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!

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
Andrew EisenTrue, but I liked the fact that rather than do a crappy looking version of the PS3/360 version, it went with an art style more suited to the Wii's strengths.11/23/2014 - 12:26am
Wonderkarpif I had the money, I'd buy one of those expensive proton pack replicas11/22/2014 - 11:25pm
Wonderkarpthats the wii version though. the PS3/360 version is far superior.11/22/2014 - 11:19pm
Andrew EisenOdd that there was no hose connecting the thrower to the backpack. Was there just no more horsepower left in the Wii to animate it? And did seriously no one on the dev or QA team notice the Ghostbusters patch on the player's sleeve was backwards?11/22/2014 - 11:17pm
Andrew EisenI played it one the Wii and rather liked it.11/22/2014 - 11:15pm
Neo_DrKefkaGhostbusters on the PS3 and Xbox is Ghostbusters III for me. It was a short but wonderful experience.11/22/2014 - 11:13pm
Andrew EisenGhostbusters is my number one but the other films in my top 5 are Blues Brothers, Nightmare Before Christmas, Little Shop of Horrors (the Frank Oz one) and Jaws.11/22/2014 - 11:05pm
Wonderkarpso interesting info about that blocklist I'm on https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B3GOLniCUAAnHbP.png11/22/2014 - 10:54pm
Wonderkarpspeaking of game swag, went to a GTAV midnight release at a gamestop. I was getting WWE2k15. First in line so I got 2 free posters and a free Los Santos Sherrif hat that doesnt fit my head. Still sits proudly on a shelf11/22/2014 - 10:34pm
Wonderkarpno pics though cause I'm going to be moving soon hopefully so I'm not too keen on working on it, other than buying some stuff.11/22/2014 - 10:33pm
WonderkarpGhostbusters, Alien, and Aliens make up my top 3 favorite films. Its not a Coincidence that Sigourney Weaver is my favorite Actress11/22/2014 - 10:31pm
Andrew EisenIf you do build a game room you're proud of, do post pics.11/22/2014 - 10:31pm
Andrew EisenGhostbusters! My favorite movie.11/22/2014 - 10:21pm
Wonderkarpthough not strictly games. I have Lightsabers mounted on the wall, and on a shelf you'll see the Infinity Gauntlet, the Ocarina of Time, a Sith Holocron, and some of my Ghostbusters Props11/22/2014 - 8:57pm
Wonderkarpswag of all kinds, Andrew. I'm trying to build a game room as impressive as AVGNs nerd room. I'm also trying to build a coffee table/storage space shaped like a NES Controller11/22/2014 - 8:55pm
E. Zachary KnightI need new controllers for my Gamecube. Its not everyday you can get brand new 1st party controllers.11/22/2014 - 8:51pm
Andrew EisenPredominately figurines or swag of all kinds?11/22/2014 - 8:37pm
WonderkarpI would like a new gamecube controller....but I also just like gaming swag....11/22/2014 - 8:32pm
Andrew EisenI'm just waiting to buy a new Gamecube controller for my Gamecube.11/22/2014 - 7:15pm
Wonderkarphttp://kotaku.com/smash-bros-gamecube-adapters-sold-out-online-prices-g-1662162871 Smash Bros Gamecube adapter sold out, online prices go nuts11/22/2014 - 6:50pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician