ACL Calls for Ban on Games in Wake of Norway Massacre

July 25, 2011 -

The Australian Christian Lobby has called for games to be banned if they contain violence that is "excessive or gratuitous." The call came as the world digests the bizarre rambling of a 1500-page manifesto written by Norwegian killer Anders Behring Breivik and released online shortly before he killed 76 people in and around Oslo, Norway.

The Australian federal government said yesterday that Breivik committed his crimes because there is "something clearly intrinsically wrong with him", not because he played violent video games.

NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge did say that Modern Warfare 2 should be reviewed to have a more restrictive R18+ rating in the country. It is currently rated MA15+.

Minister for Home Affairs, Brendan O'Connor was asked yesterday on ABC's Insiders TV program about the link between video games and the Oslo shooting. He responded by saying that it would not change his support for the R18+ rating, which he argued would prevent adult video games from getting into the hands of teens because it is rated MA15+ or lower.

"At the moment the most popular adult-themed games that are played only lawfully by adults around the world are played by 15 year olds here," he said.

O'Connor promised that this would change once an R18+ rating for games becomes law.

"But look, because there is a madman who has done just such atrocities in Norway, I don't think that means that we are going to close down film or the engagement with games," he said. "I think it really points to, of course, a person who - clearly there is something wrong with this person to sort of cause such devastation in Norway. But I'm not sure that the argument goes that as a result of watching a game you turn into that type of person. I think there is something clearly intrinsically wrong with him."

The Australian Christian Lobby managing director Jim Wallace disagreed and criticized O'Connor over his remarks. He said that if even a few deranged minds could be "taken over the edge by an obsession with violent games" then the game should be banned.

"The studied indifference of this killer to the suffering he was inflicting, his obvious dehumanising of his victims and the evil methodical nature of the killings have all the marks of games scenarios," said Wallace. "How can we allow the profits of the games industry and selfishness of games libertarians to place our increasingly dysfunctional society at further risk? Even if this prohibition were to save only one tragedy like this each twenty years it would be worth it."

A spokesmen for NSW Attorney-General Greg Smith, who abstained from the recent SCAG meeting vote on R18+, said that the AH agreed with O'Connor's comments on Insiders.

"It won't make any difference to our support, which should be confirmed shortly," said the spokesperson.

The Australian games industry trade group Interactive Games & Entertainment Association, said that the video game connection to Breivik is the exception rather than the rule:

"I think it's fair to say that in our communities there will always be individuals who will have a predisposition towards violent behaviour, the causes for which fall into a very wide range of factors," said IGEA chief executive Ron Curry. "To single out a symptom, rather than the underlying cause, does little to understand, or show respect to, the greater tragedy."

Source: Sydney Morning Herald


Comments

Re: ACL Calls for Ban on Games in Wake of Norway Massacre

So one country is overreacting to something that happened several 1000 miles away?

Re: ACL Calls for Ban on Games in Wake of Norway Massacre

I'll venture a guess they had this solution in mind and were just waiting for the right problem.

Re: ACL Calls for Ban on Games in Wake of Norway Massacre

SO they have a solution and are in the market for a problem.

Re: ACL Calls for Ban on Games in Wake of Norway Massacre

Make 80 hours of Hello Kitty game compulsory NOW!

Re: ACL Calls for Ban on Games in Wake of Norway Massacre

Honestly, more people should be calling out Wallace for using a tragedy of this scale to push his own agenda. You couldn't even wait until the victims have been identified before you jump on your soapbox?

Re: ACL Calls for Ban on Games in Wake of Norway Massacre

Others have said it differently here, but let me pipe up a repeat: "The Australian Christian Lobby managing director Jim Wallace ...." "...said that if even a few deranged minds could be 'taken over the edge by ..." Do you REALLY want me to go there? I've been there several times here in the past and on other similar issues on Facebook, so, yeah, I COULD go there if you REALLY want me to. :/
Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Re: ACL Calls for Ban on Games in Wake of Norway Massacre

No one is going to kill because of a game. There is no one out there who would not have killed but he played some rounds of Modern Warfare 3 and so decided to go ahead and kill people. It just doesn't work like that. That game has sold millions upon millions of sales. What is different about this guy that he kills while all those other millions of people, adults and kids, don't?

Re: ACL Calls for Ban on Games in Wake of Norway Massacre

Religion has caused far more wars and created far more violence then video games ever have; So tell me, why isn't religion banned?

Re: ACL Calls for Ban on Games in Wake of Norway Massacre

Mr.Tastix for the win!

Re: ACL Calls for Ban on Games in Wake of Norway Massacre

Exactly.

