Atkinson on Discussion Paper, Threats

While South Australian Attorney General Michael Atkinson does believe that public reaction to a recently released discussion paper will be overwhelmingly in favor of the addition of an R18+ videogame rating category, he does not intend to change his stance on the topic anytime soon.

Atkinson, speaking to GameSpot, thinks that responses to the discussion paper will be overwhelmingly positive because only gamers are weighing in on the subject, not the public at large.

The Attorney General is also not pleased that images from mature videogames were not inserted into the discussion paper as exhibits per his request:

I don’t think the discussion paper presents a fair and balanced view of the issue without pictures of the games that would be rated R18+. I think the majority of the population are unfamiliar with these games and without images, they won’t be able to imagine them in their mind’s eye. They’ll have no idea how violent or sexually depraved they are, and what kind of torture, drug use, and blood spatter they include.

Atkinson has also been the target of a steady stream of attacks. He describes the latest occurrence:

It’s unlikely I’ll change my stance [on R18+ for games] anytime soon, considering the last death threat I received was pushed under my door at 2am, presumably by someone who doesn’t like my stance on R18+. It was like something out of a Hollywood film–letters cut from magazine headlines arranged together on a page. I receive abusive emails from anonymous senders on a daily basis.

Atkinson also indicated that the threats will not move him:

I’ll consider changing my mind about all this when the gaming community decide to behave in a civil fashion and apologise for the theats to me and my family. But I don’t plan to back down from the fight. I started my mission and I plan to finish it.

Responses to the discussion paper are due by February 28.

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48 comments

  1. 0
    Ambiguous says:

    "I’ll consider changing my mind about all this when the gaming community decide to behave in a civil fashion and apologise for the theats to me and my family."

    This line right here guarantees he’ll never do that.  He’s judging us all from the actions of a few idiots.  If the gaming community as a whole were sending him death threats, that is, a majority of gamers had sent a death threat at some time or another, then he would be receiving hundreds a week, not a few every 2 weeks or so.  I’m sure as hell not going to apologize for someone elses mistakes either, thats their business, and Atkinson needs to make his arguments a little more mature.

    He doesn’t want to change, and this is just him using the article as an opportunity to take a shot at us.

    His first comment is also just plain wrong.  He talks like the content of the game should actually be used as a basis of whether or not to allow it at all.  Maybe an R18 game will be full of blood, decapitations, and good ol’ entrails, and certainly isn’t for kids, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t exist in the first place.  Thats not for him to decide for us.

  2. 0
    SimonBob says:

    It was like something out of a Hollywood film–letters cut from magazine headlines arranged together on a page.

    Dear Mr. Atkinson, on behalf of all scrapbook enthusiasts, I apologize that one of us used our powers for evil to make a threatening letter.  The vast majority of scrapbookers prefer to make collages of assorted celebrities or juxtaposed compositions of newspaper articles.  I have no idea if the message you received was meant to underline an opinion on entertainment or simply the Labor Unity’s positions, but I speak for all of us when I say that scissors and paste should never be employed in the terrorization of a man’s family.


    Fangamer

  3. 0
    BearDogg-X says:

    The Continental Cretin of Australia should quit lying about being “threatened” since it sounds like he got his ideas from the movies.

    There has been civil discourse from the community, however, Atkinson continues to find ways to weasel out of it like the chicken shit that he is.

    Grow up, get some testicular fortitude, and get a life, Atkinson, and give Australians what they’ve been wanting for a while.

    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)

  4. 0
    Ryno says:

    "Atkinson, speaking to GameSpot, thinks that responses to the discussion paper will be overwhelmingly positive because only gamers are weighing in on the subject, not the public at large."

    And what proof does he have for this? Couldn’t there be concerned citizens who see where Atkinson wants to go with this, and his movies rantings, as a sign that he wants to control what they can and cannot do? Couldn’t they, maybe, foresee that lack of an R18 rating sets a precedent for further forms of censorship and they’re just taking a stand for their own freedom of choice? Maybe, just maybe, the people of Australia are more informed than Atkinson believes, because he apparently thinks they’re all ignorant idiots.

     

    Saying that Jack Thompson is impotent is an insult to impotent men everywhere. They’ve got a whole assortment of drugs that can cure their condition; Jack, however…

  5. 0
    MechaTama31 says:

    "I’ll consider changing my mind about all this when the gaming community decide to behave in a civil fashion and apologise for the theats to me and my family."

    Sure, pal.  We’ll have a discussion about that at the next Gaming Community meeting.  *eyeroll*  Get real.  The gaming community is not some cohesive organization, with the ability to control its members or make a meaningful apology.  It’s just a bunch of people who like games, some of whom are immature douchebags (just as some politicians are immature douchebags).  There is no way for us to make the nutbags stop harassing him.  Of course, he knows this.  This is his way of sounding like he’s being reasonable, while what he’s actually saying is that he’ll change his mind when hell freezes over.  He’s using the few wackos to justify dismissing all the rest of us.  Typical of his ilk.

