Clueless Aussie Politicians on R Ratings, Game Violence, Fallout 3, Rape in Games

A panel of Australian politicians and pundits made a sorry show of themselves on ABC’s Q&A program last night.

The rampant cluelessness begins when an audience member (sporting a Fallout 3 t-shirt) raises the issue of banned video games due to Australia’s lack of an R18+ rating. The announcer mentions the recent Fallout 3 ban, which was based on in-game drug use.

The panel’s answers are astounding. Aside from their immediate willingness to censor games, they seem not to even be aware that Australia has a system for rating games. One member of the panel even raises the spurious "rape in games" issue – and almost seems to compare banned games to snuff films. Only Sen. Mark Arbib comes across as unbiased:

Announcer: Okay, so here’s the question… Should there be censorship of these things, or should people over the age of 18 be able to buy these things with an R rating and play them, even though, as we’ve just heard, they’re obviously extremely violent?

Chief Executive of the Australian Industry Group, Heather Ridout: Look, I mean if they’re over 18, they’ll find one way or another to get hold of it, Tony, and they do. But, as a mother of three kids, two of whom spend an awful lot of time playing these sorts of games, I mean I just find the whole thing appalling, the minds that come up with this stuff. Now Grand Theft Auto is one of the more famous games that seemed to turn everyone into a car thief, you know?. My Jordan thankfully didn’t do that. But… I mean I’m not a censorship girl… But violent games, violence breeds violence. It’s not nice.

Senator Nick Xenophon: I think we need to listen to the psychologists who’ve looked into this. And this is different in the sense it’s interactive. People get immersed in these games and I think there’s a real risk. I think as a society we can live without it.

Announcer: But does the risk warrant censorship?

Sen. Xenophon: Look, I think it does, when you look at some of the concerns of what it can trigger in some minds, then I think we need to be just a bit cautious about it.

Sen Mark Arbib: To actually ban them they must be terrible games. So, personally, I’m probably thinking R rating over the age of 18 is fine because as you said, if you wanna play to game, you’re going to get it somehow. But I haven’t seen the games so I really can’t judge whether they should be banned or not.

Announcer: …these things are being banned because there isn’t a rating system on video games… that means anyone of any age can buy them…

Sen. Arbib: As I said, I think there’s a strong argument to actually have a rating system, for all games, no doubt about it. And not just an R rating, but ratings just the same as ratings for the movies… so yeah…

Sen. Barnaby Joyce: You can’t just say you can see it, therefore you should be allowed to see it, otherwise you legalize snuff movies and all sorts of profane things which I don’t think take our society ahead… we had the thing with avatars, is that the right term, where people can actually go out and rape people. Now, this is not acceptable. You have to draw a line… you must take into account… those who are vulnerable to influence, how they would be affected by that. And if you don’t, well you suffer what comes next. I, too have four kids… I want these kids to grow up in quiet, unaffected streets. And if there’s someone playing a video game where they’re raping someone, I’m not feeling good about the place, so, knock it out.

Christine Jackman, Journalist: I agree, we urgently need a rating system. I’m not a pro-censorship person, either… (to the audience member in the Fallout 3 t-shirt who asked the question) Can I throw it back on you… why would you want to play it…?

Audience member: I want to play the game because it’s a story-driven experience that you could experience in a movie… however the Australian government won’t let me.

Christine Jackman: And how many hours do you think you or your friends would be playing those games a day?

Audience member: It differs between everyone… the average gamer is anyone nowadays. The Queen has a Wii… it’s not a question of who’s playing them or how long they’re playing them, it’s a question of whether we’re allowed to as adults…

Other audience member: …I’m not a gamer, but in terms of restricting people’s right to choose… how can you make that distinction between pokies [slot machines] and games which might be socially unacceptable when gambling itself, in our society in particular, has so many social problems than what might be caused by violent games? 

GP: Thanks to reader Michael ‘sod’ Pearse for the heads-up!

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone

133 comments

  1. 0
    BrandonL33 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    While I agree with you I must point out that Fallout 3 is, from what i’ve seen very close to NGII when using bloody mess

     

    Also Ninja Gaiden II FTW!

  2. 0
    Anonymous says:

    The fact that they laughed whenit was mentioned puts them at the average maturity level of the internet. No wonder they don’t want an R rating. Restricted to MATURE audiences of 18 years or over.

     

  3. 0
    Anonymous (australian btw) says:

    I like how she said that she was a big supporter of Bill Henson’s work (Google it if you want, I’m not going to put up a link, but it’s pictures of underage girls naked passed off as ‘art’) as evidence that she was ‘against censorship.

  4. 0
    Anonymous (Australian btw) says:

    No they’re not. Pokies, like booze and smokes, bring in far more money than they cost society, so aside from "awareness campaigns" and reducing the number of pokies allowed in a specific area (when was the last time you saw all the pokies filled anyway?) they aren’t doing anything, and won’t until the number of users drops dramatically.

