Atkinson and Gamers4Croydon's Doe Debate (Sort of) R18+ Rating

November 23, 2009 -

South Australian Attorney General Michael Atkinson and Gamers4Croydon political party creator David Doe were both interviewed on Australian radio about that country’s lack of an adult ratings category for videogames.

The two appeared on ABC Radio National’s show National Interest, but unfortunately were not in a position to joust on the subject, as Atkinson’s bit was pre-recorded. Doe appeared in the studio with host Peter Mares.

Atkinson, again, on why he opposes an R18+ rating:

I’m opposed to extreme and cruel violence being dissipated in interactive games. The decision on this game [Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2], to give it an MA15+ classification is a matter for the Commonwealth Classification Board. I‘ll be appealing against that classification. It doesn’t surprise me because the Classification Board in Australia does everything to try to get games in under the radar, and films generally. Just because the system is not being applied properly, does not mean that the principles of the system are wrong.

The host then asked Atkinson, in light of the apparent failings of the Classification Board; wouldn’t it be better to have an R18+ rating? Atkinson’s answer:

No, no… What I want the Classification Board to do is to apply the guidelines properly. I don’t want the extremely violent, sexually depraved and drug use games in Australia at all. We can’t stop these interactive games getting into the home and getting into the hands of children. Interactive games are, I think, a greater risk than films because they are interactive.

Atkinson then referenced Rapelay, saying, “I wouldn’t put it past the Classification Board to make that an R rated game frankly. “

Atkinson accused the host of being a bond company stooge/game industry apologist in favor of an R18+ rating, before claiming that Australians just don’t care about the lack of an adult videogame rating category:

The vast majority of Australians have not turned their mind to the question of an R18+ classification for interactive games. It’s just not an issue out there in the electorate. Most Australians don’t think about it. Like me, many of them enjoy playing games such as the Wii.

Atkinson again indicated he was aware of the Gamers4Croydon party that plans to run a candidate against him in the coming election, though he’s doesn’t give them much of a chance, “I rather doubt that they will get even 1% of the vote, so much for the claim of 90% of Australians favoring what the games industry wants (an R18+ rating).”

David Doe, the Aussie game developer and man behind Gamers4Croydon also appeared on the show. Doe used Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 as a lynchpin in his argument for an adult videogame classification, calling the game “just not suitable for 15 year olds.”

Does this indicate that Atkinson is right and the Classification Board is not doing its job the host queried?

Doe responded:

I think the Classification Board is doing the best it can. There’s obviously a huge commercial interest in the videogame industry, and even though Australia is a small market, they are going to try and provide Australians with the type of content they would like to engage with. I think if we gave them the option of having an R18+ rating, they would classify more games as R18+ because they have that ability and then that way people would be more informed as to the type of content that’s readily available in those types of games.

He added:

If you’re over 18 years old, you should be able to decide for yourself what you think is appropriate.

Doe said of Atkinson, “He has made it clear that he is immune to popular public support, scientific research and reasoned argument.”

The whole show can be downloaded in MP3 format from the National Interest website.
 

Thanks Ryan!


Comments

Re: Atkinson and Gamers4Croydon's Doe Debate (Sort of) R18+ ...

If you’re over 18 years old, you should be able to decide for yourself what you think is appropriate.

Yeah him saying this is ridiculous. He just now lost his argument. Can he be more idiotic?! The thing I don't understand is all the other politicians around in other countries don't want violent games for anyone, b/c a child(ren) could still see it. & interactive games are going to be around for awhile. & him playing games like on the wii that are interactive.......I guess he thinks he can have it his way. But all those interactive games on the wii are usually little kid games & weird looking cartoonish people to play as. ugh! Yeah he sounds like an idiot.

 

"It's better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." - Montgomery Gentry

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Re: Atkinson and Gamers4Croydon's Doe Debate (Sort of) R18+ ...

