Atkinson: Real Life Issues More Important Than "Imaginary Worlds"

November 16, 2009 -

Responding to an inquiry from a gamer about the lack of an R18+ rating for videogames in Australia, Attorney General Michael Atkinson put down his feelings in a long letter.

The Attorney General apparently has little or no plan to change his stance anytime soon.

Among his choicest replies:

I have considered the statistics. I am well aware that many game players are adults. Indeed, a whole generation has now grown-up with computer games. It is not surprising that those who enjoyed gaming as children go on playing into adult life and, indeed, play electronic games with their own children. Added to this, games grow ever more sophisticated, challenging and entertaining, and, accordingly, more attractive to adult players. My three sons are always playing computer games at home and one of them is now 22.

I understand the Wii console has been phenomenally successful for Nintendo and that system provides many games to challenge and develop skill, physically and intellectually, without depraved sex, gore and cruelty.

I am baffled and worried about why proponents of R.18+ games are putting up their hands and saying 'Give us more cruel sex and extreme violence!'

I cannot fathom what State-enforced safeguards could exist to prevent R.18+ games being bought by households with children and how children can be stopped from using these games once the games are in the home. If adult gamers are so keen to have R.18+ games, I expect children would be just as keen.


Atkinson ends the letter with a bit of a diss at those who think this is an important issue:

I think you will find this issue has little traction with my constituents who are more concerned with real-life issues than home entertainment in imaginary worlds.


The full letter can be read on the GrowUpAustralia.com website, a relatively new website designed to champion the introduction of an R18+ rating category.

Gamers4Croydon, the fledgling political party that hopes to run a candidate against Atkinson has posted a rebuttal to the letter from one its founding members, Chris Prior. Among his responses:

Mr Atkinson suggests that if you ask "an adult" how they feel about playing video games, they will "give you ... opinion only." Putting aside that the asked question was in fact about opinion, the implied meaning is that gamers are incapable of examining how games affect them. I, as "an adult" have a range of experiences with games of varied genres. The violent games Mr Atkinson so reviles help me reduce stress and express frustration, just as some people hit a boxing bag or go for a run.


Thanks Michael, Matthew and Ryan


Comments

Re: Atkinson: Real Life Issues More Important Than ...

Someone should request a comment from Jack Thompson, here's a chance to see if he really does want to protect the children or is just an ass:

 

Dear Mr Thompson,

I am sure you are aware, being the professional full-time troll at gamepolitics.com that the South Australian Attorney General is blocking the implmentation of R18+ games in Australia. We would like to know how you feel about this stance? Do you support the ability for games to be classified as adult only, or are you satisfied wiht the current system where games in Australia are rated Ma15+ where they are given Adult ratings in every other country in the world?

Regards,

A Concerned Citizen.

PS: You should take a lesson on censorship from Michael Atkinson, he shows you how it's really done.

something along those lines, see if he is for or against R18+

Re: Atkinson: Real Life Issues More Important Than ...

Atkinson seriously needs to get in the real world see what the real life parents are like that don't care about their own children.

 

 

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

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

Re: Atkinson: Real Life Issues More Important Than ...

Hey...Atkinson, leave us Aussie Gamers alone,

Because all in all, you are just another brick in the wall,

TBoneTony

Re: Atkinson: Real Life Issues More Important Than ...

I feel bad for his 3 boys, they have a father who more wants to prevent certain laws so he could protect them.

Anyone who has to rely on the government for their ability to parent their kids have already failed as parents.

 

TBoneTony

Re: Atkinson: Real Life Issues More Important Than ...

Reality seen through the eyes of a conservative hipocrite. Good night Australia!

ZAR.

Re: Atkinson: Real Life Issues More Important Than ...

Sadly I feel that next March in 2010 will be either we will see any change, or no change at all until 2014, by that time I will be heavily considering leaving Australia for a better country like Canada for example where my choice in buying Videogames will not be influenced due to government opinions.

Plus Mr Atkinson thinks that because allot of videogames are rated G and PG, he thinks there is no need for an R18+ rating.

Sad thing is, this has nothing to do with game sales, it is about the choise of individuals and their right to play games with content that might be offensive for other people.

But why waste my voice on that guy, I am leaving Australia for good anyway to presue a better way of life.