  5. 0
    Martin says:

    For more context: Arbib is Labour party; the left wing major party.

    Joyce is a National, the farmer’s party, and he seems intent on disagreeing with all their policies.

    Xenaphon (not his birth name) is an indepandant who ran in South Australia on a single policy platform: No Pokies (gambling machines). His second act was to convince a woman whose daughter died of an overdose that she could be in parliament with him, and then his eyes got big and he ran off to Canberra. We’re left with this mad woman who believes her insane rehabilitation clinic works (it doesn’t). Xenaphon is also always on the lookout for a quick press stunt, such as his protest about high prices for cinema foods in the form of trying to walk into the movie with bags of lollies pinned all over his suit.

     

  6. 0
    ChaosSanity says:

    You’d think that after years of wasting time and money to go out into the hot sun, to get yelled and humiliated by teamates and coaches alike for a sport that is so looked down at our school that they don’t even fund it anymore that I’d want to go kill some people for all the time.  But I didn’t.

     

    High school football at my school biggest waste of time that I have ever been a part of.

  7. 0
    J R says:

    I have seen more violent behavior on kids cartoons.  Are those being banned?  Videogames always get the short end of the stick.  I guess its an easy scape goat and easy to point a finger at.  These politicians are insanely misinformed.  But unless as a whole we stand up against them and fight back, the soccer moms will continue to pick your leaders.  The ones who cry "Its for the children!"

  8. 0
    SgtReznor says:

    yeah, but see, here’s the problem – the producers contacted australiangamer.com to ask that someone ask about the R-rating, so some of us may have been forgiven for thinking that maybe someone on the panel that night would’ve had half a clue about what they were talking about.

  9. 0
    Anthrax says:

    SO. MUCH. EVIL.

    I’m getting real tired of this, if they’re not even going to try and stay up to date then they don’t deserve to have jobs.

  10. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    """Heather Ridout:
    I mean I’m not a censorship girl… But violent games, violence breeds violence. It’s not nice."""
    Of course not your a censor whore… you believe that you and yours in power have the right to tell everyone what they may or may not see beyond reasonable limits.

    ""Senator Nick Xenophon: I think we need to listen to the psychologists who’ve looked into this. And this is different in the sense it’s interactive. People get immersed in these games and I think there’s a real risk. I think as a society we can live without it.""
    Hate to bring the bearer of bad news their nicky but because its interactive its less immerseve, at least most NON mind raping stuides lean in this direction…

    ”’Sen. Xenophon: Look, I think it does, when you look at some of the concerns of what it can trigger in some minds, then I think we need to be just a bit cautious about it.””
    The "concerns" amount to  moralists not wanting such things in their lil world and bad parents who do not want to teach their kids about reality or crazy people who are already crazy doing something from something they saw because they are crazy………..

    """Sen Mark Arbib: To actually ban them they must be terrible games. So, personally, I’m probably thinking R rating over the age of 18 is fine because as you said, if you wanna play to game, you’re going to get it somehow. But I haven’t seen the games so I really can’t judge whether they should be banned or not."""
    Wow….so if they burned books on a pyre you’d just follow the herd off the roof and say burn them the state of propaganda is good enough for sustenance of the soul?

    """Sen. Arbib: As I said, I think there’s a strong argument to actually have a rating system, for all games, no doubt about it. And not just an R rating, but ratings just the same as ratings for the movies… so yeah…"""
    A clue…there is a game rating system only it dose not allow R rated games because its flawed….

    """Sen. Barnaby Joyce: You can’t just say you can see it, therefore you should be allowed to see it, otherwise you legalize snuff movies and all sorts of profane things which I don’t think take our society ahead… we had the thing with avatars, is that the right term, where people can actually go out and rape people. Now, this is not acceptable. You have to draw a line… you must take into account… those who are vulnerable to influence, how they would be affected by that. And if you don’t, well you suffer what comes next. I, too have four kids… I want these kids to grow up in quiet, unaffected streets. And if there’s someone playing a video game where they’re raping someone, I’m not feeling good about the place, so, knock it out."""
    Then all R rated  matireal is equal to snuff films….. and slotting media into ago ranges IS the way to protect the populace from questionable but not ileagel forms of media to ban it and think it dose not exsist is to see it being snuck in through every import shop of the nation and thus no one is being protected or guided…

    """Christine Jackman, Journalist: I agree, we urgently need a rating system. I’m not a pro-censorship person, either… (to the audience member in the Fallout 3 t-shirt who asked the question) Can I throw it back on you… why would you want to play it…?"""
    You have one and yet you will not ban..er "gather" together to make it slot R rated games as well, and to ask why would you want topaly it I would ask you why do you watch TV or listen to the radio or go to the moives what a popumuos and out of touch question to ask.

     

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

     

  11. 0
    GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    Wow. That’s really all I can say right now.