For me, there has been all this talk about how Game Classification and age ratings are supposed to protect kids from dangerous material that they should not be able to see, but in reality that view is not really realistic and it is fueled with allot of big headdedness that it is not even estetik to mention how much that opinion is flawed.

Re: Atkinson and Gamers4Croydon's Doe Debate (Sort of) R18+ ...

Even though the OFLC has banned games, they have also allowed other games in that could have also been banned, so I would not go out of my way to discreddit the Classification system at all, instead I would want to make their job allot more easier and less stressful by allowing an R18+ Classification for Videogames.

To make them more in line with movies and DVDs that have the same rating and no it is not going to allow a flood of violent and sexy games on the market, instead it will allow parents to be informed all with a simple look at a front cover of a game box/case.

 

TBoneTony

Re: Atkinson and Gamers4Croydon's Doe Debate (Sort of) R18+ ...

Even though the person in charge of the program did not know everything about what was being talked about when it comes to videogames, he did seem to be well informed and perhaps used a bit of his experience with movie classification. Perhaps he is one in a million not to take a personal side against gamers.

 

TBoneTony

Re: Atkinson and Gamers4Croydon's Doe Debate (Sort of) R18+ ...

I also believe that the OFLC should have their say, not only the current Classification board but also the members of the former OFLC who were sacked all because Mr Atkinson was not happy with their job.

We need those people to also weigh in on the debate so the public will have a full and clear understanding of the issue.

The Gamers have had their voice (although we have been limited and marginalised over the years)

The industry and lobby groups have had their voice, (although some more sensational and newsworthy than others.)

Only a few politicians have had their voice (once again some shout allot of hot air more than others without having any knowlage of what they are saying.)

So I think it is only fair that we have the view of the people who are most affected by Mr Atkinson's opinion more than anyone else, the OFLC and the Classification board in general.

To me, there has been all this talk about how Game Classification and age ratings are suppose to protect kids from material that they should not be able to see, but in reality that view is not really realistic and it is fueled with allot of big headdedness that it is not even funny to mention how much that opinion is flawed.

The real relevence of the Classification System is to inform parents so the parents can decide for themselves what they want their kids to see while at the same time allow adults who are over a certain age to be able to determine themselves what they want to view or play.=

Like one day I went into the lounge room wanting to watch Pokemon on one September's morning in 2001, and all I got was planes flying into buildings and people dying in real life and the images were repeated in my mind at a tender age of 15.

Nothing could have saved me from viewing it, but what my parents did was that they carefully explained to me about things in the world and how the world would never be as perfect as what we once though it could be.

They also told me that the most frightening thing they experienced when they were younger was the prospect of World War 3 and how bombs were going to be dropped in every major city of the world.

So yeah, Classification is not perfect, but being able to inform parents about the content that a game has is perhaps the most accurate way to describe what the game ratings are all about.

 

TBoneTony

Re: Atkinson and Gamers4Croydon's Doe Debate (Sort of) R18+ ...

I commend the Gamers 4 Croydon, for trying to take a political stand and find a suitable candidate who can run against this guy in next years State Election in South Australia.

The party needs to find someone who lives in Croydon who also does care about the issue, without being too emotionally involved to be taken apart by Atkinson when he tries to publicly demonise gamers which is always bound to happen.

Like in a game the bad guy (Atkinson) will always try to sway public opinion his way and to bully the good guys (the gamers who run against him) that he is more powerful with his breath of fire and awesome magical tricks like fire lightning from the sky.

What the gamers who run against him need to do is to formulate a plan of what to say and how to say it and they need all the evidence from the Byron Review and also from the book Grand Theft Childhood to present their side of the story to the people of Croydon and also to remind everyone that the OFLC are doing the best job they can, they have 3 rules, such as that kids need to be protected against things that parents don't want to them to see at the same time adults need to be able to play what ever game they want. the 3rd rule is that society needs to be protected against the most offencive things like child porn for example.

