Australian A.G. Explains His Opposition to R18+

South Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson, who has to date single-handedly blocked the implementation of an R18+ video game rating in the Down Under market, explains his opposition in a letter to Kotaku.

For starters, Atkinson writes that he does not trust the Classification Board to do the right thing. He claims that the group stretches the current MA15+ category to accomodate games that should be refused classification. He fears that the same thing will happen with R18+ titles.

Although he is portrayed as a lone wolf on the ratings topic, Atkinson claims that there are other A.G.’s who agree with his stance. He complained, too, that he receives a great deal of hate mail on the subject. On this point, Atkinson writes:

It confuses and baffles me why I am being harangued, threatened and abused by people who want the right to play a handful of games. It confuses my why so many gamers are arguing that they should have the right to play games that enable them on-screen to bash, torture, slay, slaughter, rape and take drugs.

 

I am concerned about the state of mind of an individual who thinks he should have the right to do this in a computer game and then wants to tell me about it. Add to that the threats to me and I feel more certain about my stance that I should do what I can to minimise the number of these games in Australian homes.

Atkinson points out that only three (out of 903) games considered in 2007-2008 were refused classification (i.e., banned). He cites the 2008 murder of a Bangkok cab driver whose killer – according to Thai authorities – claimed to be re-enacting a scene from Grand Theft Auto. In addition, Atkinson calls into question a video game industry sponsored poll which maintains that most Australians favor an R18+ rating.

Meanwhile, Aussie game journalist Jason Hill calls upon gamers to respond maturely to Atkinson:

As tempting as it is to also indulge in name calling and silly stunts, Australian gamers must continue to provide eloquent, intelligent and reasoned arguments about why they would like Mr Atkinson to change his long-held opposition to changes to our broken classification regime.

Demonising or attacking Mr Atkinson in the same manner that so many Americans targeted anti-games crusader Jack Thompson is not helpful. It is actually damaging the cause, no doubt helping to justify his stance.

Disappointingly, Mr Atkinson told Kotaku that he has received "more abuse and threats over my stand against R18+ interactive games than any other topic of public debate", including anonymous threats posted under his front door in the middle of the night…

Please write to your state Attorney-General or Mr Atkinson… But please don’t descend into name calling or threats.

 

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112 comments

  1. 0
    Geryon says:

    Thank you, however, when I was asking what was supposedly as "bad" about the phrase I was not wondering about the people it represented.  I was more referring to this reaction

    "CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIAN?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!?!?  Those words should never be together in the same phrase.  Dont ever utter it or bad things will happen……."

    I did not understand the reaction as well as the "correction" to “Christian conservative”.  As well I am myself liberal, perhaps socialist but I’m from Canada so by default I’m sure I may be considered one, and am a Pagan as well, although probably a different kind than you since it has a very, very, sweeping definition, and so often will disagree with "The Christian Right".  This, however, is incidental.  I was more curious about the objection to the nomenclature.

     

  2. 0
    Nekowolf says:

    I was thinking the same thing a few days ago; South Park should totally make an episode about the violent game argument.

    Jack could break into Cartman’s house, smash his game consoles and video games, then run out screaming "I SAVE YOU!"

  3. 0
    Nekowolf says:

    Well, it partly depends on your political view, but on some point, religious as well. See, a lot of these "conservative" views have religious backing, so things tend to get intertwined.

    For example, I see "conservative Christins" aka. The Christian Right (if I’m understanding what you are trying to say correctly, if not, I apologize) as, well…

    I’m strongly liberal, so there goes conservatism. I’m a democratic socialist, but they love to group socialist as being "Communist" which isn’t true, and like to teach that socialism is some horrible idea (well excuse me for wanting universal healthcare like France), and on a religious side, I’m pagan, and well, I don’t think I need to go into how some feel about us (cough-devilworshippers-cough). Also, I strongly believe in the seperation of religion and government, but the Christian Right seems much more leniant on it.

    So, it being "bad" is subjective. You may not think it bad, but I definitely do.

  4. 0
    Father Time says:

    And why shouldn’t they be playing them? What proof is there that these games are harmful to adults?

    —————————————————-

    Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it’s over they have the same positions they started in.

  5. 0
    DanHoyt says:

    I agree, but they definately contributed to him looking like a comlplete idiot and that couldn’t have helped him in any way. Plus, if I could pick any game journalists who has personally been in a big squabble with Thompson, then I would pick them. Plus, they are hilarious. They would add great comic relief since neither Sessler or Halpin is funny. I respect their opinions, but they’re still not funny. They would also be great to have around Senbaby. That would be hilarious to have those three guys together.