     

    -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

  12. 0
    Xlorep DarkHelm says:

    I find their lack of intelligence disturbing.

     

    (my brain hurts now)

    "I’m not responcabel fer my comuter’s spleling errnors." — Xlorep DarkHelm

  13. 0
    KayleL says:

    They say extremely violent games, but they are not. Most games are not more violent then the Matrix, and that movie is rather tame in today’s standards. I like someone prove me that there are games that is more violent then Saw or The Hills Have Eyes.

  14. 0
    NecroSen says:

    And to think these horribly uninformed people run a country…

    I liked Jackman’s comment that she makes after the audience member responds, where she talks about ethics not catching up to technology yet, though I’m not sure if it was a decent comment about old people being dumb or her being unaware of all the research that’s been done into violent games already.

    Also, the announcer makes mention that the average gamer is 30 years old, so kudos to him.

  15. 0
    Arad says:

    You know, I’m fairly certain that video games are no more harmful or violence-inducing than going through your average middle school.  It could be argued that the latter is MORE harmful.

    Did I want to go out and shoot people after playing Resident Evil 2?  No.  Did I want to go out and shoot people after three years of the same jackholes stealing my homework and vandalizing my books, and NEVER getting punished?  Again, no, but there were times when I came close.

  16. 0
    GryphonOsiris says:

    Face, well, the first one that comes to mind is a Japanese only game called "Rape-lay". The name says it all, to be honest, and is geared toward the class of social shut in pervert that could only be bred in Japan.

    After that I the only one that even remotely comes to mind is the brief scene from Phantasmagoria, but that wasn’t interactive, and the game was particularly gruesome.

     

    "The Good, the Bad, and Videogame"
    Reviews on the best, worst, and controversial issues of Videogames.
    gryphonosiris.blogspot.com/

  17. 0
    Muninn says:

    actually, the journalist wasn’t that bad either. she gave the gamer another chance to defend the game, she says that our societies have not yet caught up with technology, and that we should proceed cautiously. the only reason that that sounded at all bad in the clip was because the other person had earlier used the word cautiously to mean "not at all". it sounded to me like the journalist was pushing for a greater societal awareness of video games as a medium, and not just as a problem.

  18. 0
    face777 says:

    They should just ask them outright to NAME these rape games they keep waffling on about.  Ask for a name and whether it can be bought in game stores. Then watch their head implode as they stumble trying to prove themselves without any evidence.

  19. 0
    GryphonOsiris says:

    I find it funny that the woman said she thinks GTA turns people into car thieves… yet lets her son play it.

    Hipocricy at it’s finest.

    The Crusade shouldn’t be about video game violence, it should be against parental stupidity.

    "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" gaming reviews
    gryphonosiris.blogspot.com/

  20. 0
    Muninn says:

    that’s why they are supposed to have advisors and staff to at least brief them on a situation before commenting on it. and when they don’t know something, they should do what the senator did, say that they don’t know. "I haven’t seen them, so I don’t know…". part of the reason that we expect them to always know something is because they breed that attitude themselves, they always pretend to know something, particularly when they don’t, and the majority of people who also don’t know it trust the politicians.

  21. 0
    SS says:

    THat guy in the audience must have been silently laughing like crazy.  Of course there’s no video game rating system in Australia.  Of course Fallout 3 is just killing people.  What a bunch of clueless politicians. 

    They should perhaps have asked the guy for some help if they didn’t know about the subject, but they were too egoistic too believe they could be wrong.  Even if politicians don’t know much about a subject there’s no excuse for being a bunch of randomly flailing noise emittors just because they can’t ask one of the "ignorant proles" for help.

  22. 0
    JustChris says:

    Here’s the flaw with pundits and politics- we EXPECT them to know all the issues under the sun. But they are politicians, not gamers, economists, or urban planners- whatever role would be best to talk about the given issue at hand. So I have to wonder what sources of "expertise" these guys get their information from. Probably just groups that specifically lobby/fund for them. A biased sample. The audience doesn’t rely on that, and they end up getting more facts right.

  23. 0
    M. Carusi says:

    "I’m not pro-censorship…"

    "I’m not for censorship…"

    That’s rapidly rising to the top of the "famous last words" list.

    M. Carusi

    Capitol Gaming

    augamers.blogspot.com

  24. 0
    SomeChristianKid says:

    "Other Audience Member" guy raises a valid point, what do games do that may harm people mentally or socially thats worse than gambling and other shit :(

  25. 0
    Dan J ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Agreed, cpp — I wanted to reach through the monitor, grab a mic, and correct all the horrifying misconceptions flying around.

    1) There’s a lot more to Fallout3 than drugs and killing people.

    2) Completely NON-violent games with sexual themes are also getting refused classification, while something like Ninja Gaiden 2’s beheadings goes right on through as M15.

