R18+ Rating Is A Risk To Australian Children, Says Minister

michael atkinson mugshot.jpg

South Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson has outlined his reasons for opposing the introduction of an R18+ rating to Australia's videogame classification system. In a statement delivered to Gamespot, Atkinson writes:
"I don't support the introduction of an R18+ rating for electronic games, chiefly because it will greatly increase the risk of children and vulnerable adults being exposed to damaging images and messages."


    God it MUST be hard being a parent - you know, watching what your children do and stopping them from playing naughty games.. I think we should call the Child Welfare Agency (or whatever they are called) on Atkinson, clearly he is unable to be a fit parent for his children

    I wish I could bold for emphasis... "to hire R18+ videos [from a shop, presumably]". Compare and contrast with "Once electronic games are in the home".

    Because I am relatively sure that no-one ever takes rented R18+ Videos (do people still rent videos?) home to watch them.

    And why is there any greater risk of the 15 year old working at the video store not checking for ID than there is for the 15 year old working at Kmart/Game/EB etc.

    Let's ban everything and just pray as our relaxation.

    This guy makes me ashamed to be a South Australian.

    In a recent article I read that in a random survey 90% of Australians votes yes to an R18+ Classification for games.
    Not having an R rating means these titles are given an M rating, opening them up to our kids, or banning them, meaning people will resort to illegal methods to get a copy of the games they want to play.

    It amazes me that as our AG, he can be so out of touch with what the people want , and what is good for the people.

    I think your kids are more at risk of getting messed up from their inherited genes than they are from a few games Mr Atkinson.

    What an IDIOT!

    Seriously, once games are in the home, it is the PARENTS RESPONSIBILITY to make sure their children don't play violent games. Cigarettes and alcohol can be found in the home and they can be deadly to childrens health, same with cleaning chemicals, but they are not BANNED in the home why? Because they will only cause physical and medical harm to children, and games can scar their innocent young minds. Oh that's why.
    Lets just BAN cable TV while were at it, the same way you can LOCK certain channels is the same thing as going to your PlayStation and making only G and PG games playable via the Parental Lock system.

    Retards running government...

    Have his children gone out and done any violence?

    Once R18+ movies are in the home, they are just as accessible to children as games are. They are both a disc. Games are probably easier to monitor, as there are probably 3 or 4 devices in the home (Console, DVD player, Computer) that can be used to play them, whereas Games can only be played on one device.

    If he has an opinion about vidiogames, then he should shield his kids from them, not all of Australia. I don't like the idea that I cannot play a game because of some guys paranoia, as an adult it's insulting to my maturity.

    Also, an R rated game would be illegal for children to by, if you are going to play the "kids will get their hands on it anyway" argument, why not start with alcohol, cigarets and drugs; You know, the things that have actually been proven to be detrimental to an underaged persons health.

    I am very worried that this mans idea of a safe community is turning everyone into mindless zombies.
    Lets wrap everyone up in cotton wool and take away their decision making abilities.
    I'm feeling a distinct obsessive compulsive parenting on Atkinsons part.


    This guy is an idiot. He's basically saying because he sucks as a father and cant control his own kids we must all have the same problem and must be helped.
    Also, how hard is it to lock or hide away the R rated games with the R movies and pornos we all have? If im not mistaken they were both the same size last time I checked.
    I don’t think insulting me and every other adult and parent by calling them careless and irresponsible is a fair argument.

    im sick of this asshole. anyone see the footage of him playing wii tennis? stupid prick.

    So basically his kids don't wanna spend time with him because they'd rather play GTA? Can't say I blame them. I'd also like to know what his definition of 'obsessed' with games is. Its a hobby, of course kids wanna spend their time doing it. Games are also certainly a lot more intellectually stimulating than watching a movie.

    I can't believe he actually thinks they're "rehearsing harmful behaviour". I don't see the army playing massive bouts of manhunt 2 to desensitize them to killing. Maybe if he spent less time trying to ban harmless video games and more time bonding with his kids he'd realise that the only thing responsible for harmful behaviour in children is parents.

    So that Peanut can't even parent his own son's gamimg habits properly, so the rest of the parents and the gamimg community in Australia has to live with a 3rd rate, flawed ratings system which actually makes it harder for parents to make informed choices. Thanks Michael.

    In reality it is going to be practically impossible to regulate and control the 18+ age restriction.
    Besides that I'm somewhat perplexed that its really an issue. All the games I've played have fallen within the M15 rating (obviously) and I've never once felt that a game was missing something because I couldn't see copious amounts of blood and violence.
    IMO opinion there is enough violence readily accessible on the internet and TV alone these days there's no need to add it into video games in the name of 'art'.