I decided this last year and I am confident now that my goal will still stay the same no matter what happens.

 

TBoneTony

Re: Atkinson: Real Life Issues More Important Than ...

And on the 5th page when he mentions that he had talked to Craig Anderson...

Well, do I need to say more???

TBoneTony

Re: Atkinson: Real Life Issues More Important Than ...

Once when he starts talking about how he finds it hard to draw his 3 sons who are 'addicted' to Videogames (now I am just saying this because that is the way he put it) he then goes on to justify that parents will never have any control over what their kids see and do in videogames.

So in any case, it is all about him using his political power to parent his kids and that is the reason that most of us Australian Adult gamers suffer because of his lack of parenting skills.

I have no sympathy for the guy now. Never had and never will.

 

 

TBoneTony

Re: Atkinson: Real Life Issues More Important Than ...

Reading though his letter, Atkinson states allot of games with examples.

So lets not say he is an idiot, instead he is a smart idiot with power to provoke fear amongst people because he can tell a story really well while manipulating the facts to further his own political opinion.

He may be an idiot, but he is also a smart idiot with power.

 

TBoneTony

Re: Atkinson: Real Life Issues More Important Than ...

I find this point really interesting to read...

"The R18+ debate is not new, the question of wheather we should have an R18+ rating for computer games was on the SCAG agenda before I took office." 

Now keep in mind that Mr Atkinson has been in power in South Australia since 1989...that is at least 6 years before the Classification of Film and Computer Games ACT of 1995 was even formed.

As far as I know, the OFLC had not been classifying Computer Games until games like Mortal Kombat and Knight Trap shock the headlines of computer game violence.

Now to suggest in this letter that the R18+ rating for computer games was considered a topic for the SCAG before Mr Atkinson took office is kinda a joke considering he has held his position of Attorney General since...1989???

 

 Correction: I just found out he became Attorney General in 2002. That sucks considering we had enough time before he got the position to make the R18+ rating for Computer Games avaliable.

 

TBoneTony

Re: Atkinson: Real Life Issues More Important Than ...

I feel bad for the OFLC who have to suck up to this jerk.

The OFLC are only doing their best and when they rate each game, most of the time they are fine,

but when they get given a game who gets given an 18 rating in the UK and an M17+ rating in the USA, they look at it, and either give it an MA15+ (that happens most of the time) or refuse classification based on something like "this looks too real for us") and they ban it all because they declare it unsuitable for persons under 15.

Yet in their classification rules, an MA15+ game states that this is not recogmended for person's under 15, anyone under the age of 15 MUST have parental provision from their parents of adult guardian.

So in any case, I would rather have the OFLC to tell Mr Atkinson to S.T.F.U. and disban on their own to make a Voluntary Rating System like the ESRB or PEGI.

And while Mr Atkinson might jump up and down screaming, he has only himself to blame.

Plus the OFLC gets changed from different government departments over this issue too, so why hasn't the former members of the OFLC ever spoken up about their views yet? Because Mr Atkinson was perhaps the person who made them lose their jobs in the first place.

 

TBoneTony

Re: Atkinson: Real Life Issues More Important Than ...

This, and the Australian Internet Filter that the Labour Government wants to put in, ARE the reasons why I want to move out of Australia.

I am sick and tired of Gamers being Demonised by people in power.

TBoneTony

Re: Atkinson: Real Life Issues More Important Than ...

 He has this look like "once i release this fart the room will smell like freshly baked cookies"

 

And to answer someone above, he sunk to that level when he used his positio nfo power to block something HE  ALONE thought was objectionable. This is what would happen if Thompson and his followers gained ANY kind of momentum.

Re: Atkinson: Real Life Issues More Important Than ...

Mendror: here's the rundown on how it works.

The people elect their local members, these local members cast votes to which part they prefer to be in power. In this case, Michael Atkinson is the local member for Croydon in South Australia. He got his seat with 62% approval rating (highest approval rating in the entire state).

When the Labor party was elected (That's SA's fault again), the Attorney General position in SA is the 3rd highest position next to Premier and Deputy-Premier. It usually goes to the highest approved seat position anywhere in SA (assuming the premier and DP are not as high an approval rating). So Atkinson was nominated by the Labor party because of his approval rating.

SA is the 3rd highest position in the state level cabinet.