  6. 0
    Geryon says:

    See to me Christian conservative and conservative Christian are both valid, they just have slightly different meanings.  I see a conservative Christian group as a Christian group that promotes conservative values and a Christian conservative group as a group of conservatives which just happen to be Christian, maybe they would try to promote Christianity but it wouldn’t be nessisary.  I fail to see what is so bad about the phrase "conservative Christian".

  7. 0
    Father Time says:

    I believe it was a watchdog group from the U.K.

    —————————————————-

    Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it’s over they have the same positions they started in.

  8. 0
    Thomas McKenna says:

    I would say that Cramer didn’t quite deserve it, and at one point in the interview Jon Stewart even said it.  However, Cramer stuck his head out in the whole CNBC thing, and thus became the one to shoot down. 

  9. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    Actually ,they had absolutely nothing to do with it. The swquabbles Thompson had with Tycho and Gabe were mostly Thompson’s own fault as was his disbarment.


  10. 0
    Mattsworkname says:

    Good point, my mistake. Still love the guy.

     

    Yukimura is still here "Honor, that is what matters, isn’t it? " Yukimura Sanada, from Samurai warriors 2

  11. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    Thompson can still be used. HE may haveb een disbarred, but he tends to try and insert himself into cases anyway.

    Say Cartman hits a kid, and during a mock trial the class holds JT thosws up to defend Cartman as mentally ill due to playing Warcraft, or soemthign to that effect.


  12. 0
    JDKJ says:

    "Demonising or attacking Mr Atkinson in the same manner that so many Americans targeted anti-games crusader Jack Thompson is not helpful."

    Helpful or not, demonising and attacking those you oppose is a time-honored American tradition. No one’s telling the Aussies that they shouldn’t throw a kangaroo tail on the barby or blow that annoying didgeridoo.

  13. 0
    MrKlorox says:

    Yeah, anybody else find it odd that he refuses to drop names as to who else opposes the rating, or even a discussion about the rating? "A gentleman never tells" almost always translates to "I’m bluffing!"

  14. 0
    Kincyr says:

    division by zero?

    seriously, true Christians follow the teachings of Jesus, which happened to be very liberal during his time

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

  15. 0
    MrKlorox says:

    I was expecting a Jack Thompson-like villian in a South Park episode by now. Thompson is disbarred and Atkinson isn’t well known enough in the States to justify an episode now. Oh well…

  16. 0
    Leet Gamer Jargon says:

    Kickass newscaster. Love that guy. Screwed Cramer and CNBC in the ass, and rightly so.

    Damn fine man.

    ———————————————————————————————–

    Game on, brothers and sisters.

  17. 0
    Leet Gamer Jargon says:

    Oh, my apologies. I misspoke; I’m sorry.

    The correct term is "Christian conservative". I accidentally switched them. My bad.

    ———————————————————————————————–

    Game on, brothers and sisters.

  18. 0
    MrKlorox says:

    I fully believe he’s gotten a few personal threats. People can become extremely childish assholes when their freedoms become limited. However I’m sure he’s inflating what "threats" he has gotten.

  19. 0
    Hackangel says:

    Atkinson says he is not the only A.G. opposed to the R18+ rating and that he "won’t expect a retraction or apology from Terry O’Shanassy when it become apparent that he’s wrong – being an R18+ gamer and blogger means never having to say you are sorry".

      Funny, I thought being a South Australian A.G. meant "never having to say you are sorry".

    I read the entire thing and Atkinson just comes out as being arrogant and out of touch.

  20. 0
    Mattsworkname says:

    You know Atkinson most people would see a 90 percent support rating for the other side as meaning they are on the WRONG SIDE of the argument. Most people would see mounds of negitive Feedback, as perhaps a sign that they are wrong and that the people dont’ support there views..  But not you, your to stupid to know that your on the losing side.

     

    SO, in the immortal words of my favorite Fake tv news host. "FUCK YOU!"

    Bonus points to whoever knows who my fav fake tv news host is.

     

    Yukimura is still here "Honor, that is what matters, isn’t it? " Yukimura Sanada, from Samurai warriors 2

  21. 0
    Rocka156 says:

    CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIAN?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!?!?  Those words should never be together in the same phrase.  Dont ever utter it or bad things will happen…….