    I just don't get it. Is he saying that his argument is that children and adults have difficulties distinguishing between a form of media and real life?

    I can see how because we have some control over how a game plays out that it can be more immersive than a movie but i sure as fuck can tell the difference between what I am viewing on a screen and real life.

    Does Mr. Atkinson run out of a theatre when he sees a train coming towards the screen?

    To conclude: douchebag, douchebag, douchebag.

    @ RUFiO

    There's more at stake than "copious amounts of blood and violence". Think of the wide range of mature themes that games could explore - just as film does - if we didn't have to ensure they were suitable for 14 year olds.

    Outlining his own concerns about video games and his children is a bold move, it allows people to say he is biased, but at the same time, more people will listen because he can relate to them. I don't know about you guys but when I was growing up and an adult game was being played I wasn't even allowed to touch the case.

    My concerns lie with the people who listen to Atkinson before hearing both sides of the story. Likewise I'd like to hear some gamer parents point of view on the situation.

    He does have a nice smile though......

    Everything's been said, over and over again. The guy simply doesn't get it.

    We know the facts, shame he can't seem to wrap his head around them.

    *disappointed panda*


    If half of what this guy said was true, then damn - with the sorts of games I played when I was a child put me on the fast track to becoming the next Adolf Stalin Ghengis-Bin-Laden. I'm utterly doomed.

    Dear sir, I'm a twenty three year-old, credit-average University student with two degrees, studying masters. I have a loving girlfriend, two cats, four fish and a pet canary, and I play Cricket on the weekends.

    ...I've also played Postal, slaughtered childen in western Europe, caused Nuclear Armageddon (four or five times), Shot prostitutes and stolen their money, murdered police officers and declared holy war against infidel crusaders.

    At which Pyschiatric facility would you like me to check myself in to, Mister Atkinson? Because I am clearly a risk to your bubble-wrap society.

    ...What a joke...

    I'm a gamer parent and Atkinson still makes me shudder in horror at his ignorance.
    I control what my 8-year-old child plays and watches. I know what disturbs her and what doesn't, and I'll always check things out before letting her play things. I see no reason why if there's an 'R' rating for movies, there shouldn't be one for games as well.

    My concern is that by not having the 18+ rating, games like for example the GTA series are getting shoehorned into a rating that it's legal for 15-year-olds to buy and play, where otherwise they would most likely be restricted to 18 years and over.

    And personally, my exposure to violent video games for the last 15 years has not desensitised me to violence in any way shape or form. I was horrified at the supermarket the other day to see a mother dragging her young son around by the ear and berating him. And the news on TV is something I stay away from because it makes me nauseous and tearful.

    Basically Atkinson is a narrow-minded fool trying to impose his own views on the whole country.


    Sure I have a problem with cuts being made to games, but my biggest concern is when games like GTA IV & Fear 2 are given an MA15+ rating when they clearly need an R18+.

    My concern isnt with the amount of gore Im missing out on, I just want parents to be able to make informed decisions when it comes to what their kids are playing. Because once parents are buying R18+ rated video games for minors, the 'blame' can finally be put on their shoulders. Whereas at the moment, people like Atkinson are blaming gamers and the industry itself for making inappropriate games available to children.

    If parents are really having such a hard time monitoring what their kids play, for god sakes read a consoles manual and enable the parental lock.

    "Older children (18-30)"? That's very odd.

    What really shits me about Atkinson is that the rule that allows a single AG to stop a change to the legislation is intended to stop other states from forcing their own values on others. Yet here we have Mr Atkinson blatantly abusing the rule to force his own extremist views on the rest of the country. No one should be able to abuse their power like this.

    For in idea on how archaic Mr Atkinsons ideas are substitute the word alchohol for the words games or electronic games.

    Every argument the Atkinson has for the refusal of an R 18+ rating is also a good reason to have one.

    ATTN: Attorney-General Michael Atkinson

    Adding an R18+ isn't going to introduce NEW games into the country. It will allow us to RE-CLASSIFY the ones already available that SHOULD ALREADY BE R18+, but have been given an MA15+ because they are borderline "ok for kids".

    You getting it yet??

    I have been playing games since the days of pong and I have many MA rated violent games in my collection, yet I'm not going out committing crimes. Somehow I know the difference between a game and reality. It all comes down to how the children are raised. I have a baby boy and as soon as he's able to walk all my games that are above a G rating will be locked away. That being said I have witnessed on a boy about 8 years old asking his dad for GTA and the store attendant saying that he thought it wasn't suitable, yet the father bought it anyway and the attendant knowing it was for the son sold it to him. There are parents out there that just don't care or are too lazy to take an interest in what their kids are doing, and shop assistants that are too lazy to check for I.D..

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