 

Whether you think that Hentai games contain such things is based on opinion but at the same time you need to understand that the characters depicted in these games are not real, but that is only from my view and of cource everyone has an opinion, I also believe that when we are talking about such games being classified as an R18+ rating, we must not confuse ourselves with the X18+ rating which is for the pornographic games, so to even suggest that Hentai games from Japan would pass as an R18+ rated game is a poor understanding of what the difference between the R18+ rating and the X18+ rating, also knowing that Australia follows by the American market so even if the R18+ rating could cater to Hentai games, it will only be the ones with consensual sex and things like graphic rape will never be allowed in Australia even with an R18+.

But in the end, Hentai games will never be allowed on any one the consoles because we follow the american market and the Japanese Market is in another castle because they have their laws...so they can do what they want regardless of what other countries do because that is Japan, they can do what they want. Different country with a different way of seeing things.

 

So if we are to talk about R18+ rating for videogames, make sure you make things relevent to the discussion at the same time call out against Atkinson when he is making a complete jackass of himself by talking about games that will never be allowed in with an R18+ rating.

 

The OFLC people are like umpires in a football match, yet they have been abused by the person who is not allowing them to do their job at the best of their ability. By allowing an R18+ rating, the OFLC will then be able to do their job with the small percentage of the games that do need an R18+ rating to cater for them at the same time informing parents so they can be clear on what age group this game is made for at the same time allowing adults to decide what they want.

 

TBoneTony

Re: Atkinson and Gamers4Croydon's Doe Debate (Sort of) R18+ ...

Not being able to understand his kids passion for videogames and instead looks down on them as violent and depraved criminals of the future, and wanting to stay in political power in order to help his own parenting, he has already failed as a parent in my book.

Seriously, why would one man want to discreddit the rating system that has been orthorised by the government to rate videogames.

I think that Australia needs an independant rating system, it may not stop Atkinson and his rantings but it will be more informative for parents and be fair for adult gamers who hate being treated like kids. 

TBoneTony

Re: Atkinson and Gamers4Croydon's Doe Debate (Sort of) R18+ ...

The political party of thieves and crooks wants to better the world. Because HE doesn't want it.

Yeah, Mr. Atkinson, and it's only in your very own view of the world that you also were elected BY THE PEOPLE because YOU DON'T WANT IT.

ZAR.

Re: Atkinson and Gamers4Croydon's Doe Debate (Sort of) R18+ ...

I’m opposed to extreme and cruel violence being dissipated in interactive games.

Thats your opinion, against the vast number of gamers over 18 who are old enough to decide what they can and cant watch. Your job as a politician is to serve the best interests of the benefactors, that is the people, not your own personal beliefs. Keep continuing this stance and Australia will become both geographically and intellectually remote.

The decision on this game [Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2], to give it an MA15+ classification is a matter for the Commonwealth Classification Board. I‘ll be appealing against that classification. It doesn’t surprise me because the Classification Board in Australia does everything to try to get games in under the radar, and films generally. Just because the system is not being applied properly, does not mean that the principles of the system are wrong.

Hang on a second. Appealing against the MA15+ classification Modern Warfare 2 is highly hypercritical on your part, considering that your vetoing of the R rating narrows the classification down to a lower level. By doing so, you have effectively given the go ahead for underage children and uniformed parents to purchase extremely violent video games. Its shocking to hear that you call this a working system when it clearly does the opposite of your intentions.

No, no… What I want the Classification Board to do is to apply the guidelines properly. I don’t want the extremely violent, sexually depraved and drug use games in Australia at all. We can’t stop these interactive games getting into the home and getting into the hands of children.

You're right. We cant even stop these games from being imported into Australia so why not apply a rating system that satisfiess both parents of minors and those who are mature enough to handle violent video games?  You constantly back your argument up by saying that parental controls can easily be bypassed by techsavvy kids. It does not take tech savvyness to crack into the parantal controls. It only takes a poorly chosen password thats as generic as "1234". Any tech savvy person will also tell you that good password systems require you to know the password first before you can change it.