     

    "Logic will always prevail. Execpt in politics of course, thats fucked." Darkrider/Rocka

  22. 0
    Rocka156 says:

     

    You know that’s actually not a bad idea!  It could be like superfriends against the legion of doom!!!!  Someone should totally make that. 

    "Logic will always prevail. Execpt in politics of course, thats fucked." Darkrider/Rocka

  23. 0
    Rocka156 says:

    ______________________________________________________________________________________

    Due to the overwhelming number of assholes on gaming forums, hate mail is bound to surge.  But the fact that he is bitching about the consquence of a stupid action that HE made, is very stupid.  Think about how much money would be put into Aussie’s economy if they allowed more games to circulate in their market.   This guy is such an asshole!

    "Logic will always prevail. Execpt in politics of course, thats fucked." Darkrider/Rocka

  24. 0
    Leet Gamer Jargon says:

    I forget; which group was that again? Was it a conservative Christian group, a watchdog group, or was it someone in Germany?

    ———————————————————————————————–

    Game on, brothers and sisters.

  25. 0
    Erik says:

    "It confuses and baffles me why I am being harangued, threatened and abused by people who want the right to play a handful of games. It confuses my why so many gamers are arguing that they should have the right to play games that enable them on-screen to bash, torture, slay, slaughter, rape and take drugs."

    And yet if all of these activities are summed up in movies such as The Godfather and are considered cinematic classics.  What I want to know is why should gamers be the only ones to be demonized when these very same concepts exist in film, television, and print.

    Oh yeah, that’s right.  Movies are for upstanding adults who have thier freedom to watch on-screen assault, torture, slayings, slaughter and rape.  But video games are just for the nerds right?

    Hypocrite asshole.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  26. 0
    Leet Gamer Jargon says:

    Congratulations on giving your opinion. Good for you.

    ———————————————————————————————–

    Game on, brothers and sisters.

  27. 0
    Leet Gamer Jargon says:

    Or like Dr. Manhattan’s blue penis in Watchmen. If you want to put things in perspective using a more recent example.

    ———————————————————————————————–

    Game on, brothers and sisters.

  28. 0
    Mad_Scientist says:

    Yah. Even if this guy won’t change no matter what, stupid and uncivil comments sent to him allow him to quote them to the press and others. Thus, the perception of other people who may actually listen to reason is changed for the worse.

  29. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    Sad part is, a huge amount of the time, it doesn’t matter what we say nor how we say it.

    We try being civil with these people, and our words get twisted and distorted into what they want to hear, or they just shoves words in our mouths and make it up on the spot.

    Basicalyl we can’t win with these people


  30. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    Self righteous arrogance and self importance  prosonofied….oh my!

     


    Gore,Violence,Sexauilty,Fear,Emotion these are but modes of transportation of story and thought, to take them from society you create a society of children and nannys, since adults are not required.


    http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com

  31. 0
    DanHoyt says:

    I always think this, but I’ve never actually put it up.

    What if Jack Thompson and Michael Atkinson teamed up? Together they could pull some real dick moves. They are practically made for each other. I wonder if they ever get together and complement the other on their mutual hatred toward video games.

    Even better would be if those two and Liberman would join forces in some comic bookish villains-only clan of evil like when all the Batman villains joined forces against (Adam West) Batman. The one with the shark repellant at the beginning. They could try to take over the world through censorship and conservative values. A giant robot would be fun too, maybe something like Big O…

    I started this post with an actual point, but the comic book concept was too entertaining to stay on task.

    Hal Halpin, Seanbaby and Adam Sessler would fight them as the defenders of the gaming community. "POW!" "WHAM!" "CRUSH!" "SPLUNK!"

    lol… lol… lol…

  32. 0
    KayleL says:

    He just doesn’t get it. What he is doing is the opposite of what he wants. Now younger kids can play violent games like Fear 2, MadWorld, etc.

  33. 0
    Father Time says:

    "It confuses my why so many gamers are arguing that they should have the right to play games that enable them on-screen to bash, torture, slay, slaughter, rape and take drugs."

    Because it doesn’t harm anyone and the reasons for banning them are all poor.

    Anyone else reminded of the group that tried to get Mad World banned and then seemed to be stunned by the negative feedback?

    —————————————————-

    Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it’s over they have the same positions they started in.

  34. 0
    CMiner says:

    I see a lot of comments saying things along the lines of "No amount of civility will get Atkinson to change his stance."

