Ex-Classification Board Member Issues Pro R18+ Response

February 26, 2010 -

A former member of Australia’s Classification Board has submitted an incredibly well-written and reasoned response to the government issued Discussion Paper, regarding the topic of adding an R18+ rating category for games.

The 17-page response (PDF) was crafted by Paul J Hunt, who served as Deputy Director of the Classification Board and as a senior executive with the Office of Film and Literature Classification. He also lists himself as a “parent of teenagers who play computer games and a child of “Seniors” who play computer games.”

Hunt begins his argument by imparting first-hand knowledge into the current problems with the rating system:

When I made a decision, or participated in a decision, that a computer game was unsuitable for minors, I was forced to refuse classification for that game. It was not because I thought that the game depicted, expressed or otherwise dealt with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that it would offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults. It was simply because the game was not OK for kids.

Not being able to restrict computer games to adults was an impediment to my ability to reflect Australian community standards.

Hunt offers another real example of how the lack of an R18+ rating affects gamers, comparing the rating of the movie Hannibal (rated R18+) and Grand Theft Auto III (which was Refused Classification). Hunt notes that, in the example, “…two products received different results, but both were assessed as suitable for the same adult audience. That the result does not reflect community standards is evident in the massive number of complaints… received by the OFLC regarding both the RC decision.”

A few more choice points from Hunt:

Some parents are irresponsible with the management of their children’s behaviour. If the reason for excluding an R18+ classification for games is to limit the access of the children of incompetent or irresponsible parents, then we should ban R18+ films, restricted publications, alcohol, cigarettes, etc. from our society.

There have been suggestions that an R18+ classification would include “sexual abuse, criminal activity, and extreme violence”. The guidelines do not permit their existence in the R18+ category.

Hunt addressed some of his responses directly to South Australian Attorney General Michael Atkinson’s claims that nobody cares about the R18+ issue, except for gamers:

Of even greater concern is the fact that Mr. Atkinson does not understand that most Australians are gamers, and therefore the majority of the population is familiar with game content.

 

All responses, including those from gamers, are responses from the Australian community. Whilst Mr. Atkinson may wish to marginalise gamers, and put down the knowledge of all Australians, I trust the Government will accept all submissions at face value as representative of the Australian community’s feelings on this issue.

Hunt concludes by using Atkinson’s own words against him:

There is a need to follow South Australian Attorney General Michael Atkinson’s advice on a recent similar issue regarding the rights and freedoms of Australians – an attempt to restrict political comment on the internet: "When one gets public opinion wrong, as I did, one has to change one's mind."

Hunt is now Principal Consultant for MLCS Management, a company that offers assistance with "classification services," such as pre-classification advice and help with the management of appeals.


Thanks Ryan!


Comments

Re: Ex-Classification Board Member Issues Pro R18+ Response

Thank you Mr. Hunt! I can't thank you enough for defending the gamers of AU. & also the gamers in general all around the world.

Some parents are irresponsible with the management of their children’s behaviour. If the reason for excluding an R18+ classification for games is to limit the access of the children of incompetent or irresponsible parents, then we should ban R18+ films, restricted publications, alcohol, cigarettes, etc. from our society.

I do agree w/you here. If gamers should have to suffer w/out playing their games b/c of an R18+ category, then so should non-gamers watching R18+ movies, buying cigarettes, alcohol & so on. It's only fair.

Michael Atkinson will eat crow.

"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: Ex-Classification Board Member Issues Pro R18+ Response

Is it just me (and being a non-aussie), or is there more outrage over the lack of an R18 rating for games than outrage over Austrailia's internet filtering?

Re: Ex-Classification Board Member Issues Pro R18+ Response

 “sexual abuse, criminal activity, and extreme violence”.

That still sounds really restrictive even if there was an R18 rating. It seems like a lot of mature games would still not get approved for sale.

Re: Ex-Classification Board Member Issues Pro R18+ Response

Paul Hunt, FTW!

Re: Ex-Classification Board Member Issues Pro R18+ Response

damn, this train is picking up speed, the question is will atkinson be smart enough to get out of the way and allow a R18+, or stubbornly refuse and show the people of australia they have in office a man who doesn't give two shits what they think.

That tends to not bode well with voters. sure gaming issues aren't big enough to warrent kicking him out, but flat out refusal to acknowledge what the majority of the population wants? that might cause some voters to rethink. In fact that may be a good angle of attack against atkinson in the political arena.

Re: Ex-Classification Board Member Issues Pro R18+ Response

Hmm. Option 1: R+18 is accepted. Option 2: R+18 is rejected, but Atkinson will look terrible. Both do have their upsides.

"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." -Albert Einstein

Re: Ex-Classification Board Member Issues Pro R18+ Response

Well said, but I think I hear a familiar shredder warming up in South Australia.