The vast majority of Australians have not turned their mind to the question of an R18+ classification for interactive games. It’s just not an issue out there in the electorate. Most Australians don’t think about it. Like me, many of them enjoy playing games such as the Wii.

If its an issue that the vast majority of Australians dont care about but gamers and parents of minors do then an R rating should not be difficult to implement.


 

 

 


 

Re: Atkinson and Gamers4Croydon's Doe Debate (Sort of) R18+ ...

Is there I reason I never hear parental controls on consoles, or simply locked cupboards mentioned?

It seems strange to continue allowing Atkinson to base so much of his argument on that claim, when it can be so easily proven false.

Re: Atkinson and Gamers4Croydon's Doe Debate (Sort of) R18+ ...

Dear god. Was Jack Thompson cloned at birth, then cleverly given gene therapy to alter his appearance so he could infiltrate the Australian government?

Re: Atkinson and Gamers4Croydon's Doe Debate (Sort of) R18+ ...

Hey that's an insult to Jack. The man's worked hard on his flavor of crazy and ego don't compare him to such an amateur.

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

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: Atkinson and Gamers4Croydon's Doe Debate (Sort of) R18+ ...

I wouldn't consider him an amateur per say, after all who is in an actual position of power and who's unemployed.

Re: Atkinson and Gamers4Croydon's Doe Debate (Sort of) R18+ ...

Gotta love Atkinson, he doesnt trust the OFLC and refuses to reform the system he doesnt trust. Way to go.

 

and yes, you're quite right, he wants R18 stuff in an MA rating, no matter how he tries to spin it, the OFLC's job is NOT to filter out offensive material, but appropriately classifiy material by viewing ages. Just because a game is excessively violent or had quesitonable subject matter, does not make it grounds for an R rating, but given the option, the OFLC would do what any sensible classification board anywhere in the world does, and gives it a higher rating "just to be on the safe side". What atkinson is doing is removing the option to air on the safe side by forcing games to be classified as MA.

 

What makes things funnier? 900 games were released last year, over 50% of them were rated R in the world, all of them, bar 10 were rating at the highest MA in Australia 10 were banned, but those 10 were X or RC in other countries that DID have an R rating option.

This doesn't mean atkinson's idea is working, it means he's setting a double standard by guarenteeing R games in an M catagory.

Re: Atkinson and Gamers4Croydon's Doe Debate (Sort of) R18+ ...

"We can’t stop these interactive games getting into the home and getting into the hands of children"

Again he seems to be forgetting about parents. And why does no one ever point that out to him?

Re: Atkinson and Gamers4Croydon's Doe Debate (Sort of) R18+ ...

Becuse his constiuants have no parents....


Until lobbying is a hanging offense I choose anarchy! Stop supporting big media and furthering the criminalization of consumers!! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Atkinson and Gamers4Croydon's Doe Debate (Sort of) R18+ ...

Like me, many of them enjoy playing games such as the Wii.

Okay this made me lol.  He apparently thinks the Wii itself is a game.  Love how he tries to "connect" with the gaming crowd and then fails epicly.

"Go ahead and hate your neighbor, go ahead and cheat a friend. Do it in the name of Heaven, Jack Thompson'll justify it in the end." - nightwng2000

"Go ahead and hate your neighbor, go ahead and cheat a friend. Do it in the name of Heaven, Jack Thompson'll justify it in the end." - nightwng2000

Re: Atkinson and Gamers4Croydon's Doe Debate (Sort of) R18+ ...

So hes ok with R rated stuff being rated as 15?


Until lobbying is a hanging offense I choose anarchy! Stop supporting big media and furthering the criminalization of consumers!! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Atkinson and Gamers4Croydon's Doe Debate (Sort of) R18+ ...

The Continental Cretin of Australia Michael Atkinson continues to prove himself to be a coward and a pathetic individual who doesn't have the testicular fortitude to give Australians what they've wanted 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: Atkinson and Gamers4Croydon's Doe Debate (Sort of) R18+ ...

"The Continental Cretin of Australia"...

Great nickname, and well deserved.