    3) Most of the panelists seemed to think it was a question of having a rating system or not… they didn’t even know Australia DOES have one! The question was the lack of an 18+ rating within that system, not the presence/absence/necessity of a system at all.

    Sorry to all you Aussie gamers… good luck.

  26. 0
    cppcrusader says:

    That first audience member dropped the ball, badly.  He let the host characterize Fallout 3 as nothing but killing people and shooting up drugs.  He was even given the chance to correct him.  That’s why stuff like this is such an uphill battle sometimes, people who are just willing to sit back and let the content be misrepresented.

  27. 0
    Seiena_Cyrus ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Yeah, I swear there is no brain in that woman’s head -_-; I mean what common sense do you need to look around and go "Lookit that…no one is stealing cars cuz they could in a video game…" I mean yeah there will be some…but hey…even movies inspire it in weirdos -_-;

  28. 0
    Seiena_Cyrus ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Yeah you’d think after getting sexually Harrassed by a teacher, and my head beat against a metal pipe and walls and stuff in High school and no one helping me with any of it, that I’d be more inclinded to remove them from society through violence and yet I didn’t go figure…heaven forbid I play a video game that’ll get me running for the gun *rolls eyes*

  29. 0
    Shih Tzu says:

    On the other hand, if I may play devil’s advocate here, even if Fallout 3 -were- as mindlessly violent as it was characterized here, should it still be subject to government censorship?  Should it matter whether it’s perceived as so-called "respectable" art or not?

    I realize it’s easier to convince people games are protected speech when they sound noble and artistic, but I’d like to see it made explicitly clear that my favorite outrageous violence-orgy entertainments are also no more worthy of censorship.

  30. 0
    Lord_Fail666 says:

    your right what good is a rating system if it leaves out games that people more then old enough to play can’t. thats like saying your 21 well we decided that you can’t drink because it leads to violence. come on.

     

    "Whats the differince between a politician and a bucket of shit?"

     

    "The bucket."

  31. 0
    Seiena_Cyrus ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Gods yes I’d love to see those video games because they sound like that’d be really fun to play, a movie gorey Horror game ^_^ That’d be extremely entertaining O_O;;

  32. 0
    Wheelchairman2 says:

    wow this was a disturbingly unfunny example of just how clueless people that run our nations really are. Trouble is, its everywhere now, Games legislation is starting to creep into British politics too, i find this very worrying, just recently our gutless excuse for a prime minister had a meeting with a mother whose son was apparently murdered due to his (already severely mentally disturbed) friend playing manhunt, in this meeting she urged him to ban violent video games. I pray to god that this never happens.

    By the way the media presents all this crap you’d have thought that given my age i’d have committed at least 3 murders by now considering my age and the games i play, add to that the fact that i am tormented regularly at school… thank heavens for gun control laws eh? If not for them god knows what i’d do…

    Seriously though this is a worrying example of ignorance in the corridors of power.

  33. 0
    RskimB says:

    Australia keeps losing.  Its a shame the government chooses to interfere with violent video games when other violent media isnt similarly restricted/censored/prohibited.

  34. 0
    kyle says:

    honestly, they try to base censoring these games completely because of the handful of people who are supposedly influenced by these enough to actually go out and do them. they fail to realize the number of people who also play these and dont do anything wrong, succesful contributing members of society who may also enjoy blowing stuff up in a virtual world while theyre bored. if the few selected crazies are enough to completely censor these games, then shouldnt guns be gone as well. crazy people that mis use guns exist. and alcohal and cars and so many more things. they only have this view on games based on their ignorance to them

  35. 0
    wilk0r says:

    For people who pride themselves on their alleged awareness of contemporary issues to the Australian public (ie. the panelists) there is absolutely no excuse for the extent of the ignorance displayed here. If the statistics are correct approximately 1 in 5 Australians are gamers, not a minescule group by any stretch of the imagination.

    Idiotic? Perhaps not.

    Disturbingly unaware? Undeniably.

  36. 0
    nichevo says:

    It’s often said that the older generation don’t "get" video games, and think they’re just for children.

    Originally I thought that was a bit of an exaggeration. But now I see that it is not. I am surprised to see that otherwise intelligent people are so dismissive of something they’re ignorant about. Moreover, they relish their ignorance of it.

    By all means take a stand against an R rating for games, but please at least have some knowledge about games and gaming — or be willing to learn.

    As an Australian, I find it frustrating that we’ll have to wait until gamers are old and grey enough to be "in charge" before this willful ignorance starts to evaporate.

  37. 0
    Anonymous says:

    Okay, I wrote to everyone involved that I could find an email address for, and so far Heather’s replied.

    She was courteous about the whole thing, and I pointed her at some data and material to read concerning game ratings in Australia and she assured me she’d try to be more informed about the subject in future.

    I guess the thing to remember about all this is that pretty much no-one on this show has anything to do with the games industry and as such relies on a lot of what they hear in the media. As a result, the opinions that were point forward were of ‘everyday people’, the only problem was that others would potentially listen to this and feel it’s an informed viewpoint.

