ACL Attacks O'Conner for Comments on R18+ Classification

March 17, 2011 -

Responding to public comments from Australian Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor about the desire to have a consensus about an R18+ game classification at July's SCAG meeting, the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has come out swinging. The ACL issued a statement saying that the ban on games that require a classification higher than the current rating of R15 should continue as it is.

First, let's look at what Brendan O'Connor said to ABC Australia:

"We're becoming the laughing stock of the developed world, where we're the only country that doesn't have an R18 classification level for video games," he said. "I foreshadow that if there is not a consensus around this issue, the Commonwealth will certainly be considering other options because we cannot continue to have an outdated classification system that's actually, in my view, causing harm to young people."

O'Connor pledged to not let this issue go - mainly because the general public has called for it:

"I'm not going to let this matter end because it's too important to allow one or two jurisdictions to stop the majority of jurisdictions in this country moving on an important reform," O'Connor said. "But can I say my very strong preference is to have consensus around the table in July."

The Australian Christian Lobby is leading the charge against the R18+ classification, claiming that it will make it easier for children to access violent games. Here is what they said in response to O'Connor:

"The Minister for Home Affairs, Brendan O’Connor, is continuing the push for an R18+ computer game classification with his recent comments which could open the way for games containing extreme interactive violence and sex to be more readily available in Australia.

Currently these types of games are Refused Classification but, as the Minister has admitted, some have been wrongly classified and allowed into the MA15+ category.

Commercial gaming interests are pushing for the ban on R18+ to be lifted and Mr O’Connor wants this to occur when Censorship Ministers meet at the SCAG (Standing Committee of Attorneys General) in July.

ACL believes it would be counterproductive for SCAG to pre-empt the review of the broken National Classification Scheme which Mr O’Connor and the Attorney General, Robert McClelland, announced before Christmas.

ACL does not accept the argument that introducing an R18+ category for games would protect children as it would be naive to think that children would not get a hold of them.

All of the State and Territory Children’s Commissioners told a Government inquiry last year that the ban on an R18+ classification should remain."

Commentary: I really only have a couple of comments for the ACL: You cannot legislate morality or support censorship of free speech. Encouraging the ban of creative works is tantamount to the government of the Soviet Union banning the Bible and religion in the 1970's. It's censorship under the guise of protecting children. Children should be protected, but adults should have the right to buy games because - as most religions claim - mankind has free will. Support free will.

Thanks to Uncharted NES for the links.


Comments

Re: ACL Attacks O'Conner for Comments on R18+ Classification

Doesn't the Bible have a few violent scenes in it?

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

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: ACL Attacks O'Conner for Comments on R18+ Classification

"Currently these types of games are Refused Classification but, as the Minister has admitted, some have been wrongly classified and allowed into the MA15+ category." 

Take a look at the list of baned games in Australia, it is surprisingly short. The majority of titles that should be R18+ are rated as MA15+. The purpose of a classification system ought to be to provide ratings, rather than censoring content. Just because that is what you want it to be doesn't make it so.

Re: ACL Attacks O'Conner for Comments on R18+ Classification

Yes, but it doesn't show how many of the MA15+ rated games were revised to avoid getting banned.

-- http://pixelantes.blogspot.com/

Re: ACL Attacks O'Conner for Comments on R18+ Classification

I say let these people keep talking. I don't care how religuous you are, most people would read this and immediatly proclaim "zealot" and move on with their lives.

Who I really feel bad for is the children of this ACL gas bag.

Re: ACL Attacks O'Conner for Comments on R18+ Classification

Religion poisons everything. 

Re: ACL Attacks O'Conner for Comments on R18+ Classification

Ahem, no, just the crazy ones do thank you very much.

Re: ACL Attacks O'Conner for Comments on R18+ Classification

To be honest, they are all crazy. If you believe in the great Sky Spirit of any color or kind then you are not exactly sane, are you? 
Its not just the "crazy" ones, whole swaths of religious people support what the church tells them to support. If the pastor says "Videogames are poising the youth, we must ban the R18 classification!" then lots of normal, non-pamphlet handing out type people will parrot the same thing.

The funny thing is that these games are just pirated instead, freely and with no ID check in the comfort of their own home. Or imported. Or bought through an online service.

Re: ACL Attacks O'Conner for Comments on R18+ Classification

Sadly, it's the crazy ones that are most vocal and tend to be viewed as the speakers for <insert religion here>.