     

    While this may be true, that does not mean we should lower our standards.  Maintaining a standard of civility is something to strive for in and of itself, regardless as to whether or not it changes the stance of overzealous hardliners like Atkinson.

     

    It’s not about him.  It’s about us.  The media thinks poorly enough of us as it is.  Don’t justify their claims.

  35. 0
    thecreepingwolf says:

    "Why are people mad at me for not allowing them to play games that I think are innappropriate?"

     Its not your place to tell people whats "innappriate" and whats not.

  36. 0
    DraginHikari says:

    The problem is more how the general public precisives gamers as a whole.   Unless you shift away some of the negative attirbutes it will never really change.   Gamers going thruogh with threats and responsing with violence action, vadalism or anyhting like that would only help fuel their cause more so then ours.

  37. 0
    vellocet says:

    "play games that enable them on-screen to bash, torture, slay, slaughter, rape and take drugs."

    I think that this is a big problem with the image of games in general.  Something that the industry knows but doesn’t promote.  We gamers don’t play the games because of torture, taking drugs, slaying, or even rape.  We play for of a MULTITUDE of reasons.  Some of us want to take the role of a immigrant from eastern europe trying to make it in a big city.  Some of us want to take the role of a cybernetic soldier saving the human race from aliens.  Some play just for the thrill of competition.

    It would be the same as some one saying that they watch the Godfather purely because of the gun fire. 

  38. 0
    Rodrigo Ybáñez García says:

    I just wanted to change the title, lol… anyways.

    Atkitson is really falling without parachute Thompson´s style. Next thing he will be bashing homosexuals and rap music and posting off topic rants on Kotaku´s comments…

     

    Gamer 1: Well, I think Capcom is dissapointting us again with Darkside Chronicles for Wii:

    AtkinsonDundee: Why? There is not enough necrophillic rape on your game?

    Gamer 2: You suck, Atkinson.

    AtkinsonDundee: hahahahaha, I don´t care because you are too insignificant and I can do whatever I want, lol

    AtkinsonDundee: *wall of text* *call gamers fags*

    MiamiJack: I love you, Michael *figuratively speaking, of course*

    AtkinsonDundee: >*3*>

     

    The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com/

  39. 0
    gamegod25 says:

    Ok Mr. Atkinson, let me try to explain without losing my temper. The problem is that all the stuff you are complaining about (except for rape obviously) is present in MA15+ games BECAUSE there is no R18+ rating. By blocking the creation of the higher rating YOU are helping 15-year-olds to play games that they shouldn’t be playing. Can you understand now???

    And as for rape that was one freaking game from Japan (and we all know how they are) that wasn’t commercially available to the rest of the world and would never have passed certification and thus never be sold publically.

  40. 0
    GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    It still comes down to consumer rights and the fact that this guy’s opposition is causing adult games to be jammed into 15+ categores.

    As for the "concern about the state of mind" regarding people who want to play adult oriented and violent games, it’s not real. It has never been and will never be real. There is no reason to be concerned about the well being of fictitious characters who respawn every time you leave an area, and there is no indication that these people can’t tell the difference between real and fictional life.

    (And please, Rapelay is only available in JAPAN. The only relevance it offers is to the discussion of Japanese sexual fetishes…ugh…)

  41. 0
    JustChris says:

    I’m with you. He doesn’t even mention what is wrong with violent entertainment in other mediums. What’s good for the TV goose isn’t good for the gaming gander. And pornography shouldn’t be introduced into the discussion, as it’s not a good comparison to the games we’re talking about. 17-and-over rated games are as much a legitimate part of the video game market as the R movies that get a wide theatrical release are a part of Hollywood.

    I have a feeling that Atkinson’s refusal to allow a R18 rating is more of a psychological reason than a practical reason. Becase as far as I can understand, the guidelines of the MA15+ rating are actually being bent and given more leeway to allow some games that would normally feel more appropriate in R18+ land to creep in. One rating classification doesn’t exist, so we have to distort another one to make the product fit in? How is that an improvement? It adds more confusion and deceit to what a product is classified as and what it actually contains.

    GameSnooper

  42. 0
    Sai says:

    Maybe they wouldn’t stretch the 15+ rating if there WAS a 18+ rating you silly paranoid man.

    He’s just going to keep invoking Rapelay no matter how irrelevant it is, isn’t he?

  43. 0
    NovaBlack says:

    ” He claims that the group stretches the current MA15+ category to accomodate games that should be refused classification. He fears that the same thing will happen with R18+ titles. ”

     

    So.. he admits that the way things currently are.. 15 year olds are getting hold of games that should be rated 18…

    …right…

    .. and this is an argument against introducing an R18 rating …?