NOW, to remove him from power, you need to do the follow:

- Make the Labor party lose the next election to the Liberals, a Labor AG cannot stand in a liberal cabinet.

- Make Atkinson lose his seat in Croydon, an AG has to have a position in the membership and losing a seat means he wouldnt.

- Atkinson needs to be reviled by his party and removed by the premier and cabinet, but SA love him.

- Atkinson needs to resign

- Atkinson needs to to be removed from power due to a scandal (he almost was last year)

But we shouldn't need to do this, if you want someone to blame, blame PHILLIP RUDDOCK. The Federal AG (Top dog) in the austrlian government who in 2006 transferred control of the OFLC among other things to the State AGs. HE is the one that made the system unanimous and gave Atkinson and his pathetic 20,000 person electorate control over the entire country.

Re: Atkinson: Real Life Issues More Important Than ...

You mean the Former Federal AG before the Liberals lost their power in 2007.

I am sure Phillip Ruddock was not the smartest person when he made that decision. Maybe he was not the smartest person to begin with when he suggested that all those Asylum Seekers were throwing their own kids overboard back in 2001 or 2002 when in fact it was their ship had been sinking and the Australian Coast Guard was trying to rescue them in that picture.

Either way, Labor and Liberals are just as worse as each other, yet in Australia we are forced to vote for either of them and if we voted for an independant then their votes would get turned into preferences to the major parties for the lower house.

I wonder what would happen if next years state and federal elections had no liberals or labour parties being elected into their local repersentitive seats.

 

TBoneTony

Re: Atkinson: Real Life Issues More Important Than ...

Isn't there some way for the Australian populace to get this mad moron out of power, because obvisously this dick wad of a goverment official isn't looking out for the better of his people, or realize the potential revenue of R18 games that can bring in.

God who even put him into office for the matter?

---- Rumblerumblerumber

Re: Atkinson: Real Life Issues More Important Than ...

What annoys me the most about this is that we shouldn't even have to rationalise this. It shouldn't matter that the games could be played by children, or that the violence relieves stress. Our arguments about artistic merit and economic benefits, valid though they may be, should be entierly meaningless. This is a matter of free speech and nothing more. We should be able to play whatever we want, no matter how depraved, as a simple matter of birthright.


Hai!

Re: Atkinson: Real Life Issues More Important Than ...

>I think you will find this issue has little traction with my constituents who are more concerned with real-life issues than home entertainment in imaginary worlds.

So why, Mr Atkinson, do you insist on continuing to waste their time and money with the latter? If they're not concerned with issues of games content, then there's no need to block the 18+ rating. Simple!

/b

 

Re: Atkinson: Real Life Issues More Important Than ...

"'Give us more cruel sex and extreme violence!'"

Oh please, the Australian rating system flinches at the sight of blood, freaks out over morphine and even goes batshit at the idea of decapitating zombies, you know fictional creatures. Although even if that wasn't the case you're allowed to see them in films so why the hell can't you see them in games.

"how children can be stopped from using these games once the games are in the home."

Mandate all new consoles have parental controls on them. Every single major new console since the PS2 (not counting handhelds) has parental control on it in some way, and there's no reason why the gaming industry would get rid of them on their own.

There I just proposed a feel good law for you that would change very little and negates one of your concerns, you're welcome.

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

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: Real Life Issues More Important Than ...

Every games console ever released has had 100% effective parental controls included as a fundamental part of the system's functionality, they even came up with a natty name for it, naming it after the power it gives parents over their kids.

/b

Re: Atkinson: Real Life Issues More Important Than ...

Even the cartridge systems and the original Playstation?

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

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: Real Life Issues More Important Than ...

You missed the note. Pay attention to the bolded part. So yes, even including handhelds and the original playstation. Even as far back as the Atari 2600, Colecovision and Inellivision.

Re: Atkinson: Real Life Issues More Important Than ...

Would you say he has sunk close to JT?

Re: Atkinson: Real Life Issues More Important Than ...

The Continental Cretin of Australia Michael Atkinson should talk about "imaginary worlds" since he lives in one himself.

Be a man and give Australians what they really want, Atkinson, instead of being a pathetic coward who hides behind children to justify his wrong actions.

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: Real Life Issues More Important Than ...

