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Michael Atkinson

You may be getting sick and tired of hearing about his latest escapades in attacking the proposed R18+ rating, but Michael Atkinson is at it once again. This time, he has written a lengthy letter detailing just why he is so opposed to such a change in Australian legislation.

You can download the entire scanned letter here, or just hit the jump to read the juiciest parts.

“Although some members are advocates of this classification, I believe other Attorneys-General, like me, reject it. Other Attorneys-General who are opposed to introducing an R18+ classification for computer games are content to let me be the lightening (sic) rod for the gamers.”

“I am well aware that many game players are adults… However, it is important you do not confuse the classification rating of a game with the game’s sophistication, or the challenge or interest to the player… It does not follow that a game is more interesting to an adult simply because it contains extreme violence, explicit sexual material or highly offensive language. Indeed, with all the effort and money that goes into game development, coupled with the effects and graphics now available, there is no need to introduce these extreme elements. I am bafffled and worried about why proponents of R18+ games are putting up their hands and saying ‘Give us more cruel sex and extreme violence!’”

“What the present law does is keep the most extreme material off the shelves. It is true that this restricts adult liberty to a small degree, however, I am prepared to accept this infringement in the circumstances.”

“Game-houses are always free to adapt games that would otherwise be R.C. [Refused Classification] and modify the game content to be in line with the M.A.15+ classification… I do not accept that this destroys the artistic integrity of the game – excusing gore and depraved sex as art is an immature argument.”

Even if you aren’t Australian, what do you think about comments such as this coming from an Attorney-General? Does the man have a point? Or is he simply livening up his arguments with buzzwords?

Source: Kotaku Australia

  1. There are just so many incorrect assumptions and strawman statements in that letter that I honestly wouldn’t know where to begin.

  2. Anything I say now would just be beating a dead horse, I just hope that the guy doesn’t have much longer until retirement.

  3. avatar Seph

    Having no adult-restricted classification for video games, while maintaining an adult-restricted rating system for all other forms of entertainment is just plain old hypocrisy.

    Using the arguments he has presented, I say we either refuse classification on all current R18+ rated material, and pull it from shelves… or just give the damn games their rightful rating system to match other mediums.

    Of course option A would never happen. Literally half the country would be up in arms over it, it would never get passed.

    Option B is of course out of the question, for one reason and one reason alone… Mr Atkinson obviously DOES NOT PLAY GAMES.

    Forgive me if I missed something, but since when does one man’s personal opinion take precedence over the residents of the country? I believe it’s called a Democracy, and not a Dictatorship, for a reason.

  4. Somebody mentioned this elsewhere: If we want to get anywhere on this issue, someone (I’m guessing the Gamers 4 Croydon guys would be a good start) needs to openly debate Atkinson about this. Until then, we all rage at his stupid circular arguments, and non-gamers just buy into the ridiculous idea that every game over MA15+ includes “depraved sex”.

    Meanwhile, where ARE all those depraved sex games he continually mentions? I must be missing out on a release schedule somewhere

    • avatar Maaraket

      Its completely up to you. You must have never trdaed games before. They never give you what the are worth or they would not make any money. you can generally expect to get 25% of what you paid for them. If they are older games you will probably only get a couple of dollars each for them

  5. @Seph: he’s been over the idea of films against games regarding R18+ ratings before in that games are worse because they actually let you perform the actions yourself making people more likely to copy what they do in the game in real life. Pretty silly Jack Thompson logic but I wouldn’t call it hypocrisy.

    • avatar Miluzka

      what is your favorite game you have pleyad on ds. Now don’t tell me all the fun games you have pleyad or all the best reviewed games just one game and it has to be the number one game you have ever pleyad on ds.

  6. avatar Jordan Garski

    If games are so much worse because they actually let you perform the action, how is that any different than reading a book and letting your own mind put together the horrible act as you see it or how is that any different than what an actor does in a movie?

  7. You’re not roleplaying in the book or movie, though. It may put you behind a character’s thoughts and actions but never directly in their shoes forcing you to become the character themselves. Books and movies never address you as the viewer as if you are the character.

  8. This mans logic is about as broken as the logic driving the US war on drugs

  9. avatar Mikiko

    Like a bee in a bottle Ms McGonicals words shall retsoane through the wonderland of Alice. Alice was so inclined as to ask, But what measure of significance especially in evoking an association of emotion to a somewhat mechanical systemic approach that is so obviously exposed to periodic forces . Oh very well replied the white rabbit, It is merely her own frequency that is only equally close to the natural dampened of the system in itself lasting too short a time to be observed directly. Do you really think so? said Alice

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