Re: ACL Calls for Ban on Games in Wake of Norway Massacre

Where does it end? Ron Curry speaks perfect sense at the end - you can't just blame a whole atrocious event on a single issue. "Even if this prohibition were to save only one tragedy like this each twenty years it would be worth it." This fallacious logic always crops up. What's that saying about trading security for liberty? Exactly. Besides which, banning everything that stimulates the mind can hardly be the answer. Anyway, we've seen that type of argument many times before. Here's something I'm curious about: are groups like the ACL deceitful when it comes to stating that single issues caused tragedies like in Oslo (and are taking advantage of it to further their agenda), or do they sincerely believe what they're saying? Edit: what's up with the lack of formatting?

Re: ACL Calls for Ban on Games in Wake of Norway Massacre

Well I don't think the two things are mutually exclusive. I suspect these folks *do* sincerely believe video games are harmful. But the more prestige is invested in beating a particular drum, the more it can lead down the path of deceitfulness (whether its intentional deceit or a kind of self-deceit).

Re: ACL Calls for Ban on Games in Wake of Norway Massacre

It is also ridiculous to think it would prevent even one single tragedy like this. It almost certainly wouldn't but these bastards like to glom onto tragedies like this and twist it and use the dead to push their own agendas. It is disgusting to me.

Re: ACL Calls for Ban on Games in Wake of Norway Massacre

He also claimed to be a Christian. I guess we should ban Christianity as well if I follow the ACL's logic correctly.

Re: ACL Calls for Ban on Games in Wake of Norway Massacre

exactly.

Re: ACL Calls for Ban on Games in Wake of Norway Massacre

Amen.

-Austin from Oregon

Feel free to check out my blog.

Re: ACL Calls for Ban on Games in Wake of Norway Massacre

Because we all know that there were never any wars or violence whatosever until video games came around, right?

Re: ACL Calls for Ban on Games in Wake of Norway Massacre

People are unhinged by religion as well. If a few deranged people can be driven to a crime by it, it should be banned.
 
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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
Mattsworknamefor gamers to hold the media sites they had issues with accountable? If we look at those questions, I think we find the answer to the first one07/28/2015 - 8:20pm
MattsworknameEZK: I can't answer that, Im split on it cause I feel both are wrong ,but at the same time, I don't know if theres other ways to go about those seperate con.cerns. Was there a better way for feminists to make there point about GTA? was there a better way07/28/2015 - 8:20pm
MechaTama31Ok, a very different topic.07/28/2015 - 8:13pm
MechaTama31On a slightly different topic, in about a month my fiance will be a Mrs., but I'll still be a Mr., as I've always been. Hardly seems fair. I want a nifty new title!07/28/2015 - 8:13pm
E. Zachary KnightMatt, So, what is it? Is petitioning Intel to pull ads from Gamasutra "bullying and threatening" or is it justified? You can't have it both ways, especially if petition Target is "bullying and threatening".07/28/2015 - 8:10pm
Andrew EisenWhat this comes across as is "we need to find a way to silence anyone who says something we don't like."07/28/2015 - 8:08pm
Andrew EisenAnd how was Gamasutra not accountable for the opinion piece it published and refused to pull or edit even after advertising had been pulled?07/28/2015 - 8:08pm
Andrew EisenThere are tons of options when it comes to an opinion piece you don't agree with. Stating otherwise is dishonest or shows an extraordinary lack of imagination.07/28/2015 - 8:07pm
Mattsworknamethem acounatble. We just didn't have many opttions at the time07/28/2015 - 8:05pm
MattsworknameEZK:I never said it was justified, I just said that some people felt they didn't have any other means to hold them accountable. Weather it's justifited or not is somethign to debate, but I was never a big fan of it cause I wanted some other way to hold07/28/2015 - 8:04pm
Mattsworknameprice07/28/2015 - 8:03pm
MattsworknameAndrew: Your not wrong andrew, but gamasutra , and others like it , were called to task by the audiance that felt they had turned there backs on them. True or not, in media, you have to know how to reach an audiance, and chosing not to, well, you pay a07/28/2015 - 8:03pm
Andrew EisenAt the end of the day, even when Intel pulled its advertising (albeit, temporarily), Gamasutra showed its journalistic integrity by not removing or editing the opinion piece.07/28/2015 - 8:00pm
Andrew EisenNot liking Gamasutra is fine. The audience is primarily industry folk and it's not a game-focused site so it's probably not targeting you anyway.07/28/2015 - 7:57pm
E. Zachary KnightMAtt, So, an online petition asking Target to stop selling GTAV is "bullying and threatening" but a petition and boycott of Intel to force them to stop advertising on Gamasutra is justified?07/28/2015 - 7:56pm
Andrew EisenTrue or not, what it came across as a bunch of people lashing out at a publication over an opinion piece.07/28/2015 - 7:56pm
MattsworknameTo be honest, I've never liked them, but mostly cause rather then being a game focused site, they felt to political for my taste07/28/2015 - 7:56pm
 

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