And yet he wastes time bitchung about it and doing things to stop it......


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: Real Life Issues More Important Than ...

Michael Atkinson should actually be pittied. It's tough for someone so stupid to have to try to go through life trying to not let everyone know how stupid you really are. It's a tough balance... politician/idiot. It's like those two things go together like peanut butter/jelly, chocolate/peanut butter.. etc.

(put him out on his ass)

Re: Atkinson: Real Life Issues More Important Than ...

This is why countries should have strong constitutional protections against censorship: So idiots like Atkinson who wish to impose their personal values upon the rest of society don't ever get the opportunity to do so.

Re: Atkinson: Real Life Issues More Important Than ...

If one can not understand why someone would want something, then one has no buisness making laws concerning it.

For that matter, if imaginary worlds are so unimportant, why does he put so much time and energy into restricting them?  This whole debate could be ended by simply agreeing with the other AGs. But instead he expends significant energy into fighting them and demonizing games.  Imagine if that energy was dumped into something worthwhile like crime.

Re: Atkinson: Real Life Issues More Important Than ...

Yet he spends SO MUCH EFFOT making sure Australians are shielded from these "unimportant" imaginary worlds! Wait, I have the PERFECT image to highlight this double-standard.

Psychonauts-Critic-PRETENTIOUS-AS-F.jpg picture by metroidprimegmr

Quite appropriate, don't you think?

Re: Atkinson: Real Life Issues More Important Than ...

"I understand the Wii console has been phenomenally successful for Nintendo and that system provides many games to challenge and develop skill, physically and intellectually, without depraved sex, gore and cruelty."

Hahaha.. ha. Aren't Resident Evil, House of the Dead, Mad World, Manhunt 2, No More Heroes and several other M-rated games that feature gore and sexuality on the Wii? 

Re: Atkinson: Real Life Issues More Important Than ...

"I am baffled and worried about why proponents of R.18+ games are putting up their hands and saying 'Give us more cruel sex and extreme violence!"

So basically his argument is that adult content for adult gamers is bad. But R rated movies, tv shows, and music with just as much (and usually more) sex and violence, those are ok *thumbs up*

"I cannot fathom what State-enforced safeguards could exist to prevent R.18+ games being bought by households with children and how children can be stopped from using these games once the games are in the home. If adult gamers are so keen to have R.18+ games, I expect children would be just as keen."

Yeah well you see there are these people called "parents", perhaps you've heard of them? And they are in charge of that household and decide what a child should and should not be exposed to.

Re: Atkinson: Real Life Issues More Important Than ...

Lol I agree & parents who care & who don't care what their kids see. So sad though. Those kids that have bad parents will be the next psycho, killer, murderer, rapist & so on. & some will just be weird & others emo, & others well others I'll leave that to the audience to decide.

 

 

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

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

Re: Atkinson: Real Life Issues More Important Than ...

Sounds like he realized what a dumb decision he made and now, instead of changing it, he's just going on about how right everyone else is about it. He probably even considers this a weighty compromise, even though he still hasn't done anything to fix what is, in fact, a 'Real Life' issue.

Re: Atkinson: Real Life Issues More Important Than ...

His own logic is flawed. He claims there's no way to keep 18+ games out of households with children in it (a poor concept on it's own), so how do they keep 15+ games out of homes with 8 year olds in it?

Well, I guess that means no games should be allowed in Oz since it might be inappropriate for someone.

Re: Atkinson: Real Life Issues More Important Than ...

this is a real life issue.  You're restricting freedom of speech in your own little bubble, and what's more you're using governmental power to do so.  That's not only unethical, but pretty real as well. 

Re: Atkinson: Real Life Issues More Important Than ...

Ah yes. Belittling and insulting your opponents. Classic move of those that have no other way of supporting their position.

Classy.

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

Re: Atkinson: Real Life Issues More Important Than ...

Wait a minute so he throws a huge fit and makes a huge deal about how he hates arts & entertainment then says people need to stop making such a huge deal over entertainment... 

Re: Atkinson: Real Life Issues More Important Than ...

I don't think anyone's trying to say real life issues aren't more important.

 

The party has made it clear they don't expect to win, they just want to get the word out "hey, we're adults, we're getting screwed out of making a choice because of this guy, help us get it changed"

 
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