  6. 0
    Skillz817 says:

    "I’ll consider changing my mind about all this when the gaming community decide to behave in a civil fashion"

    Yes, some gamers  who lack the ability to convince people to their side of an argument and indulge to insults and death threats give the gamers who are rational and are willing to discuss things in a such a manner a bad name, but you should do the same.

    Courage is not the absence of fear, but the strength to overcome it.

  7. 0
    Father Time says:

    Wasn’t Atkinson the one who refused a discussion with the other AGs? It kinds of makes his cravings for a civil debate seem rather suspicious now.

    —————————————————-

    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
    Father Time says:

    On a third note how the hell are we supposed to stop some immature individual from e-mailing Atkinson something nasty? I know they don’t have free speech in Australia but the guy’s e-mail is public.

    —————————————————-

    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.

  9. 0
    Father Time says:

    I’m a little skeptical that you get death threats every day so post some of them and then we (or I at least) will consider an apology. Your move.

    Seriously though, apologizing on behalf of idiots in return for R18 seems like a good deal (yes I know how fucked up that is). Although I’m a little skeptical he’ll go through with his end and that instead he’ll pull a jack thompson ‘modest proposal’ of ‘oh you didn’t fulfill my exact demands’ and not do anything.

    —————————————————-

    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.

  10. 0
    Father Time says:

    So you’ll change your mind when we apologize for actions we did not commit?

    Why am I reminded of some racist creep who won’t change their ways until they receive reperations and/or an apology for some wrongs that happened at least 100 years ago?

    —————————————————-

    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.

  11. 0
    asmodai says:

    Atkinson is not after a civil discourse, if he was, he would have already concurred with every other AG who is either ambivalent about R18+ or for it.  He is the only stop from a unanimous consensus of the AG’s.

    There has also been a lot of reasoned discourse, Wyld off games.on.net forums (which is hosted by Internode, an ISP in South Australia) has done some great work, the submissions to the R18+ rating review (including my own), various blogs/commentaries/open letters have all been very civil and state the facts, staying away from the typical internet anonymous ‘ZOMG YOU SUCK CHODE, I KEEL JOO!!!’.

    But as EZK noted, it’s the handful of nutjobs that give the rest a bad name.  It also gives Atkinson a viable excuse for stubbornly holding his ground in the face of overwhelming evidence/opposition, when he never intended to give ground any way.

  12. 0
    Longjocks says:

    Not only are death threats not acceptable at all, you have to worry about the reasoning behind a fool that thinks such threats help instead of hinder the issue. However, as said in several comments before me it’s equally ridiculous that Atkinson presume the majority aren’t persuing civil discourse. (I’m making the assumption that it may be a gamer and that it even happened at all)

    I find it somewhat hypocritical that someone who remains ignorantly defiant in his dogmatic opinions should criticise the discussion paper for not being fair and balanced. I’d also like to know how inserting violent images out of context could be considered fair and balanced?

    So, he wants civil discourse? Well I would like discourse based on sound logic and reasoning, but it’s certainly not happening from his camp.

  13. 0
    MonkeyPeaches says:

    maybe they should try to change the law so you only need 2/3 majority to pass stuff, rather then try to change atkinson’s mind, or try to bribe him with a year’s supply of Vegemite.

  14. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    One thing that irritates me is dipsticks like Atkinson and JT who insist on judging an entire group of people by their worst specimens.

     

    Andrew Eisen

  15. 0
    gellymatos says:

    *facepalm* Why must immature gamers speak for us?! The only thing that pisses me off more than people like Atkinson or Jack are the gamers who gave and continue to give us a bad name!!!

  16. 0
    Kincyr says:

     

    [my latest death threat] was like something out of a Hollywood film–letters cut from magazine headlines arranged together on a page. I receive abusive emails from anonymous senders on a daily basis.

     

    I’m pretty sure that was due to your recent stance on R18+ movies rather than your stance on games.

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

  17. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    "I don’t think the discussion paper presents a fair and balanced view of the issue without pictures of the games that would be rated R18+."

    By describing such games as "sexually depraved" and including "torture," you don’t present a fair and balanced view either.

    "It’s unlikely I’ll change my stance [on R18+ for games] anytime soon, considering the last death threat I received…"

    What does your stance on the R18 rating have to do with it?  Are you trying to make a case that the R18 games that folks can’t play are making them act the way they do?

    "I’ll consider changing my mind about all this when the gaming community decide to behave in a civil fashion and apologise for the theats to me and my family."

    1.  They already are.  Perhaps you heard about the two peaceful rallies held in the last two months?

    2.  The people threatening you do not represent the gaming community.  Furthermore, surely the R18 rating isn’t the only issue you’re getting nasty letters about.

     

    Andrew Eisen

  18. 0
    Beacon80 says:

    Atkinson, speaking to GameSpot, thinks that responses to the discussion paper will be overwhelmingly positive because only gamers are weighing in on the subject, not the public at large.

    So, if 20% feel strongly about something, and 80% just doesn’t care at all, the proper course of action is to screw over the 20%?