    O…k….

    So if an 18 rating was introduced, and worse case scenario.. exactly the same thing that is happening now happens.. except that 18 year olds are getting hold of things they shouldnt be , not 15 year olds. Who can better handle innappropriate content. An 18 year old or a 15 year old. Also ironic that apparently an 18 year old is responsible enough in the eyes of the government to BRING A KID INTO THE WORLD but not watch a ‘video nasty’ or play a ‘ultra-violent game’ . GEEZ. Priorites messed up much?

    So.. as said worse case scenario.. same thing happens.. (but with far less severe possible consequences) and nobody is restricted access to content that they SHOULD be allowed access to under the interests of free speech.

     

    I repeat again. this is an argument against introducing an R18 rating …?

     

     

    ”It confuses my why so many gamers are arguing that they should have the right to play games that enable them on-screen to bash, torture, slay, slaughter, rape and take drugs.”

    Firstly.. rape? you mean rapeplay? a game that even with the 18 rating would STILL BE REFUSED CLASSIFICATION AS IT WOULD RECEIVE AN AO RATING EFFECTIVELY STOPPING ANYONE GETTING IT. Stop using lies and scaremongering to misrepresent the reality of an r18 rating.

    secondly.. if i want to bash someone virtual or virtually take drugs (virtual since its not actually real.. so dont try and equate it with commiting the real crime.. it isnt the same, else you’d see people arrested for it), i have every right to. It harms NOBODY. so what right do you have to stop me playing it? .. NONE.

     

  44. 0
    nighstalker160 says:

    Gotta love how he totally ignores the "chilling effect." As was commented on, how many games had to sacrifice artistic vision or content to avoid a ban?

    That’s like saying "Sure Michelangelo, you can make a statute of David. But he has to be wearing pants or else we won’t show it."

    No I am NOT comparing any video game to David, but the point is the same.

  45. 0
    BearDogg-X says:

    Geez, all I see is a crybaby assclown abusing his power and lying to justify his actions. I personally believe he’s lying about the "threats" he claims to be getting.

    If he has allies among the other attornies general, then he should name names or they don’t exist.

    As mentioned above, with an R-18 for games in place, there wouldn’t be any "stretching" of ratings or even watering down of the games to get them classified for sale in the country. So Atkinson the Continental Cretin of Australia just destroyed his own argument.

    Atkinson should grow up, get a life, and have the testicular fortitude to give Australians what they’ve wanting for years.

    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)

  46. 0
    Praetorian says:

    There wouldn’t be any ratings "stretching" should he allow an R18+ classification….but whatever.

    In my opinion, media shouldn’t be censored, period. I enjoy the fact that I have freedom of choice and can choose not to watch, play, listen to something that I don’t like…

    Praetorian

    "I’ve been told I’m the resident skeptic, but I wouldn’t believe that."

    http://www.myspace.com/pree_tawr_ee_uhn

  47. 0
    Sage says:

    I agree with Atkinson, there’s something wrong with anybody who would want to play such horrible games. Obviously those gamers who play violent video games shouldn’t be playing them anyways.

  48. 0
    Ashkihyena says:

    Oh yeah, I forgot, but yeah, games are forced to be watered down for that R15 rating.  >.>;;; or in the case of Fallout 3, all versions had to be edited all versions cause of one moron, and before anyone says anything about a name change, its still censoring.

  49. 0
    Ashkihyena says:

    or if the people who are threatening him stop being such pussies and actually finish the job. Of course, that would probably make things worse in the long run…

    That would only make things worse, but you’re right, the only time this is going to change is once he’s voted out, though I feel for Australia cause who knows how long that’ll be.

  50. 0
    gamadaya says:

    I disagree. He won’t drop his stance, no matter how civil we act. The only way this is going to change is if he is voted out of office, or if the people who are threatening him stop being such pussies and actually finish the job. Of course, that would probably make things worse in the long run…

    ———————————

    Internet troll > internet paladin

  51. 0
    BearDogg-X says:

    Left 4 Dead

    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)

  52. 0
    Deamian says:

    "It confuses my why so many gamers are arguing that they should have the right to play games that enable them on-screen to bash, torture, slay, slaughter, rape and take drugs."

    It’s called free-speech. Get used to it.