    But yes, if you have problems with something someone repeats on TV (Especially if it’s a opinion/talk show where prior planning cannot be expected), try to inform them. They’re not bad people, they just didn’t know what we do about all this. Let’s teach ’em rather than calling them idiots, eh?

  38. 0
    JustChris says:

    As Funky J from Kotaku.com.au said:

    I find it appalling that the CEO of an organisation that is meant to help Australian businesses run "more effectively and to become more competitive on a domestic and international level" is so clueless about one of the few entertainment industries that isn’t sinking into the quagmire of global dept.

  39. 0
    Martin says:

    Another thing it’s fair to point out is how these politicians seem to think they’re a law unto themselves; two pro-censorship pollies (Harradine and Draper) used to hold video nights for unrated (ie illegal) movies. That being the case it’s entirley possible Joyce has been playing unrated rape games…for research purposes only,  of course.

     

  40. 0
    DarkRider says:

    Just by watching this I think my IQ has dropped 15 points.  These morons think that the right thing to do is to just outright ban games that they don’t think is appropriate?  I really feel sorry for the australians missing out on Fallout 3 just because their government doesn’t think its appropriate.  And what the fuck was that first guy talking about?  There’s nothing in fallout that you inject into your arm!  Thats fucking bioshock!  (Which they banned to)

  41. 0
    Lord Phoenix says:

    Grats Dennis, this story got Farked! (www.fark.com)

    You even have your own button linked next to any stories they post from your site….awesome for traffic.

    And wow, WTF? Tese Aussie’s really are out of touch. Someone ought to slap them upside the face for being so damned clueless. What a pack of morons.

  42. 0
    gameman9 says:

    I actullay got a headache from watching this. I’m serious. I also didn’t know that aussie politicians are this clueless. America has is worse with dumber politicians.

  43. 0
    SS says:

    By the way, does morphine use really warrant a RC rating?  That seems a bit harsh.  Why did they ignore earlier games like the Half Life series.  Did they do this because of political pressure?  It looks like that.

  44. 0
    SS says:

    This just shows how the media loves to be biased whenever it feels like it needs to.  That show is definately not a people to politician forum but just a place for the politicians to spout out any piece worthless crap they want.  The way the host talked about Fallout as just "you kill everybody" was extremely biased and I would have had trouble too to reply back with anything other than what you said.  The attack would have caught anybody there in your situation of guard.  Good try but the show was amazingly biased and off-topic and you had no chance of success.

     

  45. 0
    Anonymous says:


    What really should have been said is this:

    What is your position on introducing an adults only
    classification for video games? Video games are no longer exclusively a child’s medium for they have advanced far beyond the days of Space Invaders and Pacman. The gaming industry, a multi-billion dollar industry in 2008, is now on par with the film industry and boasts the maturity to be treated as such. The vast majority of games currently prohibited for sale in Australia contain content no worse than what can be seen in any given R18+ or even MA15+ film. We aren’t talking about games containing rape scenes lacking context or child pornography. We are merely speaking of games with mature driven story lines and other overly mature elements which would not even draw near the banned category within a film or book. Why would I want to play such games? The same reason I want to watch such films; to be entertained. One may bring forth the notion that games should be ‘treated differently’ due to their interactive nature, however such a notion can be counted by highlighting the fact that there as many studies concluding the opposite of such an assumption as there are supporting such an assumption. Therefore how does one proclaim either point to be factual? In my opinion, which side of the debate you take depends largely upon
    bias. Therefore I am of the opinion that we should treat games the same as we do films, books and music until further notice; implement a classification which restricts such products to adults to enable the people themselves to make a choice – either  use the product or don’t. Arbitrary censorship has no place in a liberal democracy such as Australia.

    Don’t you feel it’s extremely hypocritical to allow the sale of movies containing non bona-fide real world violence, r@pe, drug usage and other gratuitous subjects, as well as supporting the legalization of gambling and prostitution, yet outright banning the sale of mature video games aimed at an adult audience? Furthermore, why does the government constantly perpetuate the "SAVE THE CHILDREN" idea and use it as reason to keep 18+ video games banned, whilst totally ignoring the fact that strip clubs, the sale of alcohol and cigarettes remains legal in Australia? Is the government truly telling it’s citizens that such things are potentially more harmful to minors and society a like than a video game? Australia now remains the only Western nation on Earth without an 18+ classification for video games. Such legally enforced systems exist around the globe. Britain, Ireland, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, Singapore and many other nations have all successfully implemented such a rating without descending in anarchy. What makes Australia so different in this respect? Many such games are already available in Australia because they have been shoehorned into the MA15+ category, so basically by disallowing an R18+ rating you are to some extent, actually inadvertently making it easier for minors to play these games.

    In the end, by disallowing such a prospect you are restricting the growth of
    the local video game industry and enforcing a nanny state ideology.