    His arguments that violent video games are harmful would justify this, if there was any actual evidence supporting this.

    I’m going to end this by pointing out that the US system, however flawed it may be, is far better than the Australian system because it only requires a majority, or a 2/3rds majority, instead of unanimous votes, which prevents a lone, backwards thinking prick from having his own way.

  19. 0
    Erik says:

    Aren’t death threats pretty well par for the course as far politicians?  Why does this shock him?

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

  20. 0
    Afirejar says:

    Someone who is willing to screw millions of people over to get to a few people he dislikes has no business in a public office. I can fully understand, why he gets hate mail.

  21. 0
    GoodRobotUs says:

    The more he says, the more obvious it is that he believes the world should live by his standards, a few people write threatening Emails, and he leaps on this as though his getting nasty letters is somehow justification for his position rather than condemnation of it, only a Politician could pull that trick out of the hat.

  22. 0
    Vake Xeacons says:

    Actually, you should see some of these other forums. I obviously can’t read Atkinson’s email, but I’ve been to some lowly forums (not high class like GP)…DEAR GOD! You’d think this is where Trolls are born!

    I have no doubt Atkinson is receiving death threats daily. Just like JT did. There was no logic in these arguments. No "Games have been proven to be healthy so-on and so-forth…" Just "You (censored) (bleeping) I’ll (bleeping) your (bleeping) (censored) in the (bleeping) (bleep)!" Only not spelled as well.

    It’s hard to put a logical argument together when you got an army of Trolls in the way.

  23. 0
    TK n Happy Ness says:

    He blames other people when in reality, he only has himself to blame. Everyone else is in favor of having a rating higher, but he’s the only one that stands in the way of it. That’s why people want him dead.

    When Jack Thompson runs his mouth, does anyone really care what he has to say anymore?

  24. 0
    ryagor says:

     " I think the majority of the population are unfamiliar with these games and without images, they won’t be able to imagine them in their mind’s eye. They’ll have no idea how violent or sexually depraved they are, and what kind of torture, drug use, and blood spatter they include."

    So… two possibilities here I guess. a: He’s completely wrong in what he’s saying and most games are not "depraved". or b: He’s right the people who are all adamant about a R18+ rating and have no knowledge about the subject because its not included in this one discussion paper. Which of course begs the question, if no one else can get accurate information then how in the hell does he get his?

  25. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    He doesn’t want any discussion to happen at all as he likely knows his own arguments are based on lies and fear mongering and he’s only doing it for control and not for anyone’s best interest but his own.


  26. 0
    kagirinai says:

    It’s pretty easy to dismiss an entire group of people based on the presumed actions of one. This threatening letter he mentions — he’s not even certain that it’s from a gamer, so it’s clearly all excuses at this stage. Ridiculous, and incorrigible.

  27. 0
    Cecil475 says:

    If the gaming public were not as ‘civi’ as he says, he would be dead already, and replaced by someone else ready to take on his work and use it to supress gaming even more. But so far, all I’ve seen are petitions and orderly public demonstrations. True, there will be those immature dorks who think sending death threats will get the job done, when in reality it undoes all the work everyone else is doing.

     – W

  28. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    *facepalm* He’s a Jack Thompson with political power alright.

    He gets one death threat that we know of, ONE, and somehow no one i nthe gaming community at all is being civil.

    Many among gamers actually are civil, intelligent people who will debate in a mature manner. Of course Atkinson evidently wishes to use the crazies as an excuse to not discuss the matter of a possible R18 rating at all.


  29. 0
    CyberSkull says:

    He is a politician.

    He gets hate mail.

    This makes him sad.

    Now if scientists could just finish building that nano-violin…

     

    Now on a serious note, if pictures were to be included would they be from games considered for release in Australia or just a random Japanese Eroge that someone grabbed to prove "games are bad"?

  30. 0
    PeterWDAwson says:

    Can I get a round of "world’s smallest violin?" The guy refuses to be civil, he gets a death threat and a bunch of hate mail, and he blames us? Yeah, no dice.

  31. 0
    Adrian Lopez says:

    "It’s unlikely I’ll change my stance [on R18+ for games] anytime soon, considering the last death threat I received was pushed under my door at 2am, presumably by someone who doesn’t like my stance on R18+."

    So it’s no longer a matter of which position is correct, but of which position screws over those who’ve threatened to kill you?

    "I’ll consider changing my mind about all this when the gaming community decide to behave in a civil fashion and apologise for the theats to me and my family."

    Suuuure you will, Atkinson.

  32. 0
    Zerodash says:

    Whatever, given the way this guy has acted and the lies and name-calling he has done in the issue, I have no sympathy. 

    Oh, and if he was choking to death or drowning in front of me I would NOT try to save him.

  33. 0
    gamegod25 says:

    "I don’t think the discussion paper presents a fair and balanced view of the issue…"

    The only sensible thing the man has ever said, too bad the rest of the sentence screws it up.

    As I’ve said about the discussion paper none of the cons are valid excuses. I’m discounting the fourth on the list mainly becacuse I’m not sure what it even means.

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