     

    "I am concerned about the state of mind of an individual who thinks he should have the right to do this in a computer game and then wants to tell me about it. Add to that the threats to me and I feel more certain about my stance that I should do what I can to minimise the number of these games in Australian homes."

    Considering you’re personnally fearing something, I’m letting Louis awnser this one, to anyone who can guess from which game; "Lock the GODDAMN door!!"

     

  53. 0
    Gift says:

    While I agree abuse is never a good thing, I’m hardly surprised.

    Atkinson’s ad hominem attacks on gamers don’t do much to calm troubled waters. Calling people’s state of mind into question simply isn’t helpful, so why is he so surprised when someone rises to the bait?

    All involved need to behave IMO, Atkinson included.

    Gift.

  54. 0
    Michael Chandra says:

    He (Atkinson) provokes things by responding to the trolls yet not on those that make good points.He’s only in this for the baiting, not for a mature discussion between equals.

  55. 0
    Rodrigo Ybáñez García says:

    Civilized or not civilized arguing with him is useless if he is still being an asshole. I´m not endorsing to sending threats and insults, but that man has power and he is abusing of his position. He knows he is abusing, and still, he is bitching because people is "angry".

    Of course people is angry. He keeps telling lies about games and gamers and thinks he can get away of it.

    So what if people calls him "asshole". I would like to read one of those threats and know if it´s truth. For that people, "you suck balls" is almost a terrorist threat against them.

    The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com/

  56. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

    Jason Hill, You are the man. It really frustrates me when we are trying have a civil debate and trying to get a position overturned just to have those who should be on our side shooting us in the back with that kind of behavior.

    Grow up people.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
    http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma


    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  57. 0
    Loudspeaker says:

    I agree that the name calling and thoughtless correspondence sent to Mr. Atkinson does need to stop, however I would hardly call him untouchable or bulletproof.  Like a good supervillan he’s handed my Aussie bretheren the keys on how to take him down on the issue of an R18+ rating.

    First off, his whining about the amount of correspondence means that whomever IS sending in replies regarding this issue needs to continue.  They should be well thought out and without insult.  Sending the same correspondence again isn’t against the rules.  He’s a public figure.  You can’t spam this guy when it’s a message in regards to something he’s dealing with.  Just keep that in mind.

    Secondly…  I think people are looking at this from the wrong angle.  As many have already said this blockhead isn’t going to change his stance about this just because the gaming community is up in arms.  Again, there’s your answer.  Do as the media and politicians do.  Play the statistics and use their own stances/words against them.  Australian gamers need to flaunt and back a movement FOR keeping with the R15+ rating system that is in place now…  I already heard the "Whaaaa??!?!?!" so let me explain…  You press it for all the reasons he doesn’t want the R18+ rating.  Such as ahem, "Keep R15 so younger gamers can keep playing R18 material!  Atkinson understands and is our ally!  Thank you Atkinson for standing up for gamers who love violent games everywhere!  No R18+ rating!  Parents don’t know what they’re doing."

    How long before THAT starts to itch the wrong way with Mr. Atkinson?

    Annoyance is the easiest way to motivate anyone to change a stance.  Make the public opinion opposing Mr. Atkinson go beyond the gaming community and R18+ will be a reality.  Right now he’s playing public fears and claiming that all gamers are children.  He gave you the verbal rope…  I leave it to the Aussies to hang him with it.

    "Volume helps to get a point across but sharp teeth are better."

  58. 0
    Chadius says:

    Please keep writing to him, Australia. At worst, when he’s booted out of office he can look at the massive log of R18+ mail and see why no one voted for him.

  59. 0
    MasterAssassin says:

    I encourage everyone in Australia to keep writing to this douche bag letting them know how they feel. If this clown doesn’t like it he can suck it up because the people of Australia want thier rating system changed yet he refuses to even allow a debate on it because of his own moral agenda. I want to know though how in a democracy like Australia how one man can override the rule of the people. When this guy is up for re-election I encourage every gamer who is of age in that country to vote him out. If every voting age gamer comes out and votes next time he’s up for re-election, he will lose for sure. People we can’t be appathetic anymore. Put down the controller for a bit and go out and get informed and vote because apathy is the greatest threat to our hobby. And reading this also makes me happier to be an American where we have NO legally enforced rating system and the system is strictly voluntary.

  60. 0
    Shadow D. Darkman says:

    It seems there is no kind of gift we can give them that will appease them, except embracing their views, which is just about impossible.

