Australia’s Atkinson Still Blocking R18+ Rating

Is this guy stubborn, or what?

South Australian Attorney General Michael Atkinson continues to be the sole roadblock to the introduction of an R18+ classification for video games Down Under. Movies already enjoy such a rating.

Oh sure, things seemed to be looking up last November when he welcomed a public debate on the merits of an R18+ rating pending “some minor changes” to a discussion paper introduced by the Standing Committee of Attorneys General (SCAG). But four months later, Atkinson has yet to make those changes.

In February, GameSpot Australia polled the nation’s attorneys general and found that, indeed, Atkinson is currently the only A.G. still opposed to the introduction of an R18+ rating. His colleagues support a public consultation on the matter but are stuck waiting on Atkinson.  Said Victorian Attorney General Rob Hulls:

I fully support there being consultation on this issue, but ultimately the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (SCAG) is waiting for the South Australian Attorney to agree to consult on the matter.

GameSpot AU recently contacted Atkinson’s office to inquire about the holdup and see if there was an ETA on the revisions.

Discussions are continuing between the [South Australian] attorney general’s office and the SCAG Secretariat about amendments to the discussion paper.

In other words, Australian gamer friends: Don’t hold your breath.

If Atkinson ever stops dragging his feet, the finalized discussion paper will be released online and survey the public’s opinion on the introduction of an R18+ classification for Australian games.

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Correspondent Andrew Eisen.

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  1. Untouchable says:

    Gotta love the fact that we received Dead Rising uncut when it essentially got an Adults Only rating over in Japan where they seem far less strict when it comes to content.

  2. Untouchable says:

    "With the majority of Parents still listening to newsworthy stories on ACA and Today Tonight, the real and honest truth is still not getting though to the parents who voted for this guy and other politicians like him"

    Wait, people watch those shows to be informed? I just watch them sometimes because they are so bloody stupid.

  3. TBoneTony says:

    Sadly many parents in Australia are still missinformed.

    We have a sensationalist news media that only focuses on what is newsworthy, and the fact that nobody would listen to the gamer’s side of the story is because many Australian adults are still locked into this belief of Videogame Adults are addicted to videogames.

    Also the fact that almost everyone is blaming any industry, like the petrol industry for rising the petrol prices to the major supermarket chains putting smaller businusses out of business.

    With the majority of Parents still listening to newsworthy stories on ACA and Today Tonight, the real and honest truth is still not getting though to the parents who voted for this guy and other politicians like him.

    So until most of those older people die, and the new generation of adults who are more likely to get their news on the internet and from independant blogs like GamePolitics and Australian Gamer, I don’t think anything is ever going to change in Australia.


  4. TBoneTony says:

    Or if the South Australian Liberal Party wins the next election in 2010 and there is a new Attorney General put in with a more clearer mind to support both parents AND adult gamers.

    Believe me, this is the reason why kids in Australia are able to legaly buy games like GTA IV, Madworld, Fallout 3 and F.E.A.R 2 in Australia regardless of the ammount of voilence.

    As the MA15+ rating suggests: Not suitable for persons under the age of 15. HOWEVER persons under the age of 15 MUST be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian.

    Compared to the R18+ rating: Not suitable for persons under the age of 18.

    I think with the R18+ rating parents will be more informed as well as adult gamers still having a choise of what they want to play.

    And with the M17+ rating in the USA, there would never be any pornographic games at all in Videogames on the market because what sells in Australia has to be on sale in America first in order to have the games on the console market.

    PC’s might be a bit different, but it is mainly the console market that parents see their kids play mostly.




  5. Evil Toothpick says:

    Either he dies of natural causes or he finally grows a brain. My bids on the first one

  6. TBoneTony says:

    Michael Atkinson is not going to play ball, then the rest of the Australian State and Federal Attorney Generals should continue with the discussion paper without him.

    Release the R18+ rating for videogames for all states and territories EXCEPT for South Australia.

    Therefore the adults in South Australia will just order the game online or buy those games interstate.

    Adults have choices too, you know.