 

They will look up and shout "Give ROFLCOPTERS to us"... and I´ll whisper "NO". The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com

Re: Atkinson and Gamers4Croydon's Doe Debate (Sort of) R18+ ...

Ok, so far we have: The Continental Cretin and the Metropolitan Moron, Bets on the nickname for the NEXT self-serving censor/asshole starting at 5z

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Re: Atkinson and Gamers4Croydon's Doe Debate (Sort of) R18+ ...

I love how he accused the host of being paid off by the games industry.  Looks like he takes a page from the most legendary of anti-game misfits. 

Re: Atkinson and Gamers4Croydon's Doe Debate (Sort of) R18+ ...

As I said, the Jack Thompson of Australia, and not the actor either.

Re: Atkinson and Gamers4Croydon's Doe Debate (Sort of) R18+ ...

I noticed that, too. I hope the asking price was higher than the $500 for a state governor.

Re: Atkinson and Gamers4Croydon's Doe Debate (Sort of) R18+ ...

I don’t want the extremely violent, sexually depraved and drug use games in Australia at all.

Glad to see Atkinson's true censor happy colors come out in public. He wants to block access for everyone of any content he doesn't approve of. Glad to know.

I also like that he feels that games like MW2 slipping through is a reason to continue the block of the R-18 rating. If anything it is a reason for it as Doe kindly pointed out. if you are not going to be able to completely block a game from coming into Australia, you might as well have the capability to classify it according to law so that it can be regulated according to law.

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

Re: Atkinson and Gamers4Croydon's Doe Debate (Sort of) R18+ ...

I really think they should ram this point home a lot more. Stop making it about the R18+ rating and start making about how Atkinson thinks HE is the arbiter of content in Australia.

Atkinson is, to an extent, correct, I seriously doubt a significant chunk of Australians are going to cast their vote based on his ratings position.

What they MIGHT be more interested in is the fact that Atkinson clearly has no intention to stop at games. He all but admits he'd like to pursue a similar policy for films.

Drive THAT point home. "Hey, this guy doesn't want to censor GAMES, he wants to censor EVERYTHING." 

Make THAT the campaign. Not "Atkinson wants to censor games," but rather "Atkinson thinks he has the power and the right to decide what content YOU get to see period. He doesn't think you're smart enough to make your own decisions he thinks its HIS call what movies you should see, what games you should play, what books you should read."

Make this about Atkinsons clear preference of an autocratic state where content and media is controlled by a government bureaucrat.

Turn Atkinson into an Orwellian nightmare come to life and people WILL start to pay attention

Re: Atkinson and Gamers4Croydon's Doe Debate (Sort of) R18+ ...

Finally!! After going months without a sighting, RapeLay once again gets mentioned at GamePoltics. If they can just manage to throw in the word "disgusting," I'll feel like it's deja vu all over again.  

Re: Atkinson and Gamers4Croydon's Doe Debate (Sort of) R18+ ...

New editor, remember?

Re: Atkinson and Gamers4Croydon's Doe Debate (Sort of) R18+ ...

Oh give him a break it's not his fault Atkinson likes to pretend that game's somehow relevant to the issue.

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

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: Atkinson and Gamers4Croydon's Doe Debate (Sort of) R18+ ...

"I wouldn't put it past the Classification Board to make [RapeLay] an R rated game frankly."

I shouln't have put it past Atkinson to realize that RapeLay was voluntarily marked not to leave Japan.

 

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

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

Re: Atkinson and Gamers4Croydon's Doe Debate (Sort of) R18+ ...

>He has made it clear that he is immune to popular public support, scientific research and reasoned argument.

Ouch.

>The vast majority of Australians have not turned their mind to the question of an R18+ classification for interactive games. It’s just not an issue out there in the electorate. Most Australians don’t think about it.

In which case, all the time, money and resources you're wasting on the matter is for nothing: your constituents don't care that you're doing it, so let the rating through and spend the time on things your constituents do care about. Simple!

/b

 
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