    ——————————————————————————

  61. 0
    mr_mlk says:

    > Eventually, these extremists will die out and freedom might just prevail

    No they will not. :(

     

    — Add a marker to the start of your signature.

  62. 0
    Zerodash says:

    I disagree.  This man is a prime example of not only an out-of-touch politician, but also a total asshole (look at his comment record), and a prime example of government authoritarian censorship gone out-of-control.  People like this cannot be reasoned with rationally anyway.  He is a liar- he KNOWS about rape in games.  Basically, a piece of trash if I’ve ever seen one. 

    Eventually, these extremists will die out and freedom might just prevail.  Fuck this "man" and everyone like him.

  63. 0
    DONAR says:

    What he’s failing to see is out of the 903 games that made it though unscathed, how many were rated 18+, AO or R-Rated equivalent in other countries, but got shoehorned into our MA15?

    And what three games were RC’d? Fallout 3 was, but made it back well under the MA15 by switching Med-X with Morphine (worldwide and in keeping with the  Fallout canon), Dark Sector got rereleased with less blood but I’m damned if I know what the third was (No More Heroes?).

    GTA IV was submitted censored to begin with, so never got refused classification. The PC version, on the other hand wasn’t censored and got an MA15, just like the Lost and the Damned DLC did uncut.

     

     

  64. 0
    TBoneTony says:

    He will never change, so why bother trying to write maturely to him if all he is ever going to do is resort to name calling.

     

    No ammount of concrete information is ever going to change his stance, not even the book Grand Theft Childhood.

     

    So in return, I am just going to display a few videos I posted up on youtube as my own real attempt to talk about the R18+ rating in videogames in Australia

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_aXeFwSMyo&feature=channel_page

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4zzcBnqORM&feature=channel_page

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qq-OcTiOR6A&feature=channel_page

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zxmow8VbHIg&feature=channel_page

    In these videos, I never ever talked about Mr Atkinson, I only just mentioned that only one Attorney General is openly opposed to it, and I left it at that,

     

    Please watch these videos and leave your comments, that will be the only thing that we can ever do until this man is voted out of office.

     

     

  65. 0
    PHX Corp says:

    JT said(to andrew Eisen and Ezk) that he pwned us awhile after the german school shooting(is it just me or he is really acting like the Dumbass that we know)

    Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

  66. 0
    MechaTama31 says:

    "Allow"?  How can we possibly prevent it?  Pretty much any political opinion is going to have some people whose behavior hurts their cause and makes it look bad.  And if somebody has it in their mind to be rude or threatening, there’s nothing we can do to stop it.  We can’t police the way everybody expresses their opinion.  I’m sure that, as a politician, Atkinson knows this very well, but he is perfectly willing to use that obnoxious minority as his excuse to disregard all the criticism of his position.

    Now, I wish these people would grow up and stop making us look bad too, but they are not a valid reason for Atkinson to disregard the rest of us.  He’s been a politician long enough to know better.

  67. 0
    DraginHikari says:

    Unfortunely that’s not how reality works.   Stereotypes are always based on the loudest segment of a group.  It’s not ideal but 9 times out of ten your going to see people siteing the morons over the rational ones.

    Why site the goods ones when they can make their point look better by siting the idiots?  That’s probably there train of thought anyway.

  68. 0
    beemoh says:

    But it is a good reason for Atkinson et al to disregard this small group of people, knowing they are not representative of gamers and concentrate on the majority of perfectly normal people, and for us to accept that it’s something that’s going to happen anyway and work around it, rather than waste time worrying about it, dreaming of some unattainable, twat-free utopian future.

    /b

  69. 0
    Mattie says:

    It confuses and baffles me why I am being harangued, threatened and abused by people who want the right to play a handful of games. It confuses my why so many gamers are arguing that they should have the right to play games that enable them on-screen to bash, torture, slay, slaughter, rape and take drugs.

     

    You answered your own question. It is an individual gamer’s right to decide that and not your own.
     

  70. 0
    Zero Beat says:

    Let’s assume he’s telling the truth that other AGs are opposed to the R18+ rating.  He would have to admit that, at the very least, they’re at least willing to discuss the possibility of public discussion on the matter that may lead to a law change.  The most insulting part of Atkinson by far is his refusal to let people voice their opinions in a public forum that could lead to progress in this matter.  So we keep boomeranging back to him whining about this stuff.

     

    "That’s not ironic. That’s justice."

  71. 0
    JoshuaOrrizonte says:

    People who are being asshats to this dude aren’t much better than him, if at all.

