Banned In Australia

Posted by WhenYourGodGivesYouLemons On 1:13 PM

With the Classification Board gearing up it's banhammer once again and pointing it squarely at the hotly anticipated Left 4 Dead 2 Australia is once again thrown into debate over the issue of whether or not their should be an R 18+ classification for games. That's right currently Australia's highest classification for games is MA 15+.  Now as a gamer I certainly support an R 18+ classification for games in Australia. I think it is ridiculous that the Government is able to tell us what games we are allowed to play and what games we aren't. They think they are 'protecting' us from turning into violent people but as yet there are no conclusive studies which show that playing violent video games result in an increase in violence. Just look at the popular graph which depicts that as video game sales have skyrocketed in the past ten years, violence has decreased. Michael Atkinson, the man responsible for not allowing an R 18+ rating, seems to ignore this and other data as he makes his decision about whether to veto the change or not. Instead he relies on his own opinion, which is shown in a letter he wrote to Gamespot AU on why he doesn't support an R 18+ rating. In it he says "I see my children become physically and emotionally obsessed with games, and it is difficult to drag them away from the gaming console". He then goes on to make comments about the fact that watching violent images in movies is damaging to children and some adults whilst participating in the act in game is even worse. All of this is stated without a shred of evidence and he actually believes that sacrificing adult liberty to choose what they want to play is worth it. I think this is a terrible statement to make in a Democracy. None of our liberties should be sacrificed just because a group of elites say they should be. Things like this should be determined by the populace. Also consider this Mike, the average age of a gamer is now 35 so I find it ridiculous that the Government is telling a now adult industry what they can and can't play. In another response, this time in the 'quality' news publication The Advertiser Mr Atkinson labels those seeking an R 18 + rating system as 'nerds'. I'm sorry but reverting to name calling Mr Atkinson? That doesn't sound very professional considering you are supposed to represent the people of South Australia and there you are insulting part of its population. 

The Government is just implementing knee-jerk reactions by banning everything they don't like. Instead of dealing with the problem and educating the populace on the type of games children should be playing and implementing measures like they do with the sale of cigarettes, putting them behind the counter and requiring photo ID to purchase, they just ban it. This solves nothing because the studio can edit out some small part of the game and distribute it anyway under an MA 15+ rating still complete with tons of violence and other material to turn us into crazed killers or people will find ways to import the game illegally and then distribute it to their friends. If it goes the way of unlicensed distribution then who can stop little 15 year old Billy from getting a copy. When I was growing up my Dad would tell me which games I could and couldn't play, that is what parents are supposed to do. They are the one's responsible for deciding what their children can see, listen to and play. Australia risks turning into a nanny state if the Government keeps trying to enforce measures like censoring the internet, censoring games, telling parents where they can smoke in their own homes, what alcohol they can drink etc. There are certain decisions which people should be able to make for themselves without Government intervention. In this respect the Government should be limited to an advisory or educational role suggesting what things you shouldn't do or let your kids watch but ultimately it is your decision. I think now is the perfect time for an R 18+ rating to come in because now more than ever, with the Nintendo Wii, families are playing games. It has become a communial event that families do together so parents are more aware of the gaming industry and inevitably have more control over the games that their children play. I hope that the community investigation which is supposedly going on finds sufficient support for an R 18+ rating. These games should be allowed in so ADULTS can play them, I want this to be clear. I don't condone 15 year olds getting their hands on those sorts of games especially if their parents don't know about it but given our current system which is MA 15+ plenty of adult content slips through the cracks. What are you doing to help protect those children Mike? Revamp gaming classification now.



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