 

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

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

Re: ACL Attacks O'Conner for Comments on R18+ Classification

Dear Lord! This is an embarrassment to Christians everywhere!

Yeah, censoring games is just like censoring religion. Why do you think we, in the U.S. put Freedom of Religion, Speech, Press, and Peaceful Assembly all in one Amendment?

Re: ACL Attacks O'Conner for Comments on R18+ Classification

While your at it repeal any and all equal treatment and fair rights to Aborigines and women!


I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/cigital-disobedience/


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

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Mattsworknameanother07/28/2015 - 9:16pm
Mattsworknameyou HAVE TO click on it. So they get the click revenue weather you like what it says or not. as such, the targeting of advertisers most likely seemed like a good course of action to those who wanted to hold those media groups accountable for one reason07/28/2015 - 9:16pm
MattsworknameBut, when you look at online media, it's completely different, with far more options, but far few ways to address issues that the consumers may have. In tv, you don't like what they show, you don't watch. But in order to see if you like something online07/28/2015 - 9:12pm
MattsworknameIn tv, and radio, ratings are how it works. your ratings determine how well you do and how much money you an charge.07/28/2015 - 9:02pm
Mattsworknameexpect to do so without someone wanting to hold you to task for it07/28/2015 - 9:00pm
MattsworknameMecha: I don't think anyone was asking for Editoral changes, what they wanted was to show those media groups that if they were gonna bash there own audiance, the audiance was not gonna take it sitting down. you can write what you want, but you can't07/28/2015 - 8:56pm
MattsworknameAndrew, Im asking as a practical question, Have gamers, as a group, ever asked for a game, or other item, to be banned. Im trying to see if theres any cases anyone else remembers cause I cant find or remember any.07/28/2015 - 8:55pm
Andrew EisenAs mentioned, Gamasutra isn't a gaming site, it's a game industry site. I don't feel it's changed its focus at all. Also, I don't get the sense that the majority of the people who took issue with that one opinion piece were regular readers anyway.07/28/2015 - 8:43pm
MattsworknameDitto kotaku, Gawker, VOX, Polygon, ETC07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
MechaTama31So, between pulling a game from one chain of stores, and forcing editorial changes to a media source, only one of them strikes you as being on the edge of censorship, and it's the game one?07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
Andrew EisenHave gamers ever tried to ban a product? Can you be more specific? I'm not clear what you're getting at.07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
Mattsworknamethey should have expected some kind of blow back. But I didn't participate in that specific action07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
MattsworknameAndrew Youd have to ask others about that, I actualyl didn't have much beef with them till last year, so I can't speak to there history. I simply feel that gamesutra chose politics over gaming and chose to make enimies of it's prime audiance. For that,07/28/2015 - 8:40pm
Andrew EisenI'm still not clear on how Gamasutra was lacking in accountability or what it was lacking in accountability for.07/28/2015 - 8:38pm
MattsworknameAndrew: You and I agree on most of that. I don't diagree that there should ahve been other actions taken. Now, I do want to point something out, casue Im not sure if it's happened. Have gamers ever tried to have a product banned?07/28/2015 - 8:37pm
Mattsworknameimproperly. Neither is good, but one is on the edge of censorship to me, while the other is demanding some level of accountability from public media provider. but thats just my view point07/28/2015 - 8:36pm
MattsworknameEZK: You can treat it as bullying or what not, As I've pointed out, I didn't like either practice, I made that clear. But I do hold some different between trying to pull a product from the shelves, and calling out a media outlet that you feel has acted07/28/2015 - 8:35pm
E. Zachary KnightMatt, So you feel confident enough to make the call that petitioning target to remove GTAV is "bullying and threatening" but not confident enough to make the call on Intel/Gamasutra. Finding it hard to take your gripes seriously.07/28/2015 - 8:27pm
Andrew EisenAs for gamers holding media sites accountable? If you mean, how to respond to opinion pieces you disagree with, yes, there are tons of more appropriate means.07/28/2015 - 8:27pm
Andrew EisenAgain, no one likes being lumped in with the bad apples. Gamers or feminists so lets all strive not to do that, yes? Could the petitioners gone about it a better way? Yes, it could have been more factual in its petition, for starters.07/28/2015 - 8:25pm
 

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