    But I’d like to issue a challenge to Mr. Atkinson. I’d like to see him justify his stance against the R18+ rating without referencing himself or his beliefs a single time. Rely fully, 100% on peer-reviewed studies and third-party statistics about ratings systems.

    Not going to happen, I know, because he probably can’t… but it would be refreshing to see him shut up about himself for once, at least on this topic.

  72. 0
    asmodai says:

    There will always be a reactive element, a vocal minority that give the majority a bad name.

    But let’s look at the guys arguments.  Filled with strawmen, logical fallacies, outright lies etc.  This is the problem when you rub up against someone that wants to impose their will on others and has the power to get away with it.

    If you attempt reasoning with them, they will not see your point of view.  If you resort to anger, they use it as an example of why they are right.  The problem is that they will never be convinced they are wrong.

    A prime example, Atkinson said he was willing to put the theory that a R18+ rating would be okay to the test.  Then refused to allow it to be tested (and ignored previous studies that show that a correct full spectrum rating system actually led to games being rated more accurately…).

    He bases his stance on belief and that is a big problem because belief ignores facts and refuses to be put to the test.  Is it any wonder that the online community (where anonymity breeds disrespect) is reacting in a harsh fashion?  The guy set the rules of the argument (no sensible evidence or referenced fact will be countenanced) and then bitches and moans when it comes back to bite him in the ass.

  73. 0
    MrKlorox says:

    Exactly. A thousand message board and comment box posts shouldn’t worry anybody. But all it takes is a single tangible letter to spook the bejesus out of somebody.

    But this is proof that people take their civil liberties very seriously.

  74. 0
    Geoff says:

    Well, given the comments I see every day on gaming websites, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of those emails or messages were rather threatening/childish/insulting.

    Not saying that they were all like this or even some of them.  For all we know each response might have been a mature, civilized rebuttal and Atkinson is spinning it for his own agenda.  In fact, regardless of the content of the messages, I’m sure he’s spinning it for his own gain.

    Just pointing out that him getting the kind of messages he’s complaining about is far from being outside the realm of possibility.

     

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

  75. 0
    Larington says:

    Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. I’m more concerned about how the media perceives us, lets not give the game hatin’ newspapers ammunition either.

  76. 0
    Ashkihyena says:

    I agree that gamers shouldn’t act like that, but well, the guys a total jerk, and honestly, weither or not gamers act like that, this guy is not going to change his stance.  Gamers could act like total gentlemen and this guy wouldn’t change his stance.

  77. 0
    Larington says:

    It seriously dissapoints me that people are acting in this way, hate the stance, not the person. And I agree with him, if gaming afficionados are going to act like children, thats how they’ll get treated.

    People need to grow up, regardless of whether they feel gaming is being victimised or not.

  78. 0
    Geoff says:

    If you’re going to respond to a game critic, especially one with some form of political power, you need to be mature about it.  They aren’t going to respond well to "UR an idiot and I hope u die in a fire lulz!!1!"

    With that said, I doubt any amount of dialogue will convince someone like Atkinson.  Better to use your time and energy either getting him out of office and replacing him with someone more sympathetic to your views.  You want to influence politics, gotta play the game.  Though I’m unsure of how this can be achieved in Australia. 

     

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

  79. 0
    Arell says:

    Not to mentin all the ones where they bent the rules to let them pass.  He’s upset that the Board stretches the rules, but it is his own actions that creates that problem.

  80. 0
    Krono says:

    Atkinson points out that only three (out of 903) games considered in 2007-2008 were refused classification (i.e., banned).

    And how many had to water themselves down in order to be classified? Watering down that wouldn’t need to take place if there was an R18+ rating? Watering down that probably just brings them into the extreme end of the R15+ rating, not to the average of the rating?

    -Gray17

  81. 0
    Arell says:

    He fears that the ratings board will stretch the R18+ to accomadate games that should be refused the classification, like they do for the MA15+?  But, that "stretching" of the rules is in direct response to the lack of a higher classification, which is his own fault.  If he were to allow the R18+ ratings, then games would get their proper classification.

    He also mentioned rape again.  No mainstream games let you rape someone.  Certainly none that would be considered by the Classification Board.

    The reference to the taxi cab slaying is unfair as well.  Games didn’t make the man a killer.  He could have been influenced by movies, too, but you can’t blame media.  You have to be mentally ill to kill someone without real provocaton, which even without research on the subject, should be obvious because of the billions of people who don’t become depraved killers because of media.

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