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.