  46. 0
    Christophe Janson ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    …They seem to think that Jack Thompson was right. It’s so funny, yet it hurts my head when i realise that they are not joking.

  47. 0
    Are'el says:

    Aside from "Custers Revenge" from the 80s, there are games that have rape in them.  They’re just, you know, not sold to the mass market.  Rape sometimes is used in those hentai games out of Japan.  Of course, very few of them ever get translated, and you won’t find them at any store or at any reputable website (like Amazon.com or gamestop).

    But they do exist.

  48. 0
    Joaby says:

    I am the person who went on the show, and I feel it is important (and my right) to clear up some misconceptions people are having about what occured. I know I dropped the ball on the show somewhat – answering yes to the first question was a mistake. There was a lot of background noise (it becomes audible in the show when I get my second chance to speak) but in reality I should have jumped at the opportunity to explain what the game is about straight away.

    Unfortunately, after talking to the producers and people organising the show I was given the impression that not only did the panel intend to discuss the situation properly, but that they wouldn’t be deliberately misrepresenting the game. I guess I thought the host wouldn’t lead the first (and probably least qualified person on the entire board) panellist directly away from the topic and into a discussion about violent video games in the space of a sentence.

    So I made a huge mistake there. But I’d like to clear up the idea that I could have stood up at any time and corrected anyone. You’ll see me sitting with my hand up waiting to speak – talking over others is only allowed if you’re sitting on the panel. Before the show it was articulated over and over that if you yell out and speak out of turn you would not get any face time on the camera again. It was important that I sat and waited for the opportunity to speak – unfortunately when it came it was through questions which I tried to use to turn the topic of conversation back on track – to no avail.

    The audience member who spoke after me was a plant there to talk about the subject of gaming machines (pokies) because Senator Xenophon was elected solely thanks to his anti-pokie stance and he’s a one track record. The audience member made a good point anyway.

    Walking out of the studio was the first time I got a chance to speak my mind, and I let the producer I talked to have it. But obviously that’s not enough. Two people who had the opportunity to ask their questions even vocalised on their way out that they thought I got utterly shafted – once again great for my temper at the time but utterly worthless in the grand scheme of things. Anyway, I don’t think it has to be counted as a loss. It highlights how ignorant the general public is on the issue, and that at least gives us an idea of how to combat the issue.

  49. 0
    Ben says:

    Do you really think those are the games that these politicians are talking about? They didn’t even know their own continent had a rating system! They probably don’t even know where Japan is!!!

    Saying that rape games exist is a pointless statement whenever 98% of the population dosent know about them or play them.

  50. 0
    Father Time says:

    To equate video games to snuff films is just like comparing it to child porn. It completely misses the point and is such a flawed analogy it’s almost sad.

    Snuff films and child porn actually HURT people in their production. Snuff films (which don’t actually exist according to snopes.com) involve killing an actual breathing person. Child porn that involves real kids (as opposed to drawings or computer generated images) invovles the sexual molestation/abuse/something of kids. Video games don’t do anything like that.

    And so what if some people can’t handle the R rated games are we to ban them from everyone just because a couple of idiots can’t tell they’re fake? Are you going to do the same thing with books and movies?

    A great man once said

    "Censorship is like saying a man can’t have steak because a baby can’t chew it."

  51. 0
    Gnome Fawkes says:

    So why didnt audience members start handing out pitchforks and flaming torches? because the only thing I heard during all of that was the beating of the Witch-hunt drum.  Then again, I’ve always known this would be an uphill battle

  52. 0
    Joaby says:

    I should also point out that my question was edited by the producers of the show to make it "TV friendly" – something I had no issue with at the time as I was under the impression that I wasn’t about to be shafted on national television.

  53. 0
    Jazza ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Joaby mate it was really unfair they treated you on that show and it just made me realise just how little the people in power and the australian public knows about the whole R18+ issue. i think a good idea to  get our point across would be through the media; newspapers, tv, magazines even to post flyers around town. something needs to be done about this as it seems we are going nowhere. the fact you we able to get your opinion on Australia TV is pretty impressive you must have the right contacts however its really disappointing that your issue wasnt really given an educated debate.

  54. 0
    Anonymous says:

    There was rape in Silent Hill 2 (Pyramid Head, as a metaphor for James’ repressed sexual urges, and as one of the few explicitly male monsters, pseudo-explicitly raped several of the other monsters), but that portrayed rape as a horrific, depraved act, and as such, saying that it in any way glorifies rape is like saying that Bowling for Columbine was advocating school shootings.

  55. 0
    Vix says:

    It would be an R-18, really, to go with our local ratings system. In any case it is very much needed; that and an improvement of parents taking responsibility for the content of their children’s entertainment rather than allowing the government to do it for them at the expense of adult liberties.

