Australian AG’s Divided on Adding Adult Rating

September 28, 2009 -

In light of the refusal of the Australian Classification Board to classify Left 4 Dead 2, some authorities are rethinking the country’s game ratings.

While R18+ ratings exist in Australia for films and other media, videogames still top out with a MA15+ rating, meaning that games that fall outside the spectrum can’t be approved for sale.

Adding an R18+ rating would require the agreement of all Australia’s attorney generals, but News.com.au reports that at least one member of that group is holding out, South Australian Attorney General Michael Atkinson. Atkinson’s take:

It certainly does restrict choice to a small degree, but that is the price of keeping this material from children and vulnerable adults. In my view, the small sacrifice is worth it.


Victorian Attorney General Rob Hulls disagrees, saying that Australia is “out of step with the world,” adding:

It seems inconsistent that in Australia adults are allowed to view adult-only films which have been classified R18+ by the Classification Board, but not computer games with equivalent high-level content.


Valve and Electronic Arts have appealed Left 4 Dead 2’s refusal of classification.
 


Comments

Re: Australian AG’s Divided on Adding Adult Rating

I know from last year of what was supposed to happen with that proposed discussion paper that there is no way Australia is EVER going to have an R18+ rating, and most Australian's would rather laugh at us gamers and all gamers over the world feel sorry for people like me.

It will be even more worse if Australia had their internet censored, therefore not even I could even buy games outside from Australia at all via the internet if it is blocked.

So in order to change things, I am just going to have to move country.

Australia has never been a free country and all this talk of Australia being a lucky country is nothing but bull shit that politicians use to make us aussies feel lucky.

Sure I have Centrelink to help me when I am unemployed, and I have Australian Rules Football. But I will trade all that just so I can buy the Videogames I want and the internet that is free so I can get all the Hentai I want.

I plan to go to Ballarat University to study IT (Computer Games), then get a job in the Videogame Industry of Australia, and if the internet gets fucked up by the government I will just move to Canada where my freedoms of speech ARE protected.

That is my plan.

 

I will miss my family and all my friends, but I have to trade all those things just so I can feel safe to live as a free man.

 

 

 

TBoneTony

Re: Australian AG’s Divided on Adding Adult Rating

Edit: put comment in the wrong place... Michael Atkinson is still an idiot though...

------- Morality has always been in decline. As you get older, you notice it. When you were younger, you enjoyed it.

Re: Australian AG’s Divided on Adding Adult Rating

As I see the votes at the moment, 91% of Australian's DO want a R18+ rating for Videogames.

 

TBoneTony

Re: Australian AG’s Divided on Adding Adult Rating

unfortunately less than 1% of us get to vote directly on Atkinson

Re: Australian AG’s Divided on Adding Adult Rating

I think those comments were posted last year when the discussion paper was on the cards, but Atkinson just refused to commit to the entire discussion after promissing to do so.

 

He knew he was going to lose so he just refused to discuss anything unless things went his way, as it turned out because of his arguments not having any real truth to it he knew he would lose the discussion and just dropped out all together.

 

It is sad that there are some politicians who seem to be good at hearing different topics, but when it comes to videogames they look like the complete opposite, like little kids fighting over one cookie. However there have been some other issues where politicians have behaved like little kids.

 

I hope Rob Hulls is still there next year in the same position, and also that AG from the ACT who are both for the R18+ rating for Videogames, we need all the support we can get at the moment as it currently is.

 

TBoneTony

Re: Australian AG’s Divided on Adding Adult Rating

.....All?! All! You need ALL of the AGs to agree! Not "the majority of"; not "6 out of 10"; you need ALL! Are you f**king kidding me?! Do you know how ineffectual of a voting system that is?!

If the United States needed all of the popular vote and/or the electoral vote for a president to be elected, we'd never get one! Further more, if Congress needed all of the Senators/Representatives to vote for or against a bill for it to be considered for signing it into law (instead of pushing it through with the majority vote, like we sometimes do), they'd be in complete deadlock all the goddamn time!

Jesus Christ! Someone, for the love of God and all that is holy, please give Atkinson the swine flu! Or ambush him, nail him in a box, and send his "moral" ass to freakin' Siberia! Let him tell the wolves not to show their cubs how to kill, for fear of damaging their precious little minds!

P.S. Hey, Australian GPers, what's the process for someone to become AG, how long is their term, and when the hell do you think this jackass can be (finally!) taken out of office?

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Game on, brothers and sisters.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------ "Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither." -- Ben Franklin Game on, brothers and sisters.