"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: Ex-Classification Board Member Issues Pro R18+ Response


I could also probably see Atkinson talking with some police chief to plan an assassination on the guy.  Atkinson is a district attorney, he can probably do anything with the cop.  He can abuse his power to kill the guy and maybe cover up the murder and make it look like a random murder.  History has shown that politicians can abuse power to kill anyone that don't agree with them.

 

Re: Ex-Classification Board Member Issues Pro R18+ Response

That is so fucking stupid I think it gave me aids.

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

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Ex-Classification Board Member Issues Pro R18+ Response

Made of 100% pure win. Thank you sir!

Re: Ex-Classification Board Member Issues Pro R18+ Response

That second quote shows exactly the kind of hypocrisy and double standards that people like Atkinson demonstate.

Re: Ex-Classification Board Member Issues Pro R18+ Response

Now if only this guy was running for the opposition to Atkinson. All of the responses from them that I've seen are terrible and just result to ad hominem attacks against Atkinson.

They need someone more outspoken who can get the message out there without sounding like an idiot.

Re: Ex-Classification Board Member Issues Pro R18+ Response

I agree 100%.

Re: Ex-Classification Board Member Issues Pro R18+ Response

Paul Hunt owned Michael Atkinson's worthless ass, straight and simple.

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra. Hell will stay frozen over for quite a while since the Saints won the Super Bowl.

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: Ex-Classification Board Member Issues Pro R18+ Response

*claps*

Bravo! Well spoken!

 
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Craig R.Do conspiracies ever make sense? The fact that people are now having to defend themselves against nutjob websites like Breitbart.com shows how far down into the rabbit hole we've all been forcibly dragged.09/18/2014 - 7:05pm
Michael ChandraBut when the mountain obviously exists...09/18/2014 - 5:49pm
Michael ChandraMind you, if someone makes a mountain out of a molehill with a secret agenda as motive, it'd be fine.09/18/2014 - 5:48pm
Andrew EisenOkay, so I guess I'm not making sense of #notyourshield because it doesn't make any sense.09/18/2014 - 5:28pm
Andrew EisenI'd really only count three as being "death of gamer" articles and only one as arguably going a bit far with "gamers are young white dudes" stuff.09/18/2014 - 5:17pm
Andrew EisenMost are really just a look at the crap that happened the previous day when Sarkeesian's new video came out and almost all are exceedingly clear that they're talking about the specific gamers who are being obnoxious.09/18/2014 - 5:17pm
Andrew EisenKrono - Yep, I had only seen two. I looked at the 12 you sent and while I had seen a few of them, I didn't think to count them. Some aren't about gamers at all. One's just highlighting two others. One is a Gamasutra community member blog post.09/18/2014 - 5:15pm
Michael Chandrawould clearly not apply, since they weren't used as shield. It's more "hey, just because I don't agree with you doesn't mean I'm CISWASP."09/18/2014 - 5:08pm
Michael ChandraIn comparison though, the more extreme views would be fairly countered with "you don't speak for me". But the batshit crazy people tend not to even use others as the shield to defend their batshit crazy ideas and insults, so at that point #notyourshield09/18/2014 - 5:06pm
Michael ChandraWhich is of course real silly because when there are so many horrible stories and statistics too, it's utterly irrelevant whether some don't mind.09/18/2014 - 5:00pm
Michael ChandraIn this context it would be women claiming they don't see a problem with the stuff, so stop claiming women don't like it!09/18/2014 - 5:00pm
Michael Chandra"You don't speak for me. I am not your shield. You cannot use me to defend your own opinion."09/18/2014 - 4:59pm
Michael ChandraAE, if we leave aside the falsehoods some use with the term, the idea is regarding minorities and such.09/18/2014 - 4:58pm
Michael ChandraKrono did just a bit earlier in the shoutbox prh99.09/18/2014 - 4:56pm
Andrew EisenI still don't get the what #notyourshield is supposed to mean. Who is unfairly using who as a shield for what?09/18/2014 - 4:43pm
prh99Didn't said anything about #notyourshield or it's origins. Assuming your comment was directed at me.09/18/2014 - 4:28pm
prh99Leigh Alexander is right though, no one has to cater to them (trolls). I think a lot of them would likely continue playing even if scantily clad women were omitted or protagonist was female.09/18/2014 - 4:21pm
Michael ChandraSo no, normal gamers feeling attacked was not what sparked #notyourshield and only a fool would suggest otherwise.09/18/2014 - 4:21pm
Michael Chandra#NotYourShield was kickstarted by 4chan people, so don't go and make nonsense claims about that.09/18/2014 - 4:20pm
prh99those toxic individuals conduct their trolling under. It could have easily been under the Men Rights banner etc, they are just generally unpleasant and angry people who can't stand people disagreeing with them. 09/18/2014 - 4:00pm
 

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