    The fact they did not even know of our existing ratings system (same as for film and television, but without the uppermost R-18+ tier which caters only to adults) is somewhat insulting to the Aussie gamer. Which is becoming a very large portion of the population.

  56. 0
    Anonymous says:

    True, being shocked, or flabbergasted would be a more likely response, but it might be better to laugh at the stupidity than to be consumed by other emotions.

  57. 0
    Anonymous says:

    "Games are plenty violent"

    Don’t make this mistake. That’s why we are in this stupid situation in the first place. Only politically correct forms of violence against politically correct opponents are.

  58. 0
    Anonymous says:

    Australia is in need of NC17 for all media forms of entertainment.

    We are living in a prison society, run by people who have nothing in common with us. We need to stop sitting on our lazy asses crying about this all the time while doing absolutely nothing to help. THe failing film industry even gets more economical support than the successful and proven gaming industry.

  59. 0
    Anonymous says:

    Not violent enough or not gory enough? Games are plenty violent but not so much gory. Only reason being is because it would take a lot more memory to run the game(especially a game like GTA4), and most of these new titles are console games, so there’s a limit to what the developer can put, as far as gore, into the game.

  60. 0
    Anonymous says:

     Games aren’t violent enough IMO. I want to play R rated games just like I watch R rated movies. GTA by the way has really toned down. GTA IV seems like a kids game now.

  61. 0
    MonkeyFace says:

    I wouldn’t be laughing in the slightest…I mean the very idea that those idiots can dress themselves in the morning let alone make decisions that will effect millions is mind blowing

    obviously the sit around and wait for all the stupid people to die plan isnt working

    —-Reno to Thompson "I’m only interested in virile men. That’s why I’m not attracted to you." This kids, is what we call a grammatical smack down

  62. 0
    Anonymous says:

    Here we go again with the Fallout thing.  Look Bethseda took the series in another direction, its a action RPG and not some ridiculous turn based 3/4 game.  DEAL WITH IT.  Stop being ridiculous just because its not turnbased doesn’t mean it fails as a fallout game man.  Where were you when Interplay fell?

  63. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    See judging is easy you do it all the time you call others names. *lick*

    I am sorry if lil fanboy is offended when I knock the grand mmotactic elder scrolls of genericness, sorry they are a mediocre dev doing mostly mediocre things int eh name of marketing I am many others don;t care for fallout being turned into a "deeper version" of the consoler version of brotherhood of steel, so please try and understand the the angst and hatred for the anal carnage on yet another classic game series!

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

     

  64. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    Its quite easy from all the previews and talk about the game what’s not in it and what’s changed, for the sake of marketing they took FO and made it into a FPS RPG minus the depth and greatness that was in the original, it’s the same damn thing devs have been shilling out since things went casual corporate…… dumb it down and make money from the sheeple lapping it up….

    It might be a good FPS RPG but it never will be Fallout.

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

     

  65. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    Zippy is always drunk, its what you call a mental lush noneed for booze or durgs hes jsut high all the time becuse hes zippy….0-o

    Anyway my point stands FO3 is TES4.5 with a gun and tech based theme with magic, throwing and fantasy removed, slanted to the shooter crowed for the konsoles so the konsole kiddies will lap it up thinking it’s a shooter, it’s almost like BIoshock all over again but this time it will be more RPG than under cooked adventure…..

     

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

     

  66. 0
    LaserShark says:

    I’m sure you enjoy trashing a game that isn’t even out yet, but this isn’t really the place for it.  There are forums out there that are eagerly awaiting your input, though.

  67. 0
    metroidprimegmr says:

    Either you’re being sarcastic, or you’re seriously drunk.

    Just step away from the big, shiny bottle and everything’s gonna be OK.

  68. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    hardly excellent more like simplistic and repetitive with less than great game design with a couple flaws that break the game for some classes……FO3 decimates FO skill and perk system…melee dose not go to mellee damage there isno throw skill they nerfed or removed more than a few things from it that made FO FO, so in the end its just oblivion without magic or thrown weapons, guns as the main weapon of choice with some tacted on mellee combat and slow time mode that dose not have to be sued because they couldn’t make this a complete shooter for the konsole kiddies…….even as a FPS RPG it looks crummy.

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

     

  69. 0
    Jazza ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    good on ya Mark Abib, the only sensible one there, he has the view of the public in his mind and at least has the decency to same he had never played the game. Baranby Jocye; "snuff films" "rape games" WTF are you taking about. i commend the host for bringing up the average age of gamers in AU.

  70. 0
    Matt Burgess says:

    I was peripherally involved in this debacle. The ABC (the australian television network that runs this show) contacted me looking for someone to ask this question. The guy who asked is in fact a friend of mine who works for a large gaming website in Sydney. and is a passionate devotee of "the cause".

    My own response as an Australian gaming journalist and self-proclaimed expert on this subject is at http://www.australiangamer.com/news/1177_a_swing_and_a_miss_for_the_abc.html and point for point argues against the statements made on the show.