Re: Australian AG’s Divided on Adding Adult Rating

An australian AG is appointed by the leader of the state to that position, but they must be first elected to the seat that they are running for.....So he can be thrown out by not winning his seat.  However his electorate contains probably around 50 000 voters, so the other 16 million or so of us or so that can vote, have absolutely no say in it.

He has been the sitting member of that electorate since 1989.

One thing though is his main focus is on anti bike gang laws, which just got crushed and thrown out in court....so we will see if anyone was paying attention on that one, as he has carried on about that for many years now and would be more likely to be viewed in the mainstream as a fuck up over that than the R18 debate, as i can tell you right now that outside gaming circles it is either a non issue or they haven't even noticed, except for the week before a mad world or a gta comes out

Re: Australian AG’s Divided on Adding Adult Rating

How old is that quote from Atkinson, I know I've seen it before.

----------------------------------------------------

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.

---------------------------------------------------- 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.

Re: Australian AG’s Divided on Adding Adult Rating

Probably not that old. Actually, he's more like a record player, playing the same old, broken "Think of The Children" tune all "moral" people play through he ages.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Game on, brothers and sisters.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------ "Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither." -- Ben Franklin Game on, brothers and sisters.

Re: Australian AG’s Divided on Adding Adult Rating

Heh, I remember that 'vulnerable adult' line from a while ago. It still blows my mind every time I read it. You also have to like his wording like 'small degree' and 'small sacrifice'. The man is ridiculous and is screwing over millions of people in Australia. I don't think you can consider anything a 'small sacrifice' when it affects that many people.

Re: Australian AG’s Divided on Adding Adult Rating

"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." - Ben Franklin

I don't know about in Austrailia but I always get carded when buying an M rated game, even though I'm obviously old enough. But I can buy any R rated movie with no questions asked.

Re: Australian AG’s Divided on Adding Adult Rating

I hope they get their R18 rating soon.

Re: Australian AG’s Divided on Adding Adult Rating

protect the children only to f**k them over when their older

Re: Australian AG’s Divided on Adding Adult Rating

More proof that Atkinson is what Thompson would be with actual instead of percieved political power.

He deserves to live on a tiny one person island in shark infested water with no shelter, since it's obvious he deserves no liberty and no safety, since he's willing to sacrifice other's freedom for his own safety and chooses ot impose his own personal moral code on an entire country.

Re: Australian AG’s Divided on Adding Adult Rating

Yes, all Tin-Pot-Dictator-Wannabes believe that depriving citizens of Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Expression is a "small sacrifice".

Tell me, Sparky, are YOU ready to make a "small sacrifice" if we can prove that something YOU participate in could prove to be harmful to "...children and vulnerable adults..."?

Nightwng2000

NW2K Software

http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000

Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Re: Australian AG’s Divided on Adding Adult Rating


 

It certainly does restrict choice to a small degree, but that is the price of keeping this material from children and vulnerable adults. In my view, the small sacrifice is worth it.

"vulnerable adult", would that mean someone with a mental illness or something like that.  This is not small sacrifice, this is violation of free speech and you don't really care about the people that want to play these game.  "Small sacrifice" my ass.

It seems inconsistent that in Australia adults are allowed to view adult-only films which have been classified R18+ by the Classification Board, but not computer games with equivalent high-level content.

The AG has a big point, why are adult-only film allowed in Australia but not violent video game, it's because Atkinson is one of those double-standard loving prick who should be booted out of politics.  Lousy Bastard Atkinson is.

 

Re: Australian AG’s Divided on Adding Adult Rating

Just further proof that Michael Atkinson is the Continental Cretin of Australia and a coward for not giving Australians what they've been wanting for the last few years.

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

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Pelicans. Solidarity for the Saints = No retreat, no surrender. 2013 = Saints' revenge on the NFL. Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always.

Re: Australian AG’s Divided on Adding Adult Rating

A nanny-statist thinks it's a small price?  Fair enough.  I think that from now on, the people should be able to choose what Michael Atkinson eats, drinks, wears, reads, watches, and where he sleeps.  They're just 'small sacrifices', right Atkinson?  Really, I just wonder how long it is until he's restricted to eating cardboard, drinking water, wearing a barrel, reading whatever billboard he's near, and watching the Christian channel 24/7 before going to sleep in his new cardboard home under the bridge. It's a small price.

Seriously, some AG needs to walk into his office and kick him the testicles.  Australia, surely, can handle a little blood splatter in their videogames, seeing as they watch big people movies over there.  Or else we need to change it's name to something that reflects it's status as the nanny-state capitol of the area.

Re: Australian AG’s Divided on Adding Adult Rating

I think kicking Atkinson out of office would be a "small sacrifice" for bringing Australia into the 21st century.

------- Morality has always been in decline. As you get older, you notice it. When you were younger, you enjoyed it.

Re: Australian AG’s Divided on Adding Adult Rating

A small sacrifice, or major win?

Re: Australian AG’s Divided on Adding Adult Rating

I was under the impression (over the last couple of years) that Atkinson was the ONLY attorney general against the 18+ rating.

It's pretty simple... it's a "small sacrifice" because it's something that he doesn't do.  If... I dunno... Matlock required a 18+ rating to air in Australia, you'd bet he'd be approving that in a second.

 

------- Morality has always been in decline. As you get older, you notice it. When you were younger, you enjoyed it.

Re: Australian AG’s Divided on Adding Adult Rating

If I remember right, there was actually a vote on it a few years back, and Atkinson was the ONLY one that voted no. I think it was around the time of the Manhunt 2 stuff that I read about it, but it may have actually happened well before. I'm not an Australian though, so I'm not sure when it was exactly.

 

EDIT: Here we go - It wasn't a vote for the rating, it was support for research and discussion on the rating, which would have led to a vote on the rating.

http://blogs.theage.com.au/screenplay/archives/010915.html#  - October 2008

http://www.kotaku.com.au/2008/07/michael_atkinson_no_r18_for_games_in_au... - July 2008

Re: Australian AG’s Divided on Adding Adult Rating

Meh.  Until these people die of old age (they act like they are close), Austrailia is a lost cause.

Re: Australian AG’s Divided on Adding Adult Rating

That´s an unrealistic expectation. The stupidity is something than can be inherited, so Atkinson successor could be as stupid than Atkinson himself or even worst.

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

Re: Australian AG’s Divided on Adding Adult Rating

It certainly does restrict choice to a small degree, but that is the price of keeping this material from children and vulnerable adults. In my view, the small sacrifice is worth it.
WON'T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?!

I really can't believe this berk. He really does believe games are only played by kids (Can he hear us from that far back in the 1980s?). I hope EA, Valve and any gaming organisations in Australia give him the reality check that he sorely deserves.

'Vulnerable adults'? Children accessing what would be 18 rated games? How is a 'small sacrifice' worth stopping what is surely a tiny percentage of those actually people acquiring a game, as opposed to millions of Australian gamers?

I think he's just playing it safe, morally, and I think he's desperate to ride the family ticket - presumably for his career - coupled with ridiculous, practically antiquated views on modern entertainment.

Re: Australian AG’s Divided on Adding Adult Rating

I hope EA, Valve and any gaming organisations in Australia give him the reality check that he sorely deserves.

What I'd like to see EA, Valve and a lot of other major video game companies do is simply refuse to release their games in Australia until they come arround to approving an R18+ rating; kind of like what artists and musicians did with the whole "I Ain't Gonna Play Sun City" boycott in South Africa during Apartheid.  At one time it may have been seen as more cost effective to simply acquiesce to what Australia wanted, but as the L4D2 incident has shown, it's now gotten to the point where it's proven to be more obtrusive than what many companies are willing to deal with, and that in the long run they'd be better off just making games for release in the rest of the world rather than just tailor their game to what one country, which in reality would probably account for a fraction of sales worldwide, would want.

I think if the publishers and developers chose to boycott Australia, the outcry from the populace there would be so large that not even the government or Mr. Atkinson could easily igonre and dsimiss it.  And then you'd probably see things start to happen.

Re: Australian AG’s Divided on Adding Adult Rating

No I'd rather they put up disclaimers saying that the Australian government demanded they be treated like a 15 year old just lay it on thick and heavy, and add some addresses.
----------------------------------------------------

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.

---------------------------------------------------- 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.

Re: Australian AG’s Divided on Adding Adult Rating

I think this idea was discussed in one of the last Australia\ratings news pieces - it would be good of them to make a stand, but that's just not economically viable from a business perspective.

Imagine you're the EA CEO and get told "Either we boycott them and there's a chance, sometime in the future that they'll abscond, change the law and then, probably six months later, we can sell the game as an 18 game ... OR we make changes, cut down on the gore and release the game with a 15 rating. If we do that then we'll sell around 200,000 and make $4 million."