  7. The Chronicler says:

    why in the world would he block the R18+ rating for video games(which to my knowledge) would make games like COD 4,Deadspace, GTA 4 and others restricted to those 17/18 and up and would more than likely hamper underage gamers from getting their hands on these games.


    does he want these games to be available to those who they are not appropreiate for?


    this guy is just a weirdo who is really just doing harm to the austrailan gaming communty over a measure that most people(gamers & parents alike) do want or atleast be given the chance to vote on it anyway.



  8. MrKlorox says:

    And some other games around the world are modified to fit in line with Australia’s 15+ rating but are still released as 17+ or 18+ unnecessarily. It works both ways.

  9. asmodai says:

    Yeah, I doubt this issue will end up with him being voted out…

    Fucking stupid old cunt (pardon the French but I’m Australian and I’m sick and tired of our shithouse moralising "holier than thou" pack of pricks government…)

    Funny story though, many games that slip through as MA15+ rated actually should be 18+ but because we don’t have an 18 rating, games are softpawed through sometimes…

    Funny, hey… = \

  10. spastkid says:

    Unfortunately, from what I’ve read, this guy’s seat seems somewhat secure.. He’s loved by a good number of those in his state, probably due to religious reasons as far as I can tell. So I guess he’s hardly in any pressure to accede to common sense and logic…


    Oooh! You mean there are people around with the mythical "Common Sense"?

  11. hellfire7885 says:

    This guy is what Jack Thompson would be if he had any power at all.

    By the way Atkinson, nice. You’ve proven you fail completely as a parent, and you are making the rest of your contry suffer for your own mistakes. Nah, you’re not a fascist, not at all.

    And FYI, that final part was sarcasmn.

  12. GoodRobotUs says:

    Reminds me of Thompson during his disbarment proceedings…

    ‘Waaaaggh I don’t want to enter the 21st Century! Not fair! Not fair!’

  13. sortableturnip says:

    In the words of Denis Leary…..

    "He’s an a$$hole aowio aowio…."

    "He’s a big fuck!ing a$$hole….."


  14. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    Ah, Gregory House. He is such an asshole. I’m surprised Cuddy hasn’t fired him simply b/c of his attitude and his efficiency be damned. I was surprised when they revealed he has Asperger’s Syndrome, like me and two friends of mine. I was like "WHAT!?!?!?"


  15. Kincyr says:

    somehow, I’m reminded of Dr. House saying "You have the queen on your money. You’re British"

    岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

  16. MrKlorox says:

    Nothing is wrong with requiring a unanimous vote to pass a law. But requiring a unanimous vote to even begin discussion is extremely counter-progressive.

  17. MrKlorox says:

    I think it takes massive balls to hold out against logic with the public snapping at his ankles for as long as he has. Intellectual fortitude on the other hand, not so much.

  18. BearDogg-X says:

    Michael Atkinson obviously has no testicular fortitude whatsoever.

    Aussie gamers should demand that he quit being a wussy, man up, and release the discussion paper.

    I think that the other attorneys general should release the paper without him.

    Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra.

    Proud supporter of the New Orleans Saints, LSU, 1st Amendment; Real American; Hound of Justice; Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always

    Saints(3-4), LSU(7-0)

  19. GusTav2 says:

    Being Devil’s Advocate, but …

    What is so wrong with the requirement for a unanimous vote under one constitutional settlement, when under another, which appears to enjoy enormous support in this fora, a unamimous vote could not intoduce an enforceable R18 rating as it would be ‘unconstitutional’?

    The former is ‘undemocratic’ as it restricts media, while the latter is somehow ‘democratic’ as it does not. But the former relies enitrely on the express views of those who have a direct electoral mandate?

    Food for thought, let the flaming commence …

  20. Murdats says:

    "You need an unanimous vote to implement a mature rating for a piece of media?"

    no we need a unaminous vote to authorise the discussion of potentially including an adult rating for games.

  21. Geoff says:

    Ok I normally try to avoid being critical of another country’s way of governing…but WTF Australia?  You need an unanimous vote to implement a mature rating for a piece of media?  Really?