    The original questioner, Joab Gilroy, responded here: http://www.gamearena.com.au/news/read.php/4750383?latest=1

    It’s worth a read just to see how much some of us Australian video games players (and journos) really care about this issue. We’re trying to change it, but do you see what we’re up against?

     

  71. 0
    GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    Nuh uh! Everyone knows games are real! I totally met Dante and Master Cheif once at the MacDonalds!

    -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

  72. 0
    Anonymous says:

    We’ve got a whole lot more than them. A dozen state legislatures with enough of them to pass bills doomed to be overturned and waste taxpayer money, enough of them in both houses of Congress to make video games a common campaign issue, and of the three biggest contenders for nominations in the primary season, two of them were Jack Thompsons and one hinted at it enough to be worrying. Drop one Jack Thompson and you have our presidential hopefuls.

  73. 0
    Keegs79 says:

    How can anyone take those politicians serious? The violent video games argument has gone crazy. Potential violence? What potential violence? Why would we want to play Fallout 3? Geez, I could go any angle with those IDIOTS!!! People like them piss me off!!!!

     

  74. 0
    Oz says:

    I believe that was Custers Revenge. I wouldn’t put it past them thinking that Custers was a PS2 title as opposed to an under the counter 2600 title.

  75. 0
    Artifex says:

    I belive that he is referring to Second Life. At least, that’s my guess. Not that it really matters to them, they can just pull anything out of their arse and say it’s true without anyone questioning it. He could have easily said "There was this horrible game where you kick puppies." and the pannel would just nod in agreement. The whole video is extreemly disturbing on many many levels.

  76. 0
    Mike ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    This "Rape" game…is this something only available to alarmist talking heads and legislators? I’ve never seen it or heard of it myself.

  77. 0
    PHOENIXZERO says:

    Hollllly……Shit! My head almost exploded and I had to stop reading after the first idiot, Heather Ridout, not the announcer, spoke. These people made our stupid politicians look like f’ing rocket scientist and sensible in comparison!

  78. 0
    Anonymous says:

    Seeing as how he wants to play Fallout 3 for the "story-driven experience", he is ill informed or gearing himself up to disapointment, given what Bethesdas previous titles have given, story isn’t their strong suit.

  79. 0
    Artifex says:

    I understand what you’re getting at, however the gaming industry is only niche if one chooses to ignore it. Videogames aren’t part of the fringe anymore, this isn’t a back-alley industry run out of garages, it’s a multi-billion dollar industry that dominates the entertainment field on a global level. The pannel really doesn’t have an excuse to rely soully on second-hand information about a medium and industry that operates on such a high level, moreso when that information is so easy to access directly. Especially for politicians who are supposed to keep up to date on social issues so that they can claim to protect the people whom they represent. 

    It’s like trying to explain the concept of movies and movie theaters to a person who’s only read books their entire life, I suppose.

  80. 0
    Muninn says:

    except the second audience member wasn’t a video gamer, and that person still came up with a point of view that didn’t involve outright censorship and lies. the senator Arbib wasn’t bad either. yes, rating systems are good.

     

  81. 0
    odc04r says:

    Bit sad for the panel that the audience came across as the most knowledgeable people there. Perhaps understandable as video games are a fairly niche subject but my view on such things is that: if you do not understand, it is best to not offer an opinion lest you be thought of as an idiot.

    I guess politicians don’t have that luxery though, always got to have some stance and it’s usually the safe one.

     

  82. 0
    Dog Welder says:

    That sounds more like he got it from "Catch-22."

    In the book, Yossarian no longer wants to fly (he’s a bombardier and people are "trying to kill him" by shooting back at his plane), but the only way he can stop flying missions is to have the doctor ground him.  The only way the doctor can ground someone is if they’re crazy, and therefor can’t be flying missions.  The catch is you must ask to be grounded, but as soon as you ask that means you don’t wish to be placed in danger, which is the action of a sane mind.  Therefor, you can’t be grounded.

    (It’s a great book…higly recommended.)

  83. 0
    Anonymous says:

    Dave Barry (humor writer) said once that, in his opinion, if anyone wanted to get their nose pierced, they should be legally required to take an IQ test. This test would consist of one question "Do you want to get your nose pierced". If they answered wrong, that is to say, "Yes", they would be legally barred from getting the piercing.

    I’m assuming he got the idea from politics, where apparently there is one question asked of all prospective politicians "Do you feel you should understand issues before legislating them?" And if they answer wrong (again, by saying "yes") – no party nomination for them, too bad.

     

     

  84. 0
    koichan says:

    Oh wow, did Heather Ridout really just say that?

    Big pro censorship comment, ended with her saying she’s not pro censorship… Yes you are, just listen to what you’re saying. *facepalm*
    And did she also just basically tell all people over 18 it’s perfectly okay to pirate games or get them in other dubious ways? 

Leave a Reply