I'm grossly simplifying it but the latter generally happens - look at Carmageddon back in the UK many years ago, or a whole host of other violent games. At least after it sells then they can present actual numbers (maybe tax revenue) to the Australian government and lobby them to change the law. Something like that. :)

Would "the outcry from the populace there would be so large that not even the government" actually happen? The gaming popluation, no doubt, but surely not the average Australian (I can't imagine thousands of people in a city chanting "L4D! L4D!"... actually I can imagine that in my head, but can't imagine it really happening).

Re: Australian AG’s Divided on Adding Adult Rating

If many major game companies full-on boycotted ALL new games from going into Australia until an R-18 rating is made, Australia's media sales would see a giant cut, and the public would know completely why there are no new Wii games or Rock Band or other family games. That would really stir shit up.

-If an apple a day keeps the doctor away....what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

-Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

Re: Australian AG’s Divided on Adding Adult Rating

As I was saying, at this point I think it would make better business sense to simply take a hit by cutting out Australia rather than go back and invest additional time and funds altering the game just so it complies with one country's standards, which I would think would translate into an overall bigger sales loss.  When you look at it, it's not fair to the rest of the world, much less the consumer.  If your game is guaranteed to sell just about everyplace else, as L4D2 certainly is, it's better to do that rather than alter a game for a country where there a chance it still won't pass muster after resubmission.  Rapleay notwithstanding, there's a reason why many Japanese games aren't sold outside of its native country.

It's previously been stated that the majority of the Australian populace - including the majority of the government - not just the gamers, want an R18+ rating and that Atkinson's been cleverly stonewalling it all these years.  I would think that once the people realized that entertainment companies would't be doing business with Australia, they'd get pretty pissed off about it and start pestering the government to act.

Re: Australian AG’s Divided on Adding Adult Rating

 The required edits would require no more than a month of dev time usually.  It's a significantly smaller amount of money than what goes into developing the title.  With the potential of hundreds of thousands more in sales.  The only other cost being time.

So unfortunately, it makes perfect business sense to placate the governments in return for profit.  Of course the perfect scenario is to have the governments overturn the laws.  And refusing to release the games in those countries would definitely help that.  But CEOs and MBAs who run the business only care that the games are selling - NOT the principle of it.  Although we gamers and developers care about the integrity of the game we are making.  The people running the show do not.

 

------- Morality has always been in decline. As you get older, you notice it. When you were younger, you enjoyed it.

Re: Australian AG’s Divided on Adding Adult Rating

They could also just release the German version of the game in Australia.  That takes care of two territories with changes you would be making anyway. 

------- Morality has always been in decline. As you get older, you notice it. When you were younger, you enjoyed it.

Re: Australian AG’s Divided on Adding Adult Rating

Someone needs to do some research and find out if Atkinson has ever in his life watched an "adult" movie.

Re: Australian AG’s Divided on Adding Adult Rating

 "vulnerable adults"

Excuse me?

Re: Australian AG’s Divided on Adding Adult Rating

that stopped me in my tracks pretty damn hard, like running in to a brick wall.

Re: Australian AG’s Divided on Adding Adult Rating

Took the words right out of my mouth. Whos to say whos "vulnerable." You, Mr. AG?

Re: Australian AG’s Divided on Adding Adult Rating

And of course my standard retort.... sacrifices are always small when it is someone else making them.

Atkinson keeps claiming that other AGs agree with him and that 'they' are in a the majority.  I wonder if this will go far enough to actually bring his claims to light.

Re: Australian AG’s Divided on Adding Adult Rating

Ooooh, this could get interesting.

I wonder how far in the minority Atkinson is among the Australian AGs?

 

Check out my blog - http://serveratcapacity.blogspot.com

Re: Australian AG’s Divided on Adding Adult Rating

I believe, based on this and other such articles in the past, that Atkinson is in a minority of one. But Australia needs all the AGs to be in agreeance before anything can be done.

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Australian AG’s Divided on Adding Adult Rating

That bullshit to me. Granted I don't know much about Australia's goverment but to hold back a law because of 10% minority is not democratic.

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: Australian AG’s Divided on Adding Adult Rating

It's worse than that, he's blocking even the chance to hold a discussion about starting formal proceedings to look at maybe changing the law.

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Australian AG’s Divided on Adding Adult Rating

That's rather childish- rather than discuss the issue, he wants to prevent actually having to do so?

It's bad enough to be ignorant, but to be willfully so is a detrimental aspect that any politician should rid themselves of.

 
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