly incompetent in their attempt.07/01/2015 - 8:07am
Adam802http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Ex-Sen-Leland-Yee-may-be-headed-for-a-plea-deal-6358941.php07/01/2015 - 7:12am
Adam802Possible plea deal in Yee case: http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_28408532/leland-yee-case-plea-deal-appears-likely07/01/2015 - 7:11am
MattsworknameInfo, Im with goth on this, the moment people start saying "You can but you shouldnt" thats a slow slide into censorship07/01/2015 - 6:05am
InfophileIn other words, you stopped when you found out it was arguing for a position you disagreed with, but before you found out why.07/01/2015 - 5:29am
Goth_Skunk"In short, anyone can write a rape scene—but should they? Chances are, the answer is no." And that's where I stopped reading.07/01/2015 - 5:11am
 

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