GDAA Prez Tom Crago Weighs In On Classification, ABC Q&A Panel

tom2.jpgI know many of you have tried to forget it ever happened, but try to recall that horrible Q&A panel on the ABC. Not wanting to leave the issue without some expert comment from the other side, GDAA prez and Tantalus CEO Tom Crago has offered his opinion on the ABC News website. In it, he criticises not only the panel, but the classification system and Michael Atkinson.

While Crago covers ground we've talked about before, he still makes a compelling argument, and provides something most of us cannot - the point of view of a developer. From the piece:

As game developers, we are trying to make games that provide entertainment to players of all ages. Video games are not going to turn your children into criminals. They are, in fact, the modern face of the entertainment industry, and something that we in Australia are very good at producing.

The focus of this debate should be upon how the Australian classification system can best give adults the information they need to chose video game content for themselves and their children, without burdening our country with unjustified and draconian censorship to the amusement and pity of the rest of the world.

I think the world alternates between pitying and mocking, but any attention is good attention, right?

Unlike a specialist blog such as Kotaku AU, the ABC site attracts a range of personalities. Even so, most of the comments to the piece are positive, though I couldn't help but notice this rather, well, insane post:

As far as I am concerned, many games are moronic, violent and contain puerile, infantile sexual fantasies. Sure they are not just for kids - many kids I know are mature enough to realise computer games serve a purpose in childhhod [sic]and adolescence and do not maintain this interest as adults.

So, does this go for the thousands of adults around the world that actually make games too? Can't imagine they'd be working in the industry if they didn't have an interest!

Alas, this is the sort of mindset we're dealing with folks.

Banned: the absurdity of Australia's game rating regime [ABC][Pic]


    I had been thinking today, that someone needs to start an government-independent classification board. Obviously, it would have no legal influence - but would hopefully draw the public's attention to just how hopelessly inconsistent the OFLC are.

    Surely publishers and developers would be supportive of this sort of thing. It would provide the public with a basis of comparison to our current classification system; theoretically helping to keep the OFLC on their toes.

    It wouldn't help solve our problem of a lack of 'R 18+' rating, however it could also serve as a lobby group to keep pushing the issue.

    Have any other countries tried anything of this nature? Has there been any success?

    Well yes, PEGI.

    About fucking time!

    Thank you Tom.

    Well written and thought out.

    More needs to be done, however. Nice words don't mean shit to politicians.

    What we need is a politician caught smuggling Fallout 3 into the country for his son!

    I'm confused. 'Infantile sexual fantasies?'. When have infants had sexual fantasies?
    Anyway, what you see here is people generalising in ridiculous terms. Yes, some games are infantile, and they are usually intended for children. Yes some games are sexual and violent, but they are intended for adults, and this sex or violence is usual there to serve a point, as it does in other forms of art (but this isn't time for a debate on whether games are art, to which I say yes). Of course, there are also a lot of games in between that aren't childish or violent. There are games for all audiences!
    A classification system SHOULD clear that up, and be able to deliver to all consumers games they want and deserve.
    As far as games as being a 'childish' fantasy, or whatever point this guy is trying to get across, what then is theatre, literature and film? Are they childish too because they are based on imagination and fantasy?
    Of course not, that makes them 'art'.

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