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1 Censorship in Australian games on Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:49 am

Bobo72a [OWS]

Forum Friendly
Warning, wall of text incoming:

Now not being from AU I might have some different views then you all, but I'd like to hear what you have to say about this.

Here are a few articles I've read:
and this one specifically about Atkinson: http://www.kotaku.com.au/2010/02/australias-anti-r18-attorney-general-sees-fake-people/

So as I understand it, the reason AU can't get games with depictions of graphic violence is because there is no federal rating for video games that includes the sorts of violence shown. And the only reason there is no rating for violent game is that only one of the attorney generals (who seems quite conservative from what I've read) refuses to allow it, because he's afraid that children will be exposed to violence this way.

Now as I see it, there are two problems here.

One is that I feel the unanimous vote form of government used here is incredibly ineffective in the way that a single vote can block legislation for any reason, especially important here as it is related to free speech and the expanse of liberties. You might argue that it's not free speech to show violence to children, but that's not the issue. The other deeper issue is that any game, regardless of artistic importance or integrity, that includes at least once depiction of graphic violence will be disallowed for that reason, regardless of whether it was made for children or not, and whether children will get their hands on it or not.

Exposure to difficult issues is a part of life, and regardless of whether children get their hands on it or not isn't a matter for the government to decide, I'd claim that it's the duty of the parents. When there is a wide-reaching ban on content or items like this, it's only the responsible people that suffer. Anyone who really wants to get their hands on violent content will merely pirate it from outside the country, hurting the local economy and the developers of the game.

Usually calmer heads and more reasoning voices overwhelm the minority, but in a unanimous vote system, anyone can hold up the whole system for any reason, making it an ineffective form of government. Were it my government, I would be upset for both the unanimous system and the effort to regulate content, but it's not my voice to decide.

What do you all think of this situation? I'd like to hear from you.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that AU is doing a "public consultation" on the issue here:

Don't just let me know, let them know as well!

2 Re: Censorship in Australian games on Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:07 am


Spectrum Addict
I'm not going to get started on a politics discussion on the effectiveness of Australian government. All I will say is that most of the decisions made by our government are majority rules rather than a unanimous decision. It is only because this issue involves ethics and minors that it needs everybody's agreement. I think stem cell research is the same.

I sent off my submission. I voted yes, we need an R18+ rating for video games.


3 Re: Censorship in Australian games on Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:56 am

Bobo72a [OWS]

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Narurin wrote:It is only because this issue involves ethics and minors that it needs everybody's agreement.

Wat. For one, how do you define if something involves ethics and minors? By a stretch anything could involve that. Also, it shouldn't involve minors if the rating is R18+. Like I said before, the only people suffering from the rejection of the games are those that are 18+, the rest of those who get it illegally could just as easily torrent it now.

4 Re: Censorship in Australian games on Fri Feb 26, 2010 4:08 am


Spectrum Addict
*shrug* It's still a sensitive issue. And if you were to read the discussion paper, the people against the change argue that it does involve minors. Legalising previously banned games makes them more available to the public. Many gaming shops sell MA15+ games to children under 15 (even though it is illegal). And also, say I was to buy a R18 game and have it sit open on my computer while I'm out of the room. Any underage person in the house could go and play it without anybody's knowledge.

This isn't a simple change of the law that can be done by the House of Reps and Senate, it is higher than that, which is why the vote needs to be unanimous.

I'm not saying I agree with it, we do need an R rating for games, I'm just explaining the reasoning.


5 Re: Censorship in Australian games on Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:04 pm

Bobo72a [OWS]

Forum Friendly
Articles keep popping up about this Atkinson fellow, he seems like a great guy:


And here's another op-ed piece about the matter that I found to be substantial:

Does anyone else have any opinions on the matter?

6 Re: Censorship in Australian games on Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:16 pm

Earthworm Jimbo

Getting Known
In 2004 Mr Atkinson told South Australian Parliament that bikies had
used a park barbeque in his electorate to "cook a cat for human
consumption".He was later forced to apologise. The animal was
not a cat, the incident happened at another location and bikies weren't

7 Re: Censorship in Australian games on Mon Mar 22, 2010 5:17 am

Bobo72a [OWS]

Forum Friendly
Well it seems that this topic is about to become a moot point, Atkinson is retiring at the end of his current term in 2014: http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/in-depth/attorney-general-michael-atkinson-to-quit-front-bench/story-fn2sdwup-1225843341005

Your thoughts on this?

8 Re: Censorship in Australian games on Mon Mar 22, 2010 5:42 am


Millennium Bug
From what I've read on this issue it looks to me like the majority of people in government want to bring in the R18+ rating of video games, its just the minority fighting the rest with their stupid beliefs. It seems to me like the R18+ rating will eventually be introduced in time, its probably just a question of time, the people against it seem to be fighting a losing battle.

It is just so wrong on so many levels going against the introduction of a R18+ rating for video games, because it is like our country is moving backwards in its right of free speech, censorship is a very bad thing imo and this is basically what it is when there is no R18+ rating. Plus many games are being pushed through into the MA15+ rating when they should really be in the R18+ rating imo and not having a R18+ is condoning video game piracy.

There is no substantial reason to not have a R18+ rating imo as far as I'm concerned, saying that it is to protect underage children from getting a hold of these games is just ridiculous, because it is the parent's responsibility to control what games their children play, not the government's and sure, a lot of parents will probably let their children play these R18+ games, that's their choice and besides if they are going to let their children play these games, they are probably already letting them watch R18+ movies, what difference does it make if there is no R18+ rating on video games when there is on movies, saying that games are more dangerous because they are interactive is a load of crap as far as I'm concerned.

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