    If there wasn’t an Atkinson the process would work fine I suppose.  Problem is there is always going to be someone like Atkinson.  Ugh, it’s too early for me to get into it.

    Also it sounds like he fails as a parent.  When I was a kid my grades started to slip because I would play video games once I got home instead of doing my homework.  Then one day I came home and my console was gone.  My dad’s response when I asked him about it; "You’re screwing up at school.  For now on, no video games until you finish your homework.  And I want to see that you’ve done it first before you start playing."  Sure at the time I was pissed, but later on in life I realized that is was proper parenting.

    How hard is it to just take the damn thing away for awhile Atkinson?  Hell you don’t even need to take the console, just take the wires that connect it to the TV or the power cords.

    Bloody idiot.


    Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

  22. Geoff says:

    …wow.  I’m sorry to hear that dude.  If it did reach the discussion phase, would they require Atkinson’s vote to approve it?


    Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

  23. spastkid says:

    No idea ’bout that though. We’d have to ask our Australian brethren about that. From what I’ve read about this guy, he may even climb out of his death bed JUST to vote against having M18.. He sounds rational, and seems delusional at the same time..


    Oooh! You mean there are people around with the mythical "Common Sense"?

  24. MaskedPixelante says:

    So, if he’s out sick, would he lose his vote?

    —You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

  25. Keith K says:

    I don’t understand why Australian gamers even try to work this through parliament..

    If they don’t want their economy supported by the games industry, that’s their problem. All Australian gamers should stop purchasing games locally and start importing 100% of their gaming purchases. Games, consoles, peripherals, everything.

    From what I understand, they will get their releases quicker and save quite a bit of money in the process.

  26. iceman654 says:

    One man dicating 21 million people is not democracy. It’s an absolute disgrace. Australia has never been so good at utilizing true democracy. Unfortunantly, politicians in this country have never really had any respect for our democratic constitution. Repeated refusal to implement a bill of rights, making us vote for people we don’t like through compulsory voting, ignoring the fact that laws like this need unanimous support in order to be changed. Thereby contradicting democracy by allowing one man to dicate the entire nation. Finally, forcing us to still call a citizen of a foreign country our head of state, i.e the Queen of England. All calls for a republic are consistenly ignored. Even Kevin Rudd who is supposedly a republican and promised a republic pre-election has began stating that it is not a priority in his first term in office. He began saying it wasn’t a priority prior to the global finanical crisis btw. The Federal Government is also implementing a mandatory ISP level filter despite overwelming objection to the proposal.


    No sorry, Australia is not a democracy. Our country is a joke and needs to be started over.

  27. Clever says:

    What’s even sadder is that he constantly references his own bloody children as being his "first hand experience" with violent game addiction. That they are "bound" to their consoles and have to be almost physically removed from them…whatever that means…

    He publically admits that one of his three sons is 22 years old. How much of a failure of a father do you have to be to have that sort of issue at home at that age? That’s his reasoning though, that because his 22 year old son is so attached to gaming that obviously all children are and that adults will be quite incapable of handling such material.

    Face it Atkinson, you are literally living a joke life and have accomplished absolutely nothing of value. You are a complete disgrace as a politician (and that’s saying something mate) and as a parent – you are little more than another flat tire on the road to digital progress in this country. Sure, personal attacks on you may seem childish but apparently that’s all I am…


    "I have three sons who regularly play computer games at home – the eldest is now 22," noted Atkinson. "I see my children become physically and emotionally obsessed with games, and it is difficult to drag them away from the gaming console. The repeated act of killing a computer-generated person or creature desensitises children to violence."

  28. HarmlessBunny says:

    So by hindering the choice and rights of all, he thinks he is doing good? He alone is undermining some of the basic concepts of democracy. What a twit…I hope the protests start sooner rather than later.

  29. spastkid says:

    I think the issue at hand is that a unanimous vote is required for the rating to go through.. Which makes it frustrating especially since the rest of the A-Gs are fine with having the M18 rating..


    Oooh! You mean there are people around with the mythical "Common Sense"?

  30. MaskedPixelante says:

    So… what makes his vote so important that he can’t be